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Bare Bottom


Iveman

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Supposedly its a lot easier because detritus doesnt build up like they supposedly do with sand....

 

I think bare bottom tanks look boring and just that Bare....Ive always used sand and have never had a problem

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I think bare bottom tanks look boring and just that Bare....Ive always used sand and have never had a problem

 

Do you vac your sand? If so, how often?

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Little Luey

I have a BB tank. It is true that the debri collects only on certain areas of your tank, I have a piece of cutting board on the bottom just to protect the glass, the cutting board is getting covered with Zoantoids and coralline algie, and my GSP will be also covering the boars as it grows.

For me the desicion was easy since my old tank was always covered with algie, I could not keep my sand clean and then my sandshifter gobies will make a mess when shifting thru the sand and my coral was geting covered with it. Now I have more flow, no HA and is a lot easier to clean the fish/snail poop since I can see it.

 

Buy if you like the way sand looks keep it. It is one of those things that is up to the aquarist, there is no right or wrong, it is based on what you like, one thing I know people also say is that with BB you need to skim more agressibly, well I don't have a skimmer either, just rely on a 5 gal WC avery week and don't miss one for anything.

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I never vac the sand....When you vac the sand you run the risk of sucking up the creatures that clean the sandbed. About once a week though I get my turkey baster and blow the top layer of sand around a bit.

 

Also the key to a nice sandbed is nassarius snails....I have 60 of them in my 60 and my sandbed is super clean

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Little Luey

I think what was not working for me was to have to replace the snails that die or got eaten by my other creatures, specially crabs. I rather use the money and space on fish and coral than a clean up crew. Once in a while I would have to take the top layer of algie and sand out of the tank, it was too labor intensive, this was a 90 gal tank with lots of open sand area. This also could have been because I was just starting out then and did not know much about SW tanks.

I also did not like to see the stuff on the sandbed against my glass. IMO BB is just a cleaner look.

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My tank is only 2ft X 2ft with about 1-2 inches of sand

 

If you keep enough nassarius snails you will be fine....People underestimate those little suckers...

 

BTW Little Luey - Your sand sifting gobies were eating the creatures in your sand which in turn made stuff build up and made your sand look crappy....

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Little Luey
BTW Little Luey - Your sand sifting gobies were eating the creatures in your sand which in turn made stuff build up and made your sand look crappy....

 

 

Agreed. This is why my sand bed did not work for me.

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deacon hemp

Its basically to get a nuitrient poor system,in a nano reef sand beds are fine because you can just take the sand out and replace it say in a year or two.Sps reefers like the BB because sand blows around with huge flow rates,and its easier to achieve a sterile system.

 

I wouldnt do a BB tank without having an oversized skimmer and wicked high flow.A refuge sometimes becomes useless on a BB tank because algea will just not grow.

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I do run my tanks BB, I like the looks, I have the flow, but I also did not want to scratch my tank.

 

I am another that is BB & skimmer less and have been for years. Personally I do not feel I need the safety net of a skimmer, but that is me.

 

When doing my water changes I do syphon the bottom of the tank, I think BB or Sand it is personal choice.

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I agree with Proraptor.

My nassarius snails are awesome. They keep the sand clean PLUS they eat algae off the glass.

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Been there done that on BB & DLSB, now I go with a thin layer of sand and my nano vac. If you have LR with loads of boring worms you can get huge piles of detrus piling up and it can look like a big pile of $#*+ in short order with BB. The sand camouflages the detrus piles until I get around to vac'ing.

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The sand camouflages the detrus piles until I get around to vac'ing.

 

So vacuuming is necessary in your opinion? How may sand cleaner do you have in your tank?

 

I'm trying to get a feel for what people are doing so I can make an informed choice.

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So vacuuming is necessary in your opinion? How may sand cleaner do you have in your tank?

 

I'm trying to get a feel for what people are doing so I can make an informed choice.

Sand vac’ing is necessary in my case, because I don’t have any sand cleaning snails. I like removing the waste that builds up on/in the sand bed. I don’t think I would attempt to maintain a 60G tank the same way, but it works in my 6G tank. It also gives me something to do while I’m siphoning out water during my water changes.

 

My 1st nano-reef was bare bottom with a 10G fuge plumbed in below. I felt the accumulation of debris was unsightly in the BB. I think it also depends on how much circulation/flow you are running. My BB nano-reef didn’t have a lot of flow, it was mainly a shroom tank, and so the debris didn’t get carried into the fuge. If you have a pretty high flow the majority of waste could be removed from your display tank and settle out in the fuge. You need to plan flow based on your corals (or corals based on your flow).

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If you have a pretty high flow the majority of waste could be removed from your display tank and settle out in the fuge. You need to plan flow based on your corals (or corals based on your flow).

 

So by that rationale, if I want to keep shrooms, 'spawns, and softies in my tank, I will probably not want a BB because I will use low-medium flow and the detritus will gather.

 

If I were going to keep stonies, I would have a much higher flow and a BB might be manageable.

 

?

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Kellie in CA

When using a syphon, how do you keep the sand from getting sucked up with the water? I have used syphons with my freshwater tanks, but the gravel was always very heavy.

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So by that rationale, if I want to keep shrooms, 'spawns, and softies in my tank, I will probably not want a BB because I will use low-medium flow and the detritus will gather.

 

If I were going to keep stonies, I would have a much higher flow and a BB might be manageable.

 

?

Yes, IMO lower flow setups are not going to pull the waste out of the display area.

I would consider my NC6 with two pumps to be more of a medium/low flow & it does not have much affect on the piles of waste falling out of the live rock. Most soft corals & large polyp corals don’t seem to require or even tolerate high flow rates, just enough to make them sway around in the current.

 

When using a syphon, how do you keep the sand from getting sucked up with the water? I have used syphons with my freshwater tanks, but the gravel was always very heavy.

I made my own nano sized vac out of a small plastic tube & air line to vac the sand.

The flow is just enough to pull waste out of the sand, but doesn’t remove worms or sand.

maintenancetime.jpg

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Little Luey

I know some people who ataches something on the end of the vacum tube like a toothpick or a piece of plastic just to stir the top of the sand and then the vacum will suck the debri out. The vacum tube never touches the sand doing this.

 

I also have a mix of different coral, mostly softies on my BB and they do not seem to mind at all. IMO when it come to sand is more of wha type of maintenance you will have in your tank, BB you will be the one doing the poop removal; with a sand bed the snail and other creatures will be the ones doing the removal.

I am using a mag5 on my closed loop, I think ended up with about 400gph. I believe 10x your total volume of water is consider low flow, and I know some guys do as much as 40x, I think I am in between, probably a little too much force on the output since my Ricordia came off its rock, I will probably go with a bigger outlet hole so the stream of water is not so forcefull.

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