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Old 01-20-2016, 02:46 PM   #1
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Under gravel filtration gravel?

What is the optimal allotment of gravel to use with the US plates? We're planning to cycle a 40G breeder & a 55G. Non planted. Thank you for any wisdom shared.

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Old 01-20-2016, 02:48 PM   #2
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meant UGF . My Droid edited my text. sorry.
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Old 01-20-2016, 02:55 PM   #3
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I would use about 2 inches of gravel.

Curious, what made you decide to use a ugf rather than a sponge filter or hob / canister?
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Old 01-20-2016, 03:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mebbid View Post
I would use about 2 inches of gravel.

Curious, what made you decide to use a ugf rather than a sponge filter or hob / canister?
Thanks.

The 55G we're buying comes with it and before that our LFS guy educated us on them and it seemed reasonable. Our previous tank we used the HOB one but it seemed funky . We figured since we are on top of the vacuum care and other maintenance , this might be best.
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Old 01-20-2016, 03:13 PM   #5
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Interesting, the ugfs get more flak than they deserve. They do their job very very well, but are just a pain to clean.
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Old 01-20-2016, 03:34 PM   #6
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I have read several complaints over them as well. However many I have found that have always had success rates with them too. A Co worker of my hubby threw in the UGF with used 55G he's selling us. I was planning to get it up and running for about a month cycle. I just didn't want the substrate take too much volume as I hope to inhabit a few lovely angelfish.
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Old 01-20-2016, 05:22 PM   #7
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Oh, the good old days of under gravel filters. They did the job then and will do now.
I found the cleaning to be a hassle and often had a build up of debris below the plates. I know you're not planting but an UGF seems to kill most plants unless they're potted. Adding additional media such as carbon, Purigen, filter floss etc is not easy to do, if indeed possible at all.
Quite good for breeding tanks as they young don't get sucked up into a filter.
I wouldn't try to talk a new fish keeper out of using an UGF is that's what was bought with the tank but would probably steer them towards a more sophisticated filter, such as a canister, if making an initial set up purchase.


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Old 01-20-2016, 05:24 PM   #8
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Don't know if this has been done before, but I developed a hybrid UGF/Canister setup. It uses a pond filter intake buried in the corner of the tank. Seems to work very well - no issues running fairly long canister cleaning cycles. The gravel-covered intake acts as a pre-filter for the canister.
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Old 01-31-2016, 04:33 AM   #9
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Update, the 55 gallon tank fell through . They sold it to a close friend. I might still get an under substrate system for the 40G . Thanks again for the replies and shared opinions.
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Old 01-31-2016, 01:17 PM   #10
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How to maintain an UG filter;
use a gravel vac at every water change.
every 3 months put a hose down the lift tubes and siphon water and muck from under the plates.
about every 6 months -1 year get in there and really stir up the substrate to break up any compacted spots and keep it relatively clean.

also gravel choice is important. You don't want gravel that is too large as that will allow too much muck to settle in the substrate and under the plates. The common gravel sold in most lfs is good, not too big, not too small.
Avoid sand as it compacts to easily and prevents a good flow.

the caveats to using an undergravel is in order to use carbon or other chemical filter media you need to use a secondary filter.

and if not maintained by vacuuming and siphoning from under the plates, they can be disaster waiting to happen.
Well maintained UG's are one of the best biological filters that can be used.
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Old 02-04-2016, 01:25 PM   #11
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You could do a reverse flow UGF. Use a powerhead to pump water underneath the gravel. However, you will probably have to run a secondary filter for mechanical filtration.
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