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undergravel filters...........yes or no?

Discussion in 'Fish and Aquarium - all types' started by Libba, Oct 7, 2004.

  1. Libba

    Libba New Member

    I have had an aquarium for many years and I have had an undergravel filter for most of them. In the past few days I have come to realize my nitrate level is quite high in my 55 gal tank. There are 6 goldfish in there. Yesterday I had a discussion with a guy at the pet store and he thinks my out of control nitrate levels are due to my undergravel filter. So, is this possible?
  2. Hooben

    Hooben New Member

    Hi Libba,
    First of all, welcome to our forum!
    You can have elevated nitrate levels with any type of filter system. Really the only way to rid the tank of nitrate is by vaccuming the gravel and doing a water change. Nitrate is the last part of you cycle and has to be removed in this way. Goldfish really do create a lot more waste than your average fish, so you may consider buying a hang on the back, or cannister filter anyways. You will definitely notice a difference in water clarity with one of these filters. Goldfish are also more suited to large ponds, and may outgrow you aquarium unless it is very large. If your goldfish are fairly new, then be careful. They are tough fish to keep in the aquarium. Let us know if you have more questions.

  3. Libba

    Libba New Member

    I have a canister filter and a whisper filter with the double chambers as well as an undergravel filter. So I thought I had enough filteration to cover the few fish I have. I also did a 30% water change and vacuumed the gravel when I did the water change. OH, and this is a great site I found it after suffering a bit of insomnia.
  4. Hooben

    Hooben New Member

    Well, if you have all of that filtration you could easily rid yourself of the undergravel. The plates are just harboring all kinds of filth underneath.
    Sounds like good advice, but i dont know if that will improve you nitrate.
  5. sushi101

    sushi101 New Member

    i have found that using a filter like an AQUACLEAR 300 that has a 3 stage filtration system (it has an ammonia removal type media) in conjunction with an undergravel filter, has kept my tank (55gal.) clearer and cleaner than ever before. i do a 5 gal. water change once a week using (START RIGHT) water conditioner. i replace the charcoal/ammonia bags every 2 1/2 months. this seems to work great for me, AQUACLEAR makes a quality product. buy one if you can. i have never tested my water for anything but ph. levels(7.3) and i have have fish that are 4 years old.
    (good luck with the goldfish, i started with fantails and got sick of all the work.)
  6. OneWolvesDream

    OneWolvesDream New Member

    Its late but welcome! I wanted to trythe under ground filter at one stage, i have heard that the filter blows the gravel outa the way and when you turn it off the good bacteria is killed. Just small things i heave heard that say its not the best of filters.
  7. Libba

    Libba New Member

    Thanks for all of the advice.........Today I moved the fish to a 20 gal tank with 50% of the water coming from the old tank and the other half of the water was fresh water and the nitrate level came down a bit. I removed the undergravel filter and flushed water through the gravel and refilled the tank and now there are barely any nitrates in the tank but now I am concerned about shocking the fish when I put them back in the 55 gal. tank. So, what is the best way to reintroduce the fish back to the tank?
  8. OneWolvesDream

    OneWolvesDream New Member

    depends...are you using the same filter or a new one? if a new one do a fishless cycle for 2 weeks, if you are using the same one, put it in and do a small cycle for the next few days.

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