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underwater gravel



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 30th 06, 04:33 PM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.misc
Tynk
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 466
Default underwater gravel


Jen wrote:
"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


Jen,
With the types of filters available these days, and ease of care with
them, don't bother with an UGF.
If they're not maintained properly they become cess pools.
With an external power filter, or even a canister, all you need to do
is rinse out the pad in old tank water and replace it inside the filter
housing. By doing this you don't lose any nitrifying bacteria like you
would if you rinsed it under tap water or simply replaced with a new
one. The only time a new one is needed is when the old one has holes
worn in it.
*side note*
Could you please not cross post.
Thank you.

  #2  
Old December 30th 06, 08:25 PM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.misc
jd
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 36
Default underwater gravel

Undergravel filters are fine, *if* you have appropriate flow and a decent
filter plate. If you can keep the water flowing, and avoid dead spots, a
good UG will turn your entire gravel bed into a bio filter.

If you have a aspare tank to play with, try this: set it up, with the UG,
but don't turn on the UG (powerhead, air drive, whatever. Leave it off).
Note that you'll have to have the water level below the top of the exhaust
tubes for tghis test.

Get the tanks set up, and throw in a bunch of trash fish (feeders). Watvch
your water chemistry until it stabilizes, then add fish until its saturated
(can't support any more fish). Now, turn on the UG filter, but don't change
anything else. Watch your water chemistry change for the better. Now, try
adding more fish, and see how many more the tank will support now....

Some folks have problems with plants in their tanks with UG filters. I get
around that by only putting UG filters in part of the tank (where plants
won't be).....

Keep in mind that the setup and quality of the UG filter are critical...

--JD



"Tynk" wrote in message
ps.com...

Jen wrote:
"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


Jen,
With the types of filters available these days, and ease of care with
them, don't bother with an UGF.
If they're not maintained properly they become cess pools.
With an external power filter, or even a canister, all you need to do
is rinse out the pad in old tank water and replace it inside the filter
housing. By doing this you don't lose any nitrifying bacteria like you
would if you rinsed it under tap water or simply replaced with a new
one. The only time a new one is needed is when the old one has holes
worn in it.
*side note*
Could you please not cross post.
Thank you.



  #3  
Old December 30th 06, 09:04 PM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.misc
Trevor Stenson
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 7
Default underwater gravel

Hi, to all...

I don't mean to say that underground filters or dual filter systems are
for everyone.

Having dropped the hobby for about 20 years I am more or less a newbie
or maybe and old novice.


But I've had good luck with them and in the right configuration in an
aquarium I believe they can be quite an asset.

So heed everyone's advice here and proceed with due caution.

If my new set up doesn't work out for me I'll try to write back and I'll
admit it.


Cheers,


Trev

Sorry about the signature - it is for other unrelated newsgroups and I
tried to turn it off with no luck.

???

TS

--
Edmonton SCTV Locations:
http://members.shaw.ca/pumpkin27/iwebber2

My Blog feed:
feed://members.shaw.ca/kitschy/iwebber/TheStenonsNewDigs/Blog/rss.xml
  #4  
Old December 30th 06, 09:22 PM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.misc
amosf © Tim Fairchild
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 27
Default underwater gravel

jd wrote:

Undergravel filters are fine, *if* you have appropriate flow and a decent
filter plate. If you can keep the water flowing, and avoid dead spots, a
good UG will turn your entire gravel bed into a bio filter.

If you have a aspare tank to play with, try this: set it up, with the UG,
but don't turn on the UG (powerhead, air drive, whatever. Leave it off).
Note that you'll have to have the water level below the top of the exhaust
tubes for tghis test.

Get the tanks set up, and throw in a bunch of trash fish (feeders). Watvch


Trash fish. hmm. So what do you do with the trash when finished?

your water chemistry until it stabilizes, then add fish until its
saturated (can't support any more fish). Now, turn on the UG filter, but
don't change anything else. Watch your water chemistry change for the
better. Now, try adding more fish, and see how many more the tank will
support now....

Some folks have problems with plants in their tanks with UG filters. I get
around that by only putting UG filters in part of the tank (where plants
won't be).....

