View Full Version : Questions About Filtration

03-19-2008, 11:22 AM
First, let me say what a nice site you guys/gals have here - very informative. :rock:

A friend of mine is moving and decided to get out of the fish hobby, which presented me with the opportunity to upgrade from my 55 gal tank to a 125 gal behemoth. :xmas5:

I really wish that I had found this site, before I got the tank up and running, as I installed the undergravel filter that my friend had previously used. From what I've read here, that is a very bad idea, especially considering the fact that I plan on having several cichlids in this tank. The UG filter has (4) vertical tubes - (2) powered by 400 GPH powerheads, (2) powered by bubble stones hooked to Coralife Luft air pumps. He also provided (2) hanging filters - (1) Emperor 400 & (1) Penguin 350B, that are in place/operational.

I was planning on moving my fish to the "new" tank today, but need some advice first.

First question:
Should I bite the bullet and remove the UG filter? This would be a bummer, considering the time invested in cleaning/installing the filter. The tank is fully operational at this time and has been filtering since Sunday (3/16) - 125 lbs of gravel, not to mention rocks/decor, is already in the tank. I'm afraid that if I leave it under the gravel, it will be a breeding ground for nitrates. I also don't like the idea of having (2) $50 powerheads, sitting on a shelf in the basement, collecting dust.

Second question:
The quad waterfalls, emitting from the (2) power filters, is driving my wife crazy. She doesn't find it "soothing" or see the "tranquility" of it, as I tried to sell her on it. :wink: So I'm seeing a canister filter or two in my imediate future. What do you guys recomend in that department?

BTW, the fish to be transplanted are as follows:
(1) 12" Pleco, "Hoover"
(1) 8" Needle Nosed Gar, "Jaws"
(1) 5" Halfbeak, "Optimus Prime"
(1) 1 3/4" Jack Dempsey, "Little Jack"*
*Little Jack replaced "Jack", my fearless friend of 5 years, who passed away a couple weeks ago. :drink:

I don't know what all I will be adding, once the tank cycles. One fish that I do plan on adding is a Green Terror. I had one, at one time, with Jack in the 55 gal. I loved that fish, but had to give him to a friend when he started beating up on Jack. I think that a Dempsey and Terror can coexist in the new, larger, tank.

Thanks for any advice you guys can share.

Steve C
03-19-2008, 12:58 PM
I would bite the bullet and remove the UGF. I think it would be much easier to now before your water gets out of wack.

The Emperor and Penguin (cheaper version of the Emp) should run pretty quiet. Raise your water level a bit, it shouldn't be a water fall, but rather a current onto the surface of the water.

As for canisters I stand firmly on the Eheim brand. I have six of them and love them. They are a bit pricey though. On that size tank I would shoot for a wet dry model and a Pro II. If the wife doesn't like the water noise I doubt a sump would be a good idea but the sump users will need to chime in on the noise those make.

03-19-2008, 02:00 PM
Remove the UGF, save yourself the headache later.

For relative quietness the big three are all very good. I rate them in this order, Ehiem, Fluval, Rena Filstar on noise level.

Tell your wife that the longer the pumps run the quieter they will get. (true) Try to hold off as long as possible on getting new hardware since it can take 2-4 weeks for pumps to reach their "normal" volumes.

Steve C
03-19-2008, 02:36 PM
No comment on sump noise Rusty?

03-20-2008, 06:16 AM
Thanks for the advice. I guess that I already knew that I should remove the UGF. I just needed a little reassurance before I tear down the setup. I'll have to take some before pictures of the tank, as I spent a lot of time setting it up the way it looks now and would like to duplicate it, post UGF removal. :bawl:

That might actually kill two birds with one stone. With no UGF, I won't need the powerheads, which are keeping me from raising the water level any higher, as the current that they create is making the water higher against the front panel of glass. So I can raise the water level another inch or so, which hopefully will quiet those power filters.

If not, I now have a good idea where to start looking for canisters filters.

Thanks again.

03-20-2008, 06:46 AM
You can still use the powerheads for water movement. Why was it that they were uncovered by water?

03-20-2008, 07:16 AM
The outlets of the powerheads are about 1" below the surface of the water. They blow so hard that they create a ripple (wave if you will) in the water, up against the front pane of glass. If I raise the water level any higher, with the powerheads in operation, I'm afraid that the tank will overflow.

What would I attach the powerhead(s) too, once the UGF is removed?

03-20-2008, 07:27 AM
Depending on the powerhead you can always purchase a "quick filter" attachment.

I'm not sure if you are aware that you should be able to angle the powerhead so that it is not spraying straight at the tank front. I usually like to go for a 60 degree angle.

03-20-2008, 08:14 AM
Yeah, I thought about rotating the powerheads, but decided against it due to the fact that the needle-nosed gar & halfbeak normally hang out at the top of the water. I'm afraid that the powerheads will blow them all over the place. With the powerheads pointing forward, at least they can hang out in the large area, in between (the powerheads are set up at each end of the tank).

BTW, the powerheads are (2) AquaClear 70's.

03-20-2008, 08:25 AM
Dont worry about the powerheads blowing the fish. In a 6 ft tank its not much current. No that they wont be on the UGF, you can place them just about anywhere in the tank. I would def recommend a wet/dry filter. But like steve c said, The noise can take getting used too. I use a durso pipe in the overflow to stop the noise of the water running down the piping. othewise, I second the eheims. Look to buy them online, as they are much cheaper here than in a lFS.

Steve C
03-20-2008, 11:15 AM
Also keep in mind that the clear tubes connecting your power heads to the ugf is what is keeping them so high.

What I would do is purchase a magnet kit to attach the powerheads below the surface of the water to the side pane of glass and using a sponge filter, aim them at the front corners so they eliminate the dead spots there and blow debris up and away so the filter has a better shot at eliminating them.

Also, since your doing it anyway. While you have your tank torn down, I would put some diffuser panel in before you put all the gravel/sand and rocks back in. Alot of members use that to eliminate pressure points on the glass from falling rocks.