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Originally Posted by 1077 View Post
BUT there is a real problem with UGF's the way I think many people use them. If the gravel is not cleaned with a gravel siphon or other method, they are a ticking time bomb of a decaying mess that will eventually plug and turn out badly.
Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
Originally Posted by redchigh View Post
60 gallon FOWLR in progress
I also don't quite buy the whole "UGF is bad for plants" thing. I've seen it done without a problem. If you actually thing about hydroponics its like the exact same thing. Lettuce for example is floated on a little raft with its roots in moving water. They do great like this. Fertilize the water column not the substrate, problem solved...
we have had tanks for ever, and every time i get one, i am told by my father, to get the UGF....in the current 10g i have the platform, and had plants in it. seemed to grow great, until the last fish died and i transplanted.... i dont use the UGF anymore because its just too hard to find the replacement parts forthe brand (filter system is from 10 yrs ago plus, and pieces were lost in moves)
under-gravel filtration comments
I too have used under- gravel filters for the better part of 40 years supplemented by hang-on-the-back mechanical filters. I had never heard of the under- gravel controversy until very recently. I started losing mature fish for no apparent reason and could not keep new ones alive for but a few weeks. it turns out my pH was quite low (in the 6's) and off the scale for most testing kits. After much discussion with a knowledgeable pet shop, it was determined the culprit was trapped "muck" under the gravel plates. I wouldn't say I"m diligent about vacuuming my gravel, but I'm not neglectful either. I probably vacuum and do a 5-10% water change every 4-6 weeks. The pet shop has suggested I abandon the under-gravel all together but I'm not sure I'm ready to do that as I believe the biological benefits are the same ones I grew up relying upon 40 years ago. I will be changing out my power heads for reverse-flow ones (wasn't aware of those either until recently) and keeping a much more watchful eye on pH levels.
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