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post #1 of 5 Old 04-01-2011, 08:17 AM Thread Starter
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I just purchased a 60 gallon long tank and an aqua clear 110 filter system ,aqueon gravel cleaner and have a few questions because im a newbie.
1.is an undergravel filter also needed?
2.whats the best way to decide what type fish? I was thinking african cichlids or just non aggressive .

Thanks..I think ill be asking many more questions and hope you all dont mind..
Ive been lurking this forum a while and this is one of the better ones I have found
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post #2 of 5 Old 04-01-2011, 09:28 AM
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Do you have any idea of the ph in your tap water? That's a good start. It's much easier to get fish that will work well in your ph rather than get the fish you like first, and then find out they won't necessarily thrive in your parameters. If you haven't invested in a liquid test kit yet for ammonia, ph, nitrites, nitrates, bring a sample of your water to your local fish store and have them test it for you.

You don't want to add chemicals to your tank to raise and lower ph levels. At best it's a short term fix and ultimately not good for your fishies.

Animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers.
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post #3 of 5 Old 04-01-2011, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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ill have to check that out,I have a water softner due to very hard water
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post #4 of 5 Old 04-01-2011, 10:08 AM
Hey there - I'm also new to this site, but have been in and out of the hobby for many years.

Just my $.02.... but, NO, you don't absolutely need a UGF, but it can offer very cost effective biological filtration...but it comes with caveats. The first being that it is a surprisingly good mechanical filter, pulling debris of fish waste and uneaten food down into the gravel. This keeps things looking neat, but can lead to a bad 'nitrate factory' if the gravel is not routinely cleaned. There are those I've read that claim there is fear if/when there might be a power outage such that the aerobic bacteria die and are replaced by (bad) anaerobic bacteria. Personally, I think this fear is grossly exaggerated as it would take a very long time for such a process to take hold and foul a tank - and likely wouldn't happen at all if if the substrate is properly maintained.
And there in lies the rub. Although very cost effective and efficient at bio-filtration, the UGF requires routine media servicing (gravel vacuuming) to remain in good condition. Just for perspective, a tank w/o a UGF has around say 1/2" or so of gravel - a breeze to vacuum at weekly water changes, especially with the aquean or python type cleaners. But the UGF requires 2-3" of gravel so cleaning is more of a chore and may not be done well in a 25% water change.

So, I'd say given the maintenance requirement, the UGF may be great for 30g or less, not so much for larger tanks. You might be best served with a canister (or other) filter that included good bio filtration media.
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post #5 of 5 Old 04-01-2011, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
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thanks,I believe there is good bio media sold for the aqua clear filtration systems and with a 110 filter system and a 60 gallon tank I should be good
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