Keep in mind that the setup and quality of the UG filter are critical...

--JD



"Tynk" wrote in message
ps.com...

Jen wrote:
"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


Jen,
With the types of filters available these days, and ease of care with
them, don't bother with an UGF.
If they're not maintained properly they become cess pools.
With an external power filter, or even a canister, all you need to do
is rinse out the pad in old tank water and replace it inside the filter
housing. By doing this you don't lose any nitrifying bacteria like you
would if you rinsed it under tap water or simply replaced with a new
one. The only time a new one is needed is when the old one has holes
worn in it.
*side note*
Could you please not cross post.
Thank you.


  #5  
Old December 30th 06, 10:49 PM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.misc
Zebulon
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 242
Default underwater gravel


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

Undergravel filters are fine, *if* you have appropriate flow and a decent
filter plate. If you can keep the water flowing, and avoid dead spots, a
good UG will turn your entire gravel bed into a bio filter.

If you have a aspare tank to play with, try this: set it up, with the UG,
but don't turn on the UG (powerhead, air drive, whatever. Leave it off).
Note that you'll have to have the water level below the top of the
exhaust
tubes for tghis test.

Get the tanks set up, and throw in a bunch of trash fish (feeders).
Watvch


Trash fish. hmm. So what do you do with the trash when finished?

