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balashark

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Well, I found a new lfs right down the street. The bad part is, I found them because they had a huge going out of business sign up. D* the luck.

Anyways, they had their ten gallon display tanks on sale for $20!!! It comes with the tank, hood, heater, gravel (black & white), background (dark purple metallic), and two UGF bubblers with tubing, but no air pump. Soooo, I've never used a UGF, and from what I've read about them they aren't as good as HOB or canister filters.

My question is this, should I keep the two under-gravel filters and buy an air pump, or should I just go with my VERY trusted Aqua-Clear (now Hagen, right?) HOB filter? Also, if I stay with the UGFs, how powerful an air pump do I need to run them?

Looking for personal experiences here, I've read all the 'literature' on them already, does anybody here use UGFs in their tanks?

Oh, and my plan is to set this one up with a trio of platys or guppys (all male) and finally have a permanent QT tank. So I'm not going to stock this one much at all.

Thanks for the help!

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IMO, I would not recommend using the UGF's. The grid plates tend to accumulate mulm and debris which is virtually impossible to remove without removing the plates from the gravel, doing a gravel vac and then reinstalling the plates. I suggest removing the UGF and going with the HOB filter. If you decide to keep the UGF, then I would suggest using a reversable flow powerhead instead of an airpump. That way you could periodicaly reverse the flow direction to help flush out some of the gunk under the plates. One drawback I can think of with that setup is the powerhead flow may be too much for a 10g tank. Either way, I would still use a HOB filter.

Edited by br553
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The grid plates tend to accumulate mulm and debris which is virtually impossible to remove without removing the plates from the gravel, doing a gravel vac and then reinstalling the plates.

I had this same problem when I had an undergravel filter in my 55 gallon aquarium. It wasn't long before I replaced it with an HOB filter.

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That's what I was thinking. Thanks so much for the help!

Plus, I got this from a petstore as a display tank, so who knows what kind of diseases, etc. could be in the plates. :no: I've never been in there to see their fish.

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I just found they were so disruptive to the fish. I couldn't clean around as you can with HOBs or overhead, the fish were always swimming 'in the way' at clean out time or rather I was 'in the way'. The gas that pops out from under those UGF trays is amazing-like a cloud you can actually see it. I also found pellets of food that had grown fungus and were attached to the under side...something I have never seen with other filters where the excess food will be broken down by the filter and its bbs...I just would never recommend them to anyone for trops or goldies because of that experience :( I suppose there must be a way to have them work efficiently, involving raising them ?and powerful aeration?

Congrats on the bargain tank though, it sounds a great deal :)

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Yea, unless the heater is busted I'm still counting myself ahead on the deal. :) I don't have any extra air pumps laying around, so I'd have to buy one anyway. So I'm gonna go get a hob, I know I'll feel better with one of those anyway.

Thanks again.

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