Undergravel Filter cleans gravel?

  • #1
Browsing ebay for a filters, I have come across to a undergravel filter that is claimed to clean the filth on and in the gravel.
Has anyone have any expirience with this tipe of filters? Is it worth spending money on it? If so I would be more than happy to get one asasp

I am not sure if I am alowed to hare link from ebay here, but if that's ok here is that link so everyone can have a better look at it

  • #2
I've used one before, but currently most people don't. The last under gravel filter I had, I used only to reduce the amount of gravel I needed for my 110g aquarium. I kept the holes where the tubing was supposed to go relatively clear and when I vacuumed the tank, I would remove the caps and put the vacuum over those holes and actually did remove a lot of crud. This was the old fashioned style, of course. .the white plastic trays that you set in the tank with the air tubes at the back. I'm not sure how this new one would do.

Most times, if you are cleaning properly, you will be vacuuming your gravel with a python or other vacuum tube. This will also remove fish waste and probably do a better job than relying on the filtration system.

You can try it... but I would still suggest a good HOB or cannister filter over the Under gravel filter.

  • #3
The only reason I would use a UGF is if I needed minimal water movement in my tank or I wanted to breed kuhlI loaches.
  • #4
If you add powerheads then they do a good job but stuff will get stuck under the filter plate. If you blow down the tube with a reverse flow powerhead with a sponge filter it will be better. Reversing the flow pumps clean water through the gravel. You can add a hob filter also and it works a lot better. It adds more oxygen to the gravel bed and you get more bb in the gravel.
  • #5
Don't waste your money on a UGF. This is a old school way of filtering and like shalya said if you are cleaning your substrate well that UGF is just a piece of plastic between your cleaner and the crud making it harder to even clean without a massive uprooting of your substrate to get under the UGF.
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  • #6
I have a canister filter and little Hob filter which is filled with a.c at the moment. I have 5 discus at the moment and I feed them 3 4 times a day. I do wacum every second or third water change and the amount of waste that comes from the gravel is huge. I tought getting one of them its going to make my life easier but I guess ill be better of spending money on better Hob if that's do better job and buy one of those under gravel air stone
  • #7
Undergravel filters are horrible in my opinion. They are breeding grounds for anaerobic bacteria pockets that can release toxins into the water. They build up mulm, detritus, and waste under the gravel and slowly or quickly can bubble up and release ammonia into the water. When it's time to clean them, you have break down and remove everything from the tank. Even with a reverse flow setup you will need to clean underneath them occasionally and this is very difficult. My ex girlfriend had on her tank back in college and when it was time to move the tank and clean underneath, it was horrible. HOB, sponge, and canisters are way better options.

As for your HOB you currently have you stated that you use "a.c.". I assume this is activated carbon. If so, this is really not needed. You would be better served replacing that with some bio-media like Seachem Matrix, bio-balls, ceramic rings, etc. Carbon removes organic stuff for about 1-2 weeks max before it has absorbed everything it can. At that point, it is basically just some black rocks in your filter, and doesn't do anything else. So you would need to constantly replace the carbon to get the desired effect. Carbon is mainly used to remove medications after specific treatments are finished with antibiotics etc. So keep some around for emergencies, but I would recommend not using it on a day to day basis. You may find that with more bio-media your current filter will do a better job, and you don't need a new filter. I personally recommend Seachem Matrix, it's relatively cheap and does a great job. Small rocks with tons of small micro pores for bacteria to colonize.

As for overall filtration, I'm a firm believer in having multiple filters and specifically different types of filtration. I currently have a HOB and sponge filter running on my 40 gallon community setup. This way I get the mechanical filtration of a HOB with some bio-filtration, while also getting the great bio-filtration from a sponge filter. The sponge filter also provides aeration so my water stays oxygenated well. If one system breaks, needs to be replaced, is cleaned, etc you have the other system going strong to take over filtration duties. I never like to keep all my eggs in one basket. So if you wanted a little extra help, try a sponge filter, the combo of your HOB, canister, and sponge filter would be great.
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  • #8
Yes its filled with acticated carbon and I do replace it in about 4 weeks interval because HOB that I have is slowflow 20l/h . I have been advised that actually I will need to run a/c all the time because tap quality is very low due to recent bushfires in nearby, my ultimate goal is to have discus fish only. At the moment I have 5 juvi.
My tank is around 40 gallon and my main filter is eheim clasic 350 canister with mixed media, sponges, saechem matrix stony media and 3 layers of sponge on top.
So what brand HOB are you using and what is waterflow rate on ur tank so I can get something similar and fill it with sponge only.

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