How to Set Up Under-Gravel Tank Filter Properly
Undergravel aquarium tank filters have been with us for several years. However, there are new inventions in the market that are giving this brand a lot of competition. We still have several undergravel filter enthusiasts. However, a few people will tell you that it is an outdated design that has no place in the modern aquarium. You cannot blame such people when you come across the latest sponges, power filters, and filter media that are all over in the marketplace. The truth of the matter is that undergravel filters can do an exemplary job. The most important thing is to make sure that you set up the fish tank filter in the right manner.
The undergravel fish tank filter comprises of a raised grate platform that rests at the bottom section of the aquarium. The contractor pours gravel on the platform and forms a porous wall between the water below and at the top of the platform. A tube is used to suck water out from beneath the platform using a pump and gets poured back to the tank from the upper section. While sucking out the water, the one that comes from the top is forced through the gravel layers that filters out debris.
For the undergravel to perform its work to the maximum potential, you need to consider a few things. The first thing is to make sure that you choose a platform that exactly fits into the base of the aquarium. If you use one that is too small, it will have spaces around the exposed platform, and this will not provide the right filtration.
The gravel in this fish tank filter is the primary filtering media, and hence you need to pay close attention to this element. It is advisable to have close to 2 to 3 inches of gravel on the top of the platform depending on the strength of the suction and size of the tank. It is also appropriate to get various grades of gravel but avoid for tiny gravel as it may find its way into the pump and destroy it. You also have to make sure that you distribute the gravel evenly. Some fish species love digging holes in the grave and stirring it up, and hence you need to keep them even. Don’t put several ornaments in the gravel. You have to note that gravel is the filtration media and the ornaments that you place minimizes the filtration space. Like other filters, you don’t have to clean the undergravel filters. However, the process of cleaning the undergravel filters is an easy one. All you need to do is vacuuming the top section of the gravel once on a weekly basis. Since you will be changing the water every week, you will run the siphon on the gravel as you suck out the water while changing it and you will kill two birds with one stone. However, don’t stir up the debris by switching the hose around the aquarium. Make sure you are getting the right professionals to help you in installing the fish tank filters for the best results.