Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 09-16-2012, 10:53 AM   #1
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
vaquero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: washington state
Posts: 409
Question Under gravel filter setup

Ok I have been looking on this site and can't find the info I need. I have an established 55 gallon tank and I have been thinking of installing an under gravel filter system. My problem/question is this. Is there a way to put this in my tank without having to empty my entire tank and start from scratch. I really do not want to have to take out all of the fish and the gravel to do this. The decor comes out easily as you know, but what about the Eco system in the tank? Can I just shove everything to one end install half of the system then do the same for the other side?? I just don't want to mess anything up! Should I put the fish into something else while doing this or leave them in?
5 Balas
3 Silver Dollar
2 Angel Fish
2 Striped Rafael cats

__________________
Running 4 tanks; 5 soon
One 55, Two 25's, and two10's, adding a 75 for Oscars
vaquero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2012, 11:14 AM   #2
jlk
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
jlk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: philadelphia suburbs
Posts: 11,118
Can I ask why you would want to use a ugf? I tried one for 8mths (in adddition to an emperor) and it was an absolute nightmare! There isnt a way to clean under the plates without completely ripping your tank apart and the debris and waste and mold/fungus that accumulates under them is vile. It also makes water quality issues almost impossible to control. In adddition, if the power goes out for any substantial period of time, the biological filtration is damaged. Ugfs are only functional as biological filtration. I would suggest skipping the ugf and adding another filter if you desire greater filtration but this is just my opinion.
__________________
jlk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2012, 11:19 AM   #3
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
creic38's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 354
Agree with above. I have never had one, but everything I have read about them is negative. They just create more work, and they are not as effective as you might think. You are MUCH better off ditching that idea and going with another filter like an HOB or canister.
__________________
creic38 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2012, 12:12 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Duluth, Minnesota
Posts: 161
Sorry to not be answering your question directly, but I also have had bad experiences with undergravel filters and wouldn't recommend one. It wasn't very effective and it accumulated a huge amount of sludge/debris under it that was impossible to clean without tearing down the whole tank. I struggled with high nitrate levels continually until I removed the undergravel filter.

To answer your question, I think the only way to install one is to remove everything from the tank and then replace it once the undergravel filter tray is in place.
__________________
Bbarb27 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2012, 01:23 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Wonderful Windy Wyoming
Posts: 403
Howdy!

First to answer your question. Yes you can move half the gravel, install half the filter, then do the other half. It's gonna make a mess of your water when ya stir up all the detritus caught in the gravel, and all that is gonna get pulled back down into the gravel as soon as the filter is operational. I'd still put the fish in a bucket before starting, and I'd vacuum the gravel and do a 50%-70% water change immediately after installation, prior to adding the fish. Make sure ya use a dechlorinator and that the temperature is correct before reintroducing the fish.

Thirty years ago, UGFs were THE filter of choice. Not so much today because there are more efficient methods. UGFs can be very efficient, especially in small tanks with a low bioload. The real problem is the amount of maintenance needed to keep 'em functioning properly. The gravel needs to be thoroughly vacuumed with each water change to prevent accumulation of detritus. If not, the detritus can clog the filter, slow flow through the gravel and filter plate, reduce the nitrifying capacity of the filter, and create anaerobic areas. That's a lot of work on a large tank. With a high bioload and messy fish, the amount of work will be even more, as this will need to be performed more often.

I have a coupla UGFs set-up on 10 gallon tanks, mainly due to poor planning on my part when I built my stands. I set them up mainly because I remember usin' UGFs as a kid and never havin' any issues. They work fine with a pair or group of nano fish in each tank, but I'd forgotten just how much work it took to keep 'em runnin' properly. I'm gonna conclude this experiment sooner or later and swap 'em out for sponge filters. Seriously, I wouldn't use a UGF on anything larger than a 15 gallon and especially not on a tank with a heavy stocking density, such as you have.

What is your current filtration? In the long run, I suspect ya'd be happier with a good HOB or canister filter and find it to be a lot less hassle.

WYite
__________________
Wyomingite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2012, 02:29 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
vaquero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: washington state
Posts: 409
Ok you all make very good sense. I will skip the UGF idea and just install a larger more efficient filter system. I have a Top Fin 60 double filter now, but I just don't like the noise, the placement (HOB) or the quality of the filtration system. It is alright for my tank, it filters 500 GPH so that is good, I just want better filtration and I have no idea how to set up a canister filter nor do I have a lot of room to add more mechanical's. I really hate looking at the effin filter tube hanging in the tank, cuz it looks like crap and not natural. I guess I could but something to cover it up with. I tried looking for a tall plant, but can't find the right one for my tank. Current residents in tank are:

5-2" Bala Sharks
3-1 3/4" Silver Dollars
2-1" Angel Fish
2-4" Stripped Rafael Catfish
I would like to add a few more Angelfish for breeding purposes as well.
And if you know of what other fish I could add to the current residency of my tank please feel free to let me know. I have looked at Several compatibility web sites and charts, but they get confusing and don't always let me add all of my fish at once and then check compatibility. IE; swords good with angel fish but not with balas etc.....
__________________
Running 4 tanks; 5 soon
One 55, Two 25's, and two10's, adding a 75 for Oscars
vaquero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2012, 02:58 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Wonderful Windy Wyoming
Posts: 403
I wouldn't add any more fish. The bala sharks can get up to 12", and will need a bigger tank eventually. The silver dollars will get from 3"-6" depending on species. The angels will get app. 3"-4" in diameter, and the raphaels will get 6" +/-. Yer tank is well stocked at current levels and isn't large enough for the growth potential ya already have in it.

WYite
__________________
Wyomingite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2012, 02:58 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
hpiguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 421
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaquero View Post
I have a Top Fin 60 double filter now, but I just don't like the noise, the placement (HOB) or the quality of the filtration system. It is alright for my tank, it filters 500 GPH so that is good,....
The TopFin 60 has a maximum flow of 300gph if everything is perfect.

If you want more mechanical filtration you can simply move the TopFin 60 off to one side of the tank and add another filter of your choice.

If you want more biological filtration, a large sponge filter will work well and be very economical on your wallet.
__________________
hpiguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2012, 07:23 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
vaquero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: washington state
Posts: 409
Found a great article about filters you may be interested in.

Stop chaning your filter and putting your tank in a mini-cycle [Archive] - Tetra Community Forum

I found it to be very helpful.
__________________
Running 4 tanks; 5 soon
One 55, Two 25's, and two10's, adding a 75 for Oscars
vaquero is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
filter, gravel, setup, under gravel

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off








» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:29 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.