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Okay for gravel but cannot be used with sand. I think it is more beneficial to have under gravel jets instead imo.
 

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CichlidAndrew said:
Okay for gravel but cannot be used with sand. I think it is more beneficial to have under gravel jets instead imo.
Actually, a least one major vendor uses under-sand filtration quite sucessfully...

http://www.ohiexchange.com/armke/forget_the_fish.html

demonsoni said:
ugf's are so 10 years ago.
Heh, and they work just as well today as they did 10 years ago. You'd be hard pressed to find a commercial filter that gives the same "bang for your buck", and even most DIY solutions are going to be hard pressed to compete on a per-dollar basis.

The disadvantage is that they're more labor intensive. 10 years ago we didn't have good alternatives, and the UGF worked just fine, so it was standard. We aquarists being the lazy folk that we are, we're all for paying more money to do less work ;). Or for DIY folks, doing more work to pay less money to do less work.

UGF's are easy and cheap to set up, but they require a disciplined gravel vacuuming schedule. If you don't maintain your UGF then you can eventually reach a bugaboo with tons of gunk underneath it that turns into a "Nitrate Factory" but lets be honest -- if you have UGJ's (UGJets, not to be confused with UGFilters) and cannister filters, all that "gunk" is going to end up in your cannister filter and you have just as bad (or worse) a "Nitrate Factory" until you clean it out.

Now that said, I do believe there are times when a UGF is not appropriate (or at least not without taking extra steps) -- and that's when you've got fish that dig. My N. Multifasciatus dug a big pit until glass was exposed (and they kept digging even then, but it didn't get any deeper). That would do bad things to your UGF. There are ways around it, of course, such as putting a barrier halfway through the sand/gravel to prevent them from exposing the UGF plate, but imho at that point you might want to seriously consider alternate forms of filtration.

Any way you cut it -- it's your money, and your elbow grease. Choose how much of the one you're willing to spend, and apply the other in inverse proportion ;).

-Rick (the armchair aquarist, who being one of those crazy DIY folks is making a wet/dry filter for his 29 gallon tank, but by the time it's all said and done he will have spent enough for a mid-sized classic Eheim. That wouldn't have been nearly as satisfying though ;) )
 

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Oh, and I forgot about the RUGF! Does that count? Reverse-Flow is your friend, though I'd just rig a way to attach the powerhead pointing into the ugf plate rather than use a powerhead with a "reverse" setting. A bit more expensive since you can't do it easily with air (it can be done, and actually it's kind of a neat trick, but I suspect the powerhead would do a better job). Now your filter isn't sucking gunk into your gravel, it's blowing stuff out! You're still screwed if your fish expose your UGF plate though. And you need a prefilter, but imho thats no biggie -- it does take up more room in your tank though.

-Rick (the armchair aquarist)
 

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Rick_Lindsey
you are absolutely right.

even if they are "so 10 years ago"they are any efficient means of filtration in my opinion i friends wid these guys been keeping every kind of fish you can think of for 50 years. and they only use undergravels. they also only run undergravels in there own aquarium bussines.

even if the filter plate s exposed iit doesnt ruin the filter all that you have to do is cover it up again. just through them digging it up doesnt ruin the bio-filtration. the bio media is your gravel and the towers draw the water through the gravel just because the water is finding the uncovered part of the plate doesnt mean the media is goin to die.

the general rule with gravel on an undergravel filter is that it should atleast make it past your second knuckle on your index finger when you poke the gravel.

they work a dream i have one on my 180 gallon. i do have an fx5 because the tanks gonna be really well stocked but even then the undergravel if enough gravel in the aquarium could cope with it on its own.(amount of gravel= Bio-filtartion of the tank.

im not trying to argue with anybody I'm just having my say :thumb:
 

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Rick_Lindsey
Great post! :thumb: When I first set up my current 180 it contained 'diggers' or I probably would have used a UGF in it. If I was going to use a UGF now I'd definetly recommend reverse flow. Please bear in mind folks I'm an 'ol timer' and very old school. YMMV
 
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