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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was reminiscing about the old days of the aquarium hobby with another BCA member by phone last night, and recalled that I had a 25 gallon (Imperial) tank running for about 30 years with only an undergravel filter. I never siphoned out under the gravel - just let it run the whole time, and would periodically add a carbon cartridge to the top of the outflow.

I don't remember ever having a sick fish in all those years, or an algae outbreak. Everything just went happily along. Mind you, the tank was probably understocked by anyone's standards. But the kribs raised several sets of babies and I never worried about them being sucked into a filter.

In the past few years I've tried canister filters, HOB filters, in tank filters, reptile tank filters and sponge filters, as well as no filter at all. This has been fun and I've learned a lot about the biological cycle. But sometimes, I miss the old days when all I had to think about was an air pump!
 

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I'm in the process of setting up four 40 gallon breeders and im planning to use a corner matten filter with Swisstropical's Jetlifter. The jetlifter has a specificc orientation of holes drills to create and insane amount of bubbles which lifts the water.

Here is the matten filter with the Jetlifter:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have never heard of a Jetlifter before, Chronick, but when I watched the video it made a lot of sense. Hope you have fun with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I did eventually hear that this is what you are supposed to do ... After a few decades of ignorance and bliss, lol.
 

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When I was a kid all we had was under-gravel filters. They worked well and I don't recall ever vacuuming the gravel (maybe my dad did it). I also remember the first hang-on-back filters; you had to manually start the siphon to get the water flowing. It was so tedious to do that.

I don't recall having or using water conditioner either. My dad would leave large buckets of water out for a few days to let the chlorine evaportate (so much for trying to make it the same temperature as what's in the tank, like we do now)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Rogo, I don't remember the first hang-on-back filters that needed to be primed. (Either that, or I have happily forgotten them.) I remember some in-tank filters made of clear plastic. You'd put charcoal and filter floss in them and attach tubing and an airstone to an air pump. They weren't particularly attractive and the pumps always seemed noisy.

I don't think there was chlorine in the water when was a teen.

I
 

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The early hang on back filters were nearly all air powered. I likely still have a few somewhere in the mess in my basement.. We also made an air powered "vacuum" cleaner with a goose neck tube we bent from plastic tubing and a bag made of of old pillow case cloth we held over the outlet of the tube in the tank.. They worked well for sucking up loose detritus in the tank. Canister filters and much of the other gear we have now were either unheard of back in the '50's and earlier or were home made. Removing chlorine from chlorinated municipal systems was done by using sodium thiosulphate that was available from photography supply stores, pH was adjusted up if needed by use of baking soda ( sodium bicarbonate) and pH down was usually accomplished by adding sodium biphosphate. Those three chemicals are still the main ones used in adjusting water chemistry today, but now they come in handy premixed dosing bottles.
 

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Until last year, I'm sure I had a few sets of UG filters in my fish stuff storage. I think they finally got tossed but who knows, maybe there's still a few plates and tubes let in there.
 
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