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Re: RUGF with Plants

Beverly Wladyka asked about using a Reverse Under Gravel Filter in a planted
tank. The very feature mentioned, putting organics into the water column, is
something that usually causes more problems with algae in a planted tank.
Most planted tank system designs try to sequester nutrients (particularly
phosphates) IN the substrate where they are inaccessible to algae but are
accessible to plant roots.  Flushing the substrate into the water column
will defeat that intent.  Dissolved organics, by definition, won't be
captured by a mechanical filter.  Further, there is a train of thought that
suggests that slow/no water movement through the substrate creates a
low-oxygen environment that aids in nutrient availability to the plant
roots.  Unless you have an unusually high fish load, the plants ARE the
filter system and there is really no need for additional bio-filters.  IMHO,
IME, YMMV, etceteras...