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6 minutes ago, lefty o said:

i dont know, i run hang on backs, and i cant tell you how many years it has been since i bought any replacement filters. nothing wrong with an ugf, but they arent for everyone, just like a hob, or a canister, no one filter type is for everyone.

I completely agree.  
I use all the above!!  But only cause when I buy used tanks they come with stuff.  I never have bought replacement filters.  I have bought a few replacement rings... 
I like to over populate my tanks!  water changes hooooe!    Which I love a good water change.
I am certainly NOT saying UGFs are better for YOUR (whomever is reading) setup.  
I just want to make sure people know that UGFs are better for MY setups and with proper education and instruction a UGF is probably the best all around filter for a long term tank setup.

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2 hours ago, aehageman said:

I don't like to step on Cory's toes but 
UGFs are one size fits one size, [ buzzer sound!!! ]  Sure you can not put a big LEE's for a 55g in 10g, but I have 55g Lees in my 45s and in my 65s and I have used them in my 100gs and 200Gs.  There is no where that says it MUST fit the tank size.   There is no where it states the entire bottom of a tank must be used for a UGF to function.  The lees 55G is actually two plates.  NONE of my tanks have two.  Most of my tanks only one side has a UGF. Unless it is the 45 tall  and then the 55G lees takes up over half the bottom.  The 45 long is the same width as my 65tall and my 55s. so they are all halfsies.

Really how many people shut down a tank when they upgrade to a bigger tank, don't most people just add the new tank?  Thus why we all have 23 tanks in the house, office, kitchen, dining room, bed room, living room, etc. Maybe it is just me.

The larger a tank the less surface area is required for a UGF to operate.. 
The larger the tank the lower the requirements for filtration.
The larger the tank the easier to maintain. ETC!   

Scaling a UGF can be done by increasing water flow and substrate depth and type.  I certainly do not want hangon my aquarium anything, if I were building a pretty tank. Which I do not build.

"You can’t use it for the cycle," What?
I certainly use it for the cycling new tanks, all the time.   Get a scoop and a bucket. take the media from one tank to the new tank, leave the dirty stuff in the media.  I do this ALL the time with new tanks.  Then I add new substrate back into the old tank and new substrate over the cycled substrate in the new tanks.  Do not remove all your substrate, Half at most, unless a large well established tank.  The bacteria lives on the media, thus when you move some over boom there is your cycle started.  I have a 32gallon trash can with water and lava rock.  This is where my water sits to acclimate and where I season my substrate.  For the pebble and gravel substrates, I just over fill a few tanks and leave for a few weeks, then I can remove as much as I want for new projects.  Boom instant cycle starter. 

A UGF can do almost everything any other system can do except increase your maintenance time and costs!

IMHO and experience, UGFs are more upgradeable than any of the options you mentioned. The real issue is that the market has educated people to think they way you think, because UGFs are not profitable recurring products.
As Cory stated in a video, he was using MOSTLY UGFs in his store display tanks, until he allowed customers to peer pressure him into removing them.  He also said the uplift tubes make it more difficult to catch fish to put in your baggy. just fyi.

Everytime I go to buy something for a tank, I compare the price of that item to the price of another new tank.

$50 buys a lot of tank and not a lot of filtration.  Hard to buy a good NON UGF filtration system for under $50 that can scale up.  Sure I can add 3 or 4 small hang on the back filters to a bigger tank, but then I have 3 or 4 back filters hanging on my tank.  Now I have to buy filter replacements for 3 or 4 filters.

 

Thanks for the feedback and I certainly see your point,  I just see more options than you shared.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





 

Every point made here is correct.  
 

There is no doubt that different sized plates can be used in many configurations.

for example, a penn-plax UGF kit sold for a 10 gal tank consists of 2 plates measuring 9.5” square that are meant to be clipped together for use.  You can use each one “singly” in a small tank.  Most other standard sizes work the same way.

UGF’s are cheap, and they work.

But they work even better configured as a slow-flow plenum.

 

Edited by tonyjuliano
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18 minutes ago, tonyjuliano said:

Every point made here is correct.  
 

There is no doubt that different sized plates can be used in many configurations.

for example, a penn-plax UGF kit sold for a 10 gal tank consists of 2 plates measuring 9.5” square that are meant to be clipped together for use.  You can use each one “singly” in a small tank.  Most other standard sizes work the same way.

UGF’s are cheap, and they work.

But they work even better configured as a slow-flow plenum.

 

What tonyjuliano said!!!

Did I mention you can stack them?

@tonyjuliano and thanks for giving me more research to do.. "plenum" is my new word of the week....

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2 hours ago, tonyjuliano said:

Get ready for lots of controversy!

Google “Dr. Kevin Novak plenum”

I am almost lost for words!     Seriously where do I start?

