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Double stacked 40g Breeders


James95

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If I wanted to switch to 40 breeders I would've ended up buying a whole new iron stand.

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I know this probably won't do you any good right now, but for future reference if you do decide to go with a 40 at some point you can get shelving from lowes/Home Depot relatively cheap that with work as a single or double stand.

I haven't done this myself yet, but have seen other setups.

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can't seem to link to pictures right now, but if you google '40 breeder double stand shelving' some links should come up with pics of how it looks and what shelving was used.

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ditch the undergravel filters! they are outdated technology, and have the potential to cause issues. There are so many better ways to filter a tank. I know some people love their UGFs, but with HOBs and Canisters I do not see the point ;)

That's what everyone tells me, lol! I'm just so used to them. Before I redid this 55g, I had the UGF running on the tank for 10 year (1999 to 2009) without any issues. Water was always clear and I never had water parameter issues. The fish did great!

It would be hard to break away. But I am considering it because I keep getting told to ditch them over and over again... Haha

Did you have goldfish at the time?

The main concern with UGFs is that they have more potential for anaerobic bacteria than other forms of filtration, and on top of that, getting to it to clean them is not an easy chore. Because goldies are diggers, anaerobic pockets have more potential to be disturbed and 'released' than in say a tank with small tropicals that don't disturb the substrate.

Obviously there are lots of people that have used them without issue, I just don't understand why you would bother with it when there are better forms of filtration. People used to use UGFs because that was the filtration option. I cannot see any benefit to them over HOBs, canisters, and sumps :idont

Makes sense! We used to have the tank heavily planted and kept apistos and rams in it. We rarely ever vacuumed the gravel but I'm sure the plants probably kept things stable. The tank was pretty filthy when I tore it down to redo it but I just attributed that to neglience.

I can see why things would go wrong with using a UGF in a goldfish tank. I'm even having a hard time finding one to fit a 40g breeder! Dr Foster and Smith still carries the size I would need. What if I ran each tank with an eheim canister and a pair of sponge filtera (one in each back corner) instead?

Does anyone here have firsthand experience using a UGF in a goldfish tank?

Count me in the undergravel filter camp. I've run them in conjunction with HOBs on goldfish tanks for years with much success.

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I wanted to write this again, in case it didn't quite come through.

Our (the mod team) position has always been that if you have a UGF and it's working for you, we wouldn't tell you to change. However, if you are someone seeking to set up a tank or seeking recommendations on filters to use, UGF is not on our list, only because there are so many other alternatives that work just as well. Frankly, we have a lot more experience with the other filtration systems, as well as the lingering concern that UGFs can pose problems.

It's not the UGFs don't work; they can and clearly do in these cases, and I am always glad to point them out. However, they don't appear to confer any advantages over the types of filtration, either. :)

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I wanted to write this again, in case it didn't quite come through.

Our (the mod team) position has always been that if you have a UGF and it's working for you, we wouldn't tell you to change. However, if you are someone seeking to set up a tank or seeking recommendations on filters to use, UGF is not on our list, only because there are so many other alternatives that work just as well. Frankly, we have a lot more experience with the other filtration systems, as well as the lingering concern that UGFs can pose problems.

It's not the UGFs don't work; they can and clearly do in these cases, and I am always glad to point them out. However, they don't appear to confer any advantages over the types of filtration, either. :)

Not only do they not offer any advantages, they offer some distinct disadvantages. Difficulty to maintain, needing to have gravel in your tank, and a lack of certain types of filtration if not set up properly. I agree with Alex that UGFs should not be considered for new setups, especially in this day and age.

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You guys a certainly entitled to your opinions. Mine is that UGFs are good filters for goldfish. If you listen to the advice given here, it was impossible to successfully keep goldfish in an aquarium before the advent of canister filters. The truth of the matter is, we kept goldfish in UGF tanks at a higher stocking density than what you guys recommend now for years. So, what gives? Canisters are great for keeping goldfish but you need to keep one goldfish per 20gal of water. I'm sorry, that advice doesn't work for me.

