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Discussion Starter #1
:help:I would like some opinions on using an undergravel filter in a planted tank. I currently have a 72 gal. Bowfront with an undergravel filter reverse flow with natural gravel substrate supplied by two Fluval 350's and an additional Magnum 350 canister for extra filtration. I plan on changing the substrate to EcoComplete and installing a CO2 system as well. The lighting is a Current Nova Extreme T5HO 4x54w 6700K bulbs. Will this setup be sufficient for a planted tank? Any help will be greatly appreciated. :icon_smil
 

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In terms of equipment, you definitely have what is required to grow any plant. 208 watts of T5HO is quite a bit of light, so be sure that you keep the CO2 steady and fertilize regularly to avoid problematic algae.

You will not need an undergravel filter (either normal or reverse flow).
 

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Undergravel filters are generally not used in planted aquariums, mainly for one reason: The roots get tangled in it.

So i think if you ask most people here, they'll say forget about the undergravel filter.
 

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Actually, I think Hoppy is using a reverse flow under gravel filter. At least he has tried it with good success if I recall correctly. You could do some digging around.
Oh, but I don't think it was a traditional under gravel mat type filter. He made it from pvc piping with the holes on the bottom to prevent roots from growing into them.
 

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I regularly use a power UGF for my planted tanks and I have posted about it on this forum. I construct them from perforated PVC pipes and also use the output for my DIY CO2 reactor. The UGF is a little different from normal ones as they can do mechanical filtration too. They are also different as the UGF uses only a 4" strip of the front portion of the tank and the plant substrate being partitioned off from the UGF, the plant roots don't interfere with it.

If you need details of it you can E-mail me.
 

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I use an undergravel filter with a powerhead in my 15 gal shrimp tank. No mechanical filtration. Just water sprite and jave moss with low light and water column dosing. Even being overgrown the watersprite does better in that tank than in my other tanks with external filtration and better water flow. It grows so thick it seems to hurt the shrimp. They are always happier after I do a major pruning or thinning.

My wife liked the look so much she had me redo the 29 in the family room to mimic it. I stayed with external filtration on that one and I have to thin the watersprite or the bottom leaves die and rot before it overgrows the tank.

My point is I'm guessing success will vary by plant and fish load. It works in my shrimp tank but I don't think it would work in my taller fish tanks.

HTH.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for everyones response

I know now that I will not use the undergravel filter. I will be starting on the task soon. When it is complete I will post some pics.

Again, Thanks all :biggrin:
 

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Tank Finally planted

ello All, As I stated in my last post I would post some pics of my tank when I finished planting it. Well the time is now. First pics are right after planting and the second few are a week later. Enjoy. Would appreciate any feedback good or bad. Better safe than sorry.:)

Thanks all

Day 1







Week 1





 

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Very nice looking so far. I would only add some tall plants in the back left corner.
 

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I have used undergravel filters in the past, and I always had success with them...but every time, at about the 2 year mark the tank would always start going down hill.
They are too hard to clean and IMO aren't really necessary the planted tank.
7 years and going strong with a 44 gallon, true UGF w/ powerhead. 34 watts (T8s) and I have Java ferns, bit of Java moss, red melon sword, Anubia congensis, windelov ferns, C. wendtii, C. blassii, Brazilian pennywort, Rotala rotundifolia and a dwarf lily. No disasters--ever. :thumbsup:
 

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UGF's are paned not because they cause problems I can't think of one person I've known or talked to that actually had a meltdown because of them.
They are paned because they haven't shown any direct benefit to using them over the current standards in substrate, lighting, C02, and fert systems.
The best support I can show for that is Tom Barr's opinion over at barrreport.com and my own unofficial personal findings. I used one along time ago
and came to the same conclusion before I found his website.

The only people that I know that swear by them are the people trying to sell them to me.

- Brad
 

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If you fed an UGF through a external canister for mechanical effect & then though a external C02 reactor would this effect plant growth or would it result in a very even distribution of the gas & better plant growth?
I can also see how this method would feed the substrate & plant roots via the water column thus enabling plain gravel to be adequate rather than expensive alternatives?
Years ago it was always stated that UGFs supplied oxygen to the plant roots as this in turn stunted growth but by reading this thread it would appear this is not so!
UGFs do offer a very effective method of biological filtration, are easy & relatively cheap to set up.
However they have a limited life because of the difficulties involved in cleaning them but i hardly ever keep a tank running for more than a year anyway!
Interesting.....
 

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Hi sorry for the necro, nothing else comes up. I was thinking of doing a canister out to dirt/gravel under gravel filter with co2 input. My diffuser is meh according to my co2 reader on the other side of the tank. It's the suggested size for my 65 gallon. How would a reverse underground not be awesome for co2 and plants? Good dispersion of the co2. The denitrifiying anaerobic deal would be over (depending on the size I make the undergravel). I could make it small like only 3/4 my tank. My plants would be like sweet! More nitrate!

Thank you for any info!
 
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