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jaderman 01-09-2011 06:04 PM

Looking to use an under gravel filter
Looking to use an under gravel filter for the first time as a little extra filtration in a tank I'm starting ( no fish in it yet) but it is going in a 55 gallon tank and is 55 gallon rated. The instructions say it can be hooked either to an air pump rated for 55 gallons or a power head. now my question is which would be more effective and what are the pros and cons of using either on an under gravel filtration system? Thanks for the responses :)

fishguy1 01-09-2011 06:31 PM

I think UGFs are outdated and shouldn't be used. They'll trap more waste then they will filter.

Fishyfriend09 01-09-2011 06:41 PM

The best kind of filter IMO is an external canister filter =)

mudraker 01-09-2011 06:47 PM

If you are going to stick with a UGF, a powerhead

jaderman 01-09-2011 07:09 PM

Thanks for the responses but I left out a key piece of info-- this UGF will be paired up with an aquaclear 110

fishguy1 01-09-2011 07:17 PM

Doesn't change anything for me :) It's still gonna collect waste under the plates.

mfdrookie516 01-09-2011 07:39 PM

I've heard several people on here say great things about running a UGF in reverse. Instead of pulling the water down through the substrate, running it up through the substrate. While I've never used a UGF, the RUGF idea does make a lot of sense.

fort384 01-09-2011 08:13 PM

I wouldn't run an UGF. Stick with an HOB or a canister filter. Have used all 3 varieties, UGF was by far the worst. They trap debris under the substrate, clutter up the tank, and are the noisiest option of the 3 as well.

Fishguy2727 01-09-2011 10:24 PM

In my opinion UGFs and RUGFs are out of date. I have seen RUGFs be just as bad as UGFs. The biggest problem is that when neglected HOBs, cnaisters, etc. can be cleaned thoroughly and you can catch up. However, the UGF and RUGF when neglected is so problematic you simply have to tear it out, releasing al that debris into the water column so it looks like there was a sewage leak. It simply isn't that effective and not worth it.

Stick with HOBs and canisters, clean them regularly (monthly), and keep up the water changes.

Sand is a more natural and cleaner option anyways, and not compatible with UGFs or RUGFs (at least not without a bunch of extra work and the same risk as UGFs to begin with).

BigJim 01-10-2011 12:13 PM

UGFs and RUGFs are a bit old school, but they're still plenty effective, especially for large-scale fish rooms. The key is maintaining them well.

A UGF sucks all the waste in the tank down under the gravel, using the gravel as both the mechanical and biological media.

A RUGF sucks all the waste into the sponge of the powerhead, using the sponge as the mechanical medium and the sponge and gravel as the biological media. The RUGF takes up more space in the tank because of the sponge, but it's quieter and it keeps the waste out of the gravel.

I think I'd skip on the UGF if you've got an AC110. The AquaClear is much less obtrusive in the tank and the AC110 should be more than adequate for your 55g. I have one on a 40B and it's hardly taxed.

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