==================
I hope they're not being tossed down the commode.......
--
ZB....
Frugal ponding since 1995.
rec.ponder since late 1996.
My Pond & Aquarium Pages:
http://tinyurl.com/9do58
~~~~ }((((* ~~~ }{{{{( ~~~~ }((((({*




  #6  
Old December 31st 06, 02:09 PM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.misc
jd
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 36
Default underwater gravel

*SNIPPAGE*
Get the tanks set up, and throw in a bunch of trash fish (feeders).
Watvch


Trash fish. hmm. So what do you do with the trash when finished?


typically, I feed them to other fish. Alternately, use something that you
might be interested in keeping as trash fish. My standard is feeder guppies.
If some survive, they become a food source (both adults and fry) for the
fish I get once the tank is stable.

-JD


  #7  
Old December 31st 06, 02:48 PM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.misc
amosf © Tim Fairchild
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 27
Default underwater gravel

jd wrote:

*SNIPPAGE*
Get the tanks set up, and throw in a bunch of trash fish (feeders).
Watvch


Trash fish. hmm. So what do you do with the trash when finished?


typically, I feed them to other fish. Alternately, use something that you
might be interested in keeping as trash fish. My standard is feeder
guppies. If some survive, they become a food source (both adults and fry)
for the fish I get once the tank is stable.


I was just wondering since it's likely any fish you use for cycling will be
damaged in the process. And fish are fish. I guess using the term 'trash'
fish suggests that they are fish that you aren't required to treat with the
same care you would a non-trash fish.

Anyway, doing a fishless cycle or getting some media from another tank
solves that issue. Start without fish until you have bacteria to cope with
the bioload, or with media, start slow with the fish you actually want in
the tank.

Get the tanks set up, and throw in a bunch of trash fish (feeders). Watvch
your water chemistry until it stabilizes, then add fish until its

saturated
(can't support any more fish). Now, turn on the UG filter, but don't

change
anything else. Watch your water chemistry change for the better. Now, try
adding more fish, and see how many more the tank will support now....


This part is bad advice. Period. Throwing a bunch of fish in there to
suffer. 'Saturated'? What the hell does that mean. You put a bunch of fish
in a tank with no biofilter then the ammonia levels will climb
continuously, damaging gills all the while, eventually to fatal levels.
There are no bacteria to support ANY fish at all. Even if you then start a
filter after the ammonia spike and by some luck the bacteria take off and
drop ammonia levels and you add even more fish, then the nitrites will
spike and kill them.

Watch the water chemistry until it stabilizes indeed. Watch the nh3 and no2
climb through the roof you mean...

Enough new aquarists end up with fish in ammonia soup without that sort of
advice.




  #8  
Old January 2nd 07, 12:07 AM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.misc
jd
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 36
Default underwater gravel

Sorry, I gotta disagree. I've kept tanks of variouse sizes - from 5 gal to
many thousands of gallons, in both marine and fresh water setups. I've had
tanks since the mid 70s.

While it *may* be possible to set a tank up and get it running without
losing any fish (or damaging their physiology with water chemistry changes
as the tank settles in), it is much more realistic to expect to lose some
fish. For the tanks I keep for recreation (as oppsoed to commercial breeding
or research tanks), I have the luxury of being able to start the tank up
slowly, and can start out with fish that I really don't care about (feeder
guppies). It makes things a lot easier, faster, and in reality, I only lose
one or two with each tank startup. The rest end up as food for the real
fish.

For the tanks that I don't have the time (or it is not economical) to do a
slow startup on, I seed the tank with media from one of the established
tanks. This helps, but it still takes a while for the chemistry to settle
down. In these tanks, where the fish that are going to be in it are often
irreplaceable, I have absolutely no problem stocking heavily with trash
fish - the type of "trash fish" depends on the size of the tank - I'm not
going to bother with feeder guppies in a tank thats bigger than most ponds,
and they certainly are not appropriate for marine tanks (I like to use
squalus acanthius as the trash fish for the larger marine tanks)....

the simple reality is: by putting fish in a tank, you're trying to create
and maintain them in an artificial environment. If you can convince yourself
that he environment you create is really comparable to a natural environment
(and that the "natural environment" is really the ideal environment), have a
blast. If, on the other hand, you opt to be a bit realistic, and recognize
that at best any tank you set up is a poor model of a "natural" (polluted or
otherwise) environment. Unless you live someplace that you can set up a
flow-through system, you are creating an environment that is inherently
unstable, and will place artifical stresses on the tank residents. I simply
choose to accept this fact, and during the most stressfull tank time
(start-up) accept the fact that there is a lot of physiological stress that
will take place (no matter what you do). I choose to allow fish I don't care
about experience that stress instead of the fish I *do* care about.

As for determining the maximum carrying capacity of a tank, you can run all
the tests, monitors, etc that you want. The only way to truly determine how
the species of fish that you are keeping will react to the myriad of water
chemistry issues that are inherent in a tank is to experiment. Yes, this
will definitely cost you some fish. Yes, this will also place a lot of
stress on the more sensitive fish (assuming a multi-species tank) in the
