Gunk Under UGF

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AC Members
Jul 26, 2001
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
My friend has bought a Whisper Filter for his 15 gallon fresh water which has some tetras in it. The tank has been up for over 2 years.

My question is that he is replacing the UGF with the Whisper. Does he need to remove the UGF grading in order to get all the gunk that was trapped below, or can he just plug up the holes to where the filter tubes were?

If he needs to remove the grading, how does one do it with fish already in there and will is be too traumatizing for the fish and I guess him too:)?

Thanks to all who reply!


No freelancing!
Aug 14, 2001
Real Name
Best bet will be to remove the grating and the gunk as well. A couple of methods: Using a vaccum, push the gravel aside and clean well, pulling the guck up from the bottom.

Or, remove fish and decorations to another tank (or rubbermaid box, it's just temporary). Scoop the gravel out, rinse lightly. Remove UGF and guck. Put gravel, water, fish back in. I'd run the HOT filter for about 2-3 weeks before doing the change over, so the filter media will be colonized by the bacteria, either way.


AC Members
Apr 16, 2001
Another thing I did once was to get a real good canister filter (something that's way to big for the tank) and just ripped the ugf up and let the gunk stir up. The canister filter took care of the dirt pretty quickly and the fish didn't seem to mind the dirty water for a while.
After this I did a 25% water change and another one 2 days later.

Oh, and the tank I did this with was a 30g with angels, some tetras and clown loaches.