changing my UGF for an internal

boff

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HI I have an UGF at the moment in my 47 UK gallon tank ,and after reading the advice that people were getting decided to get an internal filter.My question is how do I go about changing them over,can I leave the plastic filter under the gravel or does it have to be removed ,because that sounds like an messy job and I don't really have any where to put my fish .
 

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It would be best if you could take it out, because what's under it now (you'll be surprised!!) needs to come out. You could put your fish in a clean bucket, scoop your gravel out into another bucket, take the UGF out. If its a real mess then rinse the gravel and tank gently(don't scrub)in dechlorinated water. Then put the gravel back, fill with dechlorinated water, add your fish back and ... there... you have a cleaner tank. Don't clean your filter at this time.
Carol
 

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Sorry if I didn't get it right: you want to change the UG filter for a HOB (external power filter)? If so, I'd get the new filter first, I'd hang it on the tank and let it run there for a month or so to make sure it matures (i.e. to make sure the new filter gets seeded with the beneficial bacteria necessary to keep the tank cycled). Then, I'd remove the old UG filter and clean the tank, while the new and already seeded filter is running somewhere on a bucket with tank water. After you've cleaned the tank, you simply put the new filter back on and your tank will be cycled. Set the gravel aside as well and keep it somewhere in tank water because it, too, has beneficial bacteria in it. Once the seeded filter and gravel are back in, you shouldn't have any problems with your tank cycling anew. (Sorry if I got your question wrong, lol.)
 

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AAAHHHHH..... for some reason I thought the HOB was already cycled. You could always wait until the HOB was cycled and do all this in one day I have done this and it is an all day job too!!
Carol
 
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boff

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Thanks for your help,my HOB should be here in the next few days.Would it be a good idea to save as much of the mature water as I can or does it not matter .
 

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Probably doesn't matter as most of your Benefical bacteria is in the filter,gravel (that's why I said rinse gently ) and on your tank decorations. believe me the water is going to be plenty dirty. remember cycle the HOB first
Carol
 

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Unless your tank water has a very different pH from your tap water, and unless your tank water has a high concentration of nitrate, you don't really need to save the water. I mean, if it's clean, I suppose you can save it. But it'll probably get dirty while you're removing the UG filter. When you transfer fish FROM water that has a pH very different from that of the new (tap) water, and that has a high concentration of nitrate (new water has 0 nitrate), TO the new water, the fish MAY get some pH- and nitrate concentration- related shock. But if your tank pH is the same or very similar to your tap pH, and if your tank nitrate concentration is very low, you don't need to save the water. All of the above is related to pH and general water quality as well as to the transfer of fish involved here. Beneficial bacteria are another story. You could change 100% of your water without killing the beneficial bacteria. This is because the bacteria live in your filter - which is why it is so important to have a mature filter. The beneficial bacteria can also be found in the gravel as well as on tank walls (though not as much as in the filter). So ... as I've said before, run the new filter on your tank for about a month (together with the old UG filter). After that time, when your new filter is mature, remove the UG filter. While doing this, keep the new filter running on some bucket with your tank water. It would be good if you kept your gravel in your tank water in some separate container as well. When you've removed the UG filter and cleaned the tank of the debris, put the gravel back in and put the new (and mature) filter back on. If you've saved any old water that is clean, you could add it back as well though you wouldn't "have to" do it - as described above (depends on the circumstances).
 
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boff

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Thanks again for your help,That's what I love about this site avery body is so willing to help cheers boff. ;D
 

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Isabella

Just a quick word about nitrates - hope you don't mind. Nitrates are not necessarily 0 in new water. You should test the water from your tap if you use dechlorinated tap water in your tank. I live in an area where the tap water directly from the water treatment plant is at 40 and above (sometimes as high as 80). They give some heart patients warnings not to drink it due to the nitrate levels. At certain times I have to use mostly bottled spring water (not distilled or reverse osmosis) to decrease the levels of nitrates in my tanks. Other times when it is not so severe, the use of Amquel+ is enough to keep it under control enough to be safe for my fish.

I know that you didn't mention having a problem with nitrates but if you find some when the tank water is new and you cannot figure out where they came from, I would recommend testing your tap water without the use of dechlorinating agen first to see if they could be coming from there. If this is not the cause then you are probably going through a mini-cycle or you are at the end of a cycle process.

Rose
 

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Rose, of course I don't mind at all! Thank you for the information. I didn't know tap water can have nitrate in it. It has surprised me. I have tested my tap water for nitrate several times and never found any. This is why I assumed tap water doesn't contain nitrate. Boff, you may want to reconsider my previous post about nitrate. It'll be best if you test your tap water for both pH and nitrate. My post will be valid IF your tap water has no nitrate.
 
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boff

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HI checked my tap water and its fine cheers .Got my new HOB in the tank and it seems to work well how often should I clean it and how often do I need to change the carbon thanks again boff.
 

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Well, in the beginning I changed the activated carbon in my HOB filter (on my 30 gallon tank) every month, according to the manufacturer's recommendation. The fact of the matter is, though, that you don't "absolutely" need the carbon at all in your filter - unless your tank is overstocked or you don't perform enough water changes to be removing chemicals from the water that may accumulate over time. If your tank is overstocked or you don't perform enough water changes, I'd recommend using activated carbon every month. I don't use it as I perform large water changes so my water is clean and free of toxic chemicals.

The main filter media are the sponge and the bio-cubes (if you have them in your filter). In my Aqua Clear filter the sponge is very strong so I never replace it, only rinse it gently in tank water twice a month or once a month to make sure it is not clogged with debris. In my Whisper Tetra filter however, the bio-bag starts to fall apart after a while, so I change it when it's starting to fall apart. I also rinse it in tank water about twice a month. If you have bio-cubes, also rinse them gently in tank water if their bag gets clogged. But my bio-cubes really never get clogged so I don't even have to rinse them.

Here is one thread that talks about filter media and how often to change them: . I think it would be useful for you.
 

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