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Old 09-10-2005, 12:15 AM   #1
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UGFs really do produce a lot of mulm!

For the what-it's-worth department on UGFs...

Today I tore down my 30 gallon tank with a UGF because I want sand for a substrate. The tank had been running with a UGF and a powerhead for 3 months. I did 25%-30% water changes about every week -- at least every 10 days with deep gravel vacs. I was AMAZED at the amount of mulm under the plates in that short of time. 8O

I'm staying away from UGFs for good!
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Old 09-10-2005, 12:19 AM   #2
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I experienced the same problem. When I was brand-new someone who didn't know what they were talking about recommended UGF's to me... I had them in two tanks. What a mess! Won't be doing that again.
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Old 09-10-2005, 12:31 AM   #3
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I don't know what exactly UGF is, but I think if use sand as substrate it would be OK
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Old 09-10-2005, 12:55 AM   #4
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sand and ugf's don't mix. UGFs are Under Gravel Filters. They suck water through the gravel through slits. If using sand, the sand will pull through the slits and cause big problems.
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Old 09-10-2005, 01:13 AM   #5
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IC, now I understood UFG is

tks fishyfanatic
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Old 09-10-2005, 01:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcp
I don't know what exactly UGF is, but I think if use sand as substrate it would be OK
If you don't know or aren't sure, please educate yourself on the matter at hand before answering questions or giving advice.
Not meaning to be mean, rude or disrepectful its just that in some cases bad advice can cause or compound a problem or even worse, kill fish.
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Old 09-10-2005, 01:31 AM   #7
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sorry,
will take lesson from what happening
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Old 09-10-2005, 09:10 AM   #8
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lol, I was going to get a UGF for my 55. Glad I didn't!
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Old 09-10-2005, 10:07 AM   #9
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If you're growing plants, mulm is a good thing!

I've even seen plans for "reverse" UGFs, that force the dirty water under the plates and keep everyting trapped down there, accessable to the plant roots.
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Old 09-10-2005, 11:44 AM   #10
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I could go into why UGF's are not the best idea for planted tanks.. but thankfully others have gone through the trouble of publishing it on the internet... thanks to Steve Hamton, Here is the link to his site.. http://www.aquariaplants.com/undergravelfilters.htm

coolchinchilla.. I ran UGF's back in the good old days.. about 15 years ago.. Im wondering if during your maintainace you ever popped a lift-tube cap and tried to syphon out the mulm from under the UGF plate.. That usually helped.. I think UGF's still have a purpose.. like fry tanks and such and If you know how to avoid some of the problems with them it would be good information IMO.. HTH

Of course ridding a tank of a UGF when converting to sand is mandatory.. Good luck and good fishkeeping..
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Old 09-10-2005, 11:55 AM   #11
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I had an undergravel filter in one of my 3 foots I use to keep discus in it and I cant believe they didnt die lol. 8O With the amount of gunk I found under it when I decided to change my tank to sand this also meant I needed to buy new filters for the tank as well.
I would now never ever use an undergravel filter again.
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Old 09-10-2005, 11:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven_Askham
I had an undergravel filter in one of my 3 foots I use to keep discus in it and I cant believe they didnt die lol. 8O With the amount of gunk I found under it when I decided to change my tank to sand this also meant I needed to buy new filters for the tank as well.
I would now never ever use an undergravel filter again.
Steven.. Im going to ask you the same question.. Did you ever pop a lift-tube cap and try to syphon out the mulm from under the UGF plate?
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Old 09-10-2005, 12:04 PM   #13
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Well I syphoned my gravel weekly along with 30% water changes. I did once or twice but not much seemed to come up 8O
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Old 09-10-2005, 12:12 PM   #14
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IME when I syphoned from a lift-tube cap I got alot of mulm out.. I would make sure to shut the Power heads or air pump off and cap all other lift-tube's to do it though, it provided more aggressive suction through the lift-tube opening I was working with.. HTH
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Old 09-10-2005, 12:13 PM   #15
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My Syphon tube I was using wasnt really that strong it was good for cleaning gravel but nothing else. This meant that no fish, even fry got sucked up lol.
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Old 09-10-2005, 12:17 PM   #16
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I just dont want people thinking they cant use a UGF on there fry tanks because of all the bad experiences members have had with them.. Im just putting my experience with the UGF out there for others... HTH
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Old 09-10-2005, 12:18 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmaji
I could go into why UGF's are not the best idea for planted tanks.. but thankfully others have gone through the trouble of publishing it on the internet... thanks to Steve Hamton, Here is the link to his site.. http://www.aquariaplants.com/undergravelfilters.htm
I've heard those arguments, and I've heard opposition as well. I've never tried a UGF myself. I was going to when I ended up with a used eruobraced tank (no HOB there) but the tank ended up to be leaky.
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Old 09-10-2005, 12:20 PM   #18
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Thank you greenmaji, Just to let you know there is a post named after you lol lease take a look. I know many people who still use undergravel filters, one of my lfs owners swears by them and his have been set-up for 30 years in his marine tanks.
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Old 09-10-2005, 12:21 PM   #19
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dskidmore... resealing glass tanks is not to hard IME and canister filters would be a great option for a eruobraced tank.. I hope you have good luck with it.. :P
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Old 09-10-2005, 12:25 PM   #20
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I have not used a UGF in 15 years.. for a good reason.. the gravel in your tank is not the best bio-filter media out there.. but.. when you need low turbulence for a low bio-load application the UGF is still a option IMO.. (the advances in marine aquaria filtration over the last couple of decades would allow your LFS to keep much more vibrant and healthy stock IMO)

edit- Ill do a search for my username and check it out..
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