How to Setup an Undergravel Filter on Aquatop’s ST-Series of Tanks

Setting up an undergravel filter is often times quite simple.  There are usually a minimal amount of pieces and the setup is generally very straight forward.  Aquatop’s ST-Series of Bowfront tanks are supplied with an undergravel filter and occasionally customers ask, “How do I set this up?”

There are approximately four parts included with the Aquatop undergravel filter. 

  1. Undergravel Plate
  2. Powerhead/pump
  3. Uplift tube
  4. Return spout

It should be duly noted that the substrate in your tank should by no means be able to pass through the undergravel plate.  Substrates small enough to pass through the plate will likely impede the impeller on the powerhead/pump and may cause the pump to malfunction.


The above picture shows how the filter looks when it is setup. The location of the plate is subjective to the person setting up the tank and does not have a proprietary or mandatory location.  You may consider placing the the plate in an area where fish are more likely to “do their business.”

Below you will find pictures of one of our office tanks.  It is an ST-320,, done up with a nice earth colored substrate




As you can see from the above pictures, the overall setup is rather inconspicuous and even better, there is nothing hanging on the tank! You may also notice that there are no fish in this tank.  It is presently going through the nitrogen cycle and has been setup for about 4 days.

Want to know more?

Here is a link to an informative Youtube video that I came across while putting this article together.  The dynamics of undergravel filters are explained quite well and should offer a better understanding as to exactly how this sponge-less design is so effective.


Thank you for reading!


-Ben Webster

Aquatop Aquatic Supplies,, Hobbyist, Aquarist

Protect Your Fish!

Promote a healthy aquarium system by utilizing a UV sterilizer…

As fish keeping grows in popularity, so does the demand for effective ways to help protect your fish from parasites, fungus and bacteria.  All of the aforementioned can lead to livestock losses and sometimes the departure from the hobby. A UV sterilizer, although not a stop-all to bacterial infections, fungal outbreaks and parasites, is a very effective way to keep your aquarium system at its absolute healthiest. 

Installing a stand-alone UV sterilizer, canister filter with UV integration or hang-on-back filter with UV will decrease the risk of harmful outbreaks in your tank by “zapping” organisms that pass buy the powerful UV-C bulb, leaving your fish happier and you less stressed!

Apart from helping control harmful organisms in your tank, it has been proven time and time again that UV sterilizers work fantastic for algae control.  Many customers buy UV systems just for water clarity.  Whatever your reason be for needing UV in your tank, you will have no regrets.  Just imagine your fish smiling back at you.

-Ben, employee and Aquarist


The above and below are pictures that customers sent after about a week of UV Sterilizer use.


Aquatop’s New AF-400 Professionally Reviewed

The new Aquatop AF – 400 Canister Filter is an excellent and unique addition to the filtration options available to hobbyists. I have mine on a 120 gallon tank that is home to 9 almost fully grown F1 “Peruvian Altum” angelfish, plus some large plecos, 6 rams and a bunch of catfish. The AF – 400 is rated at 396 gph, and has simple to position intake and return tubes. The compartments in the filter allow for easy placement and cleaning of filtering and biological materials. Two innovative components of the AF – 400 that make it an excellent filter are 1) the self-priming switch, which fills the filter with water without any siphoning required, and 2) the integrated UV bulb that can be switched on/off as desired. I would strongly recommend the AF – 400 for any hobbyist looking for a top-of-the-line canister filter.

David A. Lass —

Has been keeping aquariums since he was a kid in the late 60’s. He started a chain of four retail pet stores and a wholesale import/distribution company. He currently imports fish, and wholesales to stores in New England. In addition to his fish room for the wholesale business, David keeps a number of large display tanks and koi ponds.


CF Canister Filter Hosing Length Recommendations

Aquatop’s CF-300/400/500 canister filters are supplied with 6-feet of hose per side.  It is not recommended to exceed the 6 foot hose length when setting up your system.  For easier and faster start-ups, it is highly advisable to cut the hoses so that they are as straight as possible entering into the canister. 


Thank you

BW – TA Team