Lengthwise under gravel filter setup - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 14 Old 11-12-2009, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by WisFish View Post
That makes sense to me. UGFs on the other hand have access to the Oxygen in the tank which means at least some of the bacteria should remain alive. If the power stayed out too long I suppose a gravel vac could be used to remove the toxins and avoid any issues. No matter what the filter, the "filter material" would need to be cleaned if the power were out for too long.

Thanks Byron.
One thing to bear in mind is that the water flow when stopped is not bringing oxygen to the bacteria in the substrate. A hang-on filter exposed to air has better chance of oxygen entering the water that the substrate under a foot of water when that water is no longer circulating. I do remember back in the 1980's when I had UG filters reading that they really did pose a threat to fish life if switched off for more than a couple hours. Same if they should clog up and the bacteria be starved of oxygen. It is easy to rinse the media in canister filters once a month, but not so easy to thoroughly stir or rinse the entire substrate, or at least that portion where water is regularly passing through it. I'll do some more digging (figuratively speaking) in the days ahead. B.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #12 of 14 Old 11-12-2009, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input Byron. I'm kind of thinking about getting another tank and using a canister filter on it. I saw an ad for a used 150g locally... but apparently it has been drilled for saltwater. I have only a vague idea what a system that requires holes drilled in the bottom of the tank looks like, but it sounds like something I could tinker around with and make an even weirder undergravel setup out of

Any experience with those drilled tanks anyone would like to share?
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post #13 of 14 Old 11-14-2009, 05:13 AM Thread Starter
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One possible drawback to this ugf setup is it seems to be unable to get the water crystal clear. It has been a little cloudy and floating/mobile plant material isn't getting picked up. Think this may be an issue or will it reach some kind of equilibrium after it settles in?

Some of the cloudiness may be from not washing the gravel enough, theres some dirt in it that stirs up when I dig in it.
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post #14 of 14 Old 11-14-2009, 12:07 PM
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Just thought I would share my personal experience with power outage and UGF filters.
We had a bad wind storm 1 1/2 years ago, that knocked our power out for 5 days. At the time, I had 5 tanks running, most evenly stocked. My 65 gal tank with ugf, nitrites and ammonia, where much harder to keep under control.
Luckily, the power was out most everywhere, so no school or work. This freed me up to do 2 pwc a day on all my tanks to help oxygenate the tanks for both the fish and bacteria. So, without a generator available, the water changes and battery air pumps, kept my fish alive. On day 2, I was getting ammonia and nitrite readings on all of my tanks, the 65 gal with ugf, the levels where much higher and more water (with gravel cleanings) had to be changed out, to keep the levels "safe".
I have since removed my UGF.
Just in case you where wondering, no mini cycles. The power was returned on a Thursday night, Friday morning, all tanks tested zero for ammonia and nitrite.
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