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Old 05-18-2010, 10:11 PM   #1
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Are ugf any good

I have a 55 gallon fw set-up. I have been researching filters and it can get confusing. I want to know if an ugf is going to do the job or should I just invest in hob filter.
I have also read that planting a tank with ugf s not wise, but have also read just the opposite. Of course we all want the greatest tank we can have with the least amount of work.
Anyone have any ideas, or advise?
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:25 PM   #2
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It's pretty common practice to avoid plants with a UGF but it's not always bad. Plants such as java fern and moss won't be hurt by an undergravel filter. They do the job, but it's a hassle to dismantle it for cleaning.
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:35 PM   #3
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Yea, I think I am going to go down to buy a hob filter this weekend and take the ugf out. I have read that the biggest downfall is the cleaning part. I have always had hob filters before this filter came with the tank. I will stick with what I know and am comfortable with.
Now what is a good hob filter that is in a good price range. maybe 50 bucks?
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:38 PM   #4
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You can get a pretty good filter for 50. I don't have any experinece with many HOB's other than tetra's. I suggest a canister for anything outside of 50gallons though. It's a good investment. For about 60 dollars and another 50 for a pump, you will quickly save the money back on having to buy specially tailored filter packs that HOB's use.
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:56 PM   #5
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Ok thanks. I have read a few articles of folks actually making a good canister filter, and cheaply. Thanks for the input.
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:53 AM   #6
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You can use a UGF with planted tanks, most if they are run the way they were designed use a piece of filter floss(sheet style) between the UGF plate and the gravel, I run mine in reverse flow when I have them in my tanks and the plants roots were no wheres near close to the UGF plate.

I wouldnt use a UGF plate alone, but the AC70 HOB's inlet tube is the same exact size as the UGF uplift tubes...yes this modification does work and works pretty darn well for what it is. Blew my canister filter away but then again its 20+ years old.
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Old 05-19-2010, 05:22 AM   #7
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i am not a fan of them but can work. the best way to do it is run it as a RUGF. this pushes water down the tubes and turns the gravel into a large bio filter. the problem with plants and ugf is the roots grow down and gets tangled up. i would go with a hob or canister.
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Old 05-19-2010, 02:44 PM   #8
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reverse flow UGF

I had a reverse flow UGF with 2 power heads pulling water into the ugf from the top and up through the bottom of a 55 for years. Every 3 or 4 weeks I took the adapters and hoses I made special to fit the power heads onto the outlets and reversed the flow to full. Sucked out all the trapped debris from under the gravel and that was my water change for the most part. It worked awesome for several years until I tore it down when I moved. the trick is to get way over powered PH and turn flow down for a month in reverse but crank them up to full and watch them suck out the stuff. Or usesmaller PH for the reverse flow and bigger ones to suck. I even had a portion of the glass showing under the tank where I could see this all happen. It worked for me for a long while with an angel tank and others and was super easy. It was the only filter I had on the tank so it had to have worked. I can't remember if I had plants in that tank or not though. Anyone else ever try this with success?
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Old 05-19-2010, 02:48 PM   #9
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Yep, I use 660R marineland powerheads due to the reverse flow kit, as before I had an AC70 HOB on there as well that I had cut a section of uplift to fit and would crank the PH on full and hook the HOB to the UGF plate and blew alot of crap up to the AC70 with that and just cleaned the HOB of the mulm that came up.

I wont run a UGF unless I have a means to reverse the flow.
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Old 05-19-2010, 09:26 PM   #10
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thanks for all the help. because I want to do all live plants I think I will Take it out and go with a hob filter.
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