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Old 07-24-2011, 08:11 PM   #21
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you still have to vac the sand, so one or the other the works is still there, I have used UGF's since the 80"s and do like them for smaller tanks (less than my 125g) and even thinking about trying one out on it.
As for the amount of work needed, the only time I pulled the plates is when moving a tank or when doing a full tear down, pulling the plates is akin to changing out the HOB's filter material and causes more issues than fixes.
There are options for chemical filtration IF you use the bubblers, but not for a powerhead that I'm aware of, if the tank is big enough you could run both ( I have before).

As for plants, I'm of a mixed mind here, on one hand you have to have deeper gravel/course sand for the roots, but with everything being sucked into the gravel there's food for the roots, and the roots will grow thru the plates.

As I stated before, not a lot of love for the UGF on this forum, but they are far from the evil most think they are. I worry less about the UGF on my 10 than the canister I have on my 125.
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Old 07-24-2011, 08:26 PM   #22
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There is an arguement for running a ugf backwards(ie blowing instead of sucking). Apparently this is better for plants and still gives the bio filtration, however you would still require another filter (HoB or submersible) as I understand it.
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Old 07-24-2011, 08:37 PM   #23
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You do not have to vacuum the sand. The space between the grains is so small that very little debris gets in there. As stated, I have been running sand for about five years and have NEVER done any maintenance (sifting, vacuuming, etc.).

Even with reverse UGF the problems still arise. You are basically using the bottom of the tank as a filter media, only you can't drag it to the tub and wash it out like you can with a real filter's media. It is not worth it. There is no benefit to UGFs over actual filters. The UGF doesn't do anything that a HOB or canister can't (do better).
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Old 07-24-2011, 08:43 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishguy2727 View Post
You do not have to vacuum the sand. The space between the grains is so small that very little debris gets in there. As stated, I have been running sand for about five years and have NEVER done any maintenance (sifting, vacuuming, etc.).

Even with reverse UGF the problems still arise. You are basically using the bottom of the tank as a filter media, only you can't drag it to the tub and wash it out like you can with a real filter's media. It is not worth it. There is no benefit to UGFs over actual filters. The UGF doesn't do anything that a HOB or canister can't (do better).
Fair do's
I have sand in my community and It's super easy to clean as everything stays on top as you said. My 35l (10usg) has Fluval Stratum that it says on the tin you shouldn't vac so I threw in some mts from the big 'un to try and take care of some of the detrius (being polite now it's 0.45 here and I've had wine lol)
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Old 07-25-2011, 12:48 AM   #25
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Maybe we ought to start a different thread on here where people can debate their personal experience on the different filter (and substrate) pro's and con's.

We long ago answered the original question posed in this thread and have derailed to a debate. I would personally be interested in hearing people's personal experiences in regards to UGF's, sand substrate setups and everything else.
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Old 07-27-2011, 01:30 AM   #26
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This may seem a little redundant, but to everyone who posted in this thread about UGF's... I started the thread I suggested (above), hoping to get information from peoples personal experience. I would greatly appreciate it if you could take a minute and add to that thread.

Thank you!

Gathering information on UGF's
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Old 07-27-2011, 02:46 PM   #27
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Thank you to everyone who answered my question!!
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