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underwater gravel



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 15th 06, 09:40 PM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.goldfish,rec.aquaria.freshwater.misc
Jen
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Posts: 40
Default underwater gravel

So what's the general consensus on using undergravel filters? Are they good
or bad?


Jen


  #2  
Old December 16th 06, 01:42 AM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.goldfish,rec.aquaria.freshwater.misc
Peter in New Zealand
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Default underwater gravel

"Jen" wrote in message
...
So what's the general consensus on using undergravel filters? Are they
good or bad?


Jen

Well, I've always used them in my tanks, but I suspect the rate at which the
water is drawn through them must be incredibly slow. That said, I still use
them because I assume they do some good, expecially with "good" bacteria etc
built up in the gravel. However I always regard them as secondary only, and
install more aggressive "slip on the outside of the tank" filters. To sum
up - under-gravel filters beneficial, but don't rely on them as your main
filtration. Others on the group here who are more experienced than me may
want to comment too. Hope this helps.

--
Peter in New Zealand. (Pull the plug out to reply.)
Collector of old cameras, tropical fish fancier, good coffee nutter, and
compulsive computer fiddler.


  #3  
Old December 16th 06, 08:24 AM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.goldfish,rec.aquaria.freshwater.misc
amosf © Tim Fairchild
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Posts: 27
Default underwater gravel

Jen wrote:

So what's the general consensus on using undergravel filters? Are they
good or bad?


They work and are still a reliable filtration method, but somewhat higher
maintenance. I used to use them for many years. I don't think I'd use them
with goldfish. Just too much waste. With an external filter, like a
canister (or HOB or wet/dry) you get the wastes out of the tank into a
place you can easily clean up, and with goldfish you need to do that a bit.

With other fish it's not so bad, but the same applies. If you are willing to
do very regular gravel vacuuming and maybe break down the tank every couple
of years, then UGF is fine. It's a good biofilter, but you can replace it
with enough media in some other filtration system.

It's a personal choice.
  #4  
Old December 16th 06, 04:11 PM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.goldfish
Texas Yankee
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Posts: 4
Default underwater gravel

Use a canister filter and NO GRAVEL - no waste at all building up in the
bottom of the tank - as long as you have other structures in the tank that
bacteria can colonize on (rocks, etc.) the benefits that the gravel bed were
providing will be taken care of - and no more of that pain in the neck
gravel vacuuming.

"amosf Tim Fairchild" wrote in message
...
Jen wrote:

So what's the general consensus on using undergravel filters? Are they
good or bad?


They work and are still a reliable filtration method, but somewhat higher
maintenance. I used to use them for many years. I don't think I'd use them
with goldfish. Just too much waste. With an external filter, like a
canister (or HOB or wet/dry) you get the wastes out of the tank into a
place you can easily clean up, and with goldfish you need to do that a
bit.

With other fish it's not so bad, but the same applies. If you are willing
to
do very regular gravel vacuuming and maybe break down the tank every
couple
of years, then UGF is fine. It's a good biofilter, but you can replace it
with enough media in some other filtration system.

It's a personal choice.



  #5  
Old December 17th 06, 12:27 AM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.goldfish
Edward
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Posts: 19
Default underwater gravel

I have always used U/G filters in conjunction with an outside filter,
aside from the beneficial bacteria they hold, they are also great if you
want to have live plants in your tank.


  #6  
Old December 17th 06, 05:16 AM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.goldfish,rec.aquaria.freshwater.misc
Zebulon
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Posts: 242
Default underwater gravel


"Jen" wrote in message
...
So what's the general consensus on using undergravel filters? Are they
good or bad?

