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Old 12-01-2005, 04:55 PM   #1
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Filtration in 60gal

Because of space limitations (my tank isn't on a stand, and there's no room anywhere around or under the tank), I'm planning to have an undergravel filter (prepared to do the work to maintain it), and one internal filter on one side of the tank, and a powerhead on the opposite side.

I'm planning on keeping some schools of tetras, a couple of small sharks, cloan loaches, maybe gourami, and a couple of other smallish fish.

Do you think my filtration will be ok?
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Old 12-03-2005, 12:14 AM   #2
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Some people here are very much against UGF. I have used them without problems. I think the trick is to maintain the UGF by having a total teardown every year or 2, and to suction under the plates frequently.

However, since you are using a powerhead, why not set up a reversed UGF system. Basically, you hook up your powerhead to the UGF to pump water INTO the UGF (that's opposite the usual flow direction of a UGF). this is supposed to help keep particulates suspended & preventing clogging of the UGF. <UGF is really an elegant solution for aquarium filtration, IMO, except for its tendency to clog up with gunk underneath the plates, which causes major problems.>

I have no personal experience with rUGF, so can't vouch for its efficacy. However, my wet-dry is hooked up to a UGF plate for hidden water distribution. This is not a classic UGF setup, as I do not have the deep gravel bed overtop <just river rocks to hide the plate>. I've had no clogging problems in over 1.5 years .... but this shouldn't be generalized to an UGF with a gravel bed.

The rUGF will keep particulates suspended, so your water won't be as clear. You'll need some other filter to take the particulates out. Your internal filter should fit the bill, as long as it is of adaquate size.
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Old 12-03-2005, 04:02 PM   #3
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Thanks for the help, I think I'm going to go with the UGF or rUGF, and an appropriate internal filter for a 48" tank, probably an Eheim Aquaball.

How exactly do you "suction under the plates" on the UGF to clean it then?

If I decide on the rUGF, will I notice my tank not being as clear and actually notice the bubbles etc.?

I assume the waste then collects on the watersurface - how often does it need to be removed, and how?
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Old 12-05-2005, 04:40 PM   #4
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To suction under the UGF, you disconnect the top of the uplift tube, slide a 1/4" tubing (airline tubing works) through that to under the plates & suction away ... moving the tube here & there to get at the worst spots. BTW if your stand is open on top (ie tank resting on perimeter) as I have, you can just look up from below & tell how dirty the UGF is getting.

I didn't notice too much difference in water clarity with my "rUGF" type setup - compared with using a water polisher cart. in Magnum 350 cannister. The suspended particulates are removed to the sump & trapped there with gravity & a prefilter. In your case, the internal filter should do the same .... just be sure to have adaquate water flow (5-7 x tank volume per hour should be good .... although for goldies & other messy fish, some would go as high as 10 times).

There might be some "dissolved organics" floating at the top of the tank since the internal filter won't skim the top layer of the water (looks like oily film). Basically harmless, some people mop it up with paper towers every week or 2 for looks.
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Old 12-05-2005, 04:45 PM   #5
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I've actually decided to scrap the UGF filter idea for my 55gal, and go for a Fluval 4 plus internal filter - really good reviews, and quite cheap!
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Old 12-05-2005, 05:12 PM   #6
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Another idea is instead of a powerhead, have an internal filter on each end, like 2 Fluval 4's, or 2 Fluval 3's. Also adds to the tank circulation.
I got my Emperor 400 on one end of my 55G, and a powerhead on the other. My new powerheads were just too noisy, so I put the AquaClear powerhead back in the 55G. Will be replacing the powerhead with either a XP3 or XP4 cannister, my Christmas present.
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