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Old 06-02-2011, 09:48 AM   #1
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Under gravel filter questions

I'm geyting a 29g tank and I'm just wondering if I would need an under gravel filter a well as the one that comes in the kit. Do they work better? Also is there anything else I need for the tank that doesn't come with the package? It has a heater, filter, lighting, net, and food.
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:34 AM   #2
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IMO under gravel filters aren't worth the time, theyre a pain to clean and as far as filtration a hang on back filter works much better. But that's just what I think.

Whether or not you'll need more all depends on what your planning to do with the tank, but the things you are getting in the kit are not necessarily top of the line, so you may have to replace things.
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:02 AM   #3
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When properly maintained a undergravel filter works much better that a HOB, look at the amout of surface area for bacteria growth the entire substrate turns into. It's the maintenance issue that could become a problem when enough detritus gets under the plates, which is why of people run them in reverse flow with powerheads to prevent that. It's a old technology one that has worked for years and years and still works for some today. I have a LFS that runs every tank in the place soley off UGF and has so for 20 years now, with the best stock around.
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:05 AM   #4
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My LFS also runs UGF in all their tanks and I've only seen one dead fish all the time I've been going there.
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikalicious209 View Post
I'm geyting a 29g tank and I'm just wondering if I would need an under gravel filter a well as the one that comes in the kit. Do they work better? Also is there anything else I need for the tank that doesn't come with the package? It has a heater, filter, lighting, net, and food.
I'd have to agree that they're a pain. I have an old tank with one and every time I have to clean it, it gets completely pulled apart as there's no other way to get the detritus out. Reversing the flow only throws all that gunk back into the tank and subjects the fish to a storm of pollutants that requires 100% water change (no partial here ), not to mention cleaning all the decco, tank walls, etc.

If you want extra filtration, I'd suggest a second HOB like and AC30 or 50 and the bonus with that is if you ever have to QT a fish or you get a new tank, you can instant cycle it in 10 minutes time.

If you're planning on doing plants, chances are that kit light isn't going to cut it. If you're a DIY'er, here's what I did to maintain the original look of the tank: AH Supply: 55w Strip Light Kit DIY Build/Review
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:26 AM   #6
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I'd have to agree that they're a pain. I have an old tank with one and every time I have to clean it, it gets completely pulled apart as there's no other way to get the detritus out. Reversing the flow only throws all that gunk back into the tank and subjects the fish to a storm of pollutants that requires 100% water change (no partial here ), not to mention cleaning all the decco, tank walls, etc.]
Which is the reason a prefilter is used on the powerheads, I don't think anyone would run them wide open blowing crud all over the tank.
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:38 PM   #7
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Which is the reason a prefilter is used on the powerheads, I don't think anyone would run them wide open blowing crud all over the tank.
That just made the gunk a finer version, might have made it worse and didn't stop a whole lot IMO. Having a bigger mess once, was one time too many for me lol. Since the UGF is built into it (per se) that tank houses feeders and that's it.
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Old 06-02-2011, 04:35 PM   #8
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I'm so glad everyone responded. I was totally gonna do that but now is rather just get a second one if I need it because I certainly do not want to dismantle my tank completely every time I have to change the water.especially since I plan on having multiple fish and the only other tank I have is a 1.5g I bought without doing research. I learned from that and got an account here.lol.
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Old 06-03-2011, 03:26 AM   #9
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Years ago I used an ugf. Worked ok, but required lots of cleaning (ran it w/powerheads). Then, along comes the "rage" of "reverse flow" ugf... Basically a kit that adapted the powerhead with a sponge pre-filter, and the discharge is through the lift tubes and under the gravel. Had to clean the sponge prefilter a lot, but gravel stayed a lot cleaner. My biggest complaint was I went through powerheads with regularity.

I even tried running an ugf with a canister filter. It actually worked pretty well...
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Old 06-03-2011, 03:27 AM   #10
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Something I forgot-- in my opinion ugf+live plants is not a very good combination.
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