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Old 02-16-2005, 04:08 PM   #1
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First post with question

Hello all! I found out about this forum about a month ago and pretty much been trying to read everything that deals with me. This is my first "major" tank and I've been going at it very slowly....it's been 6 months now and I finally put gravel in it last weekend. Slow but sure! I really want to do a SW tank but the only tank I've done so far is a half gal Betta Bowl, so I'm taking everybody's advice and going FW. I bought a 135gal glass tank(72"X16"X24") not exact dimensions. I won't be doing real plants-heard that can be tough.
Well on to my ?uestions and sorry that it's one of those "is my setup good" questions but I really don't want to mess up! Then at the end I have a powerhead question.

Tank - 135GAL about 72"X16"X24"
Filter - 2 Emperor 400 HOB Spaced out at the 2' and 4' marks of tank
Heater - 3 Whisper heaters 200W upto 60GAL placed at 1'/3'/5' parts of tank
Thermometers - 2 stick ons at each corner along the bottom

I will be using an UGF with some powerheads I just don't know which ones are good ones. I think I might of messed up on the heaters because I've been reading that Jaber heaters are the way to go. I'll have to see if I can take the Whispers back. Are the Rios good and what would fit my setup? The UGF is in three parts so I would like three of them.

Thanks and sorry so long,
cgray
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Old 02-16-2005, 06:25 PM   #2
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[center:1003b506f2] Welcome to AA, cgray !! [/center:1003b506f2]

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I will be using an UGF with some powerheads I just don't know which ones are good ones.
8O Why? Canister filters are so much better with large tanks.

Ebos are great, I have never had a Whisper heater, so I can't comment. There are reviews in the Product & Retailer Reviews section.
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Old 02-16-2005, 07:34 PM   #3
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I am thinking a UGF in that size of tank would be a real mess if you ever decided to take it out. I have a HOB on my 55 and I am going to switch to a canister. I am sure this is not for everyone, but I am sick of the noise my HOB makes, and I want something that is going to be out of site for the most part. Then again the filter I have now is a piece of junk. I think you would be ok with just the HOBs. Also I would get a little thermometer that goes inside the tank. In my experience they are more accurate than the stick on ones that go on the outside. Plastic plants are definitely easier than live, and you can make a really realistic setting using plastic or silk plants. If you ever want real plants, there are some that grow well in low light.
Congrats on your new tank!!
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Old 02-16-2005, 07:48 PM   #4
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If you really want to do SW, why do FW?
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Old 02-16-2005, 09:17 PM   #5
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Scrap the UGF idea, Save up for a cannister filter. Or, since you're interested in SW maybe you could build yourself a wet/dry sump which will still be useful once you switch to SW.
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Old 02-16-2005, 09:28 PM   #6
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I agree with Meredith regarding the set up and fake plants. Scrap the UGF, it will lead to more problems later on. You can copy this post in the "Planted Tanks" forum. We have some serious experts in this area.
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Old 02-16-2005, 10:23 PM   #7
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Well I will say this much if you plan to use the UGF's you will be vaccuming at least 1 or 2 times a week. Power heads are the way togo with a UGF. Alot of people do not like todo the required maintenance to have a UGF so they have problems with them.

If you really dont like vaccuming and changing water then you might consider some of the other filtration options.

I have never had problems with UGF's I vaccum 1-2 times a week.

anyhow several tips for UGF's

Never put that stuff that says it Clears the water all that does is make your UGF a big mess of junk.

Cone snails are really good for UGF's as the live in the gravel and keep it cleaner and turned over.

When vaccuming get all the way down to the bottom plates and vaccum in sections 1 time do the left side the next time do the right side. Also fill that vaccum up with gravel keep tapping the gravel with it and let it fill up. then pinch the hose and let it fall back down.

I have never had such a big tank with UGF's would be interesting to see.

Anyhow what ever you do good luck!!
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Old 02-16-2005, 10:30 PM   #8
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OH powerheads are pretty much the same. I have the cheapest I could get and have never had a problem. they do have some really nice ones though with adjustable water flow and moveable jets. Id check them out and find some that do 200 or so GPH. they also have some with reverse flow.
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Old 02-16-2005, 10:34 PM   #9
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I can tell you about whisper heaters the stuff on the outside flakes off after awhile. I would go get some other kind.
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Old 02-16-2005, 10:46 PM   #10
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heres a little snippet from a web site i copied awhile back about UGF's and filtration.

The Undergravel Filter.

These days the poor Undergravel Filter is a continuous topic on many tropical fish forums, and there are many "against" its use, and many "for" its use. My personal opinion is not the question here, but I do in fact use the U/G filters in all my main display tanks, and find them to be trouble free, low maintenance, and they always help to keep my water crystal clear and in good condition.

