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Old 11-09-2012, 01:15 AM   #11 
ao
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well since you have filters... i recommend getting a liquid test kit and cycling your tanks!
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:33 AM   #12 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finnfinnfriend View Post
Yeah usually for that size tank with a filter you would need to do 2 50% changes a week. One with a gravel vac and one water only. But I have heard bad things about under gravel filters so to be on the safe side I would do 1 50% and 1 100%

EDIT: sorry just read the rest. Yeah just remove the filter.
UGF's in my opinion are an exceptional biological filter, like all things you have to know how to maintain and set them up. I find that in a small tank 10 gal and under they provide low water currents ideal for bettas and killies. I have a cycled stable 1.5 gal hex that has a ugf that i keep rcs. It's old school basic & reliable biological filtration.
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:00 AM   #13 
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An undergravel filter is really just a plastic plate that covers the bottom of the aquarium. The plate has many small holes or slots in it. The exact physical appearance varies from one brand to another, but all work on exactly the same principle.


The undergravel filter plate is covered with aquarium gravel. Located at each back corner of the plate is a lift tube that extends from the plate to the top of the tank.
The aquarium water is drawn up the lift tube along with bubbles from an air stone at the bottom or by a small motor, called a powerhead, at the top. This pulls water from under the plate, which in turn draws water down through the gravel.
As the water passes across the grains of gravel, the nitrifying bacteria living there use the dissolved oxygen in the water to metabolize the ammonia and nitrite. The grains of gravel offer a huge total surface area for the bacteria to colonize, and the steady water movement ensures that enough oxygen will be available to support the large colonies.
As a result, the aquarium will house more than enough nitrifying bacteria to complete the nitrogen cycle, and the fish will have a healthy environment.
In addition to being a biological filter, the undergravel filter acts as a mechanical filter because it catches solids as they pass into the gravel bed.
Unfortunately, this actually works against the biological filtration process because as the spaces between the pieces of gravel fill with particles, the flow of oxygenated water past the bacteria is reduced. Over time, the effectiveness of the biological filtration is significantly impaired.




I don't filter anything under 10 gallons but if you want to have a filter, I would look into something other then an undergravel filter. I have never used any of these myself but maybe look into either a sponge filter or Penn Plax's small world filter. Both require the use of an air pump. Teta also has one called a tetra 3i that is for tanks up to 3 gallons and that one also uses a air pump.

This is the small world filter:
Note: Pic from amazon so those goldies are NOT mine.


Quote:
  • Helps keep your small aquarium healthy and looking beautiful.
  • Specifically designed for small aquariums up to 5 gallons.
  • Fits almost any small aquarium shape or size, and is compatible with any air pump.
  • Clears discoloration and removes harmful contaminants & odors.
  • High quality carbon/zeolite cartridge for chemical filtration and a foam block filter for mechanical & biological filtration
http://www.amazon.com/Small-World%C2...+1+gallon+tank

Sponge filter for up to 5 gallons - sponge filters are supposed to be one of the best for biological filtration. Plus they are gentle enough to use with bettas and fry
http://www.amazon.com/Lees-Round-Dua...+1+gallon+tank

Tetra 3i
http://www.amazon.com/Tetra-Whisper-...etra+3i+filter
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:25 AM   #14 
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+1 to the test kit suggestion by Aokashi. You never want to get the water to the point where it is a different color, but equally important - you want to make sure that the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate levels are where they should be. That was my mistake when I first got into fish keeping... the water was crystal clear, but my fish were dying... now I know better.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:08 AM   #15 
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A good small filter if you want to cycle a nano tank is the Hagan Elite Mini Filter - the entire filter, which is small, is submerged in the tank - so no airstones or airpumps needed and it's very quiet. It uses one sponge which is both the mechanical and bio filtration - easy to clean and never needs to be replaced. The outflow is adjustable both in the flow itself and the direction of the flow. Awesome little filter. It's rated up to 3 gallons but it does fine up to 5 gallons with just a single betta in the tank.
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:08 PM   #16 
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Another amazing way to filter is live plants. If you have enough established plants you could get away with only one 50% change a week. Plus the bettas love live plants.
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:05 PM   #17 
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As soon as Scully is done being medicated, I can put the filter media back in and start cycling his 5gal.

I wasn't sure if it was even possible to cycle a 2 gal tank, there are a lot of conflicting views on it. If it's possible to cycle with the undergravel filter, I will just leave it be, otherwise I will just remove the filter and do more frequent water changes. I might look into the tiny filters too, though, if they are supposed to work better than the UGF.

Thanks everyone for replying!
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:34 PM   #18 
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If you are not skilled with ugf set up & maintenance( i have been using them for over 40 yrs) and know how to keep them tweeked so they are highly effective. You might find that the bubble up sponge filters pictured in the prior posts would be more user friendly, or perhaps use plants as has been suggested. Just my opinion that 100% water changes can be stressful ( much less stressful than swimming ammonia though)
and human nature being what it is adjust your tank housekeeping to what you can reasonably keep up.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:40 PM   #19 
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I agree, 100% water changes are stressful on me and the fish! Like I said before, I don't mind using the gravel vac and siphoning the tank that way, and doing smaller changes more frequently. Is the big thing with UGF just keeping the plates clear of debris? Any tips on how to cycle a 2 gal tank with UGF? I would like to keep trying with the filter if it will make things easier on me and the fish without having to do those 100% changes...
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:36 PM   #20 
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I've never used a UGF but I imagine the cycling process is the same as it is with any filtered tank.
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