Under-gravel Filters...effective or not?

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Richard

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Does anyone here have an under-gravel filter set up in there tank?..and if so,is it working effectively? I ask because I've had one in one of my tanks for a few months(in addition to a Whisper power filter) and it doesn't appear to be all that effective..I want to believe I have it set up correctly since I'm reasonably good at assembling stuff as per instructions..however,in the space of 4 days I found two dead fish in that tank(on a sad note,they were 2 of my 4 Glo-fish)..I decided to a major clean-out of that tank and you would not believe the build-up of foul smelling crud I found under the under-gravel filter panels!..even with the occasional stirring of gravel that is required in addition to numerous water changes and vacuumings,the bottom of that tank was a sorry mess..the only thing I can think of is the air-pump I had attached to the under-gravel filter wasn't strong enough.
Thankfully,the rest of the inhabitants of that tank appear to be healthy...fingers crossed.
 
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Mike

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Hi Richard,
It sounds like your undergravel is working correctly, but if your signature is correct concerning the tank sizes and the number of inhabitants in each, you are extremely overstocked. If your tanks are indeed only 1.5 gallons and 2.5 gallons you need to get a much larger tank or return these fish to the pet store before they perish.
 

ebbandflow

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I think they are each 55 gallons, and they are "tank 1" and "tank 2"
 
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Mike

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Ok, good - thanks for the clarification ebb. Richard, you may want to look into getting a more powerful gravel vac, like the ones that hook up to the sink. My python gravel vac does way better than the original gravel vac I used.
 
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Richard

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Yes Mike,both of my main tanks are 55gals...I am intrigued though by your Python gravel vac..how does it work?..and is that the brand name?..mine works by a simple syphoning process,so if there's a gravel vac out there that works,by whatever means as long as it's safe for the fish,with stronger suctioning than mine,I'm all ears.
 

Gunnie

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I would definately get a python for your tanks.  You hook it up to your faucet or outside water hose, and you can suck water out or add water in simply by switching the connection which is the same type device used to fill waterbeds.  Undergravel filters (ugf) are generally considered obsolete by many hobbyists, but some still use them, and others like to use them with the flow reversed in addition to a HOB filter.  You have to keep the gravel well vacuumed so the plates don't get clogged.
 

Isabella

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I am not experienced with undergravel filters, but to be honest, from what I read and the way they work, I think they're weird and not very effective. I would never want an undergravel filter. I cannot see how it's better than a regular filter. I don't even know what their purpose is for a regular fish tank.
 
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