Undergravel filter and large rock question.
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Old 12-28-2003, 09:13 PM   #1
oe254
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I am currently using an undergravel filter connected to a powerhead, and a standard "waterfall" water filter. My undergravel filter completely covers the bottom of the tank, and actually came with the tank itself.

My question is that I read that you should not have large objects "sitting" on the gravel because it will interfere with the functioning of the undergravel filter. Which could lead to areas under the rock where the waste builds up, and is not properly broken down. Does anyone use undergravel filters with large rocks or driftwood sitting on the gravel over the filter. Do you have problems with this? I am trying to construct a hiding place for my fish, but I do not want to interfere with how the undergravel filter is supposed to work.
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Old 12-29-2003, 04:55 AM   #2
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It won't disturb the undergravel filter plate if your gravel is thick enough.
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Old 12-30-2003, 03:11 AM   #3
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Thanks.
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Old 12-30-2003, 12:26 PM   #4
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I'm just curious about a few things.

Are you growing plants in this tank?
Why do you want an undergravel filter?
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Old 12-30-2003, 01:58 PM   #5
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imagine delicate plant roots entangled in your UGF...
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Old 12-30-2003, 02:18 PM   #6
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Well, the UGF and the tank came togehter. It is a 40 gallon hexagon. Not very wide or deep, but very tall. Using a UGF seems to be the best way to get the best filtration. I also use another smaller waterfall type filter. I also have plants growing there. I use about 4-6 inches of gravel, so I am not sure about the filter pulling the roots under the baseplate. But if it does, there is also waste under the base plate. I was worried about having dead spots in my gravel, if I plaved large objects on the gravel. For now, the only objects in the tank are plants that have been growing fairly well.
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Old 12-30-2003, 02:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oe254
I use about 4-6 inches of gravel, so I am not sure about the filter pulling the roots under the baseplate.
That's a thick layer of gravel over an UGF, is it coarse gravel? How long are you going to go between major cleanings of the gravel? I think you might make more dead spots having so much gravel that you can't keep it clear of detritus.

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For now, the only objects in the tank are plants that have been growing fairly well.
The roots will grow under the filter plate by themselves, they don't need to be drawn in. Some plants can grow just fine with an UGF. Its when you disturb the gravel to clean out the detritus and keep the water flowing that you start to bother the plants. Are your plants rooted? Anubius, java moss and java fern can be used extensively in a tank with a UGF since they don't need to root in the substrate. Sword plants will get over having the substrate stired up like that quickly, but they also will set roots through the UGF very quickly.
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Old 12-30-2003, 03:36 PM   #8
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In that particular tank, I have a bunch of different aponogeton species, amazon sword, moneywort, and some dwarf hairgrass. The gravel is just smaller then pea size.
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Old 12-30-2003, 07:21 PM   #9
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Have you considered other forms of filtration, such as canister?
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Old 01-01-2004, 12:28 AM   #10
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Hello,
Iam new here. I am taking out my ugf. It does not seem to clean the water very well by itself. It seems to me that if you have to add on powerheads to make it work very well you may as well get a good canister filter. If someone can give me a good reason to leave the ugf running I will. Several people have told me you have to remove it annually to get out the sludge. Would this not be a challenge?
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Old 01-01-2004, 03:17 AM   #11
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Ugfs are a thing of the past. Go with Eheim.
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Old 01-01-2004, 03:33 AM   #12
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I don't agree with you scorpion since i use undergravel filter as well but i MIXED THEM. The undergravel filter is connceted to my newly bought canister filter hose and it circulates the plates even better..HOHOHO :twisted:
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Old 01-01-2004, 09:15 PM   #13
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I'm not down with UGF's, in planted OR unplanted tanks. Sure they do work, but there are better options out there.
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Old 01-01-2004, 10:50 PM   #14
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You are right, there are much better options out there. The person was asking about using a UGF, and they got the answers applicable to a UGF. If they had asked if they should use a UGF, the chorus of "No's" would have been convincing. I figure it's nice to answer the question before offering an opinion which is why I personnally didn't just say take it out and use something else, even though I really wanted to.
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Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
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Old 01-01-2004, 11:02 PM   #15
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"It seems to me that if you have to add on powerheads to make it work very well you may as well get a good canister filter"

Well of course, it needs a powerhead. A powerhead is part of the undergravel filter. The reason that I like using an UGF is the fact that the waste is drawn down into the gravel and where the roots of the plants can get at it. so far, I have had this aquarium for about 6 months, and have not had problems. Of course, I am changing out the water, use around 7-8 plants of various sizes/ages, keep a small amount of fish and it is about 40 gallons. I am not worried about waste building up and being a problem, my original topic was about creating "dead spots" in the gravel due to a rock. I had heard that placing large objects on the surface of the gravel over a UGF would disrupt how the UGF works. This thread is now off topic, and I am not interested in changing my filter set-up because someone does not like UGFs. Sorry.
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