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Old 13-10-2003, 11:23 PM
 
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Default why not undergravel

I've heard that undergravel fiters are bad for plants and bottom
feeders, but I haven't heard why.

I put an undergravel filter in my 55 gallon tank because I knew
that it would be a nightmare to put it in after setting it up.
I also have a charcoal filter with an intake tube and a reservoir
which appears to be pretty standard these days.

My spotted dojo and my 3 coreys seem happy. My plants are doing well.
I have really deep gravel. I keep the air to the undergravel
filter cranked down pretty low anyway. I appreciate the sort of
filtering it does, and it seems to help get food down to where the
loach and the coreys want it. The only other fish are columbian tetras,
and they don't seem to mind.

So my plants are 2 swords, 4 moneyworts and 2 of these dark
evergreen-looking things that I don't know the name of. All seem to be
doing well but it's really too early to say that.



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Old 14-10-2003, 12:23 AM
Dinky
 
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Default why not undergravel


wrote in message
news:[email protected]
I've heard that undergravel fiters are bad for plants and bottom
feeders, but I haven't heard why.


In short, the roots will get into the UG and then be impossible to move
(particularily stem plants which have to be pulled up and trimmed
frequently) without damaging the plant, and root material and gorp will
eventuially clog the UG anyway, reducing it's effectiveness.
If you simply use deeper gravel, the water will not flow well through
it, and you've defeated the function of the UG anyway. Best filter for a
planted tank is generally agreed upon to be the canister type.

hth

billy


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Old 14-10-2003, 06:12 AM
 
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Default why not undergravel

In article [email protected],
Dinky wrote:



wrote in message
news:[email protected]


If you simply use deeper gravel, the water will not flow well through
it, and you've defeated the function of the UG anyway. Best filter for a
planted tank is generally agreed upon to be the canister type.


I haven't seen a canister filter specifically for aquarium use. I
imagine this is the most expensive route as well. I can immediately
think of one obvious advantage: you have an additional few gallons of
water.

I am picturing something like a Katadyn flow thru filter, with homemade
fittings and a pump, built into a 5 gallon bucket. Even homemade, what
I'm thinking of would easily cost a couple hundred bucks. But the water
on the output side would be safe to drink...

Seems like overkill. I'm stuck with my choices for the time being. I
think my gravel is deep enough, and I guess I have plenty of filtration
from the charcoal filter. My fish seem to like bubbles... Like I
said, it's cranked way, way down anyway. I hadn't thought of the roots
being a problem, and it hadn't occurred to me that they would ever have
to move.

Thanks!

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Old 14-10-2003, 08:02 AM
Paul
 
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Default why not undergravel


wrote in message ...
In article [email protected],
Dinky wrote:



wrote in message
news:[email protected]


If you simply use deeper gravel, the water will not flow well through
it, and you've defeated the function of the UG anyway. Best filter for a
planted tank is generally agreed upon to be the canister type.


I haven't seen a canister filter specifically for aquarium use. I
imagine this is the most expensive route as well. I can immediately
think of one obvious advantage: you have an additional few gallons of
water.

I am picturing something like a Katadyn flow thru filter, with homemade
fittings and a pump, built into a 5 gallon bucket. Even homemade, what
I'm thinking of would easily cost a couple hundred bucks. But the water
on the output side would be safe to drink...

Seems like overkill. I'm stuck with my choices for the time being. I
think my gravel is deep enough, and I guess I have plenty of filtration
from the charcoal filter. My fish seem to like bubbles... Like I
said, it's cranked way, way down anyway. I hadn't thought of the roots
being a problem, and it hadn't occurred to me that they would ever have
to move.


you should do some research on canister filters. they are the most popular
method of filtration today for aquaria. There are more than 5 different
brands and scores of models...

Undergravel filtration is a less than perfect method of filtration.


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Old 14-10-2003, 01:02 PM
Dinky
 
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Default why not undergravel


wrote in message
news:[email protected]

I haven't seen a canister filter specifically for aquarium use. I
imagine this is the most expensive route as well. I can immediately
think of one obvious advantage: you have an additional few gallons of
water.


As said by Paul, Canister filters are tremendously popular, and range widely
in price. Do a little research. As far as the your fish liking the bubbles,
keep in mind that surface agitation(like bubbles) deplete C02, which plants
require.




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Old 14-10-2003, 03:04 PM
Pete Gennaro
 
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Default why not undergravel

I have a twin-tube UGF.

On one tube I have a Powerhead, and on the other I have an airstone through
a charcoal head.

The airstone is on a timer to come on and run at night when the lights are
out. I have deep gravel and always do a good job of vacuming.

The Amazon swords really grow some long roots so I will probably face the
problem of roots eventually, but for now I'm cool with it. By the time it's
a problem I'll be ready to change it all around.

wrote in message
news:[email protected]
I've heard that undergravel fiters are bad for plants and bottom
feeders, but I haven't heard why.

