Removing UGF

  1. not4you Member Member

    I've had my UGF and power filter running in conjunction for the last 11 days. I plan on removing the UGF next weekend. I'll move the fish and the power filter to a 10 gal tank while I remove the UGF.

    Once the UGF has been removed, should I clean my gravel? It was real filthy at first but I've been vacuuming it every few days these past two weeks with my water changes to help get my nitrates down (they're down to 10 now, btw). So I figure my gravel <i>should</i> be pretty clean by now and I don't want to remove most of the beneficial bacteria by cleaning it.

    Any other suggestions on removing UGF's?
     
  2. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    Hopefully since you've been vacuuming the gravel a lot lately, it won't need a lot more cleaning, but if it still appears dirty once the ugf is removed, vacuum it again.
     

  3. chickadee Fishlore VIP Member

    I suppose it depends on what you find when you take the UGF out. If it is still really dirty, it will probably need to be cleaned. Congratulations on the numbers, by the way. That is almost unbelievable considering where you were just a short time ago. Fantastic work on your part! Kudos!!! I'll bet your fish are happy little "flippers" about now.

    Rose
    :D
     
  4. not4you Member Member

    Yes, what a difference a little effort and knowledge can make! Everything in my tank looks great now ;D

    Gunnie and Rose, I was thinking the same thing about when I take out the UGF. With the amount of gravel vac'ing I've done recently I think the gravel is fairly clean but if it's a real mess when I take UGF then I'll give it some cleaning.

    By the time I plan to take out the UGF my power filter will have been running for 3 weeks along with my UGF. Do you think that's sufficient time for the bacteria to take hold in my new filter media? I have the bio-cubes/carbon/sponge media in the filter now but from what I've read the carbon doesn't do much after the first day or so except being a media for bacteria. Would it be a good idea that when I take out the UGF I replace the carbon with some other media? Maybe just a mesh bag of my current gravel, or would there be comparable amounts of bacteria in both by now?

    On another note, it looks like I'll be relocating the tank as well when I take out the UGF. I just got word that my uncle has a tank he wants to unload. I'm fairly certain that it's at least 55 gal, I'll find out the details this weekend.

    mmm, MTS ;D
     

  5. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    Make sure you temporarily house your fish when you take the ugf out. All those nasties being held down there will be freed and you don't want to make your fish sick by exposing them to it.
     
  6. chickadee Fishlore VIP Member

    Congratulations on the new tank if you get it. Yes, MTS does hit all of us sooner or later. The carbon doesn't do much for building up the bacteria I think. It isn't much use unless you are having odor or you want to remove medication from your tank. The bio-cubes and sponge media are the important part when it comes to the bacteria. I wouldn't worry about the carbon at all. Some people don't use it at all. I use White Diamond that doesn't even contain carbon but helps keep ammonia from building up. I do keep the Marineland Carbon and White Diamond mix on hand in case I ever need to have medication removed from the tank, but other than that the small amount of carbon found in the filter cartridges from the Eclipse system, I usually remove. That way if I ever do need to medicate I don't need to change the filter before it is ready. I was wasting too many filters leaving it in. Since your tank was already cycled, you may have good luck with the new filter being ready. I had my new tank cycled with two filters (one cycled and one new) for about that long and had a very small amount of nitrite (.25) for about a week but with about 3 water changes (25%) it was gone, and all has been well since then. Getting the dirty filter out is well worth the effort, perhaps.
    Once again, I congratulate you for all the effort you put forth in making your fish a decent and healthy place to live. You have accomplished a lot and I know it took a lot of work and perseverance on your part. You deserve a pat on the back.

    Rose
    :D
     
  7. not4you Member Member

    I definitely plan on moving my fish and power filter to another tank while I remove the UGF.

    No news yet on getting my uncles tank, I didn't see him this past weekend as I thought I would. Hopefully I'll talk to him tonight or tomorrow.
     

  8. not4you Member Member

    When I rip out my UGF I'm also thinking about replacing the gravel as well. I currently have a mix of black and white which doesn't look good, there's too much white. I want to change it to a more natural looking stone/gravel, would this be too much to change in tank at once? By removing the gravel at the same time of the UGF could I take out too much bacteria? Keep in mind my new power filter will have been running for a full 3 weeks when the UGF comes out.

