Replacing UGF

bythepond
  • #1
I want to start planting my tank. After reading the fora here, I realize that I should ditch the UGF, and I have some questions about the conversion.

Its a tall 45 gallon tank. I currently have 3 medium and 2 small angels, and an albino chinese algae eater (who is soon to be history, because I think he's starting to attack the angels - he's too smart to do it when I'm looking, but I'm pretty sure I've seen it out of the corner of my eye). I eventually want to add some cardinal tetras after I complete the conversion and get the plants going.

I have an Aquaclear 50 HOB filter, and an Aquaclear 402 powerhead. My questions are:

1. Will the HOB filter be sufficient without the UGF, or do I need to add another filter/ go to a bigger size.

2. Will I need to keep the powerhead to maintain oxygenation?
 
kra-z-fishmumm
  • #2
FYI I was going to change out my UGF also (55g),, but got some suggestions about some other ways to use it. I put my whisper filter in a UG tube, kept the power head going for now, and have a 30 gallon penguin HOB running. I will let you know how it is at the end of the week. I just did cleaning and water change yesterday.
 
susitna-flower
  • #3
Hi, I use UGF's, but won't try to change your mind. I have started doing what kra-z discribed, and find it works fine.

Using HOB filters you should try to maintain 10 X the tank size in gallons, turn-over every hour. so it is a 50 gallon tank you need to have one or more HOB filters that will process 500 gallons/ per/ hour gph...

The Aquaclear 50 is a 200gph filter, or enough for a 20 gallon tank, even though they say it is enough for a 50 gallon tank....Most here on fishlore feel the 10 X gal is a more accurate measure of filtration and circulation needs.

You should use two Aquaclear 50's or a larger filter....No you don't need the powerhead if you have two filters.

OR as stated, you could continue to use the UGF, placing the Aquaclear 50 uptake in one of the UGF tubes, and continue to use the power head in another UGF tube, and it should work fine.....without adding another HOB filter.
 
Tavel
  • #4
I also recommend oversizing the filters...especially aquaclears because reducing the flow allows the filter to recycle water through the media. Even though it's not pulling as much from the tank, it's cleaning the water it does pull just that much better.

I don't know if 10x is a hard and fast rule, but you should usually get one size larger than the recommended, so you'd want to get a 70...or maybe two 40's...whatever. But then again, your plants will also filter the water so you don't need as much from the HOB.

Also, I like to use the sponge that comes with them, then fill the rest of it with the ceramic media. You can usually fit two or three of those "biomax" inserts on top of the sponge, fill it to the top!
 
bythepond
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Thank you all for the advice. Tavel, you suggest adding ceramic on top of the sponge. Does this mean I should ditch the charcoal filter, and replace with ceramic?

Susitna-Flower and kra-z-fishmumm, you say you are still using the UGF. Do you have planted tanks? I read elsewhere that plant roots tend to tangle themselves below the UGF, which is not good for the plants or the filter.
 
Tavel
  • #6
Thank you all for the advice. Tavel, you suggest adding ceramic on top of the sponge. Does this mean I should ditch the charcoal filter, and replace with ceramic?

Susitna-Flower and kra-z-fishmumm, you say you are still using the UGF. Do you have planted tanks? I read elsewhere that plant roots tend to tangle themselves below the UGF, which is not good for the plants or the filter.

that's correct. The charcoal isn't needed unless you need to remove medication or something like that. And even for that, you can put the charcoal bag in the recycle chamber. yes, I really STUFF my aquaclears to the gills!

Plus, I believe charcoal is bad for planted aquariums. I don't know why, I don't do plants...but that's what I've read.
 
susitna-flower
  • #7
Thank you all for the advice. Tavel, you suggest adding ceramic on top of the sponge. Does this mean I should ditch the charcoal filter, and replace with ceramic?

Susitna-Flower and kra-z-fishmumm, you say you are still using the UGF. Do you have planted tanks? I read elsewhere that plant roots tend to tangle themselves below the UGF, which is not good for the plants or the filter.


I have plants in all my tanks. I think the problem is going to be if and when I tear my tanks down....the plant roots would be disturbed. The filters seem to be working perfectly, I am not one to redecorate very often, so it just hasn't been a problem....I'll take pictures of these tanks tomorrow... I can even get under the 125 gallon tank and show the bottom side of the UGF....It might be interesting as this tank has been set up for 9 months now.
I never use carbon in the filters unless removing medication.

In a planted tank it is suppose to remove too many nutrients that the plants need. Hope this helps.....
 
bythepond
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Thanks, Susitna and Tavel. That's good news about the charcoal filter. One less thing to buy and worry about keeping in stock.

The bottom of my UGF is pretty clean, I dig pretty when vacuuming during water changes.

Susitna, what kind of substrate are you using? Do you have laterite or some other "nutrient rich" substrate? One of the other reasons I'm considering taking out the UGF is that I'm afraid that adding something "nutrient rich" will be too fine, and just get trapped in the sponge filter.
 

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