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undergravel fliter?
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es032980
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Joined: 07 Mar 2005
Location: Orlando, FL

PostPosted: 2005.03.15(Tue)20:40    Post subject: undergravel fliter? Reply with quote

I'm doing my planning for a saltwater tank. at this point I'm looking into live sand. can I use live sand with an undergravle filter or do I need to go out and pick up a regular filter?
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Filtration Master
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Joined: 30 Jan 2005
Location: New York

PostPosted: 2005.03.16(Wed)14:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Undergravel Filter is no good for saltwater and no it can't be used with sand. Try a Cannister Filter. How big is your tank?
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FloridaBoy
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PostPosted: 2005.03.16(Wed)17:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL, gotta love those open-minded posts! I have kept marine fish heathy, happy and growing for years with nothing more than undergravel filters w/powerheads and crushed coral; they have flaws but so do all other filters IMO. Many filter options out there my friend, I have used them ALL at one time or another, and I can tell you it really depends on your system goals and maintenance comfort level.
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Filtration Master
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PostPosted: 2005.03.16(Wed)20:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldnt be comfortable with a undergravel, as a matter of fact I never used them, I just know though they arent the best though.
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MarkLehr
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Joined: 09 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: 2005.03.16(Wed)21:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pretty cut & dry opinion there.

I am personally not a big fan of undergravel filters either. However, there is no arguing with the success many hobbyists have had using undergravel filters for basic saltwater setups. They simply require a higher degree of aquarium maintainance, which is why I am not a big fan! I prefer to be a little bit lazy. But we definately can not comment that undergravel filters are no good for saltwater unless we have a clear understanding of what creatures you wish to keep and how much time you plan to devote to your maintainance routine.

I do agree that live sand and undergravel filters do not go together. This is actually an odd question, because most hobbyists who opt for live sand have a much more in depth knowledge of the filtration process. Why are you considering live sand? What other filters are we debating? What kind of budget do you have? What tank size?
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RightNearDaBeach
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Joined: 08 Mar 2005
Location: Oklahoma City

PostPosted: 2005.03.21(Mon)11:37    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've read in several books a good way to keep an undergravel filter up and running in a marine tank. First, place the UGF in, then put a layer of crushed coral (or other large substrate) on top of that. Then get a mesh fabric (like the fabric you'd put on the bottom of a rock bed) and place that on top of the coral. Then put your layer of live sand on top of that. With a good powerhead it will suck the water through the sand, fabric and coral (perfect biological filter) without sucking any sand up. Voila! A good bilogical filter without the risk of the filter clogging! I haven't tried this yet, but I plan on it. Like I said, several books I've read have suggested it, so it seems like a good idea. That is if you want to use a UGF. If you do try this, would you post your results? Thanks!
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T5Chris
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Joined: 23 Jan 2004

PostPosted: 2005.03.26(Sat)5:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

I personally agree with the Filtration Master on this one. I've tried it. Not as great an idea as it might seem. It kind of eliminates the whole point of having live sand altogether. You're tank will be better off with live sand for the bio filtration and a quality canister that has good mechanical filtration and that can be cleaned out easily.
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FloridaBoy
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Joined: 04 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2005.03.27(Sun)13:30    Post subject: Reply with quote

The beat goes on... as I have said, depends on your system goals. Hmmm, let's see, so far we have; undergravel filters are no good for saltwater, and a suggestion of live sand as a bio filter w/a cannister. It strikes me that only Mark has taken the time to ask what type of system this hobbyist wants, what type of budget/maintenance level, etc. While all the comments above have some merit; keep in mind, some of the posts on this forum are from young folks or even college students who have little time and money. The use of sand in fish systems is controversial; see my earlier post on this. Many fail to realize that live sand is not live at all; it is simply sand that is populated by a large mass of delicate INVERTEBRATES. Inverts and fish can be a lovely combination for some and a nightmare for others, especially beginners who return from a trip and find themselves with an advanced outbreak of marine cryptocaryon and no quarantine system. It could be proposed that even the crushed coral substrate over an undergravel plate is "alive" with beneficial bacteria, it may not be the ideal solution, but the water is also aerobic and circulating beneath the substrate which is not a bad thing for simple fish set ups. After years on the retail, wholesaler and collector sides of the industry I will say from experience; most failures and quitters in this hobby come from (improperly) mixing inverts and fishes. It should also be stated that the most phenomenal and amazing systems are those reef tanks which (properly) mix inverts and fishes. But long term, that has always been a more delicate, time consuming and costly matter and it still is. As I have said before, IMO, cannisters, undergravels, bio wheels, trickle towers and other such devices are not true filters at all! They are conversion units. They convert toxic waste to another form (not a bad thing for most fish tanks) Various dirty pads/floss/substrates and disposable media they utilize often remain in the water column for weeks or even months at a time before they are changed, you know it and I know it. The only device that REMOVES waste daily is a protein skimmer. (or a hose and a bucket for a water change) With that said, even skimmers are not always perfect and low maintenance solutions; various forums are full of hobbyists who are having problems with low skimmate/clogged venturis/water level problems/pump problems, etc.etc. Steven Pro writes, "the market is flooded with inferior models." I have said before and again, ALL of the various devices above have flaws. I will not defend the undergravel filter; it needs no defense. For the basic, fish only system used by those on a limited budget it remains a fine choice.
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harlock
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Joined: 28 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: 2005.04.05(Tue)11:03    Post subject: My UG Filter 10g Reply with quote

UG Filters aren't for everyone. I personally have had success with mine in a 10g nano. It's been just about 3 months now, and the water quality is still very stable. I have added a skilter to the system, which filters the water also, so who knows, but before the skilter the UG filter was it, and things were fine.
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KDodds
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Joined: 05 Apr 2005
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PostPosted: 2005.04.05(Tue)14:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

TFH's May issue breaks it down about as best as you can in a concise format. I would make only one correction to the article, and that is that Play Sand is definitely usable and that any bias against using Play Sand is either lack of knowledge about the product(s) or loyalty to a given sand "manufacturer" that packages sand specifically for LFS sale. Other than the labelling, there's really no difference between argonitic sands sold for either application other than that Play Sand is about 10
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