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A couple years ago I built an air-powered RUGF just for fun out of 
drop-ceiling "Egg-crate", crafters' plastic canvas, 1" filter tubing, and 3/4" pvc 
elbows for a 30-gal standard tank.  I remember using methylene blue to time flow 
and using tube cross-section area, figured a flow rate of 35 gallons per hour, 
without airstones.  I can't remember whether it was total for two sides or per 
side.  I'm not a plant guru, but Vals and Crypts did good, and whatever kind 
of Aponogeton bulbs it was I had shot up and blossomed.  2x30watts t-8 Tritons, 
Natural Gold fertilizer and a substrate made of pumice, peat, and 
pyrophilitic clay.

There is, or was, a diagram of it on the Krib courtesy of Erik O.  The only 
problem I had with it was a small level of fractionation leaving stains of 
expelled organic compounds on the wall behind the tank above where the air came 
out.  I recommend building a catcher of some sort to divert the spray down into 
a collector.

The big advantage to air-power was the cost and the flow control.  It also 
doesn't clog, because the fish-pooh ends up under the plate instead of in the 
gravel bed.  The disadvantage is that you have to build the things yourself.  
You can use a conventional UGF plate without a problem, but you have to find the 
elbows, street-l's, and tees, as well as the extra tubing.

Bob Dixon

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