There are two areas where a canister is never going to approach the effectiveness of a UGF - surface area and residence time. I stock my tanks approximately 10gal per fish. My fish are happy, fat, and healthy. My $.02, YMMV.

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You guys a certainly entitled to your opinions. Mine is that UGFs are good filters for goldfish. If you listen to the advice given here, it was impossible to successfully keep goldfish in an aquarium before the advent of canister filters. The truth of the matter is, we kept goldfish in UGF tanks at a higher stocking density than what you guys recommend now for years. So, what gives? Canisters are great for keeping goldfish but you need to keep one goldfish per 20gal of water. I'm sorry, that advice doesn't work for me.

There are two areas where a canister is never going to approach the effectiveness of a UGF - surface area and residence time. I stock my tanks approximately 10gal per fish. My fish are happy, fat, and healthy. My $.02, YMMV.

I have to disagree to an EXTREME extent. If kept with proper media, a canister can offer just as much, if not more area for bacteria than an UGF. The 20 gallon per fish recommendation is not for water quality (in a cycled tank), but for space for the fish. You could stock at 5 gallons per fish with a ton of filtration and 100% daily WCs, and even though the water params may be fine, this setup is FAR from ideal. Also, you most definitely do NOT need more filtration with a canister than you do with an UGF. Canisters offer much better filtration than UGFs in my opinion. I that were not the case, wouldn't everybody on this forum be Using UGFs?
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Hi Everyone,

Just a little update. Last weekend I tore the UGF plates out of my 55g and my 29g. They were a MESS. The water was disgusting and really nasty. I ran a power filter on each tank to clean up the mess as quickly as possible. After quite a few gravel vacs and water changes, the tank finally started to clear. In lieu of the the UGFs, I installed two sponge filters to supplement my canister. On the 29g I did the same, but with a corner filter.

I have to say, I'm quite glad I finally did this. My tanks no longer have a slight funky odor, and to be honest, my fish seem much more active. My parameters are stellar and the water is as clear as vodka, haha. My nitrates are much lower now too. It looks like my fish are swimming in air!

I would encourage anyone still using UGFs to just try tearing it out, even just as an experiment on one tank. UGFs certainly do still work but there are other filters out there that work even more efficiently. I'm by no means discrediting them. Heck, I still have one in my 10g. I'm just saying to keep and open mind and see where it takes you :-)

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You guys a certainly entitled to your opinions. Mine is that UGFs are good filters for goldfish. If you listen to the advice given here, it was impossible to successfully keep goldfish in an aquarium before the advent of canister filters. The truth of the matter is, we kept goldfish in UGF tanks at a higher stocking density than what you guys recommend now for years. So, what gives? Canisters are great for keeping goldfish but you need to keep one goldfish per 20gal of water. I'm sorry, that advice doesn't work for me.

There are two areas where a canister is never going to approach the effectiveness of a UGF - surface area and residence time. I stock my tanks approximately 10gal per fish. My fish are happy, fat, and healthy. My $.02, YMMV.

I have to disagree to an EXTREME extent. If kept with proper media, a canister can offer just as much, if not more area for bacteria than an UGF. The 20 gallon per fish recommendation is not for water quality (in a cycled tank), but for space for the fish. You could stock at 5 gallons per fish with a ton of filtration and 100% daily WCs, and even though the water params may be fine, this setup is FAR from ideal. Also, you most definitely do NOT need more filtration with a canister than you do with an UGF. Canisters offer much better filtration than UGFs in my opinion. I that were not the case, wouldn't everybody on this forum be Using UGFs?
Sorry Justin!..but at fifteen years old you can't have that much experience of undergravels!! you need to look at the bigger picture! I have undergravels left undisturbed longer than you have been alive!! I admire your enthusiasm but we all make our own decisions based on experience. :-)
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You guys a certainly entitled to your opinions. Mine is that UGFs are good filters for goldfish. If you listen to the advice given here, it was impossible to successfully keep goldfish in an aquarium before the advent of canister filters. The truth of the matter is, we kept goldfish in UGF tanks at a higher stocking density than what you guys recommend now for years. So, what gives? Canisters are great for keeping goldfish but you need to keep one goldfish per 20gal of water. I'm sorry, that advice doesn't work for me.

