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Thread: Bought a new cichlid, red devil

  1. #25

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    Hi Spec,

    I forgot to answer one of your questions. I'd change the carbon about every 4-6 weeks. You might think of buying your own small nylon filter bag (Lee's makes a couple of sizes that are excellent) and then buying a jar of aquarium carbon. I prefer Marineland "Black Diamond" Carbon as you can use half as much as other brands -- or say half as much as what comes in your AC 500 carbon insert -- and get just as much cleaning action out of it. Black Diamond carbon is very active and very good. It's more expensive but if you use less than normal it goes further and ends up cheaper and better [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img]. If you make your own carbon insert with the nylon bag and jar of carbon you will save money over time. Of course, buying the ready made carbon insert is quicker and easier. Avoid carbon with discus and alot of catfish species. It seems to irritate their body slime and fin membrane for some reason. Corys and some tetras -- like bleeding heart tetras -- can end up finless in tanks heavily filtered with top grade carbon.

    Bobby

  2. #26
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    in response to BigGun..

    "When one's budget is tight or one has a small tank, an UGF is the best way to get a good biological filter"

    why? what difference does a a tight budget or a small tank make? a small power filter costs the same as a UGF..probably less actually. and how does a small tank make any difference?
    power filters work just fine on 10 gallon tanks. size makes no difference.

    "Vacuuming the gravel when one does a water change takes care of most of the mulm -- about as well as the usual outside power filter"

    sorry..but that is simply un-true.
    with a UGF, a LOT of mulm collects *under* the plate, where vaccuming cant reach it..so vaccuming simply cant remove a lot of the mulm under the plate..it just stays there..forever.
    but with a power filter, simply rinsing out the filter floss in tank water (as opposed to tap water, because tank water wont kill the bacteria of the biofilter) removes ALL the mulm that has collected in the filter! all of it..none left. MUCH cleaner water and tank as a result.

    "One does not need the little carbon inserts for UGF's if one is doing water changes, so there is nothing to continuely buy for an UGF except repalcement airstones once a year -- $2."

    true..but inserts for power filters cost very little too..and really dont need to be replaced very often. I just keep rinsing out the floss on my whispers and re-using them...maybe put in a new one once a year..cost --$4
    its still worth the *slight* cost increase over the huge drawback of a much dirtier tank with a UGF.

    also, no one needs carbon.. ever..for anything.
    total waste of money, it does nothing that water changes cant do better. (btw, im talking only freshwater here..not getting into salt water)

    my big issue with UGFs is they create dirty tanks..and they do nothing a power filter cant do just as well..so why would anyone bother? lots of drawbacks to UGFs..and no benefits whatsoever.

    Scot

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    Hi Scottychaos,

    <<<why? what difference does a a tight budget or a small tank make? a small power filter costs the same as a UGF..probably less actually. and how does a small tank make any difference?
    power filters work just fine on 10 gallon tanks. size makes no difference.>>

    Small power filters offer very weak and fragile biological filtration and the larger ones, like Emperors, that are also good biological filters, are too large for small tanks. An UGF provides a small tank with very good biological filtration.


    <<<sorry..but that is simply un-true.
    with a UGF, a LOT of mulm collects *under* the plate, where vaccuming cant reach it..so vaccuming simply cant remove a lot of the mulm under the plate..it just stays there..forever.
    but with a power filter, simply rinsing out the filter floss in tank water (as opposed to tap water, because tank water wont kill the bacteria of the biofilter) removes ALL the mulm that has collected in the filter! all of it..none left. MUCH cleaner water and tank as a result.>>>


    It is fairly easy to siphon mulm from under the UGF plate. One just has to take the top off the lift tube and pull out the airstone tube and then run a siphon hose down the uplift tube of the UGF and much of the mulm under the plate will be siphoned off. Also, by stirring the gravel well with your hand before vacuuming increases the amount of mulm one can siphon off. If mulm is a serious problem, one can do a 50-80% water change 3-4 days running and all that vacuuming will make the gravel extremely clean.
    A Power Filter does not remove all the mulm from a tank. A good deal of it still settles on and into the gravel and must be vacuumed as one would with an UGF. Mulm is not necessarily "dirty". One does not need a pristine tank for it to be "clean". This is an issue with discus breeders due to the extremely low bacteria content of many of the discus' natural habitats.
    At different times for certain tetra, killifish and Betta species, I have had tanks with complete 1 inch thick coverings of peat moss across the bottom -- pretty mulmy and "dirty" but actually very clean. It is impossible to "vacuum" peat moss to clean it or to use either an UGF or a Power Filter with it.


