Undergravel Filter 55 Gallon Tank 

If you use an Undergravel filter how do you like it


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Ginni

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I have now owned 3 aquariums in my life time all of them 55 gallon freshwater tanks after using a regular filter that was referred to me by a pet store at being the best i quickly found out it just wasn't working very well after the first 6 months no matter how often i changed the filter and then my father actually recommend an Undergravel filter i did as much research as i could about them and i noticed allot of negative reviews but tried it anyways to my surprise it works wonderfully I've never had to do so much low maintenance with an aquarium before but this type of filtration is completely safe i never had to worry about allgy once i got the Undergravel filter i got one single pleco and never ever did i need to clean inside of the tank from allgy build up on the glass inside the tank also allot less water changes and no more costly filters anymore all i need now are the carbon filters once a month to keep the ammonia build-up from a fully stocked tank i have mostly different types of guramie fish one iridescent shark and a few diamond tetras my guramies consists of two pearl guramie two orange guramie two blue guramie two opel guramies and 4 dwarf guramie and two moon guramies all beautiful with their different colors but back to the Undergravel filter i seriously recommend it to anyone here no matter what other reviews you may see about them i all so believe they get allot of bad reviews due to people who make a profit selling more expensive types of filters so don't let regular reviews fool you always ask someone who uses them !
 

Tony M

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They do work great and I used them for years but sooner or later you’ll have to pull it and clean the gunk underneath. After you do you’ll never want to do it again. After you use a canister filter you’ll never want to go back.
 
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Ginni

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Dch48 said:
An undergravel filter can promote the growth of more beneficial bacteria than a standard filter because the filtering area is much greater. The gravel will get dirty quicker however and if it starts to clog can cause the bacterial colony to die off. They do work well.
I understand your comment although having an Undergravel filter for 4 year's now i have never personally had an issue with it clogging the key to that is having a really good air pump !
 

Dch48

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Too strong of a flow through an undergravel filter with a substrate that has too big of particles can be counter productive. The debris will just be sucked through the gravel and sent back out into the tank.
 
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Ginni

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Tony M said:
They do work great and I used them for years but sooner or later you’ll have to pull it and clean the gunk underneath. After you do you’ll never want to do it again. After you use a canister filter you’ll never want to go back.
Also i will however add that the air pump i use is the Uniclife aquarium air pump 4 outlet with built-in check valve and works for up to 300 hundred gallons and has a dial to adjust it to your tank size !

Fanatic said:
They aren’t worth the hassle just to “hide” the filtration.
It no hassle at all actually and to have a filter that is biological is very beneficial to the fish also takes up allot less electricity to run an Undergravel filter and if you have never tried using one then it's only your opinion on something you read about and not about personal use of one .
 

smee82

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I wouldnt use one if you plan on planting your tank as roots will grow down into the space underneath and can cause problems.
 
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Ginni

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smee82 said:
I wouldnt use one if you plan on planting your tank as roots will grow down into the space underneath and can cause problems.
I completely agree with you if you want to incorporate real plants to your tank then an Undergravel filter is not for you !
 

Dch48

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They used to be recommended for planted tanks. Especially, if the plants were ones that absorbed their nutrients through the roots. The thinking was that the debris being sucked into the substrate was a good thing. When I had my saltwater tank back in the 1980's, an undergravel filter with crushed coral as the substrate was considered the only way to go so of course I used one . Thinking seems to have changed over the years with now a bare bottom being used for saltwater and totally external filtration.

One thing that has to be taken into account is that you have to limit the amount and size of decorations that sit on top of the substrate. Too many and the filtering area gets too limited. It also is bad to add decorations after the bacterial bed has been established because you stop the flowthrough and cause pockets of dead and dying bacteria which can cause an ammonia spike.

Undergravel filters have their benefits and drawbacks but the thinking today is that the bad outweighs the good and I have to agree.
 

E.TNBuckeye

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I'm about to set up a 225 and will be using a UG, four large sponges and two sand filters. It's been many, many years since I've used a UG. The air pump I'm using is the Alita AL-15a. I plant to use that air pump to run two 29s that are already up and running via a couple of sponges run by Wispers. I'll have a lot of Java fern and anubias in the main tank with a couple large swords that will be in pots. Once the UG is well established, I plan to plant the swords in the substrate, which is as big as 5mm.

Can someone tell me how thick the substrate should be?

Thanks in advance.
 

jaysurf7

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I completely agree about under gravel filters,some people think there outdated and that was the old days of fish keeping,but I think there great I have one now on my 60 gal, with 2 powerheads ,along with a fluval 303,its a fantastic source of beneficial bacteria for the tank,brings oxygen,creates a current for the tank, protects the bottom glass,and some people say it can help plants grow faster as more oxygen is being drawn down into the gravel bed, and pretty much lasts forever. I had one running over 20 years on my old 60 gal,then my tank spring a leak so I had to get a new tank and tear down the old one,I thought there would be tons of gunk underneath the plates but to my surprise there wasn't ,as long as you keep up your gravel vacuuming you fine.
 
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