Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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GNOME 11-29-2006 08:42 PM

Well I have been told that undergravel filters are "Junk", "No Good". I have one in my 30 gallon along with an Aqua-Tech 5-15 power filter. And the debate begins. I hope.

jinithith2 11-29-2006 08:47 PM

well undergravel filters aren't too good with mechanical filteration, and you have to tear it down once a year for maintanance, cos all the detritus ends up sitting under the gravel, not actually removed from the tank.
reverse flow UG filters are better, but they also have similar problems as normal UG filters. deadspots where decorations are, and you still have to tear it down once per two years.
I prefer a good external filter and siphoning the gravel once a week :D

Mind you, I think UG filters have good bio filteration? I'm not sure. it also keeps the gravel itself clean of any detritus, because it ends up going all under the mesh

Lupin 11-29-2006 08:49 PM

Try internal filters or sponge filters(may not be adequate if tank has substrate). I prefer the former.:)

jinithith2 11-29-2006 08:56 PM

lol its just me but an internal in a 10 gal is fricking so incospicuous.
I know the starter of this thread has a 30 gal, but I particularly dont like internals.
go external! :D

JouteiMike 11-29-2006 10:43 PM

Depends on how many things you have covering the ground (rocks, plants, wood, decorations) to say if an undergravel filter is adequate. With lots of stuff in the tank, the filter will easily get clogged and have problems. More information on your tank, and/or a picture would help.

I would add another HOB filter whether or not you get rid of the UGF, cause as previously stated, UGFs just aren't up to par with mechanical filtration, but do wonders with Biological filtration. If you plan on getting rid of the UGF, and add another HOB, keep the gravel filter running with the new filter for a month or so, so it has time to grow some batceria colonies.

fish_4_all 11-30-2006 08:31 PM

I used to run them and let me tell you this. I didn't know to clean them out every year and when I didn't I would get the nastiest algae bloom/green water you have ever seen and I lost all my fish twice because of it. It happens overnight and I changed water 3-5 times a day and couldn't get rid of it.

Now I have run them succesfully though. I did this by heavily vacuuming the gravel weekly and once a month taking a large plastic hose and shoving it under the plates to syphon off the buildup. I have also grown plants on UG filters but they never thrived and once the roots got into the grates the plant most often died.

A good HOB will serve you well and depending on how hard you want to work to get the filter clean an internal could work also. I have seen a stack of sponge filters that actually look kinda cool and could actually work for a 30 gallon. LINK

dprUsh83 11-30-2006 08:47 PM

I actually like undergravel filters a lot, but I like them so long as they're just a bonus. For example, if I'm running an undergravel filter I don't count it in my filtration. Sure it's there, and working, but I still want a HOB that is doing enough for the entire tank (or other means of filtration). Undergravel by itself? I'm not convinced.

tophat665 11-30-2006 09:02 PM

Last UGF I used was in the last (and first) salt water tank I had. Fish were fine for 6 to 8 months, then everything died.

These days, unless there is a compelling reason not to have plants, my tanks are planted, and I use a deeper substrate than an UGF can handle (up to 8" along the back of the tank.)

joeshmoe 11-30-2006 09:20 PM

i hear many ppl that use them in the TFH mag one guy in there was the first to try one! and still uses them in his tanks. i would never use on cuz i think there junk but some ppl love them.

crazie.eddie 11-30-2006 11:23 PM

UGF's are fine in freshwater tanks, as long as you know how to maintain them. They are more for the dedicated fishkeeper and not for the beginner fishkeeper. If the Chicago Shedd Aquarium uses UGF's in some of their display tanks, then I'm sure it would benifit the home aquarist. Of course, they should NEVER be used for salt water tanks.

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