undergravel filter ?
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:26 AM   #1
azjenny
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undergravel filter ?


I always see people here use a UGF attached to a canister filter, but on both the Benibachi site and the Shirakura site, I was reading that they recommend using it in the tradition way with an air pump and then using another filter as well.
I was wondering if anyone did this and what the pros and cons would be.

Also, I know that using a UGF with a canister reduces the buffering lifespan of the substrate, but would the same be true of using one with an air pump? I was thinking it might not reduce the lifespan if used this way because it doesn't run the water straight through the substrate and then through the filter, but maybe it does?
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:35 AM   #2
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You are correct.Air pump is way to go.At leat for me.Now I'll try to put TB's in tank without UGF.If they aren't fill good there than I'll redo it with AIR UGF.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:56 AM   #3
azjenny
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Default undergravel filter ?

Do you use a plate style one with ADA AS?
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:13 PM   #4
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Default undergravel filter ?

Anybody else do this or have any thoughts about it?
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:21 PM   #5
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Why does it matter where the water flows? The buffering capability of the substrate means it will either retain (bind) chemicals or release them. The chemical release process is a reaction. It doesn't matter what filter you use, it will matter more how often and large your water changes are and how different is the water you put in with your changes.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:36 PM   #6
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Default undergravel filter ?

i used to keep turtles for 20 + years. i found an ug filer with a strong power head was the way to go. All that good bacteria keep the tank clean. However for a planted tank the plate would get root bound.


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Old 02-03-2013, 02:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielt View Post
Why does it matter where the water flows? The buffering capability of the substrate means it will either retain (bind) chemicals or release them. The chemical release process is a reaction. It doesn't matter what filter you use, it will matter more how often and large your water changes are and how different is the water you put in with your changes.
I am not sure about the specific mechanics of it, but I have heard/read that it does matter. That a UGF with a canister will degrade the substrate faster. So I was wondering if that was because the particles get pulled directly into the canister where they will stay, and which would not happen as much with a UGF run with an air pump.
I'm not sure if it is the buffering capacity that degrades or the actual soil itself. Looking for thoughts
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:48 PM   #8
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I don't use ADA soils as they're not available in my country. But I do have UGFs powered by canisters in all my aquariums except for the saltwater one.

The soil might lose it's properties faster but I don't know if that really happens. It doesn't make sense but then again my lack of experience does not allow me to make a good judgement call on that.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:14 PM   #9
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I think it may also have to do with pulling any floating particles down to the ground and having them stay there.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:33 PM   #10
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Default undergravel filter ?

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Originally Posted by Soothing Shrimp View Post
I think it may also have to do with pulling any floating particles down to the ground and having them stay there.
Right, I agree with that. So what do you think about using a UGF without the canister (having a canister, just separately). Would it still do the same thing? Water would be running through it, using the substrate as a filter and pulling harmful things down and away from the shrimp, but it would not pull particles into the canister directly. But would the water running through the substrate constantly be enough to degrade it?
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:41 PM   #11
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I don't use a UGF currently, however consider this.

If you take a clump of dirt and place it in a glass of water, it softens however it probably stays into a clump shape leaving the inside relatively unharmed.

Take another clump and place it under running water from the tap, and it would degrade quicker than still water, and probably be washed down the sink due to erosion. heh

The softer flow of water, the longer for the erosion to take place.

While the soil isn't the same, I think the idea may be similar. (?)
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:57 PM   #12
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The reason shirakura recommends using an air powered filter is for the extra benefit of the bubbles increasing the dissolved oxygen in the water, and it's cheap to do. If you want a slow flow, you can turn down your filter output.

I use a sponge filter powered by air in my tanks that have ugf.

Also, the reason benibachi and shirakura recommend using a UGF in the first place, is that with water constantly flowing through the gravel, the parameters are kept constant, even after water change within 3 hours the water is back to "normal", but with no UGF, it can take more than a day to equalize.

Also another benefit to a UGF hooked to canister is, the poop and other bad stuff will be sucked into the filter instead of recirculated into the water, or stuck under the UGF to fester.

And babies cannot be sucked into your canister if the intake is under the soil.
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:12 PM   #13
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All of my tanks deploy some version of UGF.

Regular - intake under the soil



Reverse - outflow under the soil



Air - air pump driven pulls water down through the soil



They all work great for shrimps. I've bred shrimps in each tank regardless of what version. I mainly use Reverse and Air for my recent tanks. Here's the pros and cons of each version for me.

Regular
Cons - seems to deplete the soil the fastest, canister filter gets the dirtiest fastest requiring more cleaning of the canister filter

Pros - Clears the tank the fastest, no prefilter needed.

Reverse

Cons - need two intake tubes, need to turn off when feeding powder baby food

Pros - pushes the poop up and less mulm in the substrate, cleaner canister, easy to vac out the poop because it's always at the top

Air

Cons- least flow compared to the other two versions, needs a larger (noisier air pump) to power the sponge filter and UGF

Pros - slowest flow so the substrate should last the longest. Clean canister.
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:14 PM   #14
azjenny
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Default undergravel filter ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mordalphus View Post
The reason shirakura recommends using an air powered filter is for the extra benefit of the bubbles increasing the dissolved oxygen in the water, and it's cheap to do. If you want a slow flow, you can turn down your filter output.

I use a sponge filter powered by air in my tanks that have ugf.

Also, the reason benibachi and shirakura recommend using a UGF in the first place, is that with water constantly flowing through the gravel, the parameters are kept constant, even after water change within 3 hours the water is back to "normal", but with no UGF, it can take more than a day to equalize.

Also another benefit to a UGF hooked to canister is, the poop and other bad stuff will be sucked into the filter instead of recirculated into the water, or stuck under the UGF to fester.

And babies cannot be sucked into your canister if the intake is under the soil.
You use some special UGF system that you make don't you?
Is it thicker than normal?
I was wondering about the plate style because they're fairly thin, and my tank is only 12" tall, so I can't put like 5" of substrate in it.
Also I don't have a bunch of tanks to transfer shrimp around to, so I don't want my substrate to degrade faster than normal because I don't know how I'll change it out when it does.
Does using your UGF system degrade it faster and does it require very thick substrate?
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:24 PM   #15
azjenny
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Default undergravel filter ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shrimpnmoss View Post
All of my tanks deploy some version of UGF.

Regular - intake under the soil



Reverse - outflow under the soil



Air - air pump driven pulls water down through the soil



They all work great for shrimps. I've bred shrimps in each tank regardless of what version. I mainly use Reverse and Air for my recent tanks. Here's the pros and cons of each version for me.

Regular
Cons - seems to deplete the soil the fastest, canister filter gets the dirtiest fastest requiring more cleaning of the canister filter

Pros - Clears the tank the fastest, no prefilter needed.

Reverse

Cons - need two intake tubes, need to turn off when feeding powder baby food

Pros - pushes the poop up and less mulm in the substrate, cleaner canister, easy to vac out the poop because it's always at the top

Air

Cons- least flow compared to the other two versions, needs a larger (noisier air pump) to power the sponge filter and UGF

Pros - slowest flow so the substrate should last the longest. Clean canister.
I missed this post! Super informative.
That is a lot of the info I was hoping for. Thank you!
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