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Author Topic: Under gravel filters  (Read 1046 times)
Caffuss
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Under gravel filters
« on: December 12, 2011, 12:56:04 PM »

I have a 20 gallon tank with two fancy gold fish, live plants an undergravel filter and a second nature whisper 3 power filter. My plants are planted in a plastic bowl covered with gravel to prevent extra water movement around the roots. I also have a 55 gallon tank...waiting to be set up...I have an under gravel filter for it as well...trying to decide if I should use it or not?
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scrivens345
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Re: Under gravel filters
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2011, 02:51:26 PM »

I'm afraid under-gravel filters just don't cut the mustard with goldfish. You need a 100L/h power head , or better still an external filter. Grin
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Nossie
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Re: Under gravel filters
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2011, 04:09:50 PM »

Don't bother with under gravel filters! Smiley
Goldfish need filters with lots of bio filter media, so an external canister filter would be much better!
UG filters just draw the dirt into the gravel and you'll kind of defeat their purpose by vacuuming the gravel as frequently as you'll have to when keeping goldfish. The UGs don't have nearly enough power either, in a goldfish tank you need filtration for 10 times the tank volume, so in a 55 gal you'll need a filter that turn 550 gallons per hour Smiley
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Caffuss
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Re: Under gravel filters
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2011, 04:18:45 PM »

 :oWow...how can you have the water going so fast when gold fish do not like a lot of water movement? ?Since I alreay have an ug filter, i was planing to use it along with powerfilters....one power filter for each side of the tank..which ones are the best for the money? The ug will add more oxegen to the water and the bubbles are in the tubes so they dont disturb the gold fish. As long as I vacum the gravel..it should be okie?
Thank you
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scrivens345
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Re: Under gravel filters
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2011, 06:01:37 PM »

(Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.) is a good hang-on filter
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Caffuss
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Re: Under gravel filters
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2011, 07:57:11 PM »

How big is that filter does it go inside the tank? I was thinking of an outside power filter...becuase I know how those work, I've used them before and I have a whiper power filter.
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Nossie
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Re: Under gravel filters
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2011, 05:17:09 AM »

Nah, just leave the UG filter Smiley It really isn't going to do any good.
Even though there are really big internal filters available, I'd definitely go for an external one, because of the large amounts of space inside for beneficial bacteria to grow! Smiley
A member on the forum is recommending a filter called Aquatop: (Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.)
This one is even the proper size for your tank! Cheesy And that price is amazing, I have an Eheim external filter, about the same size, but about twice that price!

Now, a lot of filtration doesn't mean that the fish will be bothered, these filters are in wide use after all Smiley Just hook it up to the tank, and make sure you put the intake and outtake tubes on the same side of the tank, this way the circulation will be the best in the tank! Also, try to put the spraybar just by the surface to allow for maximum surface agitation and it should be just right! In case your goldfish will start looking bothered by the current, you could just move the spraybar a little higher over the water. This will be louder than it needs to be and possibly change the circulation a little bit for the worse (not bad, just not optimal), but it should make the current a little weaker.
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scrivens345
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Re: Under gravel filters
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2011, 05:45:58 AM »

Amazing price Nossie...just wish we could get those sort of prices here

 
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Nossie
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Re: Under gravel filters
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2011, 04:46:22 PM »

Me too! D8
As soon as I've got a credit card, I'm ordering one from the UK Amazon site!! It's even more powerful that the Eheim, and it would be just ideal if I could run both on the goldfish tank Smiley
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Caffuss
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Re: Under gravel filters
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2011, 06:21:09 PM »

Karma, does good bacteria grow when you use a UV light? Theres one in that filter, I also want to use live plants....I'm sorry I should have been more specific...I'm just looking for some good power filters that hang on the back of the tank....I know how to use them. I want to put one on each side of the 60 gallon tank. The other outside filters..I'm not sure were I could put them, my kids might mess with them.
 I have heard before that if you have live plants you shouldnt need water changes, but I'm hearing now, that is false.
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Skwishee
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Re: Under gravel filters
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2011, 03:15:25 AM »