I found this link
https://mjvaquatics.com/using-a-plenum-in-a-freshwater-aquarium/
Which led me to this
https://mjvaquatics.com/anoxic-biocenosis-clarification-filtration/
to
this 
video   This is great you gotta watch it... then watch the next video


 

 

I am going to find a replacement material for the laterite.
http://www.bestpetsupply.com/shopping/pricelist.asp?prid=2796
 

 

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4 minutes ago, tonyjuliano said:

Very hard to find anymore, but this is a perfect substitute…

https://www.seachem.com/flourite-red.php

Laterite seems to come from India, so I reached out...  It seems to be their sand!  Maybe after some research, my friend will mail me a bag of dirt from his yard?  If we are lucky.

I just realized lava rock from the store is high in iron.  Could be why my tanks do so well so easily? Besides me that is LOL!
I am looking at tumblers and other mechanical ways to smooth the lava rock and now to make it pebble size!!
The point of the laterite is the iron?

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16 minutes ago, aehageman said:

Laterite seems to come from India, so I reached out...  It seems to be their sand!  Maybe after some research, my friend will mail me a bag of dirt from his yard?  If we are lucky.

I just realized lava rock from the store is high in iron.  Could be why my tanks do so well so easily? Besides me that is LOL!
I am looking at tumblers and other mechanical ways to smooth the lava rock and now to make it pebble size!!
The point of the laterite is the iron?

Laterite is baked red clay, nothing more.  

The clay component is important as it is also a negatively charged ion

It’s gotta be clay, has to be baked, and it’s gotta be rich in iron, lava rock will not cut it.

All of this is well known and comes right out of the industrial wastewater treatment field.

Edited by tonyjuliano
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On 6/5/2021 at 12:19 PM, BenA said:

Will it work for Loches that like to dig into sand?

Yes, but I'd never use sand with an under "gravel" and that's one of the cons for under gravel filters.  But I do have 5 tanks running under gravel and love them.  It pulls all the goodies down for the plants to consume.  I have Dojo Loaches with under gravel filters.

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1 minute ago, KBOzzie59 said:

Yes, but I'd never use sand with an under "gravel" and that's one of the cons for under gravel filters.  But I do have 5 tanks running under gravel and love them.  It pulls all the goodies down for the plants to consume.  I have Dojo Loaches with under gravel filters.

You can run an UGF and sand by using "landscape cloth" over top of the plate. Home depot, or any other hardware store, has it...

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Vigoro-3-ft-x-50-ft-WeedBlock-Weed-Barrier-Landscape-Fabric-with-Microfunnels-1242RV/302720132

 

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3 minutes ago, KBOzzie59 said:

And not nearly as efficient as gravel.  If you get any flow at all.  Been there / Done that.

edit:  Maybe with a very coarse sand.

"Efficiency" is in the eye of the beholder.

If you you define "efficiency" as gallons per hour flowed through the plates, then yes - much less "efficient".

But...

If you think of efficiency as the effectiveness of bio-filtration, then that is a whole other matter.

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38 minutes ago, JAG said:

I have discovered Dr Kevin Novak Ph.D., from this thread and I can't wait to try his Plenum concept!  

Get ready for lots of controversy!  The guy gets tons of grief from the "heavily planted" crowd.

But I think his methods and concepts are sound, I spent most of my career in the industrial wastewater treatment field, and what he purports has been proven out in that environment.

Edited by tonyjuliano
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16 hours ago, tonyjuliano said:

Laterite is baked red clay, nothing more.  

The clay component is important as it is also a negatively charged ion

It’s gotta be clay, has to be baked, and it’s gotta be rich in iron, lava rock will not cut it.

All of this is well known and comes right out of the industrial wastewater treatment field.

Am I missing something?
The cat litter needs to be clay, the laterite was only used for the Iron.  Why does it need to be Clay?

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8 minutes ago, aehageman said:

Am I missing something?
The cat litter needs to be clay, the laterite was only used for the Iron.  Why does it need to be Clay?

The clay kitty litter is for the "basket type" filters (intended for larger vessels, combined with an iron source).

For aquarium use, you need a single product that combines the ionization of clay, with added iron.  Due to the size constraints this single product can be either Laterite (hard to come by anymore) or Seachem Flourite Red. Both are clays - high in iron.

The kitty litter has no iron.

In a UGF plenum setup, layers are as follows (bottom to top):

  1. Bio-Media of choice
  2. Filter Plate
  3. Clay/Iron Source (Laterite or Seachem Flourite Red - only about 1/4" is necessary))
  4. Substrate of choice
Edited by tonyjuliano
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I am reading that people are saying the plain "Special Kitty" cat litter, from Walmart, is breaking down and getting mushy ~ they are now using "Safe T Sorb", from Tractor Supply, which is also a pure baked clay product, which holds up better.

I don't have a sump, to utilize Dr. Novak's basket, but why couldn't a mixture of "Safe T Sorb" and "Seachem Flourite Red", be used as the UGF substrate, instead of gravel? 

I think I will email Dr. Novak and ask him ~ I'll let you know if he replies ...

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