Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Under Gravel filter...A good idea? (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/under-gravel-filter-good-idea-16613/)

MARIOPARTY53 07-28-2008 06:39 PM

Under Gravel filter...A good idea?
 
Hi, In my old 5 gallon tank I had trouble with removing food, And so much under gravel mold, poop etc....And the siphon did cut it either, and now i have a new tank and was wondering should I get one, or im wasting my money?

Flashygrrl 07-28-2008 07:03 PM

What size tank and what occupants?

MARIOPARTY53 07-28-2008 07:46 PM

well, 60 gal, but this will be when I have like 15-20 fish that are like 1 inch

Pasfur 07-28-2008 08:11 PM

Undergravel filters can be useed on any size aquarium, provided you understand the necessary upkeep and are prepared to spend the time necessary to change water weekly and vacuum the gravel free of detritus buildup. Dollar for dollar, hang on filters that include a biological filter, such as the Emperor 440, are more efficient and much easier to maintain.

I stopped using undergravel filters some 10 years or so ago. I still consider this step to be one of the best decisions I have ever made as a fishkeeper. At this point in my aquarium life, i would use a simple sponge filter on a small aquarium before i consider a u/g.

Flashygrrl 07-28-2008 08:37 PM

Let's not forget herefishy's method of filtration. Hooking up reverse flow powerheads (Penguin makes em)to the UGF. It pushes the waste up to the surface of the substrate rather than down, and also provides the good bacteria with more oxygen. Add a good HOB filter and you've got a layered filtration system that will keep your tank cleaner and reduce your maintainence quite a bit (I guess he only does gravel sweeps 3-4 times a year). I plan on redoing my 29 gallon like this once I get the funds and time, I didn't know about it when I did the set up originally but I wish I had.

okiemavis 07-28-2008 09:13 PM

Flashy beat me to it. I was gonna say, if you don't want stuff in your gravel, reverse flow UGF is the way to go.

MARIOPARTY53 07-29-2008 12:45 AM

hey thanks guys, That helped, I changed my mind Alot

Man this site is great :D

Flashygrrl 07-29-2008 05:40 AM

Your welcome :)

Pasfur 07-31-2008 11:44 AM

Clearly a reverse flow system is an upgrade, but for what purpose? What are you saving? The cost will be no less than a quality hang on filter with biomedia included.

U/g have many other drawbacks that limit their use and they have almost no advantages over other filtration methods. Yes, they work. But if you are starting from square one, or if you are upgrading, why fight the advancements we have made in this hobby?

This topic has been HIGHLY documented in aquarium literature and on the internet, so in the interest of saving space i will only provide bullet points.

1- live plants do not fair as well in u/g systems.
2- the gravel eventually accumulated dead spots of low oxygen flow.
3- even with reverse flow, detritus accumulates under the filter plate.
4- the overall surface area for bacteria to grow is small compared to other options.
5- a 2nd filter is generally needed for mechanical and chemical filtration.
6- you lose denitrification abilities in marine systems.

Don't get me wrong. I still use sponge filters in the proper place. I am not a technology geek. But I could never support using a u/g just to avoid being trendy. The benefits just do not outweigh the disadvantage and the cost is virtually identical to a more efficient hang on unit.


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