    <<<One does not need the little carbon inserts for UGF's if one is doing water changes, so there is nothing to continuely buy for
    true..but inserts for power filters cost very little too..and really dont need to be replaced very often. I just keep rinsing out the floss on my whispers and re-using them...maybe put in a new one once a year..cost --$4
    its still worth the *slight* cost increase over the huge drawback of a much dirtier tank with a UGF.>>>

    I agree that carbon is useless if one does regular partial water changes and I agree that one can reuse the pre-formed filter inserts and save money, but I believe UGFs form larger and richer bacteria beds for cycling ammonia than do many popular power filters.

    <<<also, no one needs carbon.. ever..for anything.
    total waste of money, it does nothing that water changes cant do better. (btw, im talking only freshwater here..not getting into salt water)>>>

    I agree.

    <<<my big issue with UGFs is they create dirty tanks..and they do nothing a power filter cant do just as well..so why would anyone bother? lots of drawbacks to UGFs..and no benefits whatsoever.>>>

    I believe they do have benefits most small Power Filters do not have and their one drawback -- storing mulm in the gravel -- is easily corrected with consistant partial water changes and vacuuming. UGFs allow for wiggle room while a new hobbyist learns the ropes. Small Power Filters do not have the same rich bacteria beds when used alone and so offer less margin of error. Needless to say, I prefer Jumbo corner filters and Eheims as biological filters to most Power Filters, UGFs and Sponge Filters but they all have a place and all have both good and bad qualities. Some people just use plants and water changes to filter their tanks without any mechanical filters whatsoever.
    I agree that bare bottomed tanks are best but few people want that look -- I do and have for 30 years.
    Of course, a reverse flow UGF does not use the gravel to store mulm and they make a great biological filter when used with a Power Filter to pick up the mulm in the water.
    The needs of discus are more extreme than for most fish -- although Nothobranchius requirements are tough too -- and I am always a little afraid that if we set unnecessarily high standards for more forgiving fish we will both take the fun out of the hobby and chase away a newbie's adventure and excitment. People shouldn't feel that every choice they made was wrong and hurtful when a bit of friendly advice and a nudge here and there can make their hobby work just fine and allow them to feel good about what they are trying to do.

    Bobby

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    Stupid question here: what would happen if you used gravel and not have an undergravel filter?
    I love undergravel filters for small tanks and small fish, but when you get to the bigger fish like pacus, the undergravel filter makes a very dirty tank [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img]

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    Hi Spec,

    <<<but when you get to the bigger fish like pacus, the undergravel filter makes a very dirty tank >>>

    Not if you feed them only grapes as they never get to eat [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img] [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img] [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img] .

    Bobby

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    Hey scotty, I read what you posted, seems like you needa be hanging out with the dudes on predatory fish, shouldnt come over here doing that, to many nice people are here that actually understand people, over there, they talk more than they listen, just like you. How many times have I said I know he needs a bigger tank, I think this makes about 20 or 30. Im moving to kentucky, so hes in the 10 gallon for now. I dont like you posting on this forum...ya know what forget it, I can already see that you have the true potential to be a jerk, im not gonna talk to you anymore done. I AM tottaly aware I need a bigger tank, I am not gonna start flames on my favorite site, I love this place, I dont however like you. You sounded really dumb when you said "All UGF's do is collect bacteria" Because....thats exactly what I need for the 6 week cycling period.
    &quot;That guy looks like pant food, toooo meeee&quot;
    -Little shop of horrors.

    &quot;Now, this thing smells like ****&#33;&quot;
    -College proffeser smelling my corpse plant.
    ^Just thought id put that in there, it was pretty funny when he said it.

  7. #31

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    Scotty, you have a pretty ROTTEN attitude, and im having a hard time holding back the "Hulk" in me. I'd appreciate if you wouldnt give anymore of your 2 cents, and leave here to go hang out with the fish nerds on predatory fish, cause it seems like you know tons about fish, and nothing about VFT's...lol...lol... I can picture you sitting out on a boat with rubber boots up to your shoulders, casting out a line with a huge white beard down to your feet. Anyways, leave, go hang out with the people on predatory fish, this site is clean, and everyone is nice here, we dont need one urchin polluting the sea.
    &quot;That guy looks like pant food, toooo meeee&quot;
    -Little shop of horrors.

    &quot;Now, this thing smells like ****&#33;&quot;
    -College proffeser smelling my corpse plant.
    ^Just thought id put that in there, it was pretty funny when he said it.

  8. #32
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    Hey now, please all... lets not do this in yet another forum.

    The whole issue about the tank is solved and settled. Let's let a sleeping fish sleep!

