Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > General Aquarium Forums > General Hardware/Equipment Discussion
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 03-25-2006, 02:59 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 572
Undergravel filtration?

I have a new 46g bow and wasn't sure how to set up filtration. I have an Aqua Clear 70 (for 40-70g tank) seeding on my 10 gallon (yes set to low and hitting into a rock so as not to disturb the inhabitants too much- so far they do not seem to mind the extra flow).

I was also wondering about an undergravel filter. All my smaller tanks have one, and one that is moderate to heavily planted is doing well. Each also has an HOB + an internal filter of some sort.

One says it's up to you - oh thanks, that helped a bunch.
One says it pulls the uneaten food and debris into the gravel to decompose rather than remove it from the tank.
One says if you are having a planted tank you absolutely need an UGF to feed the roots with the uneaten food and debris that is pulled into the gravel.

I have only one tank that does not have an UGF, my 5g bow that sits on my desk.
How often and how DEEP do I clean the gravel without an UGF?
Your opinions and suggestions on this?

Thanks so much. All suggestions will help in determination of how to set up this new beauty.
__________________

__________________
Musket is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2006, 03:07 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Grand Ledge, MI
Posts: 472
Send a message via MSN to donttaptheglass Send a message via Yahoo to donttaptheglass
I had a UGF in my 55 Gal . . .when my XP2 came in the mail . . .I removed it . . .there was some disgusting stuff under there. I won't be going the UGF route again, in any size tank.
__________________

__________________
Donttaptheglass: The Movie
Going to WalMart to buy fish is like going to Good Year to buy ground beef.
donttaptheglass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2006, 03:16 PM   #3
AA Team Emeritus
 
Devilishturtles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Frederick, Maryland
Posts: 8,544
Send a message via Yahoo to Devilishturtles
Quote:
One says it's up to you - oh thanks, that helped a bunch.
That would be me. And it's true. You know the pros and cons, so you are the only person who can make the decision. Not trying to be rude, but that is the truth.

Without proper maintence, they can be a hassle. You would need to make sure to perform regular water changes to prevent buildup under the UGF. Things can sit down there and cause nitrate problems. With regular maintence, including syphoning under the UGF, you may not have these problems.

If you do proper cleaning on your planted tank, the roots do not need a UGF to survive. And, heavily rooted plants should not be put with an UGF, because they can grow below the UGF and not get the required nutrients from the water. A UGF is a no in a planted tank, IMHO, but it can be done if you really wanted a UGF and with the proper plants.
Quote:
How often and how DEEP do I clean the gravel without an UGF?
Just as deep as with an undergravel filter, and every two weeks or so. I vaccum all the way down to the bottom.
__________________
-Lindsay

Live in the Western MD/West Virginia/DC Metro Area?
Join our very active regional forum Here

Like the advice someone just gave you? Add to their reputation! Click on the balance icon underneath their username and let them know.
Devilishturtles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2006, 03:33 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Fishyfanatic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Illinois
Posts: 11,964
I agree with DT. UGFs and plants do not mix. I have always been told never to use one when planting a tank. Plus, they are not as efficient as a hob or canister. The debris that gets trapped under the plates causes them to be nitrate factories (unless properly maintained, which can be a pain).
__________________
Vote for Aquarium Advice

29 Gallon Lake Malawi Fry
55 Gallon Community
150 Gallon Lake Malawi Cichlid
Fishyfanatic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2006, 06:52 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 572
Well you just vacuum the gravel deep. From what was said above you do that without UGF too. However, how to you keep the oxygen flow thru the gravel without the filter? Or do the lant roots help with that?
__________________
Musket is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2006, 03:56 AM   #6
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Cumberland, MD
Posts: 2,444
I have UG filters on most of my tanks. I either run an AquaClear intake into a lift tube, or run powerheads modified for reverse-flow into the lift tube. The two tanks with powerheads/reverse flow are set up with a layer of blue&white bulk filter material between the plate/s (PennPlax Undertows, the only UG filters I use) and the gravel bed. 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. The powerheads are prefiltered with Quickfilter cartridges, though I use more of the bulk filter material instead of the pads supplied with the Quickfilters. The pads are great for clearing fine particles, but clog too quickly for long-tern use.
The other two tanks, run with oversized Aquaclear filters, (2 500's on the 55, one for each plate, and a 70 on the 38) 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.
__________________
toddnbecka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2006, 12:18 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Zagz's Avatar



POTM Champion
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
Posts: 17,108
Send a message via MSN to Zagz
I am not a fan of UGF's. I took one out of an established goldfish tank because the nitrates would never get below 40 ppm no matter how many water changes I did. When I took the UGF out I found out why. The stuff under the plates was to put it straight forward, GROSS. Decaying food and feces, it was terrible. Since I got rid of the UGF the nitrates go between 20-40 ppm between changes. There is a high bioload in that tank so that is normal. I don't and haven't ever kept plants with a UGF so can't comment.
__________________
AA Community Rules | AA TOS

-----------
Site Administrator
Zagz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2006, 12:33 PM   #8
AA Team Emeritus
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Whitby, Ont,Canada
Posts: 2,755
A couple of things need to be cleared up about UGFs. They are not nitrate factories, any more than any other type of filter. The amount of nitrate that will be produced in a tank is related to the bioload in that tank. UGFs cannot create nitrate. They do have some drawbacks, and it is believed now, that they are detrimental to plant growth. This is contrary to what was once believed, that being that they were essential. As far as maintenace goes, aside from regular gravel vacuuming, a siphon tube can be inserted into the lift tubes and quickly removes any accumulated detritus from beneath the plates. 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 see a lot of misinformation about them, being spread as gospel, when in fact it is not true. The most obvious one being that they are "nitrate factories". Any good, functioning filter is a nitrate factory.
__________________
Join a fish club. Don't have one in your area? Start one.
BillD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2006, 12:49 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Fishyfanatic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Illinois
Posts: 11,964
The reason why I called them "nitrate factories" is because people generally do not maintain them properly (as I stated). When they are not maintained properly, the debris sits under the plates and causes higher nitrates.
__________________
Vote for Aquarium Advice

29 Gallon Lake Malawi Fry
55 Gallon Community
150 Gallon Lake Malawi Cichlid
Fishyfanatic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2006, 01:16 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Posts: 863
Yes, they are a little dated I think.
__________________

__________________
lovemybarbs is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
filtration, undergravel

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Filtration issues, or lack-there-of filtration... penelope Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 9 03-02-2008 08:22 PM
Undergravel Filtration and other recommendations Musket Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 5 03-27-2006 09:28 PM
Undergravel Filter??? Nels22 Saltwater Reef Aquaria 8 10-12-2004 07:57 PM
Undergravel Filtration Mr. Moray General Hardware/Equipment Discussion 4 06-22-2004 06:33 PM
Undergravel Filtration - Really Necessary?? jmeunier Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 7 05-08-2004 09:53 PM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:11 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.