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Greg and Susan - UGF

Posted By: Mr Leadfoot <leadfoot@sbcglobal.net>
Date: Monday, 26 August 2002, at 7:39 p.m.

Thought you'd be interested hearing about my experience.

You may recall that I've been having problems with cloudy water in one of my tanks. Well, here's what I found out.

I have three tanks:

1) AquaClear 150 Powerfilter, UGF, 2 Hagen Powerheads 301, 2 inches small gravel, 2 swords, several Pothos, 1 piece of grapewood

2) AquaClear Mini Powerfilter, 1 inch small gravel, 1 sword plant, 1 plastic plant, 1 silk plant, 1 piece of grapewood

3) AquaClear Mini, Powerfilter, NO gravel, 2 plastic plants, 1 silk plant, 1 pice of grapewood

Tanks 1 and 3 are ALWAYS crystal clear.

Tank 2 is ALWAYS cloudy. I added a Cell-Pore Bio Block for more surface for bacteria to grow. At the suggestion of another LOL member, I started gravel vaccuming everyday. I even started adding Nitromax starter bacteria at every water change or gravel vaccum. Doubled up on filter sponges, and tried using carbon for added bacteria colonization, and mechanical filtration. Nothing helped.

Yesterday, I siphoned half the water into buckets. I placed the power filter on a bucket and move the fish into the bucket with the filter. I removed the gravel, and placed a 1-piece Perfecto UGF plate in the tank. I placed new gravel on the plate, then added the old gravel. I added 1/4 new water, replaced the fish and saved tank water, then added new water to top off the tank. Without cleaning the filter, I put it back in operation.

Because this is a small tank, and normal placement of the powerhead would create too much current, I cut the uplift tube to accomodate for placing the powerhead about 2 inches above the gravel. I then attached an elbow onto the powerhead's water return output. I aimed the elbow toward the back wall of the tank facing upward, so water pulled from under the plate shoots upward toward the surface. This creates an upflow current, which in turn disipates in all directions, rather than a direct horizontal current, you know what I mean?

Anyway, after literally hours the tank was crystal clear. This morning it was still clear. I went in and repotted the sword that was in the tank, and it's still crystal clear.

My findings:

A powerfilter-only setup is fine with a no-gravel tank. Water is crystal clear.

However, if you have gravel and only a powerfilter, the water will always be cloudy (at least in my case). While I believe that some tanks will have more cloudiness in the water than others, a UGF-equipped tank's water will be clearer.

Moral for me is that if I want gravel, a UGF is a must.

I'm fortunate to have discovered this quite by accident. You see, I'm planning to build an entertainment center wall unit in my family room, that will stretch an entire wall. I'm going to build in the electronics and TV, as well as a four foot tank.

I initially thought I'd go with only powerfilters, but now there is NO way I will go without a UGF. Can you imagine what it would be like to watch TV and see a cloudy four foot wide tank next to it? Yeeeeccchhh! I'd probably have been killing myself trying to clear it up!


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