Yet another "Death to the UGF
!" thread. UGF
's are not necessarily bad. I have a ugf
and a hob
on my 20 gal
. Everyone says they are nitrate factories but my nitrates are around 5 ppm
, and I am downright neglectful of tank maintainance. Part of this is my live plants, but I have been adding nitrate fertilizer as well.
's are not strong mechanical filters-they don't move enough water. UGF
's are great biological filters-they use your substrate as biological media, and they are a good passive mechanical filter. My brother removed his ugf
and he noticed a lot more stuff floating around in the tank and sitting on top of the gravel.
There are several excellent non-teardown ways to clean your ugf
. I stick a siphon hose down the uptube and suck out ridiculous amounts of junk. If you have a ugf
with a flat surface, clear a space of gravel and place your gravel vac flush with the plate and move it around on the surface.
's are not great for planted tanks, especially for heavy root feeders. Their roots will grow under the plates and won't get the nutrients they need. In my tank, I have my root feeding plants in terra cotta pots with my brother's special potting blend.
is a good setup unless you don't like how it looks, don't want to run an air pump, you have root-feeding plants, or you have an incompatible substrate like sand. I would not use a UGF
LONG LIVE THE UGF