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View Full Version : Going Bare Bottom - What do I need to know


jaydub74
11/11/2007, 08:58 PM
Thats right - i have decided to go bare bottom, do I need to do anything different - different better equipment. What tips can you provide.

msuzuki126
11/11/2007, 09:10 PM
Step 1: Start researching.

demonsp
11/11/2007, 09:13 PM
What size tank? What type of fish? And trick question , whats the substrate going to be?

msuzuki126
11/11/2007, 09:15 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11163986#post11163986 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by demonsp
What size tank? What type of fish? And trick question , whats the substrate going to be?

Tricky :lol:

LobsterOfJustice
11/11/2007, 09:21 PM
Increase your flow an skimming!

demonsp
11/11/2007, 09:47 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11164004#post11164004 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by msuzuki126
Tricky :lol:

LOL you would be surprised. If he answers DSB will you apologize for that unthreating harmless remark?

jaydub74
11/11/2007, 09:48 PM
tank:
30 x 30 x 20 (78 gallons)

Flow:
1700 gph via closed loop
500 gph via sump

Fish:
1 - firefish
2 - clowns
1 - yellow tang
5 - small chromis
1 - hippo tang
1 - coral beauty

Coralls:
mostly LPS - some SPS

Lighting:
1 - 250 MH

Skimmer:
undecided looking for ideas...

Please point me in the right direction for info on bare bottom reef tanks

msuzuki126
11/11/2007, 09:51 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11164190#post11164190 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by demonsp
LOL you would be surprised. If he answers DSB will you apologize for that unthreating harmless remark?

will do!

msuzuki126
11/11/2007, 09:52 PM
You need a very high amount of flow and a big skimmer.

demonsp
11/11/2007, 09:53 PM
Coral buety better reef fish just feed plenty of nori for tangs and buety. With bare bottom all you need is adiquit flow . RO water minimum , regular water changes and skimmer. They will be fine.

But you wont need that MH so send it to PO box 370753 , and ill send you my T-5 lights, thanks HEHE GL

jaydub74
11/11/2007, 10:06 PM
thanks guys...

What skimmer would you recomend for my tank?
Is 2300 gph enough flow or do I need more?
How will this flow effect my LPS?

Are there benefits to bare bottom other then the fact debris does not collect on the sand and develope algea?

What are the disadvantages?

hahnmeister
11/11/2007, 10:10 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11163881#post11163881 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by jaydub74
Thats right - i have decided to go bare bottom, do I need to do anything different - different better equipment. What tips can you provide.

I go bare-bottom around the house all the time, just dont do it in public. I tried and it just didnt work out. I suppose I didnt have the right 'equipment'... :crazy1:

jaydub74
11/11/2007, 10:15 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11164334#post11164334 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by hahnmeister
I go bare-bottom around the house all the time, just dont do it in public. I tried and it just didnt work out. I suppose I didnt have the right 'equipment'... :crazy1:

Im looking for help not smart comments.

demonsp
11/11/2007, 10:37 PM
Ok almost the answer needed for an apology. A bare bottom tank works best for FOWLR. As these fish are messy eaters. And most FOWLR stock eat coral.
Coral would love substrate whene coral and fish combined.With proper flow the SB will exchange ammonia into harmless nitrogen and would do better with reef safe fish. You could go bare bottom with coral and if you do a RC search you will find threads with nice reef barebottom tanks. Dont look natural though. Just go at it the same as a full reef tank.
Keep water readings level and consitant. Do water changes as needed.
SPS like good flow but to much and the polyps wont open. I usaully move the frag around and see where he likes better.
SPS also like high light and mature tanks.

msuzuki126
11/11/2007, 10:50 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11164468#post11164468 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by demonsp
Ok almost the answer needed for an apology. A bare bottom tank works best for FOWLR. As these fish are messy eaters. And most FOWLR stock eat coral.


?? Not true.

