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Old 03-26-2006, 04:00 PM   #11
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I would think you would have to pull them out weekly to keep any amount of debris from building up underneath them. I know a few individuals who attach power heads to one of the towers to suck the debris out but, no thank you. I had UGF's on my two 10's and on my 20. After I removed them it much less work to keep the tank clean with gravel vacs and PWC's. UGF's are just too much work IMHO.

Oh, and I'm FINALLY have success with live plants in my 44... I "potted" them. I put them in clay pots with the gravel substrate and they are growing like crazy without causing any nitrate spikes when I test. I only have three pots in there though... I imagine if you had a lot, it would cause an increase in nitrates since I don't gravel vac the pots.
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Old 03-26-2006, 04:25 PM   #12
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Yes. I do believe it has been well stated that they CAN cause issues WITHOUT proper maintenence. If you want to fool around with vaccuming under them and such, go for it. If you want to not bother and go with an HOB style filter, that's fine too. Once again, the choice is up to you, Musket.
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Old 03-29-2006, 10:26 AM   #13
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Undergravel Filtration?

toddnbecka
Quote:
The result is a much thinner layer of gravel, with the water flowing UP, pushing dirt out, not in. Very easy to siphon clean. Also, much more surface area for bio-filtration than a much deeper gravel bed.
Why would a thinner layer of gravel give a better surface area for bio-filtration?
How do you make the powerhead a reverse flow? Or do you have to purchase it this way or a conversion kit?

Quote:
The two tanks with powerheads/reverse flow are set up with a layer of blue&white bulk filter material between the plate/s (and the gravel bed.
How do you clean this filter? Wouldn't that be difficult? Is it necessary? Wouldn't the plant roots grow thru it? Would that be alright, Ideal? (Except you would damage the plant if you had to change the pad.)

Quote:
The powerheads are prefiltered with Quickfilter cartridges, though I use more of the bulk filter material instead of the pads supplied with the Quickfilters.
I've never seen or heard of this, can you explain? If the powerfilters are pushing air down the lift tube so that the air rises up thru the gravel, why do you need a prefilter? Because instead of the powerhead flowing water into the tank, it is sucking it from the tank? Where does the prefilter go. Do you have a picture of the setup? Obviously I am new to this concept.

Quote:
The other two tanks, run with oversized Aquaclear filters, (2 500's on the 55, one for each plate, and a 70 on the 3Cool have minimal debris accumulation in the gravel. The area under the plate/s stays clear; whatever makes its way through the gravel is caught in the sponge blocks.
Does this mean 3 filters? One filter intake tube inside each lift tube?
Do you mean the sponge blocks inside the AC500?

Which of the 2 methods seems to work better? Do you still vacuum in both setups? (I imagine you would) Do you have plants in either of these tanks? Which setup? What kind of plants, how are they doing? Thanks


BillD
Quote:
If a reverse flow power head with a prefilter is used, there is nothing under the plates or in the gravel. The upward flow through the gravel will keep detritus at the surface where it is easily removed by siphon or filtration. I presently have 2 tanks using UGFs, one of which has been setup for 12 years. While I wouldn't necessarily recommend them
I can see how the reverse flow would make it easier to vacuum.
Why are you not recommending them?
Is your UGF setup with a reverse flow?
The one that has been setup for 12 yrs, How is that one setup?
Do your tanks have plants? How are the plants doing with this type setup?


Devilishturtles
Quote:
but it can be done if you really wanted a UGF and with the proper plants.
Could you give me a list or description of the "right plants". KNowing what plants I can and cannot successfully keep with a UGF might help in my (and others reading in the future) decision.

Thank you everyone so far, this is exactly the type of information I was looking for, pros and cons for of all types of ways to use the UGF. This thread will help others in the future (as long as it can be found)

Anyone else with experience in these types of setups? Or other types?
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Old 03-29-2006, 02:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Why would a thinner layer of gravel give a better surface area for bio-filtration?

The filter media layer provides the surface area, it has much more surface area than a thicker bed of gravel.

How do you make the powerhead a reverse flow? Or do you have to purchase it this way or a conversion kit?

Penguin powerheads have a reverse-flow adapter kit available. I use Aquaclears, so I used pvc elbows over the outflow tube and large-diameter vinyl tubing ti fit into the lift tube. Aquaclears have a reverse-flow option built into them, but using that reduces water flow considerably compared to running them the normal way.
How do you clean this filter? Wouldn't that be difficult? Is it necessary? Wouldn't the plant roots grow thru it? Would that be alright, Ideal? (Except you would damage the plant if you had to change the pad.)

The filter pad gets siphoned along with the gravel, though very little actually collects in the pad. UG filters aren't generally used in planted tanks. The plants in those tanks are plastic.

[/quote] If the powerfilters are pushing air down the lift tube so that the air rises up thru the gravel, why do you need a prefilter?
Quote:
The powerheads are pushing water, not air, through the lift tubes. The prefilters are to keep fish from being caught in the intake/impeller. They also support the weight of the powerhead.
and a 70 on the 3
Oops, should read: a 70 on the 30. That tank has 1 plate, with a powerhead on one tube, and an Aquaclear 300 on another.

[/quote]One filter intake tube inside each lift tube?
Do you mean the sponge blocks inside the AC500?
Yes
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Old 03-29-2006, 02:29 PM   #15
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Re: Undergravel Filtration?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Musket
Devilishturtles
Quote:
but it can be done if you really wanted a UGF and with the proper plants.
Could you give me a list or description of the "right plants". KNowing what plants I can and cannot successfully keep with a UGF might help in my (and others reading in the future) decision.
Musket, you'd need plants with very little or no root system. Floating plants, or plants that can be attached to the rocks. Java Fern/Moss, Anubias, Anarachis, etc.

Also, I am attaching a link about UGF's and planted tanks that will give you a general overview.

http://www.aquariaplants.com/undergravelfilters.htm

HTH
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