I put an undergravel filter in my 55 gallon tank because I knew
that it would be a nightmare to put it in after setting it up.
I also have a charcoal filter with an intake tube and a reservoir
which appears to be pretty standard these days.

My spotted dojo and my 3 coreys seem happy. My plants are doing well.
I have really deep gravel. I keep the air to the undergravel
filter cranked down pretty low anyway. I appreciate the sort of
filtering it does, and it seems to help get food down to where the
loach and the coreys want it. The only other fish are columbian tetras,
and they don't seem to mind.

So my plants are 2 swords, 4 moneyworts and 2 of these dark
evergreen-looking things that I don't know the name of. All seem to be
doing well but it's really too early to say that.




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Old 14-10-2003, 07:12 PM
Steve Hampton
 
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Default why not undergravel

I'm not a fan of UGF's for any tanks, but here is why I believe they
are especially
ill-suited for planted tanks.

1) Substrate is very important for plants, not only does it serve to
keep them "rooted" it
also must provide nutrients to plant roots. UGF's limit the size and
type of substrate
materials that can be used. For example, one of my favorite
substrates is sand mixed with
iron rich laterite. It can't be used with a UGF plate because of
particle size, and laterite
would be introduced into the water column.

2) UGF's begin to become mechanical filters, as debris enters into
the "cracks" between
the gravel the biological filtration gets compromised and anaerobic
areas develop which
can kill plant roots and/or cause stem rot. Vacuuming is not
recommended because it
disturbs the plant roots, this causes the roots to develop more root
hairs which take more
energy from developing leaf structures. This is why it is often said
the UGF's will grow
great roots, just not great plants.

3) This is the main reason. For a real balanced planted tank the
aquarist needs to be able
to control nutrients, both in the substrate and in the water column.
A UGF will make it
virtually impossible to do this over any extended period of time.
For example, if I need to
add fertilizer tabs to sword plants, I push them deep into the
substrate not fearing that
they will be released into the water column. With a UGF and it's
associated water flow
through the substrate that fertilizer will be dissolving quickly
into the water column and
algae will be soon to follow.

4) What benefit does a UGF offer in a planted tank? NONE. Biological
filtration? Nope
the plants do this better. Chemical filtration? Nope, UGF's do none,
but plants are very
efficient at chemical filtration. Mechanical filtration? Nope, again
as I alluded to earlier,
UGF's begin to fail at the only job they're capable of if they begin
to provide mechanical
filtration.

So the question to me seems, if a UGF provides no benefit for a
planted tank, but offers
several negatives why would someone choose to use them.

BTW, up until about 7-8 years ago, every tank I have or have ever
had, contained a UGF.
When I was finally convinced to fore-go UGF's I found that live
plants became much
easier and that algae rarely is a problem,....and there is never
that foam at filter exits that
indicate the heavy DOC buildup that occurs with tanks using UGF's.

JMHO,

--
Steve H.

Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a Mystery
But Today is a Gift...That's why we call it the Present!


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Old 14-10-2003, 08:45 PM
Giancarlo Podio
 
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Default why not undergravel

As far as plants go, you can see it in two ways.... UGF creates
circulation of water through your substrate, thus bringing nutrients
to the roots. This is fine if you don't fertilize your substrate. The
other view, the bad one, is that if you do fertilize your substrate,
the UGF will wash the nutrients into the water column and potentially
cause an algae problem. In general I prefer to have a thick, rich
substrate so UGFs are not an option for me, plants grow better this
way IMO. If on the other hand you don't fertilize and you have a
rather thin substrate, the UGF shouldn't cause any problems, just a
pain to clean when required. Personally I'm a fan of canister
filters.

Hope that helps
Giancarlo Podio

"Pete Gennaro" wrote in message ...
I have a twin-tube UGF.

On one tube I have a Powerhead, and on the other I have an airstone through
a charcoal head.

The airstone is on a timer to come on and run at night when the lights are
out. I have deep gravel and always do a good job of vacuming.

The Amazon swords really grow some long roots so I will probably face the
problem of roots eventually, but for now I'm cool with it. By the time it's
a problem I'll be ready to change it all around.

wrote in message
news:[email protected]
I've heard that undergravel fiters are bad for plants and bottom
feeders, but I haven't heard why.

I put an undergravel filter in my 55 gallon tank because I knew
that it would be a nightmare to put it in after setting it up.
I also have a charcoal filter with an intake tube and a reservoir
which appears to be pretty standard these days.

My spotted dojo and my 3 coreys seem happy. My plants are doing well.
I have really deep gravel. I keep the air to the undergravel
filter cranked down pretty low anyway. I appreciate the sort of
filtering it does, and it seems to help get food down to where the
loach and the coreys want it. The only other fish are columbian tetras,
and they don't seem to mind.

So my plants are 2 swords, 4 moneyworts and 2 of these dark
evergreen-looking things that I don't know the name of. All seem to be
doing well but it's really too early to say that.




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