    Spec, I haven't used an undergravel filter in any tank for well over 10 years. I feel that with adequate power filtration (like any of the emperor series) that an undergravel filter is just not needed. I think to many it's a matter of personal opinion, it is a fact that most planted tanks (which is what I used to run exclusively) do better without UGFs, some people do have good results with them and plants together, but generally, the type of gravel/substrate on needs with a planted tank is incompatible with a UGF.

    So, what would happen if you turned one off? The gravel bed would probably experience some die off due to reduced oxygen levels, and your amonia would go up a little bit for a while, as the eco-system finds it's new balance.

    If you add or already have a filter such as the emperor series that haev bio-wheels, then I beleive they will pick up the slack, there is an incredible amount of surface area to them, and it boggles my mind every time I read the numbers (though I can't recall them off the top of my head.

    There are other types of biological filters that can effectively replace a UGF as well, one is a fluidized bed filter, they offer an absolutely amazing amount of bio-filtration, with one horrendous drawback, lose power for as much as five minutes and the fluidized bed is toast, the bacteria die, and your tank chemistry is going to be out of whack for months. Many people that run fluidized beds keep them on a battery backup. I ran one once, wasn't impressed (though it was a very cheap model).

    Oh, and after years of learning, I would go so far as to say, in fresh water, that carbon is detrimental, not just worthless, it sucks out and absorbs food for your bio filter... however, on the flipside, when it becomes inert and worthless, if you leave it in (after it's dumped it's amonia back into the system (which sucks) the carbon makes an excellent place for beneficial bacteria to colonize!

    I would say a UGF is adequage for a small community aquarium on a 10 gallon, with proper maintenance it can get the job done. I think there are better options, but it is adequate. I personally however think aside from Bettas and your occasional small species that needs a solitary tank that 10 gallons are to small. I wish that the industry would change, and realize that a small tank should be for an advanced hobbyist, not a beginner. Simply put, the smaller the eco-system the more rapidly things go wrong with it, i.e. a 10 gallon tank with a capuful of amonia added to it is in a lot worse shape than a 100 gallon with a capful, the chemistry change is wildly different. (Don't add amonia to your tank unless you are doing a fishless cycle&#33[img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img] (And learn from scotty and don't keep adding it! LOL! ) (just taking a playful jab their bro&#33[img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]

    Someday I hope to have a retail store front, a fish store, and I can gurantee you that I will encourage every beginner to start with at least a 30, beginners are prone to over-stock, are still learning the ends and out and a 30 is simply far more forgiving, and far more versatile in what you can put on it (filters and lights). I think the 30 gallon eclipse is an excellent beginners tank. (they even have new power compact fittings so you can convert it easily to have enough light to do a reef, though I think 30 is to small for reef keeping for any but the more experienced (not neccissarily advanced) hobbyists.)

    Oh, and on washing filters to get the mulm out... one of the first things I did when i started with the emperor 400's was throw out the media cartridges for putting carbon and other stuff in, and I stuck in 2 more floss pads (with carbon since they came with it.) The way the emperor 400 is arranged is that there are two flow channels out to the bio-wheels, on each side, there are 2 layers of cartridges. When the first set of cartridges got dirty (the ones that were exposed to the most junk) I would pull them out and move the second cartridge into the first slot, wash the cartridge I had removed with tap water (probably killing off a ton of bacteria) and then put it back in the second slot. Since the carbon's effectiveness wasn't a big deal to me, I could continue this process indefinately or until a pad just got to ratty to use. The benefit of this method, is that filter 1 always is the most biologically advanced filter, when two is cleaned and placed in behind it, 1 colonizes 2, to becomes 1, 1 becomes 2, and the process repeats like clockwork every couple of weeks... in that way, while I was never allowing those pads to achieve their maximum level of bio-active culture, I was maintaining a balance, and in aquariums, balance is everything. (that doesn't change the point that an emperor 400 is practically a 10 galloni n and of itself and should not be put on a 10 gallon if you could even make it fit! (that is what... 400 gallons an hour, at 10 gallons (probably closer to 9 or 8 after decorations and gravel) total capacity, your turning your water volume over a total of 40 times an hour! I think (I am horrible at math) that that comes around to 6.6 gallons a minute... that's faster than most water faucets I think, and would not be just one current that was to powerful, but three, one from the intake, and 1 one from each return...

    I am babbling now.. hehh...
    \"Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself: \"Mankind\". Basically, it\'s made up of two separate words - \"mank\" and \"ind\". What do these words mean ? It\'s a mystery, and that\'s why so is mankind.\" ~ Jack Handey

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