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Tom Barr's enthusiasm for RUGFs has almost made me a convert!
Unfortunately, I'm aware that his results, as seen in Cliff's pics, are the
result of a lot of skills and diligence (that I lack) that have nothing to
do with RUGF systems, too. (^_^)
I have built nearly identical CPVC grids for use with regular UGFs when I
wanted a very fine substrate (as for some catfishes). By drilling the holes
near the *bottom* of the grids, about 30-45 degrees off the vertical, on
alternate sides of center, I could use regular UGF air lifts in substrates
as fine as 30 mesh sand, without the sand getting inside the tubes to any
serious extent. The problem was that the sand becomes too compacted in
breeding tanks, where MTS are a no-no. After a few months it is like a rock
from 1/2" below the surface on down. [With RUGF, it should never do that.]
Tom's design may permit some tiny "anaerobic" areas between the grids, which
might be useful for some nutrient conversion, while avoiding the big gassy
messes I have created trying similar substrates without the RUGF. I always
have to hold peat to well under 5% of the substrate to avoid H2S bubbles
(and noxious smells thereof) without substrate circulation of some kind. [I
store peat with a regular UGF running under it, so I *know* I can go to 100%
peat substrate with water flowing through it, BTW.]
[Aside to Karen: How's that for sneaking in a couple of those disaster you
say we never see here? ;-)]
PS. Back in the 50s, when plastics were just getting going, but
injection-molded plates were still just appearing, *all* UGF grids were like
Tom's -- usually out of green clear acrylic tubing. If we wanted a plate, we
drilled lots of holes in a sheet of plexi, and spaced it off the bottom with
marbles, posts, o/e. I wish someone still made the perforated tubing, for
drilling all those holes in round CPVC is a truly tedious pain.
Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679 huntleyone at home dot com
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