Under Gravel Fish Tank Filter – Undergravel Filter Setup

under gravel fish tank filter
(Last Updated On: April 26, 2021)

Under gravel fish tank filter is useful for aquarium. There are a number of Pros and Cons of Undergravel Filters utilized in freshwater and marine aquariums that you simply need to learn about before you buy one in your tank.

Under Gravel Fish Tank Filter

Undergravel filters are arguably probably the most often bought filters to starting tropical fish-keeping fanatics, undergravel filter setup is essential to understnd.

They are merely a slotted plastic plates with one or more “lift tubes” that are positioned within the backside of the tank underneath enough bed of gravel. An air stone or powerhead is positioned in or on the elevated tubes to attract water down by the gravel bed the place the mechanical and organic filtration really takes place.

Many DIY aquarists customized make their very own undergravel filters from PVC pipe and plastic “egg crate”.
That being stated, listed here are among the Pros (benefits) and Cons (disadvantages) of Undergravel Filters:

Under Gravel Fish Tank Filter Pros

Undergravel filters are extraordinarily versatile. They can be utilized in a goldfish bowl, a 55-gallon tank, and even bigger.
Undergravel filters haven’t any shifting components and are straightforward to put in.
Undergravel filters are very cheap in comparison with different forms of filters
Undergravel filters are dependable
Undergravel filters are efficient when cleaned on a regular basis
Undergravel filters present an enormous quantity of floor space for bacteria colonization
Undergravel filters are comparatively straightforward to take care of
Undergravel filters are good in tanks used for rearing barbeque.

Purpose of an Under Gravel Fish Tank Filter

The two fundamental stuff you need in your aquarium is a great filter media base for sturdy organic filter growth, and clear, clear water.

The UGF is a plate-type filter that’s designed to tug water down by a media base (substrate) that sits on top of the plate, trapping particles within the media because the water passes by it.

The floor space of the substrate acts as your organic filter base.1 A UGF is run by an air pump and air stones, or some sorts can be utilized with a powerhead. We really feel that these filters will be very efficient, however are finest utilized in tanks underneath 55 gallons in size, and are NOT acceptable to be used in reef tanks.

UGF’s may go simply high-quality. The trick is to maintain the media clearly, by way of a regular upkeep schedule.1 If a UGF is just not maintained correctly the media builds up an accumulation of detritus and different natural matter, which in flip contributes to a build-up of high nitrate ranges. Another issue is that beneath the filter plate, lifeless spots can type.

This opens the door for the growth of undesirable dangerous forms of bacteria that will contribute to poor water’s high quality within the long run. The key to success when utilizing a UGF is upkeep. With correct UGF care, these destructive components are drastically diminished and mustn’t present an issue.

How to Keep Under Gravel Fish Tank Filter Active

Here are some pointers to assist make sure that your UGF runs correctly:

The media base must be thick sufficient to lure the particles, however not so thick that it defeats the filtering process. A layer of about two inches of pretty coarse materials needs to be enough. If the media is just too high-quality it would clog the filter plate, and if it is too coarse, it will not lure the particulates because it ought to.

Make positive you could have enough air/water stream in all areas underneath your UGF. Dead spots will permit the dangerous micro organism to develop, as dangerous bacteria grow in oxygen-depleted environments.

Be positive to make use of an air pump that has enough quantity to attract the water by the media and UGF plate.1

Use a hang-on-tank kind canister filter as a pre-filter to assist take away particulates that are free-floating within the aquarium water. This may help to take away and lower down on the natural matter that’s drawn down into the media. You can use a Magnum 350 by Marineland for this function.

No matter what kind of pre-filter unit you utilize, remember to clear or change the pleated cartridge, floss, or sponge a number of instances per week, or as quickly because it begins turning brown. You can inform when it wants altering, the water stream rate begins to lower noticeably.

Another function of the Magnum 350 or H.O.T. model is that it has a siphon tube attachment you can hook on to the filter consumption and clear your media with ease.

under gravel fish tank filter

When you siphon the media it solely pulls out the junk, leaving the media behind, then sends the water by the canister the place the pleated cartridge captures the natural matter, after which dispenses the clear, filtered water back into the tank.

This makes for an easy and fast solution to clear the media on top of the UGF plate. It even works great for fast floor cleaning on virtually any kind of substrate in different forms of system setups as effectively.

Some UGF’s are designed as reverse stream setups. This kind of UGF allows for backflushing of the realm beneath the filter plate, which in flip can help in easier and more efficient cleansing of the filter.

Under Gravel Fish Tank Filter Cons

Undergravel filters require regular upkeep to perform correctly
Undergravel filters aren’t beneficial for planted aquariums
Undergravel filters shouldn’t be used with fish who dig.
Export of waste is way more difficult
Undergravel filters have unavoidable “dead spots” beneath the filter and within the bed that causes buildups of hydrogen sulfide.
Undergravel filters often have higher ranges of nitrates and phosphates.
No separation of mechanical and organic filtration



Some of the cons for undergravel filters have been debated by tropical fish-keeping fanatics for years; particularly the destructive advice for utilizing them in planted aquariums.

Some fish keepers haven’t any downside elevating reside vegetation with undergravel filters, but others report vegetation with stunted growth or with plant roots rising beneath the filters inflicting restricted water stream.

Efficiency doesn’t appear to pose an issue, as long because the filter bed is being maintained on a regular schedule.

The hydrogen sulfide downside will be prevented to some extent by means of powerheads as an alternative to air stones to extend the water stream, and by agitating the gravel on a regular basis.

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