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porksnorkel 08-22-2007 09:12 PM

canisters and undergravels??
anyone ever try running a cister on an under gravel filter, instead of an air pump? just curious as to why this would or wouldn't work. seems to me that this would be the ultimate in filtration...unless of course u have sand substrate!

jsm11482 08-22-2007 10:03 PM

Hmmm...this doesn't make sense to me because the undergravel filter pulls debris down into the gravel (not through it). I you attached your canister filter to the UGF, it would more or less be filtering already debris-free water. Make sense?

porksnorkel 08-22-2007 10:14 PM

yes point sort of... would eliminate the need to vaccum the gravel, and also promote water flow through it. i think it would generally keep schmootz from building in the gravel. might be great for messy fish like...plecos. not sure if it would help or hurt the bacteria in the gravel though. plus u would gave to put a sponge somewhere in there to keep the filter from eating small rocks.

jsm11482 08-22-2007 10:18 PM

With an under gravel filter I would think you would still have to vacuum, now that EVERYTHING is sucked down into the would probably be good for the bacteria in the gravel since it would have a nice water flow through it all the time.

porksnorkel 08-22-2007 10:30 PM

hmmm.. iwas thinking that everything would be pulled through the gravel and into the filter. maybe i'll try it sometime w/ some old equipement i have, and see what happens.

mHeinitz57 08-23-2007 08:14 AM

you have to realize people often attach power heads to their undergravel for a much stronger flow and the gravel is still depended on for catching debris. The same would probably happen with the canister filter and you would basicaly be using your gravel for much of the mechanical filtration. I personally don't suggest undergravel filters, I would just run the canister like it is suppoed to run. I have seen people do that though and even attach HOB power filters to their undergravel. I think it would be a much more popular idea though if it were a good one :-)

porksnorkel 08-23-2007 04:57 PM

i suspect ur right 57, in that ppl would be doing it more often if it worked well. i could see an HOB being similiar to the topic, but a power head would just spit the schmootz right back into the tank. personally i'm not an under gravel fan as they have to be removed and cleaned every now and then, and what a pain that must be. i think i'll try it anyways on a spare tank, just to see if anything builds up underneath the undergravel. dump a bunch of food in there fow a week or so.

herefishy 08-23-2007 05:25 PM

In my many years of being an aquarium junkie, I have experimented with many, many filtration configurations and combinations. Everything from trying to use a "bank" of filters(each element providing a different type of filtraion, much like reverse osmosis) to reverse flow filtration to driving the filters with air and/or pumps. I did an experiment once using an undergravel filter and a canister using the reverse filtration theory. It does work. Running the canister in a "standard" configuration provides no benefit to the system other than providing additional area for bacteria growth. By runnig the canister in a reverse configuration, you not only increase the "bio-bed" area, compaction of the substrate is reduced and you provide filtered areated water to the bacteria the is in the gravel.

The reverse flow theory is exactly as it sounds. Instead of forcing water flow up the lift tubes, on forces the water flow down the lift tube and back up through the bacteria bed found in the substrate. This method is beneficial in that it reduces substate compaction, provides clean, aireated water flow to the bio-bed, and eliminates the need for frequent gravel sweeps from caused by uneaten food. Most of my "show" tanks use the reverse flow method. It sure does help reduce maintainance on the tanks.

porksnorkel 08-23-2007 05:29 PM

so fishy, do u have to pull every thing out of the tank now and again to clean the undergravel plastic, or does running a canister on it pull all the gunk out suffeciently?

herefishy 08-23-2007 06:17 PM

I haven't done a complete tank tear down on any of the reverse-flow tanks in over 3 years. No need to do so. The reverse flow theory is that there is so little detrititous that becomes trapped in the substrate, regular gravel sweeps usually take care of the majority of trapped particles. The reverse flow of water suspends particles so that the other filters take care of filtering out of said particles. I must add here, that reverse flow should not be used as the only means of filtration. Many of my tanks use power filters(bot internal and external), canisters, as well as the powerhead(Marineland 660r powerheads, usually) driven reverse flow filtration sysem.

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