tank. Thi sis an yunfortunate reality of maxing out a tank... If you don't
like it, don't max out your tanks.
As a side note, the best monitor I;ve found for water chemistry is a fairly
sensitive fish. Pick something that is sensitive, but fits the environment
you are setting up. If its more sensitive than the fish you are keeping, it
will let you know thing are out of whack before the inmportant fish are
overly stressed. (Yes, I do monitor water chemestry - I have (and use) all
of the resources of a full research lab available to monitor water quality.
Doesn't matter. canaries are still the best alarm systems for coal
mines....)

--JD


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

*SNIPPAGE*
Get the tanks set up, and throw in a bunch of trash fish (feeders).
Watvch

Trash fish. hmm. So what do you do with the trash when finished?


typically, I feed them to other fish. Alternately, use something that you
might be interested in keeping as trash fish. My standard is feeder
guppies. If some survive, they become a food source (both adults and fry)
for the fish I get once the tank is stable.


I was just wondering since it's likely any fish you use for cycling will
be
damaged in the process. And fish are fish. I guess using the term 'trash'
fish suggests that they are fish that you aren't required to treat with
the
same care you would a non-trash fish.

Anyway, doing a fishless cycle or getting some media from another tank
solves that issue. Start without fish until you have bacteria to cope with
the bioload, or with media, start slow with the fish you actually want in
the tank.

Get the tanks set up, and throw in a bunch of trash fish (feeders).
Watvch
your water chemistry until it stabilizes, then add fish until its

saturated
(can't support any more fish). Now, turn on the UG filter, but don't

change
anything else. Watch your water chemistry change for the better. Now, try
adding more fish, and see how many more the tank will support now....


This part is bad advice. Period. Throwing a bunch of fish in there to
suffer. 'Saturated'? What the hell does that mean. You put a bunch of fish
in a tank with no biofilter then the ammonia levels will climb
continuously, damaging gills all the while, eventually to fatal levels.
There are no bacteria to support ANY fish at all. Even if you then start a
filter after the ammonia spike and by some luck the bacteria take off and
drop ammonia levels and you add even more fish, then the nitrites will
spike and kill them.

Watch the water chemistry until it stabilizes indeed. Watch the nh3 and
no2
climb through the roof you mean...

Enough new aquarists end up with fish in ammonia soup without that sort of
advice.






  #9  
Old January 2nd 07, 05:22 AM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.misc
amosf © Tim Fairchild
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 27
Default underwater gravel

jd wrote:

Sorry, I gotta disagree. I've kept tanks of variouse sizes - from 5 gal to
many thousands of gallons, in both marine and fresh water setups. I've had
tanks since the mid 70s.


I'm not sure what you are disagreeing with. We all know that you *can* just
throw it together and hope it works and lose a few fish. My point is it's
not good advice. New fish owners are better off knowing that there are
better ways, indeed ways where you lose no fish at all, at least not due to
poor water conditions.

I've also bee dealing with fish since 1970, but am willing to move with the
times.

While it *may* be possible to set a tank up and get it running without
losing any fish (or damaging their physiology with water chemistry changes
as the tank settles in),


It's possible and very easy these days. With a good testing regime and water
changes it's easy to keep up with what's going on in a tank. With a
fishless cycle you can have the tank ready before fish are ever introduced.

it is much more realistic to expect to lose some
fish. For the tanks I keep for recreation (as oppsoed to commercial
breeding or research tanks),


Chalk and cheese, of course. With a commercial setup you are only looking
for what is commercially viable, and so some losses are acceptable if they
are balanced by some other cost.

I have the luxury of being able to start the
tank up slowly, and can start out with fish that I really don't care about
(feeder guppies). It makes things a lot easier, faster, and in reality, I
only lose one or two with each tank startup. The rest end up as food for
the real fish.


It's a different world these days. Cruelty laws are changing and tighter
than ever. It's not a responsible attitude to promote what could be seen as
cruelty these days.

For the tanks that I don't have the time (or it is not economical) to do a
slow startup on, I seed the tank with media from one of the established
tanks. This helps, but it still takes a while for the chemistry to settle


Seeding from another tank is another matter. You can seed a tank with enough
media and you will have a small minicycle at worst. It's not the same as
starting from scratch with no biological filtration. Again you are
comparing pets to a commercial setup.

down. In these tanks, where the fish that are going to be in it are often
irreplaceable, I have absolutely no problem stocking heavily with trash
fish - the type of "trash fish" depends on the size of the tank - I'm not
going to bother with feeder guppies in a tank thats bigger than most
ponds, and they certainly are not appropriate for marine tanks (I like to
use squalus acanthius as the trash fish for the larger marine tanks)....


It's better to get the idea across to new people that it's a better idea to
minimize damage and fatality to all fish. You are promoting cruelty to fish
that you consider not to be worth enough money. So it's okay to let cheap
fish suffer so the expensive fish do okay. Not a good message to push. You
should try that one on the aquaria central forums.

the simple reality is: by putting fish in a tank, you're trying to create