There are two areas where a canister is never going to approach the effectiveness of a UGF - surface area and residence time. I stock my tanks approximately 10gal per fish. My fish are happy, fat, and healthy. My $.02, YMMV.

I have to disagree to an EXTREME extent. If kept with proper media, a canister can offer just as much, if not more area for bacteria than an UGF. The 20 gallon per fish recommendation is not for water quality (in a cycled tank), but for space for the fish. You could stock at 5 gallons per fish with a ton of filtration and 100% daily WCs, and even though the water params may be fine, this setup is FAR from ideal. Also, you most definitely do NOT need more filtration with a canister than you do with an UGF. Canisters offer much better filtration than UGFs in my opinion. I that were not the case, wouldn't everybody on this forum be Using UGFs?
Sorry Justin!..but at fifteen years old you can't have that much experience of undergravels!! you need to look at the bigger picture! I have undergravels left undisturbed longer than you have been alive!! I admire your enthusiasm but we all make our own decisions based on experience. :-)

Not a problem, Steve. I definitely understand, it's just that some of the points that "LabRat99" mentioned are just not true. In fact, I was thinking of mentioning you in my post, saying that you have had success with UGFs. You must agree with me that 10 gallons per fish is not ideal just because you have an UGF, right? My point was that having an UGF doesn't allow 10 gallons per fish to be okay. :) My intentions were not to discourage him from buying an undergravel filter, but to let him know that having a UGF doesn't allow him to be stocking at 10 gallons per fish; if it did, I think everyone would be using UGFs! I'm glad that what you have is working for you. I have not, nor will I ever say that UGFs are ineffective, because it's simply not true, as you can vouch for, I'm sure. :)

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You guys a certainly entitled to your opinions. Mine is that UGFs are good filters for goldfish. If you listen to the advice given here, it was impossible to successfully keep goldfish in an aquarium before the advent of canister filters. The truth of the matter is, we kept goldfish in UGF tanks at a higher stocking density than what you guys recommend now for years. So, what gives? Canisters are great for keeping goldfish but you need to keep one goldfish per 20gal of water. I'm sorry, that advice doesn't work for me.

There are two areas where a canister is never going to approach the effectiveness of a UGF - surface area and residence time. I stock my tanks approximately 10gal per fish. My fish are happy, fat, and healthy. My $.02, YMMV.

I have to disagree to an EXTREME extent. If kept with proper media, a canister can offer just as much, if not more area for bacteria than an UGF. The 20 gallon per fish recommendation is not for water quality (in a cycled tank), but for space for the fish. You could stock at 5 gallons per fish with a ton of filtration and 100% daily WCs, and even though the water params may be fine, this setup is FAR from ideal. Also, you most definitely do NOT need more filtration with a canister than you do with an UGF. Canisters offer much better filtration than UGFs in my opinion. I that were not the case, wouldn't everybody on this forum be Using UGFs?

Sorry Justin!..but at fifteen years old you can't have that much experience of undergravels!! you need to look at the bigger picture! I have undergravels left undisturbed longer than you have been alive!! I admire your enthusiasm but we all make our own decisions based on experience. :-)

