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Under Gravel Filter

Undergravel filters are one of the oldest types of filters. It consists of a porous plate which is placed underneath the gravel on the base of the aquarium and they have one or more, uplift tubes. Traditionally, undergravel filters have been driven through air displacement. Air stones are placed at the base of uplift tubes which force water out of the uplift tube creating negative pressure beneath the undergravel filter plate. Water then percolates down through the gravel which is the filter media. Greater flow rate of water through the gravel can be achieved through the use of water pump than by air displacement. Beneficial bacteria colonize the gravel bed and provide biological filtration, using the substrate of the aquarium itself as a biological filter. Under gravel filters cannot be used for planted aqua. Fine substrates such as sand or peat may clog an undergravel filter. Undergravel filters are not effective if the substrate bed is uneven. In an uneven gravel bed, water will flow only through the thin portions of the bed, leaving the more heavily covered areas to become anoxic.

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