    BTW, if I were to replace the gravel I would bundle up some old gravel in stockings or something to place in the tank to help build up new bacteria on the new gravel.

    What do you think, will it work?
    Safe plan, procede
    Caution you may get a mini-cycle
    STOP NOW you're botching everything!!
     
  9. chickadee Fishlore VIP Member

    I don't know about everyone else, but I vote "Safe plan, Procede!". With the two running in conjunction for 3 weeks and the bundling of gravel for a while, how could you go wrong and the fish may like a little redecorating. I know mine usually like a change once in a while and it sounds like that gravel has been there a while. :D

    Have fun!

    Rose
    :D
     
  10. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    I'm with Chickadee. With that new filter running for 3 weeks, you should be fine with maybe a short mini cycle. It will be a nice change for you to change the gravel out. Make sure that when you get ready to do this, that your filter for the tank continues to run until you transfer it over. If it doesn't run for about 30 minutes your bacteria will start to die off. ;)
     

  11. not4you Member Member

    Hmmm, I lost a Rosy Barb last night but I don't think it was due to water conditions. I could tell he wasn't doing well because he was breathing rapidly and then started hanging around the heater with it's face pointed straight down. I found on the intake tube this morning :(

    All of the other fish are acting normally and I tested all of my levels this afternoon and they are all okay. Nitrates were around 20 but since I'll basically be breaking down the tank tomorrow to remove the UGF I'm holding off on a water change.

    In preparation for tomorrow I have completely set up a 10 gallon tank but it's not cycled yet. Right now it's full with the filter is running, I know it's not doing anything but empty tanks are sad.

    My plan for tomorrow is to empty half of the water that's in the 10 gallon now and replace it with water from the 20 gallon tank, should I do more or less or none at all?

    Next, move my decorations to 10 gallon along with some gravel (in stockings) from the 20 gallon tank. Move the filter from the 20 to the 10 so my bacteria don't expire.

    Now the fish need to be moved, what would be the best way to move the fish? Net'em and drop'em in? Will they need to acclimate to the water (everything is the same as the current tank except nitrates ~10ppm lower in the 10 gallon)?

    Then rip out the UGF and remaining gravel from the 20 and clean up any funk that's left behind.

    Then put in the new (natural looking ;D) gravel (I know, rinse very well before adding) and refill the tank. When refilling the tank should I use all new water or should I save some tank water to use when refilling?

    Okay now the 20 is full so back go the decorations and filter, again how should I introduce the fish back to the 20?

    Now the 20 is completely redone and everyone is happy!!! I'm going to leave the stockings of old gravel in the 10 to help seed the tank with bacteria and then continue to cycle the tank fishless style.

    Is there anything I'm missing???
     
  12. chickadee Fishlore VIP Member

    Water carries very little bacteria and usually when you get fish from another source they recommend not to add the water. Unless some of the more experienced folk recommend using old water, I would recommend all new water since you are going to use old decorations and some of the old gravel (in stockings) as those are the things other than the filter itself that actually carry the beneficial bacteria. I have done 100% water changes before when I was especially concerned about the water quality of the tank for some reason and it did not hurt the fish. It isn't something to do often at all, but these fish have been through a lot and to start them out with a compleltely new and clean environment would probably make them very happy. Also you don't know how much of the gunk is still going to be floating around in that water. It is amazing how much there can be and you won't even see it until you dump it.

    Rose
    :D
     
  13. not4you Member Member

    Thanks Rose, that makes sense using new water.

    How about moving the fish between tanks? Since my tank water and the new water in the other tank are about the same I would guess I could just net them and then release them in the other tank?
     
  14. chickadee Fishlore VIP Member

    Yep as long as you move the new filter and have the used gravel the same way you had planned and the new tank is the same size and the water parameters are the same. And the temp is about the samel ''Same filter" and not out of the previous tank for more than 30 minutes so the bacteria don't start to die. A lot to ask but worth it since you did so much to get the tank cycled in the first place don't you think? Also the decorations should be washed in used tank water no matter how gunky so they don' lose the bacteria on theml Don't really scrub then just enough enough to get them presentable. Your alge eater will take care of the rest. If you don't dont have an algae eater I suggest a couple of otocincylnclus (pronounced o-toe-SIN-clus) I have 5 have in my tanks and they are adorable and really get the job done.

    well i just got up and cannot spell and writ woth a darn so i will close for now

    Rose
    :D