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jnmrcs
12-18-2006, 05:30 PM
I'm thinking on buy some undergravel filter but first I need some information about it. I read that it haven't any mechanical or chemical filtration, is that true? Someone here have one? How it works? Can I use it for breeding tank? Or it's better a sponge filter?

Right now I'm thinking on add some tanks (incluiding a breeding tank) because of that I want to know a little more about undergravel filter. Thanks.

jeffs99dime
12-18-2006, 07:59 PM
did you ever looked into cannister filters? they're way better then ugf's and sponge filters

NorthernBoy
12-18-2006, 08:17 PM
I totally agree. UGF are awful. I have never seen a positive review. Buy an ehiem canister. Best out there IMO.

jeffs99dime
12-18-2006, 08:18 PM
I totally agree. UGF are awful. I have never seen a positive review. Buy an ehiem canister. Best out there IMO.

**agrees completely

Danny M
12-18-2006, 08:52 PM
Beware of UGF's!!!
Indeed, most of the UGF's have no means for mechanical or chemical filtration; some have small cartridges with carbon.
But they are EXCELLENT in biological filtration.
Problems you could have with an UGF:
- organic waste tend to accumulate in the gravel, but, especially, under the plates, so by no means do not use this type of filter for a heavily stocked tank!
- difficult to maintain - you have to thorough vacuuming of the gravel all the way down to the plates, every water change, otherwise the gravel will clog before you know it.
- you cannot use any decorations, because everything you place on the gravel, creates a dead spot, a place where the current of water is stopped, where the aerobic bacteria dies.
- plants do not seem to like UGF's; at least not mine.
- the worst problem: a failure of the UGF will mean TOTAL DESTRUCTION of your stock!
And this is from my experience: while I was gone from home, for 4 days, something happened with the fuse. Result: pump stopped, bacteria died in the gravel and replaced with anaerobic bacteria, which, eventually, innundated my tank with hydrogen sulphyde. Gee, that smell! 1/2 of my fishies were dead, and only in 3-4 days!
If i had a foam filter or box filter instead, nothing would have been happened.
Bottom line: for a smaller tank, like a breeder tank, go for sponge filters or box filters: very simple and very effective!
For a bigger tank, go for a hang-on or a canister.

Slinky_Bass
12-18-2006, 09:03 PM
I agree with everyone else here on UGF's, I had one in my first tropical tank and after a year the thing was so sompletely full of muck it was a like a nitrate factory. My fish suffered big time before I realised it was my filter that had stopped working properly. Since then I have had canister filters and they work like a charm.

jeffs99dime
12-18-2006, 09:19 PM
you can setup a ugf for reverse-flow too. it still will not be anywhere near as good as a canister though. you could also get a hang on back power filter also. (H.O.B)

Fishguy2727
12-19-2006, 01:35 AM
UGFs are not even close to worth their cost. Use it towards filtration that will actually help long term. Biowheels and canisters.

Lady Hobbs
12-19-2006, 03:06 AM
Good post, Danny. I hate the darned things. I don't want all that gunk in my tank even if's under that plate. You get some nasty stuff there and a breeding group for parasites.

crackatinny
12-19-2006, 07:05 AM
I agree they can be trouble, we had a balloon molly caught behind the pickup and die.
I do have them in my tanks but only to support the heavy rocks, as stated in other threads though, egg crate is better for even that job.

kimmers318
12-19-2006, 12:31 PM
My first tank bought many eons ago was a 10 gal for my daughter that had the goldfish from h***. When we lost the goldfish and I broke the tank down I couldn't believe the crap that was under the UGF.....I promptly threw it out and when we brought the tank back into the house recently I bought an internal filter for it.

jeffs99dime
12-19-2006, 02:21 PM
yeah. a reverse-flow ugf remedies the buildup under the plate but, ugf's are still pretty worthless.

Sasquatch
12-19-2006, 10:42 PM
I was once recommended, by an aquarium builder, to hook up a canister filter to a UGF.

That way the UGF provides the mechanical filtration and the canister can concentrate on the chemical and help with the biological.

Is this a worthwhile option?

jeffs99dime
12-19-2006, 10:44 PM
a good cannister takes care of all three by itself

Danny M
12-19-2006, 10:56 PM
That way the UGF provides the mechanical filtration and the canister can concentrate on the chemical and help with the biological.

Hmm... I think it's the other way. I mean viceversa.
The UGF only does biological. The canister can do all.
Sure, one could use them like that, but the canisters have enough space for media, they do not need to be helped for biological filtration by something else. More than that, a lot of us do not use chemical filtration - specially those aquarists interested in planted aquariums - so there's more space for biological media.
So, why bother with UGF?

Sasquatch
12-20-2006, 05:08 PM
Well, his rational was that the UGF filters out all the particulates (fish poo, dead plants, uneaten food, etc...) and the canister can do the rest. With regular gravel cleanings, the UGF shouldn't get clogged and you won't need to change the media in the canister as often.

I was actually contemplating doing this, but couldn't find a UGF. Maybe it's for the best!

Fishguy2727
12-20-2006, 05:11 PM
Even with proper maintenance debris will still build up in the UGF. I consider UGFs like heat rocks for reptiles, out of date, much better and less hazardous equipment now, simply not the best for the money.

jnmrcs
12-20-2006, 10:32 PM
Thanks to everyone for your help. Especially to DannyM for the advice.

jman
12-20-2006, 11:49 PM
when you use undergravel filters do they seem to fill with dirt fast? Can't remember what kind i had but it was used and it seemed as if every 2 days it just had loads and loads of stuff on it.

cocoa_pleco
12-21-2006, 04:26 AM
Ugf filters seem to have no real purpose either, just to hide crap. Wonder who invented them???:1:

Danny M
12-21-2006, 10:15 AM
Thanks to everyone for your help. Especially to DannyM for the advice.
You're welcome.
Not that I am a very experienced aquarist, but I had learned a few things (mainly from mistakes), and I want to share these things.