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Old 11-24-2011, 02:43 PM   #1
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Under Gravel Filters

Hi Everyone,
Years ago, when I kept fish, I used under gravel filters, because that's what came in the aquarium kits that I bought. I remember them being easy to use, and mostly maintenance free.
Now, I have got back into fish keeping, and I use either internal filters or HOB, again because that is what came with the tanks.
What's the deal? Why the big switch in the industry.
Who here still uses under gravel, and how do you feel about them.
I ask because I already had a filter break, and had to replace it. I was thinking that if it happens again I might go back to under gravel.
I'd like to hears pros and cons.
Thanks in advance for your opinions!
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Old 11-24-2011, 02:53 PM   #2
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Idk about other reasons but with a HOB you can have sand! And i love sand.
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Old 11-24-2011, 03:09 PM   #3
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UGFs and HOBs

Hello Siss...

Planted tanks became more popular, so the under gravel filters had to go. As I recall, the reasons were, the plant roots didn't like the constant aeration and the roots tended to block the holes in the UGF and cause a build up of toxins in the water. There are other problems with that type of filtration if you want a lot of plants. If not, then the UGF would work fine.

However, I've heard of people putting their plants in pots, so they don't have to change filter equipment. I have several potted, planted tanks.

I've always used HOBs, Aquaclear to be specific. They're very efficient and last a long time. I'm partial to 50s myself. Good quality. The ones larger than that are a little noisy. Never liked them. Maybe you're just using the wrong brand of HOBs.

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Old 11-24-2011, 03:11 PM   #4
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HOBs and canisters are better filters, more effective with less maintenance.

UGFs are not maintenance free. They usually cause more harm than good long term.

I agree, sand is definitely the way to go.
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Old 11-24-2011, 05:19 PM   #5
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The filters that come in the kits with the tank are generally noisy and pretty poor quality IME
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Old 11-24-2011, 08:03 PM   #6
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Okay, those are all good points. I've never tried sand, but I do like the look and have always wanted to have it some day.
Now, lets go even further back in time to when I was just a little girl. What about those little clear boxes that used to sit in the corner with floss and charcoal in them. Does anyone still use those?
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Old 11-24-2011, 08:34 PM   #7
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I love the look of sand and its good for planting.
And idk what youre talking about, im not even from the "era of the undergravel filter"
But HOBs are versatile and you could stuff some filter floss and charcoal(activated carbon these days) into one, along with a sponge etc.
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Old 11-24-2011, 08:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sisserydoo
Okay, those are all good points. I've never tried sand, but I do like the look and have always wanted to have it some day.
Now, lets go even further back in time to when I was just a little girl. What about those little clear boxes that used to sit in the corner with floss and charcoal in them. Does anyone still use those?
Believe it or not, I ventured into an aquarium store in Silver Spring, MD a month or so ago that did use those in their livestock tanks. Other than that, I think they're pretty much used in tanks for raising fry.
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Old 11-24-2011, 08:50 PM   #9
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Alot of people use sponge filters in fry tanks and shrimp tanks.
Theres another option to check out. Its pretty much the same principle as an undergravel
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Old 11-24-2011, 09:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sisserydoo
Okay, those are all good points. I've never tried sand, but I do like the look and have always wanted to have it some day.
Now, lets go even further back in time to when I was just a little girl. What about those little clear boxes that used to sit in the corner with floss and charcoal in them. Does anyone still use those?
I actually have one of those lol. I use it in my quarantine tank. I grab a handful of ceramic rings from my canister and fill it nearly to the top. Shove a little bit of floss over the top and it's good to go! I don't think I'd ever use it in my display tanks though.

I wouldn't use a undergravel filter. I don't like the idea of all the gunk stuck under there until I break down the tank.
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