Not a problem, Steve. I definitely understand, it's just that some of the points that "LabRat99" mentioned are just not true. In fact, I was thinking of mentioning you in my post, saying that you have had success with UGFs. You must agree with me that 10 gallons per fish is not ideal just because you have an UGF, right? My point was that having an UGF doesn't allow 10 gallons per fish to be okay. :) My intentions were not to discourage him from buying an undergravel filter, but to let him know that having a UGF doesn't allow him to be stocking at 10 gallons per fish; if it did, I think everyone would be using UGFs! I'm glad that what you have is working for you. I have not, nor will I ever say that UGFs are ineffective, because it's simply not true, as you can vouch for, I'm sure. :)
Well put Justin! but i must make it clear to everyone that I run my undergravels with 2 500ltr per hour powerheads in tandem with a canister!! I agree with Justin on the stocking issues!!!! but I as an old school fish keeper do not work stocking levels out by the gallon=-O =-O I go purely by eye and instinct!!.... but hey that's me! if its not broken don't fix it!;-)
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You guys a certainly entitled to your opinions. Mine is that UGFs are good filters for goldfish. If you listen to the advice given here, it was impossible to successfully keep goldfish in an aquarium before the advent of canister filters. The truth of the matter is, we kept goldfish in UGF tanks at a higher stocking density than what you guys recommend now for years. So, what gives? Canisters are great for keeping goldfish but you need to keep one goldfish per 20gal of water. I'm sorry, that advice doesn't work for me.

There are two areas where a canister is never going to approach the effectiveness of a UGF - surface area and residence time. I stock my tanks approximately 10gal per fish. My fish are happy, fat, and healthy. My $.02, YMMV.

I have to disagree to an EXTREME extent. If kept with proper media, a canister can offer just as much, if not more area for bacteria than an UGF. The 20 gallon per fish recommendation is not for water quality (in a cycled tank), but for space for the fish. You could stock at 5 gallons per fish with a ton of filtration and 100% daily WCs, and even though the water params may be fine, this setup is FAR from ideal. Also, you most definitely do NOT need more filtration with a canister than you do with an UGF. Canisters offer much better filtration than UGFs in my opinion. I that were not the case, wouldn't everybody on this forum be Using UGFs?
Sorry Justin!..but at fifteen years old you can't have that much experience of undergravels!! you need to look at the bigger picture! I have undergravels left undisturbed longer than you have been alive!! I admire your enthusiasm but we all make our own decisions based on experience. :-)
Not a problem, Steve. I definitely understand, it's just that some of the points that "LabRat99" mentioned are just not true. In fact, I was thinking of mentioning you in my post, saying that you have had success with UGFs. You must agree with me that 10 gallons per fish is not ideal just because you have an UGF, right? My point was that having an UGF doesn't allow 10 gallons per fish to be okay. :) My intentions were not to discourage him from buying an undergravel filter, but to let him know that having a UGF doesn't allow him to be stocking at 10 gallons per fish; if it did, I think everyone would be using UGFs! I'm glad that what you have is working for you. I have not, nor will I ever say that UGFs are ineffective, because it's simply not true, as you can vouch for, I'm sure. :)
Well put Justin! but i must make it clear to everyone that I run my undergravels with 2 500ltr per hour powerheads in tandem with a canister!! I agree with Justin on the stocking issues!!!! but I as an old school fish keeper do not work stocking levels out by the gallon=-O =-O I go purely by eye and instinct!!.... but hey that's me! if its not broken don't fix it!;-)

Your tank looks pretty well stocked to me :) I don't know how many people I could trust with stocking based on their eye alone, but I definitely trust you. Maybe one day you could write a thread comparing your UGFs to your canister. :) If anyone ever asks about UGFs, I'll make sure I direct them to you. :)

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Justin, I don't believe LabRat was actually claiming that the UGF allowed him to stock at 10 per se. He was saying that he personally has a UGF that works, and he stocks at 10 and it also works for him. Two separate claims based upon his personal experience.

In this hobby, we can never discount personal experience. The forum offers guidelines for people starting out or having problems based upon the collective experience of people which suggests that these parameters offer the greatest chance of success. Truth is - there are long term member (many) stocked above 20, members with tropical fish in their tank, members with lower filtration and so on.. It's just that these members realise that they are pressing limits, and that their experience doesn't make good advice for everyone. That doesn't mean that their set-ups don't work for them. :)

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Justin, I don't believe LabRat was actually claiming that the UGF allowed him to stock at 10 per se. He was saying that he personally has a UGF that works, and he stocks at 10 and it also works for him. Two separate claims based upon his personal experience.

