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Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. Question under gravel filter

    0 Not allowed!
    My 20 gallon tank had an under gravel filter when I first started it years ago. A few years ago I just stopped running it and relied solely on the hanging-on-back filter (not a smart thing I have since learned, but water under the bridge now). I am wondering if I should remove the undergravel filter equipment, or if it would be better to start it up again.

    Also I am going to replace my hang-on-back filter as it has become hard to find the filter replacements in my town. Any suggestions on the best type of filter for a 20 gallon freshwater tank?

  2. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    You never have to change the cartridges of your HOB filter. All you have to do is to wash them in used tank water when you do your water changes. If you throw it, you throw your cycle away and start anew.

    As for the undergravel, i think it's better to just take it out if you're not gonna use it anyways.
    Da name's Paul. Not Dave. ROFL

    Learn to give and take. That's how things should always work.

  3. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    +1 with pjaldave about replacing the media in your current HOB - replacing media removes all the beneficial bacteria you have grown which means your tank needs to cycle all over again. Rinse the put it right back in the filter.

    No one uses undergravel filters anymore - I'm sure most people here will recommend getting an Aquaclear - filtration capacity should be for at least twice the size of your tank, hence get a filter that handles at the minimum up to 40 gallons.

    You could continue using what you already have and just put another filter on your tank - unless you want to replace what you have with another upgraded filter - however if you did that you would need to run both filters at the same time for a few weeks to cycle the new filter.

  4. #4


    0 Not allowed!
    Cleaning under the filter plate of a UGF is a real hassle. And sooner or later, you have to do it. It means lifting it out of the tank and vacuuming the gunk off the bottom, which literally means tearing your tank apart.

    Much better and more convenient are the Aquaclear hobs.

    I would simply remove the old UGF and use an Aquaclear. I have an AC50 on my 20-gallon-high. It's quiet and very effective. And very easy to clean.

    -- mermaidwannabe
    20 gal. high: planted; 8 white cloud minnows, 10 RCS, 2 blue shrimp, several snails; AC50, Azoo air. 65 gal: planted; 7 rosy barbs, 6 glofish,, 2 zebra danios, 6 rosy red (fathead) minnows, 3 dojo loaches, several snails; AC110 x 2.

  5. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    I still use UGF' about to go buy some more too *L*

    Cleaning is just a case of putting some tubing down the uplift tubes and sucking out any gunk under the plates.

    You can leave it there if you're not using it. I wouldn't rip up an established tank just to remove it. Wont cause any harm for it to just stay there unused
    Lots of tanks
    Camera - Sony A33 - Sony A58
    18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM lens
    55-200mm F4-5.6 SAM lens

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    I just shoved the gravel back and pulled the plates out. Took about 3 minutes.

  7. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Takes about the same time to clean under the plates with a tube too lol. Personal preference.
    There is however no need to remove them if you dont wish to. Just leave it turned off and add a different filter type.
    Lots of tanks
    Camera - Sony A33 - Sony A58
    18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM lens
    55-200mm F4-5.6 SAM lens

  8. #8

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    Gods Country, Eastern High Sierras, California

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    0 Not allowed!
    +1 Good points alasse.

  9. #9


    0 Not allowed!

    I said that because they say it has been in the tank for "years" without air going through it. By now, it could have the plates clogged up with gunk and not be effective anyway.

    pjaldave......Not too sure I would say a filter cartridge will last forever. You can rinse them out many times but after just so long, they began to fall apart and get thin and tear.

    eternal.....Many here shop online and you may find your cartridges that way. You can also replace the cartridges with foam if you don't remove the cartridges all at once. I would get an Aqua Clear 30 for your tank, myself, and run both filters for a month until the second filter can get seasoned. Aqua Clear require no cartridges but are simply a sponge you rinse out.

    You haven't mentioned if your tank is planted or not or what kind of substrate you use. That may also determine if you want to keep the UGF or not, as well.

  10. #10


    0 Not allowed!
    After about six months or so with a UGF, it may be necessary to do a much more thorough cleaning under the plate and of the plate, itself (the underneath portion where the gravel vac can't reach). Putting tubing down the intake can certainly work, but is it possible to reach into all corners of the tank's bottom as well as into the center section? Covered with gravel, it would be difficult to see where this vacuuming tube is going and if it's getting everything, everywhere under that plate. Almost certainly, some stuff would be missed.

    The Aquaclears initially come with a sponge, mesh bag of carbon and mesh bag of biomax, which are ceramic rings. Unless you need to remove medications from the tank, you can discard the carbon and add more biomax, which can be purchased separately. There are no fussy cartridges to work with.

    -- mermaid
    20 gal. high: planted; 8 white cloud minnows, 10 RCS, 2 blue shrimp, several snails; AC50, Azoo air. 65 gal: planted; 7 rosy barbs, 6 glofish,, 2 zebra danios, 6 rosy red (fathead) minnows, 3 dojo loaches, several snails; AC110 x 2.

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