11-07-2012, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by pop
Can I keep both filter in operation without injury to the inhabitants?? I really enjoy watching the bubbles go up
Hey Pop - I too am old school. Under Gravel Filters (UGF) are economic and can be great bio-filters... but do so with some risk. A lot of waste material, including uneaten food, gets pulled down under and decomposes. This can result in a real nitrate producing mess if the gravel isn't routinely vacuumed (gravel siphon) to keep clean. Additionally, if there was to be a power failure or a problem with the air pump, anaerobic heterotrophic bacteria can produce a foul mess with some nasty gases.
I used UGF's in the past, but don't anymore. I find that sand is a much better substrate than gravel because all of the detritus/mulm stays on the surface where it slowly decays or is easily removed during weekly water changes. And there's never any uneaten food that gets away from the stock.
You can continue to use the UGF - you have to unless you tear the tank down as you can't just stop the air/water movement w/o risk.
If you just want bubbles, go with a bubble bar - they look really cool, especially when one whole side of an aquarium has a bubble wall.