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Undergravel or Not?
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Morgy
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Joined: 06 Jul 2003
Location: Arizona, USA

PostPosted: 2003.11.17(Mon)0:41    Post subject: Undergravel or Not? Reply with quote

After reading a couple books and doing a little research online I have a question about which filter is best. I am under the impression that a undergravel with powerheads, combined with a small external power filter and a protein skimmer is a good filter for a beginner 29G fish only tank. But I really wanted to have a sand bottom because I think it looks the best and is most natural. I obviously can't have sand with an undergravel filter so I was wondering if there is a better alternative so I can have a sand bottom, or if I am completely wrong to begin with? Please Help!!

Thanks
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elchupacabra
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Joined: 04 Aug 2003

PostPosted: 2003.11.17(Mon)15:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

My guess is your completely wrong to begin with. I think everyone here would agree that an undergravel is the worst thing you could do with salt water. First of all undergravel usually uses silicon based gravel which will promote algae growth. Second it builds up nitrates, something you want to stay away from in salt water. Even if it is a fish only tank you will one day see a neat star fish or something and want it. but won't be able to buy it if you have an undergravel filter since undergravel filters provide too much oxegen preventing the growth of denitrafying bacteria. Don't worry though theres a much easyier way. A live sand bed and maybe some live rock. Just drop sand (sand for salt water tanks that is, not something you got off the beach) in the tank bottom (you should research how deep to make your sand bed) and put some power heads in the tank for no other reason than circulation along with your other filters you mentioned and the bacteria you want will grow in the sand.
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Morgy
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Joined: 06 Jul 2003
Location: Arizona, USA

PostPosted: 2003.11.17(Mon)22:21    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to make sure I am following you. Use live sand instead of the UG, external power filter, skimmer, and powerheads for circulation. Is live sand without live rock okay? because I would rather not get into LR just yet and I have read that LR typically isn't added to FO tanks because the fish will eat it's inhabitants.

Thank you for your reply!
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elchupacabra
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Joined: 04 Aug 2003

PostPosted: 2003.11.18(Tue)16:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

Use live sand instead of UG. But also use your external power filter and skimmer. Use your powerheads for circulation to oxegenate the water. I'll refrase: Use an external power filter, skimmer, powerheads and live sand.
You don't need the LiveRock its just sort of an added bonus for biological filtration. But if you don't want to get into that, the live sand will be sufficient at doing the same thing.

My system only has live sand, a few pieces of live rock, and power heads. So its pretty basic. The more filtration the better though, I'm just on a budget you see. If you add a skimmer and power filter to yours it would be a much better system.
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Solidsolo
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Joined: 29 Nov 2003
Location: Florida

PostPosted: 2003.11.29(Sat)10:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I have in my tank is live crushed coral at the bottom.. not even an inch thick...then I have several live rocks placed for the fish... Then neat thing is I only have 1 filtration system that takes care of all 3 stanges of filtration.. Biological, Chemical, and Mechanical.. I purchased the Emperor 400 filtration system and so far its been working like a dream. Its the only filter you need. Its alittle costly but its well worth it for the tank and the fish. Heres the link you can see the filter at: http://www.marineland.com/company/mediakit/pics/con_prod/packaging/EMP400_box.jpg
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karlas
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Joined: 07 Feb 2003

PostPosted: 2003.12.01(Mon)9:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

With Fo or Reef I would have one without ls and lr. Either way your fish eat stuff off the rock its a natural food source for them. Definitly dump the ugf and go with a sand bed.
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