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Old 06-22-2016, 12:18 PM   #1
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Undergravel Filter Issues

This morning, I did a major water change as my tank was looking particularly nasty. I vacuumed all the gravel and went to top the tank back off. When I got the water level back to normal, my undergravel filter spouts just started spewing all of the debris trapped underneath. I managed to net a good amount of it out after turning off my UG because it showed no signs of slowing down. I have a 40 gallon with an Emperor 400.

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Old 06-22-2016, 12:43 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by LilBangarang View Post
This morning, I did a major water change as my tank was looking particularly nasty. I vacuumed all the gravel and went to top the tank back off. When I got the water level back to normal, my undergravel filter spouts just started spewing all of the debris trapped underneath. I managed to net a good amount of it out after turning off my UG because it showed no signs of slowing down. I have a 40 gallon with an Emperor 400.

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When I was running a UG filter this would occur from time to time. It is possible that the mulm and debris resting on the bottom of the tank (below the UG plates) became disturbed when new water was added back to the tank.
To prevent an substantial buildup under the plate, there are a few things you can try:
Take a length of airline hose and push it into the UG riser tubes (under the plates) and spin the tubing. This should help dislodge any debris. Next, insert the water change siphon into one of the UG riser tubes and draw out the foul water.
Depending on how you stand is built, if it is an open bottom (meaning, you can access the bottom surface of the tank from below then drop a stainless steel washer down one of the UG riser tubes. Then, using an algae magnet (or any magnet), drag the washer around the bottom. Again, do the water change from one of the riser tubes to remove the debris.


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Old 06-22-2016, 01:38 PM   #3
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A magnet will not work with a normal stainless steel washer, as they are non magnetic. Why not let you power filter remove the debris? I have found that inserting a siphon tube down the lift tube will remove most of the debris built up below the plates.
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Old 06-22-2016, 07:31 PM   #4
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A magnet will not work with a normal stainless steel washer, as they are non magnetic. Why not let you power filter remove the debris? I have found that inserting a siphon tube down the lift tube will remove most of the debris built up below the plates.
This^^
And open one of the UG filter's holes for the lift tube on the opposite end as you're siphoning one side to create a current under the filter and hopefully get most of the gunk out.
Wow, I didn't think anyone uses these filters anymore. Used properly, are a great bang for the buck filter and to add beneficial bacteria.
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Old 06-22-2016, 07:38 PM   #5
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Wow, I didn't think anyone uses these filters anymore. Used properly, are a great bang for the buck filter and to add beneficial bacteria.
Yeah when I was setting up my tank I had the emperor but figured I should probably have more filtration and didn't have the $$$ for a sump or anything else.


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Old 06-22-2016, 07:45 PM   #6
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Yeah when I was setting up my tank I had the emperor but figured I should probably have more filtration and didn't have the $$$ for a sump or anything else.


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Reverse flow or do you have a pump on it?
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Old 06-22-2016, 07:48 PM   #7
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Reverse flow or do you have a pump on it?
I've got a standard setup with a pump.

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Old 06-22-2016, 08:18 PM   #8
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I used to use a pvc fitting that was reduced down to a 1/2 inch hose and would place it on the outlet tube of the UG filter and it worked great. I used to drain some of the nastiest water. Anyway, the situation that you speak of will clear in an hour or two.


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