In this hobby, we can never discount personal experience. The forum offers guidelines for people starting out or having problems based upon the collective experience of people which suggests that these parameters offer the greatest chance of success. Truth is - there are long term member (many) stocked above 20, members with tropical fish in their tank, members with lower filtration and so on.. It's just that these members realise that they are pressing limits, and that their experience doesn't make good advice for everyone. That doesn't mean that their set-ups don't work for them. :)

"The truth of the matter is, we kept goldfish in UGF tanks at a higher stocking density than what you guys recommend now for years. So, what gives? Canisters are great for keeping goldfish but you need to keep one goldfish per 20gal of water. I'm sorry, that advice doesn't work for me." That sure sounds to me like he is saying that canisters allow for 20g/fish while UGFs mean you need less space per fish. I know that personal experience is part of what makes this hobby so unique, but if he is saying that he can stock at 10g/fish becuase of the UGF, I'd have to disagree. No filter can do that. Success with that would be due to undivided attention and diligent care.

Edited by Justin
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We are reading the statement differently, Justin. I read the third sentence as being a quotation, something Rat believes people here might say. He is disagreeing about two things -the stocking level and the filtration but hasn't said that ugh filters allow for more than canisters.

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Let's all please take a step back, take a deep breath, and recognize that we are all just having a discussion on what's best. There will be different experiences, and let's move on. :)

UGFs will be a contentious subject sometimes, but anything can be. :)

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Is it getting warm in here or is it just me.. :stars:pp

Sorry to jack your thread. My intent with my original post was just to let you know that my experience over many years using UGFs has been a positive one.

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Let's all please take a step back, take a deep breath, and recognize that we are all just having a discussion on what's best. There will be different experiences, and let's move on. :)

UGFs will be a contentious subject sometimes, but anything can be. :)

I don't have any quarrel with folks who choose to use canisters, HOBs, combos, whatever for filtration. What I do take issue to is the fact that anytime somebody pops up on here that has UGF filter or question about one, they immediately get peppered with replies about how bad they are, how they'll make your fish sick, have dead spots, cause acne, ad nauseum.

The fact is, if you put a decent layer of gravel down, have a decent air pump and airstones, and occasionally vacuum the gravel bed, UGFs are really quite good filters.

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Let's all please take a step back, take a deep breath, and recognize that we are all just having a discussion on what's best. There will be different experiences, and let's move on. :)

UGFs will be a contentious subject sometimes, but anything can be. :)

I don't have any quarrel with folks who choose to use canisters, HOBs, combos, whatever for filtration. What I do take issue to is the fact that anytime somebody pops up on here that has UGF filter or question about one, they immediately get peppered with replies about how bad they are, how they'll make your fish sick, have dead spots, cause acne, ad nauseum.

The fact is, if you put a decent layer of gravel down, have a decent air pump and airstones, and occasionally vacuum the gravel bed, UGFs are really quite good filters.

I just want to point this out, for those of us who have been recommending James to move away from UGFs: Nobody that has recommended a canister or HOB in place of the UGF has said that UGFs would cause illness for the fish or dead spots in the tank. All that has been said is that there could be problems, they're outdated, and they can be more trouble than they're worth. I would doubt that anybody on this forum would discount UGFs effectiveness, because, clearly, Steve (fingers) uses them with much success. I don't see how an argument can bring you to the point of nausea if the argument is non-existent! :rofl "And that's all I got to say about that."

Edited by Justin
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Well said, Justin. So far I'm happy with my decision to remove my UGF plates! They were most certainly effective and served their purpose in my tank for 15 years. That's a long time!

But I'm starting to see that maybe -just maybe- it's okay to move forward with the times and make changes to my fishkeeping techniques. For example, I just stopped using aquarium salt in my freshwater tanks because everyone here at Koko's told me it's not necessary. Even though I've been keeping fish for so long I'm realizing that there's always something new to be learned. And that's what makes this hobby so interesting :)

To everyone who's posted in this thread: I'm so grateful for all your help, advice, and expertise. You ultimately helped me make a decision that I think will benefit my tanks in the long run. I'm still holding onto my UGF plates. Who knows, I might have a use for them in the future, Lol! :nana

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