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Old 05-14-2009, 10:49 PM   #1
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Under gravel Filter vs Canister

I have a 125 gal tank that I am reestablishing after a five year hiatus. I had a RUGF that worked just fine. For 15 years in fact. The only problem I had with it was having to hoover the gravel once a month. Plus, I had to totally redo the tank twice. Now I have friends who are saying UGF's are a thing of the past and I should be using a canister filter. Then another friend told me that if the canister filter suffers a power loss it will siphon all of the water out of the tank. That would be beyond a disaster! I would think they would come with some kind of back flow device. The external filters I have had on other tanks are so dang noisy. Anyone care to weigh in on this? Oh...and some of the threads I found on this subject...are YEARS old! LOL!

Thanks.
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:57 PM   #2
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RUGF is an option, but I personally opt for canisters for ease of maintenance. Canisters will NOT drain your tank. Not sure what your friend was talking about. A good gravel vac should be done with each water change (weekly or bi-weekly) IMO.
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Old 05-14-2009, 11:20 PM   #3
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That's good news about the canisters. Maybe I'll consider a canister then. Thanks for your input.
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Old 05-15-2009, 12:04 AM   #4
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i believe it was the old sump systems that would drain your tank. if i had the money i would be going with a canister. in fact i'm planning on 2 fluval 305's for my 75 gal that i'm slo o o o o o o o o o o w l y putting together. i've had the tank for almost a year now. lol
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Old 05-15-2009, 01:42 AM   #5
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I can speak from experience on this subject. I have used only UGFs w/power heads for years, back to when I first started 20 years ago. I just got back in this year (1/1/9 to be exact) and set up my old UGF to find out that it's becoming a thing of the past.

It really comes down to preference. UGFs have to be maintained by weekly gravel vacs especially if you have a lot of fish or dirty fish. The gunk builds up under and you CAN get it with deep gravel vacs. You have to limit your decor to not block the filter plate and power heads are a must.

I decided to switch to a canister filter, mainly because I'm doing a planted tank and I want to get better growth, but also because it's pretty heavily populated and the gravel vacs were getting to be a huge pain. Right now, I have 1/2 of the UGF still running, I pulled the first plate after 1 week of running the canister (threw some established gravel in with the bio-media) and am planning on pulling the other half this weekend. during my water changes and gravel vacs I have noticed that the half running the UGF is still nasty, and the half without has hardly anything bad coming out of it, just some still solid waste in the upper 1/2 inch that comes out with just running the gravel vac across the top of the gravel. I consider the canister a godsend!!

I went with a Marineland C360 for my 55g, if you want to check out my thread about the different manufacturers I go into pretty good detail, lots of research

Which canister filter should I choose?
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Old 05-15-2009, 02:45 AM   #6
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yea the canister is a closed looped system. like the others said yes some people still use ugf and if i ran one i would do a rugf like hn said but most people try to keep as much of the equipment out of the tank as possible.
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Old 05-15-2009, 08:28 PM   #7
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Thanks for all of the input. You guys are great! I think I'll go with the Eheim. Their upper end models look like they'd do the job for a 125 gal tank.
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Old 05-15-2009, 08:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizardndog View Post
Thanks for all of the input. You guys are great! I think I'll go with the Eheim. Their upper end models look like they'd do the job for a 125 gal tank.
They definitely would. Another option is to go with 2 lower (more inexpensive) models instead of one large one. That way you can clean one well without worrying about losing your cycle and also have a backup if one fails for some reason. Either way works. Welcome back to fishkeeping!
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