stocking question - Page 4 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #31 of 131 Old 03-04-2014, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
Thanks. Can I run something alongside the undergravel filter so that I don't have to start back at the beginning with cycling the tank? My kids are being very patient, especially as they are so young but if there is something I can do to not make them wait even longer that would be good.

We were going to get a new filter when we first got the tank but a friend of my husband's said he's never had any problem with them and I found some positive articles about them online. Wish I just got one back then!
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post #32 of 131 Old 03-04-2014, 08:08 AM Thread Starter
Guys just tell me bluntly if this is a stupid idea (it's the best way for me to learn), but what about keeping the undergravel filter, with the powerhead as it is now and also getting a sponge filter and using our airstone with it? Will that make things any better? Or would it be better to have airstone with undergravel filter and powerhead with sponge filter? Or get another powerhead? Or will none of that help?

My husband is adamant we should try the undergravel because his mate at work "loves them and he's had aquariums for 30 years". But if there is nothing I can add to assist with the filtering then I will ask him to do some research himself to see my point of view!
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post #33 of 131 Old 03-04-2014, 08:32 AM
Honestly, undergravel filters are breeding ground for bad bacteria. They also require much more work to keep clean and will collect uneaten food and waste which will harm your water quality. I have used UGFs and I do not think it is a good idea to continue with it at all. I HIGHLY suggest getting an HOB filter. You can use the UGF if you are adamant about using it but again, I don't recommend it. You'll end up having more problems than it's worth.
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post #34 of 131 Old 03-04-2014, 08:48 AM
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I'm sure someone who's had fish tanks for 30 yrs can get stuck in outdated fishkeeping practices. I remember when I started how shockingly common they were. I was young and my parents luckily steered me in a better direction. They fail.. And often . Clog up and stop working or trap rotting food and poo and ruin water. 30yrs ago water testing was a lot less common and fish dying in less then 1yr was acceptable . "Success " back then is not the same as it is now.

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post #35 of 131 Old 03-04-2014, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
Right, we're going to the aquatic center. When I've got the new filter i'm going to remove all the ornaments,rocks and plants, try and pull the ugf from under the gravel, without doing a water change or gravel vac so that any bacteria that may be on the gravel will stay where it is. Or is that a bad idea?

Also, is it worth keeping the powerhead for anything? It's brand new.

Thanks again for the advice!
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post #36 of 131 Old 03-04-2014, 09:24 AM
UGFs create a mulm under the filter. You are most likely going to have to pull everything out of the tank, get as much gravel off as possible and then remove the filter and do a DEEEEP clean. The gravel and decor honestly won't hold enough beneficial bacteria to keep your cycle where it is.
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post #37 of 131 Old 03-04-2014, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
Ok, I'll get it all out, thank you.
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post #38 of 131 Old 03-04-2014, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
Didn't get to go to the aquatic centre, was closed by the time we'd finished with teatime and pancake day festivities, so my husband is going to get a filter on his way home from work tomorrow. Is there anything we need to be aware of when choosing a filter?

Also, I emptied the tank, all clean, everything back in and treated the water. Is there any point in adding ammonia now or should I wait until we have the new filter tomorrow?
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post #39 of 131 Old 03-04-2014, 03:38 PM
Get a filter that will run your tank volume (17 gallons) at least 6 times an hour. I think in gallons, not liters, so for your tank you would need a filter that runs at least 102 gallons per hour. Pay no mind to whether it says it's for a 10-20 gallon or not.

There is no reason to add ammonia until you get your filter.
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post #40 of 131 Old 03-04-2014, 06:44 PM
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Have him pick up a small bottle of Tetra Safestart while he's there. Your kids shouldn't have to wait more than a week for you to put fish in your tank.

Alternately, with TSS, you can immediately stock any and all schooling fish you decide on, get the tank cycled and stabilized, then put in your centerpiece or smaller school.

The trouble with being new to this hobby is there are so many good ways to go --- and a few bad ones. You'll only get good ones here. But that still leaves you with a confusing array of good alternatives.
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