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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Default Under gravel pump/filter


    0 Not allowed!
    Hello, i am asking for assistance in verifying what equipment i will need for a under the gravel pump/filter. Please excuse my ignorance in the terminalology regarding aquariums.

    I have a 30 gallon set-up that we used to use for hermit crabs but long story short we have cleaned it and are going to start up for freshwater fish. I am looking at the components for what i need and here is what i have compiled on my to buy list:

    Aqua clear multifunctional water pump (for up to 50 gallons)
    Top Fin uplift tube
    Topfin Undergravel filter

    What other components do i need? I know i am missing some stuff but i wanted to verify with some knowledgable people what exactly i need. Thanks in advance for your response!

  2. #2

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    Default


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    I would pass on a UGF plate system unless you use reverse flow power heads and or other filters. I run one on my planted 75 in reverse and I am having no issues at all.

    As a sole filter its primitive at best, yes they work, no they dont work well.

    I would use two pumps, marineland makes a powerhead called the 660R, I would look into those or the reverse flow kits are only 8 bucks. Run a aquaclear 50 HOB and reverse the flow on the UGF plate and you should do just fine.

  3. #3

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    Default


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    You need nothing but your Aqua Clear.

  4. #4

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Let me go ahead and slightly rephrase my question...if one of you guys was going to set up a 30 gallon tank for FW fish what method would you go?

    Pump with under gravel filter?
    filter/pump that hangs on the back?
    If i just use the pump then how does it filter/clean the tank?
    -Mantis

  5. #5

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    Default


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    Hang on back would be the way to go.
    Aqua Clears are great. Less hassle and maintenance is a breeze compared to an UGF

  6. #6

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Mantis212
    Aqua clear multifunctional water pump (for up to 50 gallons)
    Top Fin uplift tube
    Topfin Undergravel filter
    Is the water pump a power head (that hangs off the side or back) or a Hang On the Back (HOB) filter with a box for media?
    If it is a power head, then use the under gravel filter and move on to the next issue. As I recall, TopFin tubes are standard ~1" life tubes. The power head will sit on top of the lift tube and pull through the gravel -which will act as a mechanical filter and as a biological filter- and out the spout. After a couple month period (it takes a while for enough mulm to build up) the recommendations for gravel vacuuming a UG filter bed, is vacuum 1/3 the gravel every two weeks. Water changes every week of course.
    If your tank is a 30L at 36" I'd suggest using an air lift at the other end of the tank, or adding a second power head at some point.

    A reverse flow power head with an under gravel filter is a good idea, but you will need a good mount for the power head and a relatively easy to change prefilter assembly.

    If your AquaClear is a HOB filter, the under gravel filter is probably not a going to make you popular these days. I used to put the intake of my HOB filters in the uplift tubes and seal the gap with air line tubing. That way I got the benefit of the UG filter and the water circulation of the HOB.

  7. #7

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    dbosman, I use 4" tubes for uplift, the reverse kits come with a very 90 degree outlet neck that slips OVER the uplift tube. It sits on there very ridgid. it also comes with a trim ring hanger that uses pressure to hold it on.

    also an aquaclear 70's HOB uses a 1" intake tube that slips firmly into an uplift tube for a UGF. a UGF isnt a bad thing its how its used. My last tank was up for 3 years with a RUGF system w/ an aquaclear 70 set up on one end and two 660R's on the other end and under the plate was literally spotless.

  8. #8

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    Default


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    I use a UG system on my 75g along with an Eheim canister.
    I also use an HOB pulling through a UG system for shrimp or grow out for plecos.

  9. #9

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    Default


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    Its nice to see other people being innovative with the stuff. UGF plates are not ever limited in use.

    One thing to add if you do use a UGF, plan on extra gravel to allow root growth if you use live plants with it(never had the root tangle in the plate,ever.)

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteDevil
    One thing to add if you do use a UGF, plan on extra gravel to allow root growth if you use live plants with it(never had the root tangle in the plate,ever.)

    The addition of a mesh material like the stuff found at craft stores works well for this as well.

    Nice to see a couple of people here using UGF's and actually posting sensible info about them. Sure beats the old rhetoric and dogma you hear spouted just about everywhere else on the web.
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