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  1. #1

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    Default Brain Storming on a Gravel Cleaning Filter??


    0 Not allowed!
    I just had a Brain Storm for cleaning my gravel. I don't want to filter the aquarium with it just clean the gravel. Was thinking of making a raised screen grid to put under my gravel to hook to my pump. The remote pump can move some water(790GPH) and has great suction power.

    OK, if I just set it up with a hose to the grid with a valve on my suction hose to turn it on while cleaning the gravel. Right now I have a hose that is hooked up to the pump I can clean and not lose any water from the tank. It pulls it thru the main filter first before returning it to the tank.

    I know stuff settles under the gravel over time and this may be a way of cleaning it out at the same time cleaning the top with my tube cleaner. It would require taking everything out of the tank above the gravel and doing the bottom 1/2 at a time with 2 grids and 2 hoses so the Pleco can stay in there while setting it up. 2 Grids would put more cleaning suction on them doing 1/2 of the tanks gravel bottom at a time. The grids would only be used to clean once in a while not filter. I don't want a hydrogen gas build up in the gravel with rotting stuff in it.

    Any drawbacks others can see I am missing?

  2. #2

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!

    Here is what I found for under the gravel all set up. 12"X48" and in 3 sections. I would get rid of the air set up and go with suction only to them.
    Last edited by Plecos; 10-07-2014 at 07:16 PM.

  3. #3

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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Unless you have a really deep gravel bed. Greater than 5 inches, I wouldn't worry about it. Plus UGF are not really that great at getting the gunk out from under the gravel. Maybe with your higher suction pump it could work but I don't know. Additionally, UGF type set ups do not do well with rooted plants as the roots hamper the design.
    Increasing your biodiversity increases your stability.

    You know what this tank needs? ........................ Crypts.

  4. #4

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Plecos View Post
    I

    Any drawbacks others can see I am missing?
    You're a good tinkerer so I'm sure you can make this work. When I read this I do wonder why you are making it all so complicated. Yes, there's dirt. So get some plants.

  5. #5

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Compass View Post
    Unless you have a really deep gravel bed. Greater than 5 inches, I wouldn't worry about it. Plus UGF are not really that great at getting the gunk out from under the gravel. Maybe with your higher suction pump it could work but I don't know. Additionally, UGF type set ups do not do well with rooted plants as the roots hamper the design.
    My plant is in it's own big pot and sits on the gravel along with the cave that is hard to get under it for cleaning. I have larger gravel 1/2" minus and the junk goes thru it and is about 2-3 inches thick. I do clean it with a big suction tube but was thinking this would suck the fines out that I miss? Again not as a filter but a way to move a lot of water under the gravel. Having 790 GPH/21 ft of head going thru each unit and switching between each of the 3 sections.

  6. #6

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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by talldutchie View Post
    You're a good tinkerer so I'm sure you can make this work. When I read this I do wonder why you are making it all so complicated. Yes, there's dirt. So get some plants.
    I love complicated things with valves and such to do work for me. I tried putting real plants in the tank but the Pleco either pulls them up or knocks them out of the gravel at night? The Big plant is OK in it's pot he can't up root it. I find the smaller ones floating in the tank in the morning.
    Last edited by Plecos; 10-07-2014 at 07:34 PM.

  7. #7

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    The grids are only used to be able to pull water thru the lowest gravel to get stuff off the bottom of the tank under the gravel not to filter the tank. The gravel is also cleaned with my big suction cleaner by hand which pulls in lots and tumbles the gravel inside the tube for cleaning. I was reading about Ammonia building up under the gravel and this would pull it out into the filter system. They say bottom feeders don't like the ammonia level when feeding off the bottom.

  8. #8

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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    I'm with Compass, it's overcomplicated and unnecessary...UGF's are notorius for harboring all sorts of nasty stuff, nitrates included
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  9. #9

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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Plecos View Post
    They say bottom feeders don't like the ammonia level when feeding off the bottom.
    Your BB will take care of the ammonia in a properly cycled tank...like was stated earlier, unless your gravel is half a foot deep, there's no worries about ammonia buildup with a proper WC schedule that includes gravel vacuuming
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  10. #10

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Been reading some more on the subject and this was interesting running the water in reverse thru it;

    An under gravel filter run in reverse flow can also reduce the problem of material under the filter plate. In this technique, water that has been mechanically filtered through a canister or other power filter is pumped down the lift tubes into the under gravel space and then flows up through the filter plate and gravel into the aquarium. Very little debris can accumulate beneath the filter plate, because only pre/filtered water enters that space, and the upward direction of flow through the gravel for the most part prevents debris from working its way through the gravel bed and under the filter plate. The biological filtration capabilities of the under gravel filter are retained with this method, although it is felt by some that reverse flow discourages aquatic plant growth.


    This is how I do my filtering now with 1 Large Canister and 2 BIO filters;

    An alternative solution is to perform the biological filtration at another site in the system, one that is easily and totally accessible to cleaning. In this setup, the undergravel space is eliminated altogether. An excellent way of doing this is to utilize a canister filter as a biological filtration unit. If the filter is of sufficient capacity, it can perform both mechanical and biological filtering functions. For large aquariums, one or more outside power filters can be utilized.

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