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Mbuniac
10-19-2002, 09:09 PM
I was told by someone who I'm not sure of his aquarium knowledge, that it is beneficial to siphon off the contents of your undergravel filter yearly. He also said that if it was let go too long that "toxic pockets" can begin to form. I have never heard this before. Is this BS, or is it correct? Seems to me that it would effect your bacteria quantity.
Thanks, Sam

SGypsyMermaid
10-19-2002, 10:22 PM
you need to talk to boilermaker when he comes back--he uses undergravel filters. i know that if you never get the gunk out, your tank will become increasingly acidic. i just don't know quite how you're supposed to do it. i seem to remember reading that you should clean half of it at a time...but you need to talk to someone who really knows.

Mbuniac
10-20-2002, 06:02 PM
Hi Gypsy,
Do you know when he's due back? I can send him a PM or maybe he'll see the post.
Thanks, Sam

SGypsyMermaid
10-20-2002, 06:54 PM
he said that he'd be gone for a month--that was around oct. 4th.

Mbuniac
10-20-2002, 07:08 PM
Oh man! I'll bet he left just because he knew I would ask this question! I'm soooo impatient, I want to know everything about keeping my aquariums right away. I keep praying for patience, something like, "Dear God, please give me patience right now"!
Amen, Sam

SGypsyMermaid
10-20-2002, 07:42 PM
try a 'google' search with keywords like: undergravel filter maintenance or cleaning, etc.

Mbuniac
10-20-2002, 09:24 PM
Thanks Gypsy, I'll give it a try.
Sam

Mbuniac
10-23-2002, 11:53 PM
Looks like he was at least partly right. UGF's are becoming antiquated technology. But I figure if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Now I jus need to find out how often to clean it out.

M_sfan87
10-27-2002, 05:54 PM
I wouldn't go with a underfilter just because I heard they were a pain to clean. I like filter changes myself. :D

Mbuniac
10-27-2002, 07:12 PM
Actually.....They're not that hard to clean. I watched someone suck the goobers out of one with a Python. I just don't know how often to do it.

Mbuniac
10-27-2002, 07:32 PM
Especially if you have the type that has extra stubs for riser tubes. You just clear the gravel from around it, pop the cap off, and apply syphon. I suppose it would make sense to do it from more than one spot too. I also don't know if you should completely clean it out or not. Seems like that would remove a major part of your bacteria colonies. Have you ever stepped in a shallow pond and found that it was covered with a thick layer of reddish brown (sometimes greenish brown) gunk? Well now ya know what it looks like under a UGL.

Mbuniac
10-27-2002, 07:40 PM
I remember the "Ole Days" when you had to use air pumps for your UGL. They sure work a lot better with powerheads!

catfishes
10-28-2002, 10:22 PM
Personally I'd take a canister filter over an undergravel filter anyday (and I don't even like canister filters much). At the store I work at, we don't even carry undergravel filters anymore. There is some validity in what the person was telling you about the filters. I know at least in salt water aquariums, undergravel filters allow anaerobic bacteria to cummulate in pockets in the gravel bed. When the pockets burst the 'you know what' hits 'you know where' and things can go down very quickly in the tank.

Boilermaker
11-21-2002, 11:14 PM
[quote:53f1c17354="Mbuniac"]I was told by someone who I'm not sure of his aquarium knowledge, that it is beneficial to siphon off the contents of your undergravel filter yearly. He also said that if it was let go too long that "toxic pockets" can begin to form. I have never heard this before. Is this BS, or is it correct? Seems to me that it would effect your bacteria quantity.
Thanks, Sam[/quote:53f1c17354]
Hi Sam, I've been using the undergravels for years, I try to combine them with mechanical filtration(back filters,canister filters etc.) wich keeps alot of the waste down. Every two weeks when I do changes I just vaccum the gravel but I don't disturb it to much. If you watch them at the lfs they stir up the gravel and add a magnum during the changes,in my opinion this is a big No,No, at the same time there breaking up the anaerobic bacteria and who knows what else.
As far as cleaning once a year thats what your supposed to do,but its not neccesary, the 34g has been set up for almost ten years and I know there was a bunch of baby Brichardi that were stuck underneath. That's one of the drawbacks of the UG the others are a lot of waste in the gravel, and you really can't use sand with a UG.
The pros are a huge bacteria bed, if my work takes me out of town for a month or two no worrys, inexpensive, low maitenance.
I like you feel If it aint broke don't fix it, all of my tanks are older and all came with UG's
Theres an lfs by the house that make their own UG's and they swear you never have to clean it, this is 3 to 4 inches thick though.

