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Undergravel filters are not bad

This is a discussion on Undergravel filters are not bad within the Member Submitted Articles forums, part of the TFK Resources category; --> Originally Posted by 1077 Don't know why you would not favor (Challenge) powerhead's with reverse flow capabilities(Have you tried it?) In undergravel filtration, with ...

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Undergravel filters are not bad
Old 04-14-2011, 12:02 PM   #21
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1077 View Post
Don't know why you would not favor
(Challenge) powerhead's with reverse flow capabilities(Have you tried it?) In undergravel filtration,
with traditional UG filter,dirt and debrii is pulled down into and under the plate which requires the reg maint you speak of to remove the crud( Anaerobic condition's)) that finds it's way under the plate.
With powerheads capable of reverse flow,, the water is pulled from the aquarium from atop the lift tubes via the powerheads in reverse flow, and water is pushed down and up under and through the plate, and no crud can collect there depending on the GPH rating of powerhead's used.
Does require pre-filter over the intake /output of powerheads assuming you wish for the inner workings of powerhead's to stay cleaner,longer.
Also need canister or HOB filter to clean the water that is being pushed back up through the substrate and once again pushed back down and under the plate. This is /should be,oxygen rich water.
Is very effective filtration for large fishes that produce a lot of waste both while eating,,and excretement. This waste is prevented from gathering on the substrate, down in substrate,/under filter plate, and water turnover is usually sufficient to keep particulates in the water coulmn for afore mentioned canister or HOB filter to clean.Just need to keep mechanical material in filter clean but otherwise,,no more difficult than other filter maint which should be cleaned regularly.
Just realized I never responded. The reverse flow concept isn't bad, but unless throttled way back, I think power heads, moving water in either direction is bad. The UGF works best when highly oxygenated water is moved slowly through the bed. Bubble up UGF's with relatively clean gravel always worked well for me, and if it ain't broke don't add power heads and/or change direction.

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.
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:42 PM   #22
 
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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.
Thats exactly what the reverse flow fixes..... Pre filtered water is pumped under the grate and OUT through the gravel. The original method sucks debris INTO the gravel causing a eventual build up if not maintained properly. The whole point of reverse flow is to avoid debris from getting into the gravel, thus keeping the tank cleaner.
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:05 AM   #23
 
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Originally Posted by Mikaila31 View Post
Thats exactly what the reverse flow fixes..... Pre filtered water is pumped under the grate and OUT through the gravel. The original method sucks debris INTO the gravel causing a eventual build up if not maintained properly. The whole point of reverse flow is to avoid debris from getting into the gravel, thus keeping the tank cleaner.
+one, I give up!
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:19 AM   #24
 
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Well, undergravel filters remove a bit more suspended matter than UG's... This is only from reading, as I've never ran either one.


Before I decided plants, I was close to setting up an UG filter. If I set up a marine tank, I'll probably use one. :P

The only problem with UG filters and plants is that the UG filter prevents rooted plants from bringing in nutrients. Root tabs and enriched substrates would only cause a huge mess.

UG's are great for african lakes where you never want to use a plant, but I would imagine you can't just stop using the filter when you want. Wouldn't the bacteria in the substrate hurt the water?
*shrug*
I have to disagree here. The 180 planted that I used to run had a full UG in it and the plants did better than any other setup I've ever run. I was trimming and selling plants every 3 days in that monster. Yes I had incredible lighting and C02 but the UG seemed to bring nutrients to the roots of the plants. The UG was the ONLY filter in the system too, no agitation of crazy currents to contend with either.
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Old 04-16-2011, 12:12 AM   #25
 
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...
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Old 04-16-2011, 08:40 PM   #26
 
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)
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:25 PM   #27
 
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.

~Scott
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