Moving away from my UGF

  1. not4you Member Member

    I currently only have a UGF and will be purchasing an Aqua Clear 50 or 70 Aquarium Power Filter. I have a 20 gallon tank so either model should have adequate gph for my tank.

    My question is how should I implement the power filter? Since I don't have any filter media from an existing filter would it be a problem to set up the filter and run it in conjunction with my UGF for now? Would that eventually build up the bacteria?

    I also read in another thread that reversing the flow on a UGF can be beneficial, what do you all reccomend?

    For a detailed state of my tank please check out my other thread... https://www.fishlore.com/Forum/index.php?topic=1115.0
     
  2. chickadee Fishlore VIP Member

    You need to purchase something that puts out at least ten times as many gallons per hour as you have in your tank. In the case of a tank of 20 gallons you need 200 gph. I have no faith in UGF's at all in fact I believe it is most likely more of a problem than a help. It may be so clogged up with "gunk" that the only solution left for you is to remove it. If it is too soiled it may be absolutely hopeless and easier on you and the fish to remove it completely. Sounds daunting, but less work in the long run believe me and will probably clear things up faster for the poor fish. I wouldn't do it until you have your power filter going though. Even that little filtration is better than none at all. Just keep up the water changes. Read all you can about the cycling process and the Nitrogen cycle on the home page of this site and anywhere else you can find here or elsewhere. You are going to need it because basically you are going to be going back to square one and beginning again as you haven't really had good filtration and when you start with a new system it has to prime itself some even with the used water and gravel. The system will already be partially cycled but the new filter will still take you through the mini cycle process and you will come up with the nitrites and ammonia readings while your filter is ageing. Water changes and more water changes. That is why I say that eventually you are going to WANT to get rid of the UGF because it will just keep throwing out "gunk" until you throw it out. When your new filter is cycled and you have kept up all the changes if you still have it then it needs to go.

    Sorry I am so wordy today, I just finished doing my income tax and guess I haven't settled down yet. If this hasn't made a lick of sense let me know LOL.

    Rose
    :)
     

  3. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    I wouldn't reverse the flow if you have fish already in the tank. Since all your nasties have been sucked underneath since you set up the tank, that's a lot of pollution to push out back in the water table. I would just remove the UGF and start over. I'm afraid the reversal would kill your fish! If you had started that way in the beginning, it would have been no problem. When you set up your new filter, you will basicallly be starting from scratch since you don't have any collected bacteria. Are you able to purchase bio spira locally from a reputable dealer? Bio Spira is basically an instant cycle with bacteria in a bottle, one that actually works. There is no other product that actually has the correct bacteria like bio spira does. You could cycle your tank that way with no worries. It must come from a LFS that handles it properly though or you will end up with an expensive packet of dead bacteria.
     

  4. Jason Well Known Member Member

    It can't be possible to have ten times the filtration in large tanks unless you bought multiple filters which is tooo expensive. What gph do you have on your 100gal Gunnie???
     

  5. not4you Member Member

    Thanks for the response everyone I have quite a few questions to come, you'll see them soon!
     
  6. not4you Member Member

    Okay, I will be purchasing the power filter tomorrow. From what Gunnie and Rose have said it sounds like it's probably better to just remove the UGF once I have the power filter.

    Gunnie I agree that reversing the flow of the UGF now would be disastrous and anyway I've decided the UGF is coming out of my tank and will die a horrible death ;) Anyway.....

    I will check if my LFS has bio spira and if they do I will definitely use it as that sounds like it would be the best way to go from the UGF to the power filter for the fish.

    <b>Scenario 1</b>
    If I can find bio spira, should I transfer my fish to another tank (I have 5 gallon tank that is empty it used to be the home of a gardner snake) with water from my current tank to avoid exposing my fish to the funk that lies below? Or could the fish handle the process of removing the UGF?

    Then dismantle the UGF. Maybe clean the gravel? Refill the tank with new water, is it okay to use the AmQuel Plus to treat the water before adding the bio spira? I would think it would be okay since that would remove chlorine and chloramines. Then start up the new power filter and then add the fish?


    <b>Scenarios 2</b>
    If I can't get the bio spira how should I remove the UGF and set up the power filter?

    Again, should I transfer the fish to the empty 5 gallon tank I have or could they handle being exposed to all of the pollution that has collected from the UGF?

    Then rip out the UGF. Again would there be any benefit to cleaning the gravel or should I let it be? Refill the tank with fresh water. Start up the power filter and then add the fish which would then result in basically cycling the tank from the beginning again?