The greatest impact on the fishkeeping hobby (in my estimation) was the All Glass Tank, but prior to this I would say that the U/G filter was the big leap forward in water control. The old undergravel's were just a series of perforated pipes that were attached together by elbows and tees, and buried in the gravel, then later on came the plate type of U/G filter that we see today, that to my knowledge has been around for about forty odd years. The other filter that has change little in all these years is the corner box filter, and the same concept is used today, as nothing can really improve on it.

So what do we believe...? Is the U/G filter a thing of the past.... Is it really so hard to maintain, and does it really rob our plants of food. I have personally run tanks from 18"x12"x12 to 9foot by 2foot by 2foot for years with U/G filters fitted, and have had no problems whatsoever, neither from blockage, or from lack of plant growth.

To me... and this is just "my" view, the undergravel filter will always have a place in the aquarium, but only under certain circumstances, and it does not suit every occasion and setup. For a planted community tank that is sitting in your front room, then it would be ideal, but on the other hand if that tank was filled with large Cichlids that tend to dig, then you wouldn't use one in this situation, nor would you use one if you only has say a couple of big fish in there with few plants.

Again... we have to look at the "balance" within the tank, for with a tank with few fish and plants, the filter would perhaps rob the plants of food, but the same tank fully stocked, with lots of plants and fish would tend to fair much better. In my tanks you can see very little gravel, as most is covered in a lush growth of plant, and my average tank (1.2x.5x.5mtrs) holds around a hundred or more fish... generally ones that are growing on, but are put in display tanks for a change of scenery. The U/G filters are air driven only, and the odd tank or two has the addition of an external box filter.

Filtering your tank water today is a science, and we see ad's for the latest this and that type filter that will suck the hairs off a peach, and turn your water over so many times an hour, that if you blink you will miss it happening... but is it "really" needed. Again... Some instances do demand constant heavy filtration, but (without additives) a filter can only store so much of the good bacteria that is beneficial to your water conditions, and this of course depends on the amount of area that is provided for the bacteria to live in. Some filters only have a few square inches of "collection area" where others have multiple chambers and additions of what are commonly called "noodles" to help colonize the bacteria. In the U/G filter, the "noodles" are the gravel, and just as each noodle is coated with bacteria, so is each particle of gravel, along with just about everything else in the tank that will hold bacteria. Looking at a four foot by eighteen tank, we would have a filtering area of six square feet, but add this to the depth of the gravel, and you could have several cubic feet of active "collective area", much more than any other type of filter. This area doesn't mean that it is more efficient, or better in any sense, but under the right conditions, the U/G filter has its place.

anyhow hope this sheds some more light on the subject.
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Old 02-18-2005, 08:50 PM   #11
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Menagerie Why? Canister filters are so much better with large tanks

Because I just started to learn about Canisters. First thing that stopped me was that I thought your tank had to be drilled to use this system? True/False?

Meredith I will get another thermo to take daily checks like you adviced


tbrock If you really want to do SW, why do FW?

COST...the initial cost for a good SW tank is high! LFS tells me that a FO tank will cost be around $700 to setup, and thats just for gravel and live rock. Then comes the water, salt, and fish which for how pretty they are is just about how ugly their price is. Without tank, your looking at an easy $1000-$1500 just to ramp your tank up. Now maybe for a seasoned vet that know the ins and outs this initial price will be cheaper, but not for a rook.
Down the road, when I learn more and stable enough to through a few grand into a hobby, I'll setup a nice reef system with all the trimmings. As of now I figure to learn with the cheap and excel with the expensive...hopefully.

poppab02 ....build yourself a wet/dry sump

I'll have to learn what that is first

FancyGuppyGuy You're like the rebel with a UGF, thanks for all the info. If I stay this route I'll do all that you say works.

With the powerheads, what's this venturi thing? And since I'm probably using the UGF should I look more in the direction of the reverse flow powerheads?


Thanks everyone for all your advice. I have some more stuff to look into with the canisters and wet/dry sump.

cgray [/b]
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Old 02-19-2005, 12:48 AM   #12
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powerheads normally have alot of water that flows out of them some have directional flow and ways to adjust it. Some people hook up different types of things to their power heads to disburse to flow instead of letting the water just flow at 200 GPH out of one spot.

I use normal UGF flow which means the junk gets sucked into the gravel. With a reverse flow the stuff stays on top of the gravel more and is easier to clean up.

reverse flow heads cost alittle more but it may be a better option.

Hope you get it set up and going soon!
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Old 02-19-2005, 12:52 AM   #13
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OH look up fluidized bed filters those things do massive amounts of bio filtration when I can get one I am going to try it out to see.

http://www.aquaticeco.com/index.cfm/...ories/ssid/337

theres some listed at this place.
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Old 02-19-2005, 03:02 AM   #14
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IMO you could have live plants. They help the cycling, improve water quality, and some specialise in taking up ammonia or nitrates which will help the cycling. But, silk plants are great, look great and will not die.
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