Yes good bacteria will grow =) (I think the UV light is usually in a separate area to the growing bacteria?)
Also if you have a filter with UV capabilities on an aquarium, you don't have to have the UV light on all the time Wink I'm thinking of getting one and so I'll leave the UV off but if the water ever gets algae switch it on, or I have heard of UV helping with fighting disease, but I'm not sure if it helps specific illnesses or not... I'll look into it and let you know what I find  Smiley

And yes, when keeping goldfish, I'm afraid you will have to do weekly water changes, regardless of live plants, although it is true plants do absorb some of the harmful toxins like Nitrate, they will not absorb everything harmful in the tank! So for goldfish weekly water changes is essential  Smiley

As it has already been said, external filters are recommended for goldfish, because as a filter type, it provides the most space and room for beneficial bacteria  Smiley How old are your children may I ask? Could you talk to them and explain the filter is to not be touched? Or could you put the filter out of the way like in a stand? (Not sure what your tank is on top of, to really comment there).
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Nossie
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Re: Under gravel filters
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2011, 05:14:16 AM »

UV lights will help kill of parasites, so in case you have accidentally introduced a new fish or plant and forgotten to quarantine, you can switch on the UV light and hope for the best.
However, putting one filter on each side of the tank will mess up the currents in the tank and the filters won't be catching as much dirt as they could. And for that size of tank, most internal filters are simply too small, they wouldn't reach far enough in the tank and end up hanging mid-way down, not helping much.

Many people keep the external filters in a cabinet under the tank, you could easily just prepare this yourself by measuring where the hoses would go and then drill some holes in the back board of the cabinet. I definitely agree with Skwishee though, I think you should at least try to explain to your kids not to mess with the filter... Smiley

And it's a complete lie about not having to do water changes if you have live plants, regardless of the size or kind of fish you keep. It needs to be changed WEEKLY in all systems! For tropicals 30% is usually a good idea and for goldfish no less than 50-60% depending on water quality. Here's more info about maintaining the tank, leading to more info about the nitrogen cycle in a tank: (Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.) Hope it helps Cheesy You can also check some other filter discussions on the forum, but everyone would (as you've seen) recommend external filters. Or you may have to keep the stocking levels way down while changing water more often.
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Caffuss
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Re: Under gravel filters
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2011, 04:53:34 PM »

Well...I'm sorry but I'm not good at trying new things. I really want to use power filters...I will not use the under G filters..if it does no good. My boys are 4 and 3 and they love opening cabnits and messing with things. Powerfilters hang on the top back of the tank next to the wall so there safe. So, I just want to best most powerful powerfilter..if the intake tube doesnt reach near the bottom of the tank I can add extra tubing to extend it, so that it will. Right now a have an old whiper 3 power filter on my 20 gallon...its a good one that uses to large filter carts. But for my 50 gallon I wanted more filteration, so I was going to use two...but this is not good? So should I just use one super great one in the middle of the tank??  Who knows where I can get one super power filter?
  Thanks  Grin
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scrivens345
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Re: Under gravel filters
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2011, 06:33:49 PM »

If you are going the hang-on route , then you would need TWO of these. They should be set up at the same end of the tank and the flow should be directed lengthways. Extra oxygenation can be provided by purchasing an external air-pump& stone ; spray-bars may be fitted.

(Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.)

For not much more money  you could purchase an external canister
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Caffuss
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Re: Under gravel filters
« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2011, 03:42:35 PM »

Ok so I decided to look for a canester filter, but I haven't seen one that goes faster than around 350 gph and I think I need 500 gph for a 60 gallon GF tank??
Thanks
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scrivens345
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Re: Under gravel filters
« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2011, 04:59:45 PM »

try these boys they should have the turnover you require

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Nossie
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Re: Under gravel filters
« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2011, 05:10:10 PM »

The Aquatop filter I linked to earlier in the thread is easily powerful enough Smiley It filters 525 gallons per hour Smiley
Here it is again: (Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.)
Just try to find this one in some shop around there or online! Smiley (I'd get it online though since that's always cheaper.)

The ones scrivens linked to are also probably good filters, but the size you'd need is twice the price of this one up here.
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Caffuss
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Re: Under gravel filters
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2011, 02:45:20 PM »

Thank you everyone Grin
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