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Oh.. My.. God... (UGF ! Siphoning !)
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Joined: 21 Aug 2003

PostPosted: 2003.09.02(Tue)11:14    Post subject: Oh.. My.. God... (UGF ! Siphoning !) Reply with quote

My tank has been running for about a month now, and uses a Powerhead 201 under-gravel filter. I was an idiot, and didn't know that I had to siphon my gravel, I saw the man at the store doing it, so I asked afew questions, so I decided to buy one. I got home and tried it out. Oh boy do I have a problem! When I started it, I was looking in the bucket, to see if the water was coming through, which it was. After about 5 minutes I looked in the tank, and I could barely see the fish! All the gunk came up from the gravel, and completely filled my tank! It looked more like fog then water!! Does this mean my UGF is not working, am I siphoning wrong! Or what ?!?! I'm scared to think that my fish have been living without a proper filter for a month or so. I am using fish to cycle.
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Joined: 11 Apr 2003
Location: Southend, UK

PostPosted: 2003.09.02(Tue)14:11    Post subject: Reply with quote

All the gunk is the fishes waste that has accumulated. I would keep trying to take it out, maybe try using a less "vigourous" technique lol. But seriously if you leave it in there, it will rot/ decay and you'll get a bunch of problems.
Try adding lots of floating plants and some ghost shrimps to help clean up your tank. Also whilst your cleaning the gravel, try running an extra filter with some filter floss in it to clean the water. Too much particles in the water irritates your fishes gills, and don't even think about adding that stuff that clears up your water that some people try when they have cloudy water.
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Joined: 21 Aug 2003

PostPosted: 2003.09.02(Tue)14:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't understand how the floating plants would help Confused lol.

I don't need to do anything to the water, because after I have done the Siphoning, and all the waste is floating in the water, after about 5minutes it will settle again.

I rang up my local fish store, and he came and popped into my house on his way home, just so I could demonstrate to him what I meant. He said that my filter definately isn't working. So I am off to buy another one tomorrow. He said I really should take all the water and gravel out of the tank, and start again. My problem being I have no where to keep the fish, I asked if he could take them and keep them at the store, but he said he didn't have enough room. I have; 1 Gold Gourami, 6 Black Widows and 6 Harlequins.

He said that the best thing to do would be to start again, taking all the water out, clean all the gravel, or even buy some more, and buy a new filter. Put the fish in buckets whilst I refill the tank, and hope that they make it through the cycle of the new filter.

I can't explain what a state my gravel is, when I try and siphon it.

Is my fish store guy talking sense? or just a load of twoddle?
Please give me your advice!
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: AZ

PostPosted: 2003.09.02(Tue)17:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, don't toss out all the water and gravel! There is some good bacteria within all that murk, and you don't want to toss them!

Okay, I must be going study from physics homework...but how big is this tank?

My opinion:

Since this tank has been set up for a month, it may be in the early cycling process, which is not a bad thing.

I would toss the UGF. Those things are not worth the plastic they're made of.

Next....keep the fish in the tank while you run to the store, and buy a HOB filter. My personal favorite is the AquaClear (if you opt for this brand, ignore the ammonia chips--those are worthless!, and get two sponges instead). Set up the filter. Toss in some filter floss on top of the two sponges as well, as ultra suggested.

While you're at the pet store, see if they have any java fern, java moss, anubias, or hornwort. Pick yourself up some--plants help the cycling process go easier on the fish.

Don't feed your fish for the next day or two. They'll be fine without food. In the wild, no one feeds them daily!

I'd invest in a good test kit as well---knowing what your ammonia and nitrites and nitrates are will help your cycling a lot.

May also want to pick up something like StressCoat, to help keep your fishes' slime coats safe.

If you don't get a test kit right now, have the pet store test the water for you, and post the parameters'll help. Smile
But if you tame me, then we shall need each other....You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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Joined: 03 Mar 2003
Location: Brooklyn, NY

PostPosted: 2003.09.02(Tue)23:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

You definitely don't need to get new gravel. That guy probably just wants more of your money. All that muck is down there because your UGF is doing its job. It pulls that muck down and sets up a bacteria colony to eat it up. From now on just vacuum lightly over the top of the gravel, don't dig with it too much.

If you don't have any live plants I'd say hang on to the UGF. If you do have plants you should probably take it out.

If you want proof that the mucky mucks probably won't harm your fish...take a look at this:
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