BB can be run very successfully if done right. Once again, you need tons of flow and heavy skimming. The idea is to keep all the "crap" suspended in the water column so that it is skimmed out or discarded some other way such as a filter sock.

msuzuki126
11/11/2007, 11:19 PM
Read. :)

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=650985&perpage=25&pagenumber=1

prugs
11/11/2007, 11:21 PM
Don't forget a fuge with a deep sand bed, & growing macro.

demonsp
11/11/2007, 11:22 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11164521#post11164521 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by msuzuki126
?? Not true.

BB can be run very successfully if done right. Once again, you need tons of flow and heavy skimming. The idea is to keep all the "crap" suspended in the water column so that it is skimmed out or discarded some other way such as a filter sock.

Which part not true?

SeanT
11/11/2007, 11:37 PM
This part.

<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11164468#post11164468 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by demonsp
A bare bottom tank works best for FOWLR.

demonsp
11/11/2007, 11:50 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11164694#post11164694 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by SeanT
This part.

I think this confuses newbies. This setup is used for reef but by very few and the more experianced. Then newbs add the wrong fish. I was just quoting from threads i read on this subject. And i see many adding FO stock with reef stock and having problems.
I did state that it is done and possible if done right but needs research.

seagirl
11/11/2007, 11:54 PM
lots of flow so nothing settles on the bottom, some mechanical fitration(filter sock), the less LR the easier to get your flow right. you'll love bb, way easier to keep clean and you can feed a lot. I have an ASM g3 on my 75gal, with 35 gal sump. That would work for you, or check out octopuss skimmers, bubble master, euro-reef.
i went bb in my sump/fuge too, just rubble and macro, also easier to keep clean. and you can have lots of flow inthe fuge for the macro

flamenco-t
11/12/2007, 12:08 AM
I just setup a BB on my nano, to be honest with you, I decide not to follow through with it.

With LR in your tank, it is impossible to get rid of all detrius in your tank. No matter how much you scrub, clean and rinse the LR, you will have some material on the bottom of the tank, especially if you have a black bottom like my nano, EVERYTHING is visible. I had originally plan on doing SPS tank with high flow, 800 gph in a 20H and 100 Gph through the sump. But with the high level of flow, I still find detrius floating around and it becomes an eye sore. This is only at cycling process, no fish, just about 5 lbs of LR so far.

It can be done beautifully, but it takes a lot of vaccuming the bottom for loose detrius to look perfct all the time. I'd like to spend an hour each week in maintenace and enjoy the rest of the time, not cleaning out the bottom every day.

My $ .02

stan

hahnmeister
11/12/2007, 12:33 AM
Yes, its almost impossible to keep all the detritus suspended. I tried BB 2x and found the same thing. If anything, my suggestion would be to use pillars or rock holders to keep the rock up off the bottom as much as possible, to prevent pockets where detritus will build up. The side effect I experienced was that the rock got full of detritus... covered and clogged with it, since the pores in the LR made for the easiest plavce for detritus to settle.

Im thinking about trying a test tank with an aragacrete bottom though... a large contoured bottom that looks like sand, but it really a solid rock poured into the tank (or maybe a couple removable plates). Anyways, I can contour the bottom that way so that all the detritus will fall into one place by how I angle the aragacrete. Then just have some sort of intake pipe at this 'bottom of the funnel' that sucks in and into a filter or skimmer.

mxett
11/12/2007, 04:30 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11164786#post11164786 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by flamenco-t
I just setup a BB on my nano, to be honest with you, I decide not to follow through with it.

With LR in your tank, it is impossible to get rid of all detrius in your tank. No matter how much you scrub, clean and rinse the LR, you will have some material on the bottom of the tank, especially if you have a black bottom like my nano, EVERYTHING is visible. I had originally plan on doing SPS tank with high flow, 800 gph in a 20H and 100 Gph through the sump. But with the high level of flow, I still find detrius floating around and it becomes an eye sore. This is only at cycling process, no fish, just about 5 lbs of LR so far.

