Powerhead for UGJ System - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 9 Old 04-01-2010, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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Powerhead for UGJ System

I need help in selecting a suitable powerhead for my UGJ i'm going to build, i have looked at the aquaclear 50 and was wondering can i use it as a prefilter with a sponge over the intake since it will besucking water in for the jets under the sand. Can i use any sponge over the intake.

Hope somebody knows what i'mafter.
Any advice on what to do here would be great.

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post #2 of 9 Old 04-02-2010, 02:06 AM
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I don't think something like this is going to work with a sand substrate (you are using sand, right?). The particles are so small that, rather than simply creating water flow through your substrate, the jets will just push the sand out of the way. For a sand substrate, you're better off manually stirring it from time to time, using Malaysian trumpet snails to burrow through the sand to prevent it from compacting or both. Also, when using a sand substrate you don't really have issues with mulm collecting in the substrate as it tends to sit on top of the substrate as it's so light in comparison to sand. You simply gravel vac the sand's surface and presto, clean substrate! That said, if you decide to use gravel rather than sand I think it would be easier and much more effective to simply buy a UGF and use powerheads on a reverse flow setting for the same sort of effect the UGJ idea is intended to create.

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Last edited by iamntbatman; 04-02-2010 at 02:08 AM.
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post #3 of 9 Old 04-02-2010, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
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I dont like the UGF there way to unreliable. I have been advised that the UGJ wouldnt be a problem under the sand. It would keep the debris and waste of the sand bed and push waste to the canister intake and the prefilter sponge on my powerhead and also my internal filter. This would eliminate the need for gravel vac for months at a time and keep the tank in pristine condition.

I would simply move the sand about every 2 weeks or so to keep it from compacting. Malaysian trumpet snails sound good, what are they for? What is there purpose?

Thanks for input.
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post #4 of 9 Old 04-03-2010, 04:44 AM
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The snails basically feed on any detritus that does get down into the sand and they constantly burrow through the sand to help keep dead spots from forming. Useful critters, if you ask me.

If someone else has used one of these systems with sand I guess I'd have to take his word for it, but personally I just don't see those mechanics working out.

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post #5 of 9 Old 04-16-2010, 06:59 AM Thread Starter
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anyone else help with this dilema?
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post #6 of 9 Old 04-16-2010, 08:35 AM
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I might google.... "Manifold Device for Loach tank" and see if this is similar to what is being proposed.
If not,, I am with Batman. UG filter with two powerheads ,with reverse flow attached to lift tubes , would need no pre-filters and would work quite well. The powerheads instead of drawing water from under the plate,would instead,, push water down the lift tube and up under the plate and into the water where external or canister filter could clean it.
I have seen another variation with the jets mentioned protruding just above the sand but UG plate was not used. Instead,, a layout of small pvc pipe was placed under the substrate and Reverse flow powerheads were attached to the lift tubes also constructed of pvc material. Power heads forced water down and through the pvc and small risers ,or jets were constucted by attaching small risers and pinching the ends of the risers near closed so that the waste on the surface was blown from the power heads force, to an area or up into the water where external or canister filter could clean the waste from the water.
Personally unless I was insisting on using sand,, I would simply use UG plate and cover it with gravel. Would then use a couple Powerheads with reverse flow capability to accomplish the same thing as with the pvc layout. Water would be forced down the lift tube by reverse flow, and up through the gravel and into the water column where canister or external filter could clean the water. Would require perhaps frequent cleaning of filter material but substrate would remain quite a bit cleaner and perhaps little vaccuming at all depending on the size of power heads used.
Not to mention it would be a whole lot easier to set up in my view.
Forgive me if none of this is what you have in mind, I am old and getting feeble.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #7 of 9 Old 04-17-2010, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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The first idea is no good, i dont aggree with under gravel filters they are a nightmare to keep clean and when using gravel the gravel is absolutely filled with dirt that hasnt made it ot the bottom.

The second idea is what i'm doing, very very simply done.

All you need is pvc piping, couple of t-joints and elbows, the elbows will point upwards where you will cut a small peice of pvc and boil it in hot water then squeeze the end so it becomes squished and focused like a jet, this is repated for each jet you want to create, you join all the rest of the pvc with t-joints and elbows where needed depending on which direction your going with your jets.

This is a fantastic idea and brilliant for water flow and keep debris away from the bottom and into the water columns and into the filter intake/s.

This can be acheived with sand, but i'm just not completely sure now with the advice given and mbuna are diggers is putting me off.

Ideally you want 3-4 jets per powerhead or the flow rate wont be suitable.
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post #8 of 9 Old 04-18-2010, 12:24 AM
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Under gravel filter plates are indeed problematic if powerhead(s) don't have reverse flow capability. With reverse flow, either with powerheads ,or return hose from canister filter attached to lift tube of UGF, it is quite efficient way of keeping the gravel (substrate), much cleaner than traditional UGF method.
In any event, It will be the filter intakes rather than powerheads that need pre-filter sponges to prevent sand from fish noted for digging, from getting into the internal workings.
Would, were it me (and it ain't) still go with UGF with gravel and reverse flow powerhead. Does exactly what the jet type UG does without the need of PVC layout but would not work well with sand.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-18-2010, 12:50 AM
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My apolgies, after some more thought(1:00A.M.) here, Powerheads too could become damaged with sand.
Might use a pump with prefilter instead of powerheads and place the pump up off the bed of sand on rock or something?
With gravel,, you would have way less problem.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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