and maintain them in an artificial environment. If you can convince
yourself that he environment you create is really comparable to a natural
environment (and that the "natural environment" is really the ideal
environment), have a blast. If, on the other hand, you opt to be a bit
realistic, and recognize that at best any tank you set up is a poor model
of a "natural" (polluted or otherwise) environment. Unless you live
someplace that you can set up a flow-through system, you are creating an
environment that is inherently unstable, and will place artifical stresses
on the tank residents. I simply choose to accept this fact, and during the
most stressfull tank time (start-up) accept the fact that there is a lot
of physiological stress that will take place (no matter what you do). I
choose to allow fish I don't care about experience that stress instead of
the fish I *do* care about.


Of course the tank is going to be less than a natural environment, but that
does make it okay to make this a deliberately toxic environment for some
fish, especially 'trash fish'. An established tank, with regular water
changes and testing is not toxic or polluted, and will generally provide an
environment where fish will live longer than they would even in a natural
environment. With maintenance and sufficient biomedia, it will be stable.
If not overstocked and contains compatible species, it will not be
stressful. Startup time does not need to be stressful either, and does not
require fish that you don't care about. You can avoid ALL stress with a
fishless cycle or with a slow startup with low fish numbers and regular
water changes, especially with seeding.

As for determining the maximum carrying capacity of a tank, you can run
all the tests, monitors, etc that you want. The only way to truly


And those tests will tell you exactly how much NH3 and NO2 you have, which
are the killers in a new tank. You can keep them down with water changes.
Or sort all that out during the fishless cycle.

determine how the species of fish that you are keeping will react to the
myriad of water chemistry issues that are inherent in a tank is to
experiment.


No need to experiment. the tests are there. The killers in the first week
are well known and require a creation of a bacterial colony. You know
easily when you have too many fish for the bacteria by the level of NH3 and
NO2

Yes, this will definitely cost you some fish. Yes, this will
also place a lot of stress on the more sensitive fish (assuming a
multi-species tank) in the tank. Thi sis an yunfortunate reality of maxing
out a tank... If you don't like it, don't max out your tanks.


Exactly. People shouldn't do it and you shouldn't advise it. Experiment on
your own. It's not necessary to lose fish and I don't plan on losing ANY
fish when I start an aquarium. Zero. You put what fish in a tank that it
can support biologically, and you lose none. Simple as that.

As a side note, the best monitor I;ve found for water chemistry is a
fairly sensitive fish. Pick something that is sensitive, but fits the
environment you are setting up. If its more sensitive than the fish you
are keeping, it will let you know thing are out of whack before the
inmportant fish are overly stressed. (Yes, I do monitor water chemestry -
I have (and use) all of the resources of a full research lab available to
monitor water quality. Doesn't matter. canaries are still the best alarm
systems for coal mines....)


Seriously dude. They don't use canaries any more. It would be illegal now in
the western world anyway. In these enlightened times of technology we have
tests for this sort of thing. These are accurate tests that tell us exactly
how much toxin is present.

The best alarm is the test. It will tell you there are toxins present
*before* you lose any fish. Once you lose a sensitive fish, sorry, you have
already done damage to your expensive fish as well...



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

*SNIPPAGE*
Get the tanks set up, and throw in a bunch of trash fish (feeders).
Watvch

Trash fish. hmm. So what do you do with the trash when finished?


typically, I feed them to other fish. Alternately, use something that
you might be interested in keeping as trash fish. My standard is feeder
guppies. If some survive, they become a food source (both adults and
fry) for the fish I get once the tank is stable.


I was just wondering since it's likely any fish you use for cycling will
be
damaged in the process. And fish are fish. I guess using the term 'trash'
fish suggests that they are fish that you aren't required to treat with
the
same care you would a non-trash fish.

Anyway, doing a fishless cycle or getting some media from another tank
solves that issue. Start without fish until you have bacteria to cope
with the bioload, or with media, start slow with the fish you actually
want in the tank.

Get the tanks set up, and throw in a bunch of trash fish (feeders).
Watvch
your water chemistry until it stabilizes, then add fish until its

saturated
(can't support any more fish). Now, turn on the UG filter, but don't

change
anything else. Watch your water chemistry change for the better. Now,
try adding more fish, and see how many more the tank will support
now....


This part is bad advice. Period. Throwing a bunch of fish in there to
suffer. 'Saturated'? What the hell does that mean. You put a bunch of
fish in a tank with no biofilter then the ammonia levels will climb
continuously, damaging gills all the while, eventually to fatal levels.
There are no bacteria to support ANY fish at all. Even if you then start
a filter after the ammonia spike and by some luck the bacteria take off
and drop ammonia levels and you add even more fish, then the nitrites
will spike and kill them.

Watch the water chemistry until it stabilizes indeed. Watch the nh3 and
no2
climb through the roof you mean...

Enough new aquarists end up with fish in ammonia soup without that sort
of advice.





 




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