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Does anyone recommend the reverse flow under gravel filter set up? I want to put gravel back into my 55 and do not want to use a normal flow under gravel filter. I removed the gravel just to operate a cleaner tank. It is clean but I don't like the way it looks. I figure if I don't use something under the gravel too much debri will accumulate. I am not one of these guys that can spend half an hour siphoning every evening. I currently am using a large in tank sponge filter with a marineland outside bio wheel filter and am satisfied with the water quality. What do ya think of the undergravel reverse flow system?
 

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i had a reverse flow under gravel filter set up under some crushed coral. i had powerheads push water down the up tubes. it worked somewhat for keeping the stuff from getting down in the gravel. but everything just set on top of the gravel instead much more obvious. but it does turn your gravel into a great bio filter much more than just sitting there. in the end i took mine out because the cichlids would dig up the filter plate then all the water would flow thru there not thru the rest of the gravel. you know water takes the path of least resistance. i now have a UGJ system installed less that a week ago so still testing it out.
 

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When I think back over my experience with UG filters, it is a shock how I simply missed the main faults in the system. We all know that gunk collects under any type of decor, wood, rock, or such. So it should be obvious that if the fish move sand or gravel around it will create spots where the water does not flow up or down as well as in the spots where the sand/gravel is thinner. What that makes is a spot where your filter has stopped working! Whether you run it up or run it down, I don't want my filtering to vary as the whims of my fish decide. I want my filter to be steady as well as where I can see what it is doing. The big killer for me on UG filters is that there is no way to clean them short of removing them from the tank. Total tear down and cleaning HOB or canisters is a breeze compared to tearing down a whole tank down to the bare bottom.
They are a cheap alternate, but for me, they are worthless.
 

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UG filters can be cleaned by inserting a siphon hose down the lift tube and sucking the crud from beneath the plates. Conversely, a reverse flow UGf will not need to be cleaned if a prefilter is attached to the powerhead. Still, they are not the best choice for a tank of diggers.
 

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What do ya think of the undergravel reverse flow system?
They can be a good choice for systems with fish that prefer gravel and fish that don't dig. Unfortunately few of us here keep fish that fit that bill.
 
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