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Old 09-27-2012, 12:21 AM   #1
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RUGF setup questions

Dear All

After reading numerous posts on different places about reverse under gravel system RUGF ... I have seen the typical UGF plate doing reverse flow the opposite corner might have dead spot or insignificant power (Not even distribute water output)

I was thinking using rain bars or drilled PVC tubes connected together zig zac' ed on the bottom of the tank instead...
Then cover a layer of Bio Rings and a layer of Maifan Stones and finally Black Sand (yes, because sand you can say inorganic unlike soil which is organic it will not spoil or breakdown in 1-2 year...)

Plants nutrients will have to be in liquid form poured in every month or so after my usual weekly or biweekly water changes...

so basically: (from Bottom to Top)
1) Rain Bars connected zic zac and blowing direction towards up
2) Bio Rings
3) Thin Mesh Net
4) Maifan Stones
5) Thin Mesh Net
6) Black Sand (2-3 inch thick)
7) Plants and other orienments like lava rocks and driftwoods

Here is my list of filter and tank equipment:
Tank: 24"x12"x14" (66L) (going to change into this soon)
Prefilter: Wave Monarka Pre-filter (So any BIG waste will go into here instead) (going to buy this soon)
Filter: Atman CF1200 (1000L/H Flow)
UV Lights: Coralife Turbo-Twist 3X 9W UV Sterlizer
CO2: 2L tank regulated (dont know the brand)

moving my current banged and scratched up 20"x13"x16" (60L) tank into this system and will move my cherry red shrimps and guppies, otos, and the 2 "no idea what it is" (loaches or CAE??) into this new tank. (Also my plants, rocks, driftwood as well)

Just wondering if above is crazy or any recommendations for me??

Thanks!

Otaku
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:32 AM   #2
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No one replied?? any comments? suggestions??
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Old 09-28-2012, 01:25 PM   #3
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It's never a good idea to use an undergravel filter of any design in a planted tank. Even in the heyday of undergravel filters, when they were most popular, aquarists growing plants often choose canisters or no filtration at all as a more functional alternative. The idea is to allow the substrate to accumulate mulm and never inhibit the roots from growing anywhere and everywhere, long term, and keeping them undisturbed.

Giving two very different jobs to the substrate, biological surface area and plant substrates, creates a conflict. For the biological process to work best in this setup it needs to be clean and kept clean by vacuuming. Plants do best in the opposite condition, laden with organics and only the top surface kept gently cleaned. Vacuuming can easily damage roots and even harm the plants. The idea is to keep the substrate undisturbed for the benefit of the plants. That's very hard to do long term with a reverse flow undergravel filter.

The good news is there are a ton of better options that are proven to work, take less time to setup and maintain, and allow the substrate to work only for the plants while letting the bacteria media work for the fish.
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Old 09-28-2012, 02:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CorallineAlgae
It's never a good idea to use an undergravel filter of any design in a planted tank. Even in the heyday of undergravel filters, when they were most popular, aquarists growing plants often choose canisters or no filtration at all as a more functional alternative. The idea is to allow the substrate to accumulate mulm and never inhibit the roots from growing anywhere and everywhere, long term, and keeping them undisturbed.

Giving two very different jobs to the substrate, biological surface area and plant substrates, creates a conflict. For the biological process to work best in this setup it needs to be clean and kept clean by vacuuming. Plants do best in the opposite condition, laden with organics and only the top surface kept gently cleaned. Vacuuming can easily damage roots and even harm the plants. The idea is to keep the substrate undisturbed for the benefit of the plants. That's very hard to do long term with a reverse flow undergravel filter.

The good news is there are a ton of better options that are proven to work, take less time to setup and maintain, and allow the substrate to work only for the plants while letting the bacteria media work for the fish.
So this means that to forget what others have posted and keep the tank I have as it is now as a better option?
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Old 09-28-2012, 04:08 PM   #5
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I don't know how you have it setup or what others have said. I'm guessing I need to read another thread to see the whole picture. My advice was only answering the question in this post. I'll read up and get back in a bit.

So I'm guessing you're an otaku? I'm sure one!
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Old 10-02-2012, 06:24 AM   #6
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well I have put a some rain bars underneath the tank and connected them together... cover it with bio rings, then top it with sand...

so far it is working ok.. my shrimps are more active than it used to be...

my sand does not blown up due to I up at least 1 inch layer on top...

so far it feels its pretty much the same as before... except the rain bars underneath..

but I might get a T connector later this week or 2 and connect a rain bar to blow on my moss wall...
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:09 PM   #7
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That's a very unorthodox setup. I doubt anyone here will have experience with it. Keeping it clean long term is going to be challenging.
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CorallineAlgae View Post
That's a very unorthodox setup. I doubt anyone here will have experience with it. Keeping it clean long term is going to be challenging.
How come keeping it clean long term is going to be challenging? could you g
the reason being using this set up is to:

1) flow will not be too strong for my fish and shrimp (I am running a 1000L/H atman canister filter behind my RUGF) it used to be with my rain bars (drilled bigger holes and already blown direction to glass of my 24" tank) it seems like it was running like a mini hurricane inside the tank with FULL POWER ON

2) water "going up" from sand will not be result in stucked mums n other stuff... as I hover glide my siphon gravel vacuum it sucks it up more easily now.. (My 8 guppies DO POOP A LOT)

3) substrate on the bottom will not turn HARD easily

4) my shrimps seems happier... instead of just sitting here - they seems to be moving about more...

Bad things are:
1) no good way to put in powder type nutrients for plants... so I result using liquid or solid stick type of fertilizers instead
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:56 AM   #9
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There is one thought tho... instead of using SAND... I am thinking of using pebbles instead.. dont know if this will work as I have plants in the tank as well... maybe I strap them down on a lava rock and cover them up with pebbles first
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:18 PM   #10
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Reverse flow under gravel filters work okay for fish tanks when you can thoroughly clean the substrate. When they are used with live plants issues start to arise over time. It sounds like you're using biological media under the sand. It will collect and trap loads of detritus. Nothing will stop that. Bio media like stars or ceramic rings need to be cleaned in any system from time to time. Vacuuming the gravel is fine and will be very important. The problem is, once you have plants with root systems growing throughout the sand bed vacuuming will harm or even destroy the roots and possibly kill the plants.

Having a RFUGF in a fish only tank is doable but for a planted tank it's just not functional. I've used them by the way.
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