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My freind is going to set up a 30 gallor freshwater tank and he wants my help.He does not want a powerfilter because he wants to place the tank flush against the wall.He does not want a canister fillter because there to expensive.so i figured he should buy a undergravel fillter do you think this is a good fillter?
 

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UG filter may work but it will not remove the wastes out of the tank. The wastes are just accumulated inside the plates thus clogging is very common.
UG filter clogs easily if you use sand and cleaning it requires entire strip down of tank.
 

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IMO, UGF's don't work, especially if that's the only filter in the tank. It will suck all the crud under the gravel, and that's where it stays. It isn't removed from the tank. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it's not there.

It would be extremely difficult to put it right up against the wall. There will be a tiny space between the wall and the tank which small objects would be able to fall through, and there's no moving the tank to get them back. So you might as well have a power filter. The tank will only need to be 4 or 5 inches away from the wall, and if you view it from the front you won't be able to tell anyways. :wink:
 

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I would put the HOB filter on the side of the tank. It will still fit well and should still filter effectively. If dead spots become an issue or low current, a small powerhead on the other side of the tank should help with that.
 

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An undergravel filter would be just fine IF you were to use reverse flow power heads. I run this same set up in my 30g. By using reverse flow the sponge prefilters filter the particulates and the water flow is more even to the bacteria in the gravel, thus increasing the oxygenation to the bacteria bed.
 

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Just a PS to my previous post, UG filters have their uses. They are not bad. A corner filter is bad. Billi filters could be considered bad. Canister filters, if stashed under the tank, out of site, can be bad. Power filters can be bad. The magic in ANY filtration system is proper maintenance. You must take PREVENTATIVE measures.
 
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