Undergravel Filteration

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Discuss all topics related to freshwater and planted tanks.

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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:38 am

Undergravel Filteration

by bennyphan

When I got my 55 gal tank, it came with the under gravel filtration kit. I knew I was going to use crushes coral sand as my substrate. But I hate the fact that I have perfectly good under gravel filtration kit, and I am not putting it to use. So what I am thinking is putting some gravel underneath the plates, then putting the crush coral sand on top of the plates. Place my powerhead jets over the tube and give it a go....

So the question you think by placing the gravel underneath the plate will prevent the sand from getting sucked into the powerheads?


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by Peterkarig3210

I don't think that would be a good idea. It will only clog up faster as it will take less sand to fill the space with the gravel.

Most people have the opinion that UGF's are out dated, but I like them in some of my tanks.

I'd try and cover the plates with a fine meshed screen so less sand will fall in and see how it goes. If it cloggs up remove the riser tubes and you'll never know it's there.

An alternative is to use under the sand jets where the tips are barely above the sand surface. The water is directed as horizontally as possible and this keeps gunk and crud from settling on the sand.

Gumbii (here on RMFT) built a jet system with pvc pipe and he says it works great.

As for plants. I've read a lot and it seems that except for plants that can get nutrients from the water via the roots such as anubias UGF's are not good. The nutrients in the gravel are at a higher level then it is in the water with no UGF and this allows most rooted plants to use that for food, and there will be less algae problems.

Most people will say the an UGF just won't work with sand period.

Even layering sand on top of gravel won't work as the sand just sifts to the bottom.

Hope I helped somewhat. PK

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by natalie265

Wouldn't putting gravel UNDER an underground filter render it useless? I thought the UGF worked because that empty space creates a cavity that air can pass through, turning the gravel into your biological filter.

Personally, i think a "perfectly good UGF" is perfectly worthless! :)

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Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 12:11 am

by cyndrine

ugf's are useless in anything but a small tank. I used to use them and had 1 on my 55 gal. they are a pain to clean. you need to remove everything from the tank to do this.they only provide a place for the debris to accumulate, and in the tank's i used to have them in i still needed hob's to keep the tank clean.
they look cool with the pipes coming up and the bubbles but in my opinion that is the only good thing about them. they create more work and problems than you need.

Undergravel Filteration

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