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Old 06-10-2017, 09:47 AM   #1
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Lightbulb Undergravel Filter?

Hi,

I am setting up a new tank and am looking at using a UGF.
I was researching the benefits of either "pulling" or "pushing" the water through the gravel and both have pros and cons.

My query is whether anyone has tried both?
I wanted to split the UGF board in half and connect the inlet pipe for an external filter to one half and the outlet too the other half.

It is a 240ltr bow Fluval with a 1000ef from allpondsolutions.

Contemplated then changing the connections weekly so what was being "pushed" is "pulled" and vice versa.

Thanks.
kpd
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Old 06-10-2017, 12:16 PM   #2
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Yes, the downside of using the UG either way is that it keeps the detritus in the tank unless you have an external filter as well and if you have an external filter as well, you really don't need the UG.
They were a good idea in their time but many better filter designs have been developed since then. I personally, wouldn't use one today. I'd go either wet/ dry or just HOB or canister. The bigger benefit to wet/ dry is the extra oxygenation you can supply to the tank without having a lot of bubbles in the tank.
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Old 06-10-2017, 02:09 PM   #3
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Hmm, trying not to sound like a complete newb. What do you mean by wet/dry?
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Old 06-10-2017, 02:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpdnuts View Post
Hmm, trying not to sound like a complete newb. What do you mean by wet/dry?
If I knew you had a good sense of humor, I was about to write a joke about your "newb" ness but thought better since I don't know. Don't want to offend.

First off, being an old codger and around the fish world for over 50 years, let me say that NO QUESTION, when asked for the right reasons ( ie to learn) is a bad question so you should always ask. That's how "newb"s become successful at fish keeping.

Here's an article explaining the trickle and wet/dry filters. I believe it's an older story because some of the things said seemed to be outdated. The reason I send you to it is because the HOW the system works is correct. They are not terribly expensive to make yourself if you are handy and I've used them for tanks 20gals to 2500 gals. The only difference is the size, the mechanics of them are all identical. Trickle or Wet/Dry Filters - The First Tank Guide - Filtering Your Aquarium Water
Any more questions, ask away.
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Old 06-10-2017, 05:59 PM   #5
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I've only used what I think is the pull method when water goes through the gravel and out the risers (powered by air stones no less!). That used to accumulate a lot of muck. I never tried gravel vacs but I would think some care would be needed not to damage the plastic plates. I guess it did use to create some water flow at surface.

The push method out the gravel sounds better but then I'd try for pre-filters on the riser intakes (and still have a canister filter anyways).

I looked up a few articles to remind myself and agree they are cheaper and the gravel is fine as a site for bacteria (although it may not appreciate gravel vacs), but as above on the detritus staying in tank.

On canister or HOB filter media I haven't replaced it for a long time. I just keep cleaning and re-using so only have the setup cost.
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:50 PM   #6
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Ive never cared for under gravel filters. I just removed one on my moms tank and I couldn't believe all the muck trapped under it! And shes a light feeder with a small load of fish. It took quite a few water changes and lots of gravel vacuuming to get it cleaned up. She now has an aquaclear and the tank stays much cleaner! Id personally go with a good hang on back filter like an aquaclear or something similar!
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Old 06-10-2017, 11:03 PM   #7
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I've had an UG filter in an 80 gallon tank for nearly 30 years. It works fine but if you have a pump failure, the detritus caught in the gravel rapidly decomposes and fouls the tank. But that only happened to me once. That said, I highly recommend the wet/dry system which I use on many other tanks. More expensive and takes up more room, but the best filter system by far, in my opinion.
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