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Re: To Undergravel Filter or Not?

John Pflum wrote:

> I searched through the APD archives but did not find a whole lot of
stuff on it.

That probably just is because the search engine is, ummm, a little weak.

> I was thinking about just capping mine off like you did.  I have a
Fluval 404 in my 75g
> tank so I don't think that I would need it for the biological

With a well-planted tank you probably don't need biological filtration
at all.  That's been discussed extensively on this list (recently, even)
and I think that Diana Walstad had an article to that effect in a recent

> Have you
> noticed a lot of roots getting tangled up in the UG plates?  My tank
has been up and
> running for about a month now and I am seeing lots of runners and
shoots so I assume that
> the roots are doing the same type of expansion. ability to use
substrate fertilizers and
> amendments.

Yes, but not with all plants.  The biggest problem has been with C.
wendtii and similar crypts.  Some of them root deeply and tie themselves
into the undergravel filter very tightly.  That makes it really tough to
get the plants out without causing a huge mess and makes it impossible
to get the plants out without doing substantial damage to the plants'
roots.  That's not necessarily a huge problem, because once the plants'
roots get to a difficult size I usually trim them anyway before
I replant them.  A few other plants have been a problem, but not all of

You might be able to see problems coming.  If you can look at the bottom
of your tank and see roots coming through the UGF plate then you will
have some trouble getting those plants out.

Roger Miller