Since you have fish that dig AND are messy, you are not a good candidate for UGF
is also is not forgiving over overstocking..at all.
It is only a step above a dutch tank. As far as muck? it is supposed to be a little mucky....just like the filters in your hobs. Just shows more with no floss or sponge to hide the yecchy bacterial colony.
You have to tear down the tank and remove it. If you turn off the filtration as some have suggested, the lack of air and water current will cause the good bacteria and diatoms living in the mulm to expire and allow for a killer out break of cyno and dangerous gasses (that will mix out during a cichlid dig or vacuum).
: Do you clean the UGF
when you vacuum (by clean I mean take the vacuum over the uplift and vacuum out loose deposits from under the plate)? UGF
is not an install and forget product..nothing is. You tank size makes UGF
tough because the plate lengths will cause a through cleaning to fall short.
All and all I would search for other additional reasons for your problem..
what I read is a large tank that is barely cycled(4 mos) with 8 mid size fish that with adult sizes will outstock that tank as they are growing anyway (avg cichlid=8in. X6=48in of fish excluding messy tendencies
, smallest peco available is 6 inches? ne cest pas? now at 53 inches plus some kinda catfish.I 'll be genourous nad say it is a dwarf or slow grow and say 6 inches= grand total of 59 inches).
And you are messing with it a lot as far as filtration methods go but your water change schedule is sparse..specially for a new tank. 25-35 % is not much...sure not enough to remove nitrAtes. What kind of gravel..diatoms need excess food and a modest amount of silicates from plants or the gravel.
and I am surprised NO
one asked with a mere 4 month old tank) What are the NUMBERS to your readings? Number..not words like good, fine adn bad....
ANd what is your pH and nitrAtes in the tank and in the tap?
Other members got distracted by their nemesis ..the UGF
and forgot the important stuff. (I can quote us longer term members in other posts saying it is normal to see diatom dust at the end of the cycle and ask for readings and true fish size/species and mention that 20-30 is really insifficient for a new cycling tank.
) also his reverse flow is so powerful he may not be getting any proper use from the UGF
. He doesn't say how or what he feeds. reverse flow wil throw it all over the tank with gravel disturbance.. there are so maaany questions here!
What KIND of cichlids..other than South American. Obviously they are not the apistos or other dwarfs since you say med size. are they adults yet? there are not THAT many diff SA out there yet are there? that they'd be unnamed?
What size pleco and catfish? 55 is not as big as it seems when you have big messy territorial fish like oscars for example.
I have mostly dutch tanks and UGF
. The only one I had a constant problem with is my 40 gal
. But it is GROSSLY overstocked as the residents await a custom tank this summer. But as cloudy and ugly as it has looked on some weeks..my readings were Nh=0 NO2
=0 and NO3
:never higher than 20 on change day. I do 2 50%s a week like clockwork to keep this so.
ShEEZ..sorry to make it so long..but there was to much missed info in the ditch the UGF
convention. I feel you have more than a UGF
as a problem here.