I have seen a way that this could work:
Section off the floor of the tank so that the front 1/4 is separate from the rest of the tank.
Put the UGF system here. Plates, coral sand or gravel. The rest of the tank has plant substrate.
Run the up-tubes to the back corners under the plant substrate, then up. The air bubbler would go in these the same as you have them now.
Maintenance is easy, since the only part that needs a deep vacuum is right in the front.
Could someone help me understand what Diana means by up-tubes and running them under the plant substrate and then up.
I am going to set the floor bed of my aquarium tomorrow. I would really like to know this before I proceed.