==============
I gave them up years ago. They're too hard to keep clean.
--
ZB....
Frugal ponding since 1995.
rec.ponder since late 1996.
My Pond & Aquarium Pages:
http://tinyurl.com/9do58
~~~~ }((((* ~~~ }{{{{( ~~~~ }((((({*




  #7  
Old December 17th 06, 11:46 AM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.goldfish,rec.aquaria.freshwater.misc
Jen
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Posts: 40
Default underwater gravel


"Jen" wrote in message
...
So what's the general consensus on using undergravel filters? Are they
good or bad?



Thanks to all the replies. I'll think when I change over to tropical I'll
take it out, and see how it goes.

Jen


  #8  
Old December 17th 06, 04:47 PM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.goldfish,rec.aquaria.freshwater.misc
carlrs
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Posts: 227
Default underwater gravel


Jen wrote:
So what's the general consensus on using undergravel filters? Are they good
or bad?


Jen


I have used UGFs extensively over the years. I personally do not
recommend them do to the extra maintenance sometimes needed (especially
with flat plate UGFs), especially if poorly cared for. But UGFs do not
deserve all the flack they get either. Proper gravel (#3) with about
2-3" of depth works best. The Nektonics UGF was actually very good and
I actually clocked higher flow rates with the same air pump with these
UGF filters vs. the more common flat plate design (placing a 1 gallon
jug just under the out flow and timing the rate of fill).
There are better filters now, but even some newer ones popularity are
based in hype (bio wheel comes to mind). I recommend redundancy with
two filters. In a smaller aquarium a HOB with an internal or sponge
filter is effective, or at least a HOB with a pre filter attached for
improved bio filtration.

For more aquarium filtration information:
http://www.americanaquariumproducts....iltration.html

Also I have an article about Bio Wheels he
http://aquarium-answers.blogspot.com/

Carl

  #9  
Old December 19th 06, 08:23 AM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.goldfish
[email protected]
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Posts: 176
Default underwater gravel

http://weloveteaching.com/puregold/c...re1.htm#GRAVEL
GRAVEL
Gravel is not recommended for keeping goldfish.
1. Gravel is the leading cause of sudden death when gravel gets stuck in their
throat.
2. Food drifts down into gravel and rots. Goldfish will sift and work thru the
gravel looking for food. Rotting food is toxic for goldfish.
3. Gravel creates "dead" spots where anaerobic bacteria thrive and secrete toxic
gases.
4. Organic compounds contribute to the waste in the tank, driving up nitrate levels.
High organic loads in gravel can easily equal the waste output of an extra fish for
two which drastically lowers the "carrying capacity" of the tank (1 gf per 10
gallons).
5. Organic compounds are acidic and can lower the pH to the point that it kills off
the biobugs. The nitrite converting bacteria are the first to die, which causes a
nitrous acid spike. This will cause a sudden crash that kills the entire biofilter.
Unlike cycling, where the keeper knows and is checking for wastes and changing water,
sudden crashes are not detected until the fish are showing severe symptoms.
6. It is more work to clean gravel and do water changes. Any gravel or rocks on the
bottom require a bell of some kinds to suck up debris that gets caught under the
items. In a bare bottom tank, the circulation of the water in the tank means all the
crud and wastes are sucked out by the filter intake. There is no siphoning required.
7. Fish can be sucked up into a siphon bell and be maimed or killed every time the
gravel is cleaned. When there is no gravel to clean, a nylon sockie can be put over
the siphon and even fry wont get sucked out with the waste water.


"Jen" wrote:

So what's the general consensus on using undergravel filters? Are they good
or bad?


Jen




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  #10  
Old December 19th 06, 04:01 PM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.goldfish
amosf © Tim Fairchild
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Posts: 27
Default underwater gravel

wrote:

http://weloveteaching.com/puregold/c...re1.htm#GRAVEL
GRAVEL
Gravel is not recommended for keeping goldfish.


Interesting opinion, but...

1. Gravel is the leading cause of sudden death when gravel gets stuck in
their throat.


Possible perhaps, but never seen it actually happen.

2. Food drifts down into gravel and rots. Goldfish will sift and work
thru the
gravel looking for food. Rotting food is toxic for goldfish.


I imagine rotting food is potentially bad for all fish, but then that's why
you clean the gravel. Mind you I notice fish tend not to eat 'rotting
food'. They tend to be a little selective.

3. Gravel creates "dead" spots where anaerobic bacteria thrive and secrete
toxic gases.


Toxic gasses? Ammonia perhaps. Of course that's why you clean gravel.

4. Organic compounds contribute to the waste in the tank, driving up
nitrate levels. High organic loads in gravel can easily equal the waste
output of an extra fish for two which drastically lowers the "carrying
capacity" of the tank (1 gf per 10 gallons).


Nitrate factory, sure. That's why you clean the gravel. Nitrates can be
great, but we know about plants and goldfish

5. Organic compounds are acidic and can lower the pH to the point that it
kills off the biobugs. The nitrite converting bacteria are the first to
die, which causes a
nitrous acid spike. This will cause a sudden crash that kills the entire
biofilter. Unlike cycling, where the keeper knows and is checking for
wastes and changing water, sudden crashes are not detected until the fish
are showing severe symptoms.


That's why you clean the gravel. And of course with correct kH the pH is not
going to crash on you... And we all check the parameters now and then,
right

6. It is more work to clean gravel and do water changes. Any gravel or
rocks on the bottom require a bell of some kinds to suck up debris that
gets caught under the items. In a bare bottom tank, the circulation of the
water in the tank means all the crud and wastes are sucked out by the
filter intake. There is no siphoning required.


If you want to save work maybe, but I like the look of gravel and it gives
you somewhere to stick plants (anubias with gf of course - as well as some
salad for them to snack on). But even in a bare bottom you have to clean up
wastes. The crap still sits all over the bottom anyway.

7. Fish can be sucked up into a siphon bell and be maimed or killed every
time the
gravel is cleaned. When there is no gravel to clean, a nylon sockie can
be put over the siphon and even fry wont get sucked out with the waste
water.


This is the silliest one. The whole idea of the bell siphon is to reduce the
suction so that the gravel isn't sucked out. Fish don't get sucked into the
siphon. And fry? In a goldfish tank? Yum!

Not great reasons to go to a bare bottom. Point 6 to make vacuuming easier
maybe.

But this was about UGF, and with UGF you change many of the points above in
that there is circulation in the gravel and so it's not "anaerobic"...

 




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