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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I recently purchased a 20 gallon tank that has an undergravel filter system. I am currently using a 20 gallon Whisper air pump to run the UGF but I want to get powerheads since they are supposed to be much more effective. My UGF has 2 lift tubes so I would want to use 2 powerheads correct? I recently bought a 20 gallon (127gph) AquaClear powerhead but have not opened and installed it yet since this would be enough flow for the whole tank but would only be running one side of the UGF. I would need 2 to effectively run both sides of the UGF but two of these powerheads would make 254 GPH of flow which would be too much. Should I just return the powerhead I have and get two 10 gallon (80GPH) AquaClear powerheads, run a 20 gallon powerhead/airpump and airstone combo, or just keep the current Whisper airpump setup I have? Also, are there other good companies that sell 10 gallon rated powerheads at fairly reasonable prices? The 10 gallon AquaClear powerheads are going to cost me $20+shipping each if I go with those since I have only seen them online, whereas the 20 gallon AquaClear powerhead only cost me $15 shipped since I got a deal on it.

Please help me decide what will be best! Thanks for the help in advance!
 

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I'm tempted to say you could use the one if you blank off the other lift tube. I'm not 100% certain though. I'd certainly recommend 2 powerheads if you can swing it but I think you could use the one if you blank the other lift tube. No guarantees though.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If I did that I would only be filtering half of the substrate since my UGF is two separate plates. I need both lift tubes to be running for each side. I wish the filter plate was one solid piece but it isn't.
 

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Ah, well yes, then in that case you're gonna need both.
 

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I feel like you could just make a current deflector and that would solve your too much current problem. What kind of fish do you have or plan on having? Some prefer a strong current. Also, the more powerful the powerhead, the more effective your ugf will be since it will be processing much more water.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ive decided to scrap the UGF and get a AquaClear 50 instead. I suppose maybe I could still use the powerhead I got to make some current. What do you think?
 

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just a random idea, where is the tube for your UGF? I was thinking u could stick the intake into the UGF tube and seal it up and get the ugf and powerfilter to work...

As for your questions, a current will be necessary if your fish prefer it, for example, fast swimming fish like danios prefer a light current. However, most tetras dislike it.
 

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long long ago i used to have a UGF but ditched it when i went to live plants back when i had a 30gal. i used two three smaller powerheads as mine had room for up to like 6 tubes. in your case though your going to want two powerheads that are a lower flow so your fish arent caught in a crazy current. the powerhead idea is definately better than the airstonesd though for obvious reasons. hope this helps
 

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If your worried about the finanial impact of having to buy a second powerhead or going with two smaller powerheads I would save the heartache and use the power head you have now and use the air pump with air stone on the other side. The reason behind this is that the powerhead is plenty big enough to cycle your tank efficiently. Use the air stone and air pump to assist in further circulation and this also will introduce oxygen into the tank without having to use your powerhead oxygen feature which will save you money in purchasing air valves to adjust air preasure and will allow your powerhead to pump water more effectivly and give you a light current in which some fish will enjoy.
 

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If your worried about the finanial impact of having to buy a second powerhead or going with two smaller powerheads I would save the heartache and use the power head you have now and use the air pump with air stone on the other side. The reason behind this is that the powerhead is plenty big enough to cycle your tank efficiently. Use the air stone and air pump to assist in further circulation and this also will introduce oxygen into the tank without having to use your powerhead oxygen feature which will save you money in purchasing air valves to adjust air preasure and will allow your powerhead to pump water more effectivly and give you a light current in which some fish will enjoy.
9 out of 10 times powerheads come with the valve to adjust air flow into the tank ;) not to mention they are less than 1$
 

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Money I would like to know where you buy air valves for under a dollar. I have yet to find any for under two dollars. I also understand where your coming from with just using the powerhear to provide oxygen but It also cuts into the performance of the powerhead. Air pumps and air stones when used for decor adds a nice, classy look to any aquarium.
 
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