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Reef Geek
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok guys and gals. So about a year ago I went bare bottom on my 150g mixed reef. I'll admit the cleaning is a lot easier but I'm not at all happy with how it looks. I keep getting sand that is falling out of my rock and it makes the tank look stupid in my opinion. I'm at the point where I would rather just add sand back to the tank. But again I love the ease of housekeeping.

Throw me out some pros and cons and try and talk me down from this ledge!:hammerhead:
 

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Have you considered growing a bottom of encrusting type corals....GSP, etc?

That's what I plan on doing, if I can keep them on the bottom with all the flow.
 

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My Username Sucks
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Cons lets see, well for starters.... sand becomes a nutrient trap over time. Then you have to replace it and yada yada.

Personally if are BB already I would keep it. Lots easier to clean. You can try what Creamhorse said. I have heard of people putting green star polyps on the bottom and it looks like grass.
 

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Being that shallow sand beds are fairly easy to keep clean, I say go for it.
You can always remove it if you happen to change your mind.
 

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uh well I'm doing the opposite of talking you out of it but shallow sandbeds are great. I've always had a sandbed that's about 1 inch or so and just make sure to vaccume when I do my water changes... never have had any problems. I tried bare bottom once a few years ago... never again lol. Although the grass idea with gsp sounds pretty cool...
 

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Tried the GSP thing once...problem is GSP don't stay on the bottom...they grow up the rocks, sides, and overflows and try to choke out everything else...well, not try, they do. I thought some of the ephyllia, etc would be strong enough with their stings to keep them at bay...nope. I ripped out all of the GSP, Kenya, and xenia in the tank. The only softies I'll keep anymore are mushrooms, zoos, and toadstools. If I were to do BB again, I might try something encrusting, or go with zoos, or a field of shrooms instead.

As for BB vs sand. I have BB right now and I agree, the detrius falling out of the rock just looks bad. Nice to know how much detrius is in the tank, but now that I know, I simply know I need to siphon that much more sand. I'll be going with just enough sand to cover the bottom of the tank. When I siphon, I'll take sand with it. When the sand gets too thin, I'll know it is time to add some more. This way it will be constantly being replaced. Hopefully, this keeps it from becoming a nutrient trap.

One other thing to consider is livestock. For example, many wrasses sleep in the sand and hide in the sand. Many other organisms are healthier with a sand bed.
 

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I run a DSB and never touch it every few years add a few bags to top it off like to keep it close to 5" never have one single type of prob at all never clean it but run a rake over it to pick up pebbles shells and what not..I do not like the look of the BB I do have a BB in my 175g sump/rock tank but that is plumbed into the garage so it don't matter..it is to unnatural looking for my liking
 

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Reef Geek
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I run a DSB and never touch it every few years add a few bags to top it off like to keep it close to 5" never have one single type of prob at all never clean it but run a rake over it to pick up pebbles shells and what not..I do not like the look of the BB I do have a BB in my 175g sump/rock tank but that is plumbed into the garage so it don't matter..it is to unnatural looking for my liking
Oh boy! An untouched DSB?! Can already tell what this thread is gonna turn out to be. Lol!
 

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Oh boy! An untouched DSB?! Can already tell what this thread is gonna turn out to be. Lol!
Just remember, Helen is watching, and you don't want to make her mad! :funny::rotflmao:
 

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I have a bare bottom system, and between coraline and montipora, the bottom is barely visible...and you cannot beat the ease of cleaning, power heads directed at the bottom push all the dirt and detritus into my 75 gallon settling tank...then just a quick vacuum!
 

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Oh boy! An untouched DSB?! Can already tell what this thread is gonna turn out to be. Lol!
Why is that? their are so many dif ways of doing the same thing for the most part most all work it relly depends on what look you like that is the main dif :D
 

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OneOldFish
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i am in the same dilemma as you are but every time i do a water change and cleaning in less then 15min to my 90gal i go back to loving BB. what i am doing is slowly introducing zoas, open brains, Lobos and want to get some Fungias. but i have a long way to go before i cover the entire bottom.
 

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Reef Geek
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have a bare bottom system, and between coraline and montipora, the bottom is barely visible...and you cannot beat the ease of cleaning, power heads directed at the bottom push all the dirt and detritus into my 75 gallon settling tank...then just a quick vacuum!
I would love to get coraline to grow in my tank but it doesn't really take hold. I got some but not as much as I would like.
 

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more flow. :D

the sand that is coming out of the LR is letting you know that the bacteria are doing their job. with my FSB the small sand piles did not look that bad and i was able to siphon them out when needed once a month.

now that you know how much detritus is produced by your LR you have a good idea on how much you need to remove every water change to stay on top of nutrient exports. this is the biggest advantage to BB systems, getting an idea on what is going on. if you feel you must have a substrate, then have one, but always remember how much material is produced and do your best at getting that amount out every water change. substrates make it easy for detritus to hide and increase the likelihood of the affects of eutrophication to show up.

G~
 

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sand. :D where do you think the sand come from? ;)

what is sand made out of? what do you know of that is also made of the same material? how is this material created?

a wiser man than me on this site once said. if you leave LR in a tank long enough you will end up with nothing but a tank with sand in it.

G~
 
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