Undergravel Filter and Sand Substrate

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Member introductions and random (non-aquarist) topics.

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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 1:29 am

Undergravel Filter and Sand Substrate

by RMcArdle8028

Do I have any options if I want to use an Undergravel Filter and Sand substrate as well?

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Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 5:10 am

by a1k8t31524

umm, no and i would just say forget about the UGF all together they are shit.

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Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 2:30 am

by dizzcat

I have heard its a very bad idea to use sand with an under-gravel. I guess it clogs everything up. I have also heard that UGF's are not very good. When my sister gave me her 30 gallon tank, she also gave me one. I tossed it and got a power filter instead.

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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 11:52 am

by rmcardle8032

Thanks for the response. I think I'm going to scrap the UGF. I've always used the UGF's in the past with an aqua clear filter (on back of tank ) but I'll go another direction. Not real familar with other filter systems outside of the aqua clears though...Any ideas/info appreciated. I'm getting a 75 gal 48x18x20 acrylic tank, should be delivered late January, and using Sand Substrate with Texas Holey Rock for a cichlids tank.

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Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 8:33 pm

by Tmercier834747

Honestly I don't think UGF''s are all that horrible, having said that I've never tried one.

It would seem logical though that with the right kind of substrate and a very powerful draw you could get some good filtration going. Although it seems it would only function best with the tank severely understocked if one hoped not to be tearing their tank apart every two weeks...

A1 has a deep seated hate for UGF's because he annihilated his tank the last time he did a little maintenance while he still had a UGF.. needless to say its gone. :)

As far as I know they do not work with sand, period.

Since you're getting a good sized tank you could look into canister filters. I use a rena XP1 on my 30gal (rated for 45gal). The price is good and I'm very pleased with how well mine works. You'd probably need an XP3 or 4. There are many other options with canisters but the more bells and whistles the more pricey they are. You could also supplement with a high volume HOB filter such as an emperor 500 or something on the opposite side of the tank.

There are some members here that use a UGJet system with sand(I think gumbii for one on one of his tanks) which are pretty cool, need little to no maintenance but are difficult to design, and personally I think you could achieve the same effect (except the inconspicuousness) with a couple of well-aimed powerheads..

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Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 5:10 am

by a1k8t31524

all UGF's do is create a place for shit to gather, there is no way to get enough flow through thoes plates with either airstones or powerheads, all the do is create an anarobic hiding place for shit..........but that is just my opinion......
after i ditched my UGF i built a UGJ system, they are cheap and easy to make, and i "retro" fitted two big ass sponge filters on tho the powerheads that i use so i alwo get a massive amount of bio filtration out of it, when i get home i will look and see if i can find the picture of what the UGF filter did to my tank.

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Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 8:20 pm

by vwfan79

When I started out I used UGF because it was given to me with the tank. Like a1k8t3 said it is a good place for shit to hang out and no real good way to get it out. I got rid of mine very quickly and now use aquaclear filters (w/ no charcoal and extra bio mater). I have a 90 gal and have a 110 at one end and a 30 at the other also a aguaclear 70 power head w/ a filter attached at one end and a 30 at the other. I do like my aquaclears but am also looking at a canister filter to cut back on the amount of equipment being used.

Undergravel Filter and Sand Substrate

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