It can be done beautifully, but it takes a lot of vaccuming the bottom for loose detrius to look perfct all the time. I'd like to spend an hour each week in maintenace and enjoy the rest of the time, not cleaning out the bottom every day.

My $ .02

stan

Is it a case of 'out of sight out of mind'?

Atleast with bb you can see the detritus and easily remove it. Who cares if it accumulates a bit. With a display sb the detritus just keeps on accumulating until it eventually continually releases nitrate and phosphate in to the water column. Surely this is worse than the sight of a bit of detritus.

InsaneClownFish
11/12/2007, 05:06 AM
wow. Ok let's outline this for you.

Most of the more modern BB approaches have gotten away from the BB of the past. The hobby truly has come full circle in a way. There are alot of ways to do this, and the "japanese" method of BB reefing is also very intriguing. I would encourage you to do a bit of research on this. Many systems are 'minimalist' with their approach to LR, and some even "cook" their rock.

Basically:
1. Increased flow. You don't want any dead spots. From what you've listed, even though you are not keeping many SPS, I would increase your flow.
2. Heavy Skimming
3. Detritus siphoning
4. Increased movement through your sump

The End :)

dendro982
11/12/2007, 06:20 AM
There are different threads Bare Bottom 101, it worth to check them.

What you will need:
- efficient skimmer,
- try to set flow for keeping particles suspended and the heavy ones moved forward, for easy removing,
- and keep manually the bottom and rock clean.
- may be cook rock (keep in in dark with water changes for a long time, colon cleaning for a rock), pick the shed parts regularly.

No refugium should be necessary, just enough LR for denitration. Some phosphate remover in the sump.

How to make skimmer work efficiently thread (http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=554786&perpage=25&pagenumber=1), but the horizontal shallow overflow can't be set in already established tank, other way are doable.

Flow: I have no link, but you can see the variants of the outflow locations on the photos of BB tanks. Some have 2-3 on the back, pointed down.
Your flow should be OK, just watch the fish and corals behavior. I have some LPS in similar flow without problems, but not in high flow areas.

Solving conflict between high flow and peaceful environment for a fish:
- I recently set not recommended spray bar at the bottom back, this way the fish is less bothered.
- others are using two sources of flow, in opposite ends of the tank, and turn it on one after another, not together. This helps keep particles suspended.
- another way was to point two jets, so the cross each other, creating turbulence and dispersed flow. 4 sources of the flow at least, in opposite corners too.

From my BB experience, 90g, heavy bioload:

- the kitchen board, used instead of starboard, slightly warps under the very heavy rock (Reef Bones), enough to create gap for a detritus collection and bristle worms hiding. Since removed it - now the rock stands right on the glass - water quality improved.

- ASM G-3 in my case doesn't do job well enough, may be their new skimmer will be better.

- gravity assisted pull (sump is below the tank) will remove floating parts better, than in-tank equipment or with side sump, same water level.

- bottom and rock have to be kept clean, I'm using battery operated cleaner between water changes.

- it was impossible to make flow, keeping detritus suspended and not bothering inhabitants, lionfish particularly, and I resent sumps below tank :(

Cheers! HTH.
Good luck.

Coral Dilema
11/12/2007, 08:20 AM
I would recommend moving to florida and getting a good sunscreen if your gonna go barebottom. Possibly even starting a diet and exercise?

flamenco-t
11/12/2007, 09:45 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11165091#post11165091 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by mxett
Is it a case of 'out of sight out of mind'?

Atleast with bb you can see the detritus and easily remove it. Who cares if it accumulates a bit. With a display sb the detritus just keeps on accumulating until it eventually continually releases nitrate and phosphate in to the water column. Surely this is worse than the sight of a bit of detritus.

For the most part, yes..

Detrius is going to be in your tank wether you like it or not, I opted for BB to achieve a cleaner look and I got the opposite. At least with display SB, I can clean the SB once a week and WC every other week and I am done. At a week time, detrius will not present that big of a deal with nitrate and phosphate as long as you keep up with cleaning of the sand. I have a shallow sand bed on my other tank, I stir them up once a week and suck off all the detrius and return the water back to the system. The DSB is located in the sump..

