View Full Version : reverse undergravel filter

04-12-2003, 02:06 PM
my post wasn't getting any response in the DIY section, so hopefully it will here

I'm looking into building a reverse UGF for my 30 hex to give a bit more water movement to the tank. It doesn't need to be anything fancy, just something to move debris upward for my penguin to filter out. i found some "egg crate"? and i'm wondering what type of powerhead would work the best for this type of thing.
has anybosy tried this or have one?

04-12-2003, 04:44 PM
I dont know if the eggcrate will be fine enough to use as an UGF plate. Is that what you are going to use it for?

I have used the Penguin 660R with reverse flow pre-filter sponge with great success.

Get back to me on what you intend on using for the filter plate.



04-12-2003, 06:36 PM
it's for a hexagon tank, so the plate has to be custom made. The crate i'm looking at has about 1 cm square holes, and my goldfish tank has decent size stones rather then gravel.

does that powerhear need any sort of special attachments? or does it work as is?

04-12-2003, 07:12 PM
If you are just going to use it for water movement I would suggest you forget the UGF. I would use a sand or very small gravel substrate spread thinly on the bottom. You can then add a power head to create water movement in order to keep the detritus off the bottom. No matter which way you go, you will still need to vac the substrate.

The reason I am suggesting this is because the whole reason to use a UGF is for bio-filtration, and if you are using largish pebbles/stones even with a power head the gaps between the stones will be to great to allow the UGF to do its job properly. As far a 1cm holes in the egg crate-its much to large an opening. Again it would render your UGF useless.

I would reconsider your choice of an UGF at this point. Your tank is small I would recommend an Emperor 280 which is a hang on the side power filter.

Don't complicate your life with the UGF. What is your reason for being stuck on a UGF. I think they work great, I have had them in all my tanks reverse flow. They do require a lot of maintainence though. That is why I am switching to a sand substrate-will run 2 OPF and 1 cannister.

Hey why not use a cannister on your 30 Hex????:eek:



04-13-2003, 11:05 AM
a cannister is something i've never though of.... i don't have any experience useing a cannister and don't know much about them.
I'd use my peguin 330 but there's limited space for hanging filters, only my peguin 170 fits.

I have live plants, thats why i didn't think sand was a good idea.... i wonder what my goldfish would think of sand? My cichlids like the sand in their tank. :)

I thought to use a reverse UGF because it would flow water evenly along the whole bottem of the tank and upwards. I'm trying limit my need for gravel vacumeing as much as possiable, because unfortunetly, it's a tall tank and the water goes to my armpit just trying to reach the gravel, (not to mention what a pain it is trying to menuver around plants.)

how expensive are cannisters? and which one would work the best?

thanks so much for helping me with my questions.

04-13-2003, 04:32 PM
Hi reesapie,

The only reason your UGF wont work is because of the size of the substrate. The distance between the small stones is to great and it wont accomplish what you want it to.

If you go with a UGF you will need a filter plate with much smaller openings than light diffuser and a smaller particle size.

If you do go with a UGF dont think you wont be vacuuming the gravel as much. To keep a UGF going; reverse flow or not you still need to do a vacuum to keep it functioning properly.

I would go with a very fine layer of river gravel maybe 1/2 inch, easy to clean. Your other filter should be fine the way it is. Just remember to do those watre changes, they are unfortunatley a part of fishkeeping that cannot be avoided as well as vacuuming.

You really dont need a cannister, but I would go with an Eheim 2215. It is a bit larger than what you will need, but also think of the future when you get a bigger tank, and you will.



04-13-2003, 06:10 PM
If you're looking for a smaller canister, look at Fluvals. They're very good (although not generally as good as the top of the lline Eheims), but for the money they might make sense.

Matt is giving you good advice about the UGF. Have you considered getting an extra long gravel vacuum tube? You can purchase them up to 72" standard through any online supply house.

04-17-2003, 02:01 PM
so i guess my solution is going to be
1. a powerhead at the bottem to stir up debris (brand yet to be decided)
2. an extra long gravel vacume from petsmart (and i'll just be extra careful around the plants)

what type of powerhead for a 30 gallon? i don't want to shake up my goldfish too much.

04-17-2003, 03:37 PM
How about an aquaclear 101 by Hagen 80 g/h????



04-17-2003, 05:11 PM
that one is submersable right?

04-18-2003, 06:46 AM
Yeah, they're all pretty much submersible.

04-19-2003, 04:33 PM
Hey CHC,

Where do you hail from?


04-20-2003, 09:18 AM
Virginia............ by way of Florida..... by way of Georgia.

04-20-2003, 09:27 AM
Chc brings up an interesting question on submersible. Are the ac powerheads? The older ones are completely however the new 102, 202 etc say do not completely. I do anyway, however I silicone them before trying. Just a disclaimer?