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I had problems keeping my tank clear and easy to look at. It kept getting cloudy and a water change would clear it for a while. I had two UGF's and an over the back power fliter and this just wasn't cutting it. The african cichlids kept moving the substrate and rendering the UGF's usless. So i had me a thought. If there was too much bad stuff in the tank, I need more bacteria to get rid of it. I have lots of lava rock in the tank, Thus lots of surface area to propagate bacteria. But I still had cloudy water. Since the "filter" bacteria are stationary, the only thing left is not enough water flow by the bacteria. Remember I was going to tell you how to build a filter? Well here it is!
step 1) Obtain a one liter bottle of soda with a wide mouth. (this is the most common type) step 2) drink the soda and rnse the bottle. step 3) Buy some barbeque grill lava rocks from Wal-Mart. a five pound bag is more than enough. Rinse the rocks. step 4) fill the soda bottle about 3/4 of the way up with rocks that are small enough to fit. You may have to crush some into smaller pieces. I found that a 1974 impala does a good job. step 5) Insert a length of the uplift tubing you have from getting rid of your UGF in the mouth of the bottle and shke it until the tube goes clear to the bottom. Now sit this in your tank and place your favorite power head on top. (you did rinse the rocks didn't you?) step 6) be amazed at building a filter in 30 minutes!
This filter literally cleard up my 55 gal. tank in two hours. It is enough to filter the whole tank. I kept my regent over-the-back filter to help with circulation and to trap the big chunks. The other ugf is stll going for circulation. Since i bought the UGF setup for $25 used, I dont have any more than $1.20 for the soda and $.96 for the rocks. The rocks are cheap in January since no one grills in the snow!
Soon algae grew in the filter, but I haven't messed with it.and it just keps on working. I also put a small hole in the bottom and put my yeast CO2 reactor line in it. It seems to work fairly well as a CO2 reactor as well.
Next on my list is the $50 RO filter. The filters can be purchaced at Wal-Mart for about $30 so it is all up to me to figure out how to plumb it in!
Please put these ideas on your wonderflu site "The Krib" I want to share this with others!!!
The photo attached should give you a good idea of what it looks like and what an irritation a melanochromis auratis can be to a photographer!
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