Good Luck, Boilermaker

Hongi
11-22-2002, 01:21 AM
I dont think stirring up the gravel will kill the bacteria. Look at a fluidized bed filter, the media is constantly stirred up. The bacteria cling to the gravel in the "bio slime" so moving the gravel arounds shouldnt disturb that too much IMHO.

Boilermaker
11-22-2002, 10:24 AM
[quote:10a4f90615="Hongi"]I dont think stirring up the gravel will kill the bacteria. Look at a fluidized bed filter, the media is constantly stirred up. The bacteria cling to the gravel in the "bio slime" so moving the gravel arounds shouldnt disturb that too much IMHO.[/quote:10a4f90615]
I agree I don't think the stirring of the gravel will kill the bacteria either, I believe it can open a anaerobic pocket.
Sam don't be too gentle with gravel vac what I mean't is don't stick your whole arm in there and send the gravel flying everywhere.
Hongi, I think the key word is constant, if a UG constantly stirred the gravel there would be no chance of bad bacteria.

Later Boilermaker,

jnorris
12-02-2002, 01:36 AM
OK I am starting to think of using a UV sterilizer any real drawbacks?

Boilermaker
12-02-2002, 02:20 AM
J.norris check out this thread,
I have two uv's in the shed plus a rack of six tanks that I probaly won't set up till the spring.

jnorris
12-02-2002, 02:26 AM
The link isn't working.

room is an issue for me..

So how is it going?

Boilermaker
12-02-2002, 02:59 AM
The hell with that thread Icant seem to make it work so I just deleted it.
Just do a search uv sterilizers and look at the thread that Chennes started.

Things going good here howbout yourself? are you the mining engineer or is that Fitch?

jnorris
12-02-2002, 08:57 AM
I do networks and stuff.

finz
12-02-2002, 08:44 PM
Just a few things I've learned over the years....Vaccuum the gravel at least every 3 months. If the gravel bed is too deep, you may get pockets of anerobic bacteria- not good. Vacuuming the gravel does not remove all of the beneficial bacteria, just the decomposing waste that will cause trouble. If you power the UG with power heads instead of airlift tubes, the waste is more likely to be trapped in the gravel not under the filter bed - that's where you want it. If you trap waste under the filter bed, you are not moving enough water to prevent anerobic bacteria from forming. Hope this helps.

Boilermaker
12-05-2002, 01:09 AM
J.Norris did you find the thread? How are the flametails?

Good post Finz, I try to vaccum the gravel with every water change two to three weeks.
I was on fishforums.com last night, a beginner was explaining their setup a undergravel and two backfilters. I couldn't believe the slams on the ug.
"scrap the ug", "ug's are worthless", "ug's don't work" etc...
I guess I'm in a very small percentage with my opinion on the undergravel, and no I wouldn't do it again if I was buying a new setup, but if it ain't broke don't change it. I think they work great combined with mechanical filtration :wink:

jnorris
12-05-2002, 09:20 AM
I am doing a test (long term). I just set up a 75 gallon (new tank) and I elected not to use Under Gravel. Instead of crushed corel I am using sand. I am going to see which one performs the best once it gets cycled.

SGypsyMermaid
12-05-2002, 01:19 PM
jnorris--i think that you should set up a separate thread detailing the set-ups, and keep us updated on the progress of your experiment that way--whaddya think?

jnorris
12-05-2002, 01:23 PM
I guess I could put it on my website with current readings. I have a problem with my cat getting on the lower tank now. I am worried that he will break the canopy and end up swimming.

SGypsyMermaid
12-05-2002, 02:44 PM
JNORRIS--cat?...just shoot it. :twisted:

jnorris
12-05-2002, 06:24 PM
I couldn't shoot monkey. I tries to be good.

SGypsyMermaid
12-05-2002, 06:34 PM
:mrgreen: