Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   UGF (UnderGroundFilter) reverse flow? (

fish999 01-08-2010 08:47 PM

UGF (UnderGroundFilter) reverse flow?
I was struck by a thought while in the lab today. What is the only place in the tank that doesn't really get cleaned? ... and OMG (OhMyGod) what would it look like after a few months in that little seam of gravel between the bottom of the tank and the furthest down someone siphons? Does it look like Black Ooze and stink of ammonia or methane?

The filtering of that area has been addressed by UGF. However many UGF installations are ineffective compared with a canister. A hypothetical improvement is the have a canister take it's input through the UGF to force more water through the UGF and back out through the canister as well, but that does not filter the water in the manner most aquarist prefer which is directly from tank water to reduce particulate matter in the tank.

The solution? I hit on it today. A canister that takes it's input from the tank water and the output into the UGF. Reversed UGF. This will cause circulation through the Black Ooze Area and expose the gravel to the filtering process. I guess I'm seeing it as melding the 2 best features of both types of filter by utilizing them together in in a unique arrangement.

I'm experimenting with it now in the lab. Anyone one else with UGF wanna try it too?

rsn48 01-08-2010 09:01 PM

I'm new back to the hobby - fourth time in - and in my former three lives, I always had a UGF and a canister jobbie working away. In a well planted aquarium the plants use the waste to create their food. I do know the UGF has fallen out of favour.

If you ever cleaned your under gravel out, you will remember there was always a great deal of slimy sludge under the plate, so I can see why it has fallen out of favour. But what I'm curious about was that before the under gravel plate, there used to be just under gravel pipes, surrounded by gravel. I'm wonder how efficacious that system was; maybe the pipes did a better job than the plate?

Mikaila31 01-08-2010 09:16 PM

its been done before actually. Reverse UGF. They do work quite well, better than normal UGF. Its suggested you use a prefilter.

Running them reverse is the only way I will use them. I've taken down tanks with UGF..... its bad. You hit it right on the head with black ooze and ammonia smell..... not totally ammonia... it just smells horrible.

Angel079 01-08-2010 09:27 PM

Sounds really interesting, keep us posted how its working for ya! If you need more UGF I have a unused set up for a 55g here (came with the tank but I don't use it cause of the plants).
If you use something like a Eheim Canister i'd hook up one of the small round pre-filters. I'd imagine with this wash-out in your tank you get your canister clogged up pretty quickly.

fish999 01-09-2010 01:53 PM

Thanks for your input, everyone. Really appreciate it.

So, after reading all of your comments I'm getting the idea there are two questions to be answered.

1) Will using backflow through the UGF eliminate any "Black Ooze" formation?

2) Since the back flow is spread out over a large area, will it create any water flow?

If we can answer these questions we'll be making progress?

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