With BB, I have noticed that I can clean the tank and within a a day or so I see more detrius floating around. It's not much but enough for me to notice and bother me.

Again, I'd like to enjoy my tank, not be a slave to my tank.

stan

prugs
11/12/2007, 10:02 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11165793#post11165793 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Coral Dilema
I would recommend moving to florida and getting a good sunscreen if your gonna go barebottom. Possibly even starting a diet and exercise?

This could be the problem Hahnmeister suffered from.

HBtank
11/12/2007, 10:18 AM
2300 gph flow is not enough.

I have 6500 gph in my 80g, and my tank has a DSB.

The choice of substrate or bb is preference, but I definately fall on the sand side of the fence. I just keep seeing BB tanks with "water quality" problems.

I have about the "dirtiest tank" you can imagine. It would give some of the bb reefers a heart attack. No filter socks, DSB's and rubble piles/ sections everywhere, dirty cheato balls, uncleaned sumps and I have never "maintained" any sand bed. I have never had one single detect on a nitrate test and have .01 phosphates at all times. What I do have is a massive amount of of diversity. Nature does it best IMO, not euro-reef or deltec.

Not that any way is better, but my tank flies in the face of every ultra clean bb tank out there that actually goes as far to shop vacuum their sump every week because they saw a little "detrius". :eek1:

hahnmeister
11/12/2007, 12:18 PM
If you go bare bottom, get a support group... your 'bare bottom buddies'...

jaydub74
11/12/2007, 12:56 PM
Thanks for all the comments & suggestions...

it seems regardless of comment everyone seems to think my flow is to low. I thought it was supose to be 30 x total gallons?
78 x 30 =2300.

Is there a different formula I should be using?

As I have not kept a BB - I have had a dsb I don't really see a different in the length of maintenance. 1 hour mixing and or sucking debris off the sand or 1 hour sucking debris off the glass floor. Seems to me sucking debris of the sand is a lot more time consuming and expensive - seeing as your probably going to suck up a lot of sand and end up replacing it or cleaning it and returning it to the tank.

thoughts?

HBtank
11/12/2007, 01:11 PM
I have never needed to "suck debris" off of my sand bed.... Any tank, bb or sand, should not have detrius areas forming in the display.

A healthy DSB tank will have 0 algae or debris on the sand once established. Mine is perfectly white and has been for over a year.

InsaneClownFish
11/12/2007, 01:55 PM
30x may be ok for some, but it is not ideal. Even more so in a BB system you are trying to avoid deadspots.

In my 16g SPS nano I have 2700gph.

seagirl
11/12/2007, 03:53 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11164786#post11164786 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by flamenco-t
I just setup a BB on my nano, to be honest with you, I decide not to follow through with it.

With LR in your tank, it is impossible to get rid of all detrius in your tank. No matter how much you scrub, clean and rinse the LR, you will have some material on the bottom of the tank, especially if you have a black bottom like my nano, EVERYTHING is visible. I had originally plan on doing SPS tank with high flow, 800 gph in a 20H and 100 Gph through the sump. But with the high level of flow, I still find detrius floating around and it becomes an eye sore. This is only at cycling process, no fish, just about 5 lbs of LR so far.

It can be done beautifully, but it takes a lot of vaccuming the bottom for loose detrius to look perfct all the time. I'd like to spend an hour each week in maintenace and enjoy the rest of the time, not cleaning out the bottom every day.

My $ .02

stan

I would just say you didn't have enough flow or didn't aim it correctly. My 75 gal is bb and i NEVER have anything on the bottom. If a bb is done correctly you won't have things settling.

seagirl
11/12/2007, 03:57 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11167552#post11167552 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by jaydub74
Thanks for all the comments & suggestions...

it seems regardless of comment everyone seems to think my flow is to low. I thought it was supose to be 30 x total gallons?
78 x 30 =2300.

