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Re: RFUG's

> I was just thinking about a new tank possibility using materials I
> already have on hand.  Would tank w/ a reverse-flow UGF work?  I know
> sand is too fine for a regular UGF, but I was wondering if reversing
> the flow would keep the sand from clogging the filter.

Yes and no. I did this year ago and just recently broke down the last of
them about 5 months ago. They do work great. I used them with extremely good
results(flourite/sand laterite/etc) for many years with plants. I started
using them I can't even say but close to 20 years ago for AF cichlids due to
their digging nature. I liked the reverse flow for many reasons and stumbled
upon the RFUG for plants by accident about 12 years ago and so I was hooked.
I would suggest you make your own though out of PVC or CPVC. It will cost
about 10$ max. Look in the archives for more info. You'll find plenty of
yammerings from me about them. I used them with extremely fine sand on a
brackish tank with great results.

> This is probably going to be a breeding tank, but I am now thinking
> about planting it.  CO2 retention in the tank would probably be pretty
> good this way, wouldn't it?

If you add CO2 it won't make that big a difference. I'd still add current
else where. I just want to get lots of use out of all that surface area on
the sand. All the bacteria etc.

Would the sand be too tightly compacted
> for most plants? 

No. I did fine for many years. Never ever had a compaction issue.

I assume the RFUGF would keep the sand from
> compacting too tight.

It will have plumes/eggcrate shaped areas of reductive/oxidative zones where
the holes or slates are and are not. Overall the substrate will be quite
aerobic compared to any other substrate. You might think this is bad but it
does not turn out to quite so simple. You can also move your plants around
far more than the other substrates without cause a crash or disturbance. You
can watch as the bacteria form layers and hold the substrate together, but
they break lose and it starts all over again. You can go as high as you wish
with the flow rates as well. Almost to the point of a Fluidized bed filter
and still grow plants quite well. Onmce the plants get going the roots keep
most of the areas held together also.
The 2-3 mm sand works best doing this. I used very fine sand a few times as
well, it works too.
Deep sand works best as well. 4 -6 inches depending on how much you think
you need.
Check the archives for more info.
Tom Barr 
> Just a few ideas to throw out there.
> Thanks
> J. Miller
> Edmonton, AB, Can.