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Old 10-30-2012, 01:06 PM   #1
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Are undergravel filters really effective?

I've got a little bit of experience with aquarium keeping....I had several when I was younger, and now have gotten back to having one...but I've always been in the habit of using the undergravel filters in them. I've noticed that it's rare to see the ugly lift tubes in aquariums anymore, and I'd like to get rid of mine if I could. Right now I use an undergravel, and also a style that hangs on the back of the aquarium. Can anyone shed on any light as to how beneficial these are? Can I get just as good of filteration with just the hang-on-the-back type filter? Maybe I'm just "old school" in my thinking.
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Old 10-30-2012, 01:10 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thilligoss73 View Post
I've got a little bit of experience with aquarium keeping....I had several when I was younger, and now have gotten back to having one...but I've always been in the habit of using the undergravel filters in them. I've noticed that it's rare to see the ugly lift tubes in aquariums anymore, and I'd like to get rid of mine if I could. Can anyone shed on any light as to how beneficial these are? Can I get just as good of filteration with just the hang-on-the-back type filter? Maybe I'm just "old school" in my thinking.
Undergravel filters have indeed become something of a relic of the past (although some of us still use them). While they were the marvel of their time in terms of effectiveness, many of todays hang-on-back or canister filters are just as effective, if not more so, and generally require less maintanence. So to answer your questions, yes UGFs are effective (if properly maintained), but you can with peace of mind, get rid of those ugly lift tubes by going to a HOB or canister filter. Of course, then you're replacing the UGF lift tubes with intakes and outlets of the other filters. So really, it just comes down to a matter of which you prefer and which you want to maintain.
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:06 PM   #3
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One suggestion with the UG filter if you decide to stay with it. Use reverse flow power heads instead of airstones. It will help decrease the amount of debris that accumilates under the filter plates. when I started out in the hobby UG filters were all that was available. In my opinion they do a decent job.
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:41 PM   #4
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I use ug filters on my stingray tank. They do a good job, but I over engineered them. I have three grades of sand - crushed coral to sugar fine- and keep the sand active with sand dollars, sifting stars, stingrays and jawfish. I also planted mangroves in it to pull out any nasties. Water is pulled through the plenum zone by a Iwaki 35gpm pump.
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