Is there a different formula I should be using?

As I have not kept a BB - I have had a dsb I don't really see a different in the length of maintenance. 1 hour mixing and or sucking debris off the sand or 1 hour sucking debris off the glass floor. Seems to me sucking debris of the sand is a lot more time consuming and expensive - seeing as your probably going to suck up a lot of sand and end up replacing it or cleaning it and returning it to the tank.

thoughts?

Just for comparison i have
2 hydor #4's = 2400gph
1 Tunze 6045 = 1182gph
1 maxi mod = 2500gph
1 eheim return = 550-600 gph (with head loss)

Thats close to 6700gph flow in my 75 gallon, and i don't even keep sps. Having this much flow allows nothing to settle in my tank, the main. is soooo much easier that when i had a sand bed.

jaydub74
11/12/2007, 05:26 PM
If I increase the flow to 6000 gph via closed loop I should be alright regardless if I go BB or SB?

Will 6000 gph be enough to prevent algrea from forming on my rocks and sand bed (should I decide to go DSB). I previously had a 50 gallon with a DSB and it had all sorts of algrea problems - I will admit that the flow was around 1000 gph - to low. Was this the reason for my problems?

Are there external inline pumps that move 5500 gph? if so what would you recomend?

glassbox-design
11/12/2007, 06:13 PM
i'd suggest a DAS, H&S, Deltec, ATI, ATB or BK for your skimmer. feeding it from the overflow will help big time. price tags are high, but just remember this is your filtration with a BB set up.

as for flow, seems like you like closed loops...look into eductors. they'll help you eliminate dead spots. if you find the closed loop isnt enough i'd suggest some 6025's moded or a maxi-mod for additional flow. we like having areas where detritus swirls around...it allows it to be siphoned out easily. at first it's daily siphonings, then weekly, then monthly, then quarterly and so on....

i attribute our success with BB to large skimmers, lots of flow, and minimal LR. keep in mind the tanks are not as stable as with a sandbed, effects from ca/alk/no3, po4 occur much quicker and there is less room for error because of this....but imo it looks cleaner and because of that a lot better.

for the first 2-3 months your rocks will shed, it's hard to say how much or how long because LR is unique...but plan on it being a while before it stops. the good news is you'll be able to siphon/skim it out.

some people have nutrient issues with high no3/po4, but imo if done correctly nutrients arent an issue with BB. others have added on fuges etc...but i dont feel they are needed. if you plan on stocking your tank heavily and are worried, i'd suggest a small RDSB. it will help process no3 and wont fill up with detritus and waste. it also serves as a substrate for bac if C-dosing is used...but that's another thread.


if you have any questions shoot us a PM. it's not polite to talk about bare bottoms on reefcentral :rollface:

jaydub74
11/12/2007, 07:20 PM
I really want to stay away from powerheads and pumps inside the tank. My closed loop plans include drilling 4 holes in the back of the tank for the closed loop and running some sort of ocean motion. Will that be enough if Im turning over 5000 + gph via closed loop.

Is there a single external inline pump that pushes 5000 gph?

What are eductors?

msuzuki126
11/12/2007, 07:30 PM
I think 5000 should be good. Eductors/Penductors increase flow through suction, google them, they are very cool and efficient if you have a decent pump with good pressure.

seagirl
11/12/2007, 09:04 PM
jaydub, put in a spraybar across the bottom pointing at the front of the tank so that nothing will settle there.

seagirl
11/12/2007, 09:04 PM
jaydub, put in a spraybar across the bottom pointing at the front of the tank so that nothing will settle there.

jaydub74
11/12/2007, 10:17 PM
Sea girl what kind of coral are you keeping and how many fish/kinds?
Do you have any pictures

As of right now here is my proposed equipment list:

-78 Gallon cube tank 30x30x20
-250 watt PFO MH, 20 K bulb, Reefluxse reflector
-Sequence Barracuda close loop pump (4500 gph)
-Ocrean motion 4 way

Undecided Equipment
-return/skimmer pump
-skimmer

Any thoughts concerns with this setup?

dendro982
11/13/2007, 05:30 AM
jaydub74: be ready to restrict the choice of inhabitants with the flow above 30x/hr. My lionfish hides all the time in the caves, when the flow is high, and swims freely a lot, when less.

