UGF question

RenaKay
  • #1
I was given my new tank and it came w/ a UGF but I think its missing pieces. In the meantime I purchased and am using a over the tank three part filter. I'm wondering what to do because I would like to add quite a few more fish but also don't want to be dumb and make a mess for myself or have the fish be sick or die HELP
 
Blub
  • #2
Hi!

I don't like UGF's. They mean tearing the tank down every year, and cleaning the bottom of the plate out. I own one and I don't like it. Why not get a Sponge filter, Canister filter or Internal filter? I'm not a fan of UGF's!

 
MagpieTear
  • #3
A complete teardown annually is not required, or in my opinion, a good idea. If installed with reversible powerheads, or by using TimAndKaren's shop vac trick, a UGF is a good option. Unless you are going to have live rooted plants. That's the only reson I removed mine. The roots of my plants were getting tangled in the plates, and the lift tubes always seemed to be in the way. But having a UGF means you can not be lazy about maintenance.
 
Blub
  • #4
Hi!

The problem with my UGF - as I love keeping plants in all my tanks (My 47gal is planted) and the UGF gets in my way with that. I'm really thinking of swapping it for a Fluval 1+ soon - that's a great filter I already run 1 of my tanks on.


 
angelfish220
  • #5
I like hob filters and never found it nessisary to use a ugf
 
Barbrella
  • #6
Undergravel filters are not a good idea.

What happens is that the substrate ends up getting compacted and the beneficial bacteria bed gets suffocated. There is no way of knowing this by looking at the tank, so water quality begins to deteriorate but you don't know it until disease pops up in the fish.

I would never use one.
 
susitna-flower
  • #7
I have UGF's on all my tanks. The normal down sides don't seem to be much of a problem, I have plants, IF they are getting into the plates it hasn't clogged anything, if I want to tear down the tank I am sure there will be roots broken, but that happens any way.

I use TimandKarens shop vac tip, and it works like a charm. My shop vac is 16 gallons, and I can use it two or three times in my 125 gallon tank, out with all the gunk, and it just takes a couple of minutes, not anywhere as long as using the syphon!

I've got MTS snails in all my tanks, and they work all through the substrate, and yes they get down under the filter, it's a bit scary thinking of them down there .......

The up side is that my tanks have more consistent biological filtration, with lots more surface to colonize bacteria.
 
Blub
  • #8
Hi!

What's TI'm and Karen's shop vac tip?


 
susitna-flower
  • #9
A shop vac is a big vacuum made to work either "wet, or dry". It is used in heavy duty clean-up jobs . So you use it in the wet mode, and there is an attachment for the end of the hose that just fits down in the UGF 1" uptake tube. You hook it up and it draws water down through the gravel and UG plate, and out into the vacuum.

In just seconds it sucks 16 gallons of water, without disturbing any plants, or fish. Even fry are not vacuumed up! You may loose a few MTS snails if you have them under the plates....
 
MagpieTear
  • #10
Again, A UGF is a valid type of filtration. If you are willing to maintain it. Vacuuming to prevent compaction and excess sedimentation is critical. But it does work in some situations. The best way to determine if it is the best for your situation is to know what you hope to accomplish with your tank long term, and compare the options available to you. Don't use it strictly because that's what the LFS sells as part of the package, nor should you shy away from it because of what could happen if you neglect the maintenance. Just educate yourself on all of the options and pick what will work best for your setup.
 

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