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el fabuloso

El Fab's Simple Guide to Pico Tanks

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If you have sand with critters in it (old school live sand, not the lifeless bagged stuff you get now that just has some bacteria), the sand isn't as difficult to keep clean.

 

I did pretty well with a sand bottom for 2-2.5 years in a half gallon vase with a sump until some life issues lead to me not maintaining the tank for a few months and algae took over, shading everything out and smothering it.

 

When I got everything going again, I ran bare bottom and didn't like it. Everybody makes it seem like bare bottom is simple and maintenance free, but I found I needed to scrub the bottom at a much higher frequency than the sides and ended up with coraline and hard algae, which caused the bottom to look much dirtier than sand ever did. Due to the small dimensions, it was a bit difficult to clean the bottom. I had more than adequate flow as I built a sump off of it, so never really had an issue with ditritus setteling in the display anyway.

 

It all depends on what you want out of it. Many people are happy with bare bottom, I found it to be more trouble than true live sand with some borrowing snails.

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On 2/20/2018 at 5:16 AM, Beer said:

If you have sand with critters in it (old school live sand, not the lifeless bagged stuff you get now that just has some bacteria), the sand isn't as difficult to keep clean.

 

I did pretty well with a sand bottom for 2-2.5 years in a half gallon vase with a sump until some life issues lead to me not maintaining the tank for a few months and algae took over, shading everything out and smothering it.

 

When I got everything going again, I ran bare bottom and didn't like it. Everybody makes it seem like bare bottom is simple and maintenance free, but I found I needed to scrub the bottom at a much higher frequency than the sides and ended up with coraline and hard algae, which caused the bottom to look much dirtier than sand ever did. Due to the small dimensions, it was a bit difficult to clean the bottom. I had more than adequate flow as I built a sump off of it, so never really had an issue with ditritus setteling in the display anyway.

 

It all depends on what you want out of it. Many people are happy with bare bottom, I found it to be more trouble than true live sand with some borrowing snails.

Very true, I have run my 5.5 bare bottom but decided I'm going to put some sand in because I miss the look of it, and detritus is harder to hide when you're slacking on maintenance lol.

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