BTW, I went BB, because was unable to keep any sand bed without problems. Tank is heavily fed and was overstocked. Choose your poison wisely ;) (one more joker on the board, sorry).

glassbox-design
11/13/2007, 07:16 AM
sounds like a good set up. i'd add eductors on the end of the lines and be sure to have some of the flow aimed at the bottom behind the rocks. should be a very nice set up.

throw an eheim in for the return, and for skimmer a DAS ex-1 should fit the bill nicely.

seagirl
11/13/2007, 12:03 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11171738#post11171738 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by jaydub74
Sea girl what kind of coral are you keeping and how many fish/kinds?
Do you have any pictures

As of right now here is my proposed equipment list:

-78 Gallon cube tank 30x30x20
-250 watt PFO MH, 20 K bulb, Reefluxse reflector
-Sequence Barracuda close loop pump (4500 gph)
-Ocrean motion 4 way

Undecided Equipment
-return/skimmer pump
-skimmer

Any thoughts concerns with this setup?
i keep lps, and some softies. i do have 1 plating monti, but htat is all the sps i have. i have 1 yellow tang, 2 occy's and 1 blue sided fairy wrasse. plan on adding a midas blenny and a purple firefish in the future. My camera broke the other day, so sorry no pics.
I went with an eheim return pump, i run it external and love it. Great quality. My skimmer is an ASM G3, but i bought it a year ago when it was cheaper. Check out he octopuss recir skimmers, i hav heard nothing bu tgood things about them. Also the Bubble masters, euro-reefs. I have no experience with DAS ex-1 , so i really can't comment on it.

That tank is nice dimensions. Like i said look into a spraybar, that will keep your bottom clean. Here is one example of one.

http://www.thereeftank.com/forums/showthread.php?t=107611&highlight=spraybar

jaydub74
11/13/2007, 01:02 PM
Thanks for the link and information seagirl.
You have me thinking that my flow is to high - there seems to be a lot of opinions on whats right...

My current plan is for around 5000 gph including return pump, thats 64 x turnover.

I don't plan on keeping a Lion Fish, just active fish

-firefish
-yellow tang
-chromis
-clowns

Maybe:
-hippo tang
-pygmy angel

What are your thoughts on these fish - will they be effected by my proposed flow? I want to see my fish not have them hide.

As for coral....

SOFTIES:
-Zoas
-GSP

LPS:
-Hammer
-Flog spawn
-Bubble Coral
-Brain
-Candy Cane
-Shelve leathers

SPS:
-undecided but only a few.

Please provide feedback on equipment and gph based on stock list.

thanks

jaydub74
11/13/2007, 04:55 PM
BUMP

jaydub74
11/14/2007, 02:54 PM
BUMP

Gooli
11/14/2007, 03:08 PM
i dont see how the flow will be a problem with the fish...they will get lots of exercise :) im quite sure they face stronger currents in nature.

the LPS corals you have listed however may not be as happy with very high flow.

My suggestion would be to start off with what you have and upgrade the flow later if necessary.

jaydub74
11/14/2007, 09:46 PM
so you think I should just shoot for 30 times my tank volume and upgrade from there if... I don't really want to buy another pump, Id like to get it right the first time. does no one have a tank of similar size, whos having success have a suggestion based on their experience?

jaydub74
11/14/2007, 09:46 PM
so you think I should just shoot for 30 times my tank volume and upgrade from there if... I don't really want to buy another pump, Id like to get it right the first time. does no one have a tank of similar size, whos having success have a suggestion based on their experience?