Undergravel WITH sponge filter help - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 4 Old 09-16-2019, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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Question Undergravel WITH sponge filter help

Hello, I currently am running an undergravel filter in a 25 gallon tall (Lightly planted anubias and java fern and I have 11 assorted small fish, molly, platys, tetras, etc. and 3 amano shrimp. I want to turn down the flow on my UGF powerhead and add a sponge filter to the other side on the tank using an airstone. My reason for this is that I set up the tank a 4 months ago and I have read that UGFs can be bad long term. I don't want to remove the entire UGF set up and mess up the tank, but want to maybe add a sponge filter ALSO in the tank and turn down the flow in the UGF low so its only being used a little bit. OR, is it possible to leave the UGF plates and remove the tube and powerhead without causing issues later? I am just trying to get ideas from this community on what other people have done. Any thoughts or help would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 4 Old 09-19-2019, 11:13 PM
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The deal with UGF is that you must flush clean them once a year or so. I pull the tops off mine and have water hose in the uplift on one side and drain hose in the uplift on the other side; run that way for 10 mins and then switch them, and run for another 10. To accomplish this without crashing the tank, I have redundant filtration. In your case adding a sponge filter and running everything else the same will work. 3 months after you add the sponge, flush clean the UGF. To reduce the number of things you have plugged in...use air stones in both of the uplift tubes and the sponge filter instead of the power head.
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post #3 of 4 Old 09-24-2019, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your response. This is a great idea. my only issue is, where the uplift tube is attached there is a grate that has slits that are too small to run an airline through to clean it out. I only have one uplift with the powerhead. If I took the uplift out all together after adding the sponge filter and covered the area with gravel, would the stuff left under the plates cause problems? I'm not sure if there is enough goop under the plates yet as its only been running a month. Just trying to figure out the best transition away from the UGF. If I can't clean under it, I want to move away from it. My sponge filter I bought is a double sponge filter with area for media (link below). I'm just wondering if it is enough on its own or if I should just get a canister and be done with it.

Spong filter link:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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post #4 of 4 Old 09-25-2019, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBODOG View Post
Thank you for your response. This is a great idea. my only issue is, where the uplift tube is attached there is a grate that has slits that are too small to run an airline through to clean it out.
The air stone rests against the grate at the bottom of the uplift tube.

I only have one uplift with the powerhead. If I took the uplift out all together after adding the sponge filter and covered the area with gravel, would the stuff left under the plates cause problems?
Yes. The gunk that is in there now plus what gravity adds will be a constant source of low level ammonia release. Sort of like smoking 1 cigarette a day, the effect will be cumulative.

I'm not sure if there is enough goop under the plates yet as its only been running a month. Just trying to figure out the best transition away from the UGF. If I can't clean under it, I want to move away from it.
In your case place the siphon hose in the up lift tube. It may take doing that for a couple of water changes before the exiting water is clear of debris.

My sponge filter I bought is a double sponge filter with area for media (link below). I'm just wondering if it is enough on its own or if I should just get a canister and be done with it.
That is dependent on stocking. Are the other fish eating all the molly babies or is the number of fish rising?
If you go canister, then make sure it has a feature to reduce flow. A standard flow from a spray bar would be too powerful in that tank. Also once you get it primed and started, then you could put the intake in to the up lift tube. In effect using the UGF as a pre filter for the canister.


To remove the UGF without the cloud from blank...only pick it up an inch a day using whatever to hold it in place till the next rise. Be cautious when it gets high enough for fish to squeeze under it as they can get trapped. You will need to clear gravel away from the higher sections so they can find their way back out. Once you have it high enough to get a tube under it, suck out the gunk into a bucket. Check the bucket for fish before you feed the lawn with it.

Plants and trees love tank water.


Spong filter link:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Good luck!
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