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UGF Plate Cleaning

Posted By: SusanA <susanccr@hotmail.com>
Date: Thursday, 29 August 2002, at 8:40 p.m.

Kelvin, I decided to start a new thread, just to clean it up a little. Here's my method for cleaning under the UGF plate. It's worked for me for a really long time.

About once every couple of months I get out my old-fashioned manual syphon, which creates a better suction than my Python, take only the big clear plastic tube off the end, leaving the plastic collar. I remove the powerhead and lower the riser tube. At the other end of the plate, I clear away a patch of gravel and put the clear tube (the one I just took off the syphon) in the place where I cleared the gravel so the water flows easily and the gravel doesn't fall back. Then I start the suction and put the collar part over the riser tube. Major crud comes out from under the plate into a bucket. Repeat on the other side.

You could use the power head to pull the crud up, but this is cleaner and easier for me. I use the cruddy water in my patio plants.

The key to this is to do it fairly often - three months is about as long as I like to go. If you let it go too long, the crud packs down. It doesn't take a lot of time, although it does stir up some stuff when you move the gravel. Best to do it right after you do a regular gravel vac.

After doing this for five years, I had to tear a tank down because of a leak. There was very minimal stuff under the plate. And this tank used an air-driven UGF, which allows more crud to accumulate than a powerhead does. The higher-flow the powerhead, the less often you have to do this. I bet Greg doesn't have much under his plates at all, since he keeps a pretty good flow going.


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