    Any other ideas on how I should remove the UGF and add the power filter would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks again everyone.

    - John
     
  7. rob2uk Member Member

    Personally, I would have BOTH filters running in the main tank for a while to allow a bacterial colony to build up in the new filter.

    As for cleaning the gravel, I really wouldn't know, I'm sure someone else will point you in the right direction thoiugh
     
  8. not4you Member Member

    Thanks rob2uk, if I let them both run what should I do when it comes time to remove the UGF? And how will I know it's time to remove the UGF?

    Please forgive the insane amount of questions, I just don't want to botch things any further than I already have.
     
  9. rob2uk Member Member

    I would say at least for a couple of weeks, it won't take as long as cycling your tank the first time round would have done
     
  10. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    I think the best way to go would be to do as Rob suggested and go ahead and continue running your UGF for now, and add your HOB filter to the tank to get the bacteria started. Do this for about 2 weeks. Next, when you are ready to make the change, remove the fish temporarily to that 5 gal. tank with your power filter so the bacteria will stay alive. I don't think the fish would do well at all still in that tank while this is all going on. Then go ahead and take your time removing the UGF and clean the gravel well. You may have to rinse and vacuum a couple of times to get all the nasties out. Then put everything back in the tank to your liking, top off the water, and add your fish and filter back to the tank.
     
  11. chickadee Fishlore VIP Member

    :)

    Listen to the folks. Believe me, John, these folks are the experts. Do as they say and you will have the best outcome possible. They have done this far longer than I and will be able to get you through this. I think you and your fish will be fine. The plan sounds great to me. It is much superior to trying to figure out what to do with the fish while all this takes place and making them go somewhere there is no bacteria to filter at all.

    I hope I have been helpful, but as I said listen to Gunnie and rob2uk as they know filtration and tanks in general much better (they taught me) :) .

    Good luck and let us know how each step is going. I am very interested and have been concerned about your fish. Again welcome to the group. You are already providing a wealth of knowledge and help to others through your experiences. There are some of the finest people I have ever or will ever hope to meet here on this forum. We have all ages from 13 on up and it amazes me every day that in a world where there are so many generation gaps and gaps here and gaps there, you cannot tell the youngsters from those of us who are older unless they happen to say something about their age. They are so mature and knowledgeable. Everyone gets along and actually cares about each other. It is a wonderful thing. Thank you for joining us. You are an asset.

    Rose
    :)

    Rose
    :)
     
  12. not4you Member Member

    Thanks for all of the advice!

    I will follow Rob and Gunnies advice and let both filters run together for a few weeks before removing the UGF.

    Well, I'm off to get my new filter. I'll keep everyone posted on how things go. For once I don't have anymore questions, for now that is :D
     
  13. chickadee Fishlore VIP Member

    :D
     
  14. not4you Member Member

    Actually I do have one question, should I keep doing the frequent water changes because of the nitrate levels once I set up the new filter? I think I probably should or could that slow down the process of getting the bacteria started in the new filter?

    Once again, thanks so much!
     
  15. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    Go ahead and continue with your water changes, and do one if the nitrate level gets higher than 20. You don't want your fish to get sick! ;)
     
  16. not4you Member Member

    That's just the problem, my nitrates are already through the roof, 80+. Should I continue the frequent changes I've been doing recently (almost daily)?
     
  17. not4you Member Member

    The Aqua Clear 70 is now up and running the tank :D :D :D :D :D :D

    Since my nitrates are still so high (80+) should I keep changing the water daily to try and bring those down or could changing the water daily slow down the build of bacteria in the power filter?

    - John
     
  18. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    Yes. Go ahead and do a 50% water change, and try and vacuum thoroughly at least half the gravel.
     
  19. not4you Member Member

    I did the water change yesterday and today the nitrates are still very high. I'd still say around 80 but to be honest I can't tell the difference between 40 and 80 on the chart and neither can my wife. I guess they figure when the nitrates are that high they need to come down no matter what. One thing I found encouraging was that while doing the test it took a lot longer before the test turned red. In the past when I've done the nitrate test it would turn red before I even stopped mixing the solution in the tube. Today it turned red during the 5 minute waiting period.

    Anyway, looks like another water change tonight. I'll get them darn nitrates down :mad:
     
  20. 0morrokh Fishlore VIP Member

    You might want to check your tap water, because sometimes it can have a Nitrate content. If your tap water has a lot of Nitrates, you can get chemical media that removes Nitrates which I believe you can use to filter your tapwater or put in your filter...anyone?