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Old 22-10-2017, 09:56 PM   #1
ryan3rdfeb
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Default Substrate vs Bare bottom

Hello! I'm getting a 5ft tank soon and I can't decide if I should go bare bottom or go with substrate.
I've never went bare bottom before because I don't like the looks of it, but it's definitely easier to maintain since nothing much gets trapped at the bottom.
However I've also used black gravel in a 4ft tank previously and it was a hassle when I wanted to remove it.

My only concern now is, from the point of view of filtration and water quality, is it better to have substrate or bare bottom?
Substrate serves as a filter media itself since bacteria will grow on it like it grows on your ceramic rings, etc. But at the same time it traps dirt. (Taking into account that there's a catfish or stingray that will sift through the substrate)
Bare bottom allows the wave maker to pick up the dirt off the bottom and carry them into the sump, however you're missing a huge volume of filter media as compared to having substrate.

If I'm planning to do the exact same tank maintenance weekly, would a substrate or bare bottom tank give cleaner water?



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Old 23-10-2017, 02:11 PM   #2
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Likewise I dislike bare bottom for tanks .

But if you are keeping massive poop machine fish it would be much easier to go commando.

Or just have a thin layer of sand about 1/2 to 1 inch with nice hardscape such as spider wood with narrow base so it doesn't trap dirt under.
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Old 23-10-2017, 03:00 PM   #3
amiidae
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But at the same time it traps dirt.
What you can see is less harmful than what you dont see. Typically the bad stuff fm the waste would have leeched into the water. Unless you can remove the poo IMMEDIATELY. Otherwise, there is not much diff on this part.

For me... only quarantine or treatment tank go bare.

Personally.. I find bare tank looks like those tanks at seafood center.
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Old 23-10-2017, 04:17 PM   #4
CZQ
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Use very fine sand and the waste will not trap inside. Moreover you have stingray and catfish. They will stir the sand. Stingray likes to burrow into the sand.
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Old 23-10-2017, 04:35 PM   #5
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it depend largely on type of fish that you will be keeping.
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Old 23-10-2017, 05:18 PM   #6
ryan3rdfeb
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Thanks for the replies!

But something I'd like to clarify is, does substrate act as a form of filter media? If yes, do they supply a lot more beneficial bacteria compared to a bare bottom tank?


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Old 23-10-2017, 05:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan3rdfeb View Post
Thanks for the replies!

But something I'd like to clarify is, does substrate act as a form of filter media? If yes, do they supply a lot more beneficial bacteria compared to a bare bottom tank?


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More surface area will have better development for BB.

BB also grow on glass surface
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Old 23-10-2017, 07:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan3rdfeb View Post
Thanks for the replies!

But something I'd like to clarify is, does substrate act as a form of filter media? If yes, do they supply a lot more beneficial bacteria compared to a bare bottom tank?


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i think yes but by how much we dont know. dont depends much on sand for bb. use better media.
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Old 24-10-2017, 09:59 AM   #9
burntrubber
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan3rdfeb View Post
Thanks for the replies!

But something I'd like to clarify is, does substrate act as a form of filter media? If yes, do they supply a lot more beneficial bacteria compared to a bare bottom tank?

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This is how undergravel filters work.
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Old 24-10-2017, 12:09 PM   #10
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This is how undergravel filters work.
Under gravel is the worse filtration system.
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