Re: Cleaning an UGF

> From: "Carol Darnell" <carol at jupiter_biochem.missouri.edu>
> People say they have successful plant tanks with UG filtration. How do you
> vacuum the gravel, when it has laterite and plant tabs? Do you not use
> additives, or do you just use liquid ones? 

In the UGF tank, we do not have laterite.  Dupla plants tablets are
placed on top of the powerhead housings, where they dissolve fairly
quickly and get dispersed by the slow current created by the powerhead
outlet pulling some water past the powerhead.

We vacuum the gravel when we pull up plants for trimming.  
> This tank has all this floating debris in it, and it sucks! :) I just
> took out the powerhead because I thought there was too much water
> movement, and maybe thats why nothing was growing in there. Now the UG
> is just powered by an air pump.

Bad, bad, bad.  Crank the powerheads up a bit until the floating
debris is pulled into the gravel where it should be.  The mulm in the
gravel acts as a substitute for laterite - it provides binding sites
for nutrient ions.  Hint - don't clean it *too* much once it's "aged"
a bit. 

Our 85g UGF tank is run by two Aquaclear 201 powerheads running wide
open.  Based on the growth characteristics of the tank, that is about
the right amount of water flow fo rthis size tank.  Your resulkts may

>  Now the UG is just powered by an air pump. 

<sigh> There goes any CO2 you might have had.  

George in Sunny Colorado