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Old 05-19-2013, 04:02 PM   #1 
Charley
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Exclamation Under Gravel Filter in a Planted Tank

So just today I bought a 30 gallon tank with a heater and an under gravel filter, for just 65 dollars! I intend on making it a sorority tank. I desperatley want a planted tank, but do not have the money to buy another filter. I have read that under gravel filters and planted tanks do not really go well together, but i was wondering if there is any way it can be done. For example what if I laid a layer of gravel down then put gravel tidy on top and then put the soil and sand on top of that. Would this work? If not please tell me if there is any way it can be done. Thanks!!
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:34 PM   #2 
lilnaugrim
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unfortunately because the point of an undergravel filter is to filter out the debris from under gravel, it would not work if you had all those layers because the sand alone will pack down and none of the debris would go down to the filter. So basically it's kind of useless, sorry :/
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Old 05-19-2013, 09:51 PM   #3 
VJM
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Another issue is that plant roots will inevitably clog up the UGF.
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:45 PM   #4 
Charley
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Alright so if i just put gravel in, what would be the main problems, aside from the roots clogging the UGF would anything else happen
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:24 PM   #5 
Gallium
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The short answer: Yes!

You can plant and use an UGF. The limitations on this kind of filter is that any plants you use will either need to be potted or floating/rooted to wood or rocks. You can still create a beautiful planted tank with an UGF if you utilize plants like anubias, java fern, all the mosses, and many crypts. You can use small pots for bunches of stem plants if needed, or basically any plant that does not need an excessively large root system. The pots you use should be the type commonly seen in potted aquatic plants (very large holes for flow, and planted in fibre)
You shouldn't plant in pots without any drainage, and as such you will not be able to use sand or fine grained gravels.

The use of floating plants(frogbit, red root floater, dwarf water lettuce, dwarf hyacinth, naja grass, etc) can also add a lot to the aquarium, or even the stem floaters that can be weighted down to give the appearance of being rooted without the need to be actually rooted (such as hornwort, anachris, mycrophyllium sp., etc)

UGF are inferior methods of filtration though, so I would maybe save up for a while and invest in a better filter so you can have more choices of where and what type of plants to use.

If you need to use the UGF and would like to plant it in the mean time though and need advice, feel free to message me and I can perhaps help you tailor advice to the specific tank's needs, though I'm not an expert.
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Old 05-20-2013, 03:25 PM   #6 
shimagoma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gallium View Post
The short answer: Yes!

You can plant and use an UGF. The limitations on this kind of filter is that any plants you use will either need to be potted or floating/rooted to wood or rocks. You can still create a beautiful planted tank with an UGF if you utilize plants like anubias, java fern, all the mosses, and many crypts. You can use small pots for bunches of stem plants if needed, or basically any plant that does not need an excessively large root system. The pots you use should be the type commonly seen in potted aquatic plants (very large holes for flow, and planted in fibre)
You shouldn't plant in pots without any drainage, and as such you will not be able to use sand or fine grained gravels.

The use of floating plants(frogbit, red root floater, dwarf water lettuce, dwarf hyacinth, naja grass, etc) can also add a lot to the aquarium, or even the stem floaters that can be weighted down to give the appearance of being rooted without the need to be actually rooted (such as hornwort, anachris, mycrophyllium sp., etc)

UGF are inferior methods of filtration though, so I would maybe save up for a while and invest in a better filter so you can have more choices of where and what type of plants to use.

If you need to use the UGF and would like to plant it in the mean time though and need advice, feel free to message me and I can perhaps help you tailor advice to the specific tank's needs, though I'm not an expert.
+1

In my mind the filter is always the one thing you cant skip out on! or even making your own sump filter! I have a 250 magnum HOT and while it is more power than is needed for my tank i can always use it on a larger tank if i need to and it should last a long time!

also if you stick to plants like,
anubias, java fern, mosses, anything with a rhizome you can put them on drift wood and be good to go! and not have to worry about pesky roots! :P
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