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Old 08-18-2004, 01:14 PM   #1
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Undergravel Filter?

What are the pro's and con's of a undergravel filter? Should i have one or not?
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Old 08-18-2004, 01:16 PM   #2
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No. They are waste traps. It's an old method that has been pretty thouroughly defeated.
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Old 08-18-2004, 01:35 PM   #3
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Everybody has their personal opinions about undergravel filters. Some like them and some don't.

I have used them on every tank I have owned for the last 35 years. The tanks have ranged in size from 10 gal to a homemake 70 gal. If you take care of your tank by doing weekly or bi-weekly gravel vacuuming and 25-30 % water changes, then you won't have a "waste trap". The constant flow of water and particulates through the gravel not only feed your plants, but keeps the bacteria in your gravel fresh and alive. It also alows you to have lots of bubbles to help aerate your water by moving it around, that way you don't have "stagnate" places or "bad water" spots in your tank (i.e. it keeps the water the same throughtout the tank). Without the water turnover, you might get different readings at the top of your tank or the bottom of your tank, even with a HOB.

On the other hand, if you don't take care of your tank, then you will have problems (just like Bearfan said) with or without an undergravel filter.

I think it makes for a cleaner tank and better over all water quality. I use a HOB and undergravel filters. Works great for me.
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Old 08-18-2004, 04:49 PM   #4
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always had good luck with them, helped to keep my plants looking great and to keep the amount of waste at the top to a minimum.

with weekly cleanings you can pick up the majority of the waste caught by the undergravel filters and continue to have a great looking tank.
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Old 08-18-2004, 05:05 PM   #5
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I say no. The only Under gravel filter I have is on my 2 gallon betta. and that is only because My bioload is very low and sword plant needs food.

go with a great emporior HOB bio-wheel system instead. You will have a cleaner, better looking tank.
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Old 08-18-2004, 05:12 PM   #6
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I would say that it depends on what you want. If you only want a tank with fish, but no living plants, I think a UGF would be a huge waste of time and way to much work. I have a 20 gallon fw tank that only has 1/4" of gravel on the glass, one rock for decoration, and a pengiun 125 biowheel HOB filter. This tank stays crystal clear and the only maintenance I have to do is once a week I filter the gravel and replace about 5 to 7 gallons of the water, and then monthly replace the filter in the pengiun 125, which runs 3 bucks. This is by far the cleanist tank I have ever kept and is the least amount of work as well. On the other hand, I COULD NOT keep plants in this tank with much success I don't think, although I could be wrong.

So I'd say review what you want, and this plan for it. Adding live plants to a tank is a lot more work and IME UGF's help greatly. If you don't want plants though, a simple HOB and a heater is all you really need, and if this is the case, keep your gravel to a bare minimum, just cover the glass, and you will have great success.

If you do decide that you want plants, I am not qualified to give advice, haha. Hope this helps.
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Old 08-18-2004, 05:28 PM   #7
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yeah, i forgot to add the part about live plants.

i use live plants in all of my tanks, and having UG filters are a must have in my opinion. they give the plants roots something to cling to so that everytime you go to vacuum the gravel they don't get loose and come up when ever the fish swim thru them.
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Old 08-18-2004, 05:33 PM   #8
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I have live plants just fine w/o a UGF, they anchor in the loose gravel and don't come up.
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Old 08-18-2004, 05:42 PM   #9
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Hey Bearfan, I wasn't trying to say that you couldn't have plants without a UGF, I was just pointing out that it takes a little more than 1/4" of gravel I think, but I am also not claiming that to be a fact, haha.
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Old 08-18-2004, 05:44 PM   #10
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there's always one...lol
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