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royy13
10/04/2017, 07:37 AM
I'm sick of having my tank loaded with nitrates from the sand bottom, so when I build my new tank I'm going bare bottom. The thing is its just so blah. What are some of the trends to spruce up bare bottom tanks? I figured I could just go starboard, or maybe paint the bottom a color. Any ideas would be welcomed.

Thanks,
Roy

FoxFace Fish
10/04/2017, 07:49 AM
My buddy had a little 20 gallon he did bare bottom and what he did was a genius idea to me. he painted the bottom black. Then he fragged some GSP from his larger tank and just attached them to some very thin frag plugs then sat them on the bottom of the tank. Then over a course of time the whole bottom was GSP and I thought it looked awesome.

kevin21
10/04/2017, 07:51 AM
^^That.

I have a barebottom tank and used starboard. Over time, it gets covered with coral and coraline. Like at the current moment, I have some acans, button polyps, and a ton of coraline all over the white bottom. I thought about painting it black to make colors pop, but was worried about an unnatural look.

FoxFace Fish
10/04/2017, 07:53 AM
Wish I had a picture of this lol I have not seen it in a while.

royy13
10/04/2017, 08:15 AM
wouldn't the GSP end up trapping detritus?

kevin21
10/04/2017, 08:22 AM
Your tank should have plenty of flow, detritus should never have the opporunity to land on your corals.

royy13
10/04/2017, 08:25 AM
GSP won't be able to handle the amount of flow that would keep all detritus from settling on the bottom.

Another thought on the GSP idea: Won't the GSP start spreading up all of the rocks taking over the tank?

Roy

kevin21
10/04/2017, 08:32 AM
Roy,

GSP can handle plenty of flow. It is not like you need 100 times turnover in order to stop detritus from settling. I have 1 vortech mp10 running at 50% in my 28g nano. No issues whatsoever with detritus settling in the front of the tank. On some of the sides under the rocks, sure. That is why I siphon it out every time I do a water change.

Putting GSP in the tank is a risk when it comes to spreading, but not if you keep on top of it. If you see it starting to spread where you dont want it, take a razor blade to the mat and move it somewhere else, toss it, or donate it to another reefer.

royy13
10/04/2017, 08:44 AM
Kevin,
Are you happy with the starboard, or would you do something different if you were starting over?

Bpb
10/04/2017, 08:50 AM
Encrusting montipora, chalices. Those work well on bare bottom. But also keep in mind itíll be covered in coraline fairly quickly so you wonít have that shiny glass look


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reefgeezer
10/04/2017, 08:55 AM
encrusting montipora, chalices. Those work well on bare bottom. But also keep in mind itíll be covered in coraline fairly quickly so you wonít have that shiny glass look


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+1

kevin21
10/04/2017, 09:06 AM
Extremely happy with the starboard. I have used in on all of my tanks. I normally just order a standard size, and then cut and sand it down on my own to fit the tanks. Custom sizes can get pricey, standard cuts are reasonable. I went with white on all of my tanks.

der_wille_zur_macht
10/04/2017, 09:09 AM
I'm sick of having my tank loaded with nitrates from the sand bottom

Sand doesn't cause a tank to be loaded with nitrates.

Go bare bottom if you want, but I feel like you may be in for a bad time if you think that'll cure a nutrient issue. Regardless of substrate choice, you need to either process or remove nutrients.

royy13
10/04/2017, 10:51 AM
Willie,

The sand stinks if you remove it. All the decaying matter that gets caught up in it over the years begins to breakdown causing nitrates. I love the look of the sand in a reef, but keeping it clean is too much.

Bpb
10/04/2017, 10:59 AM
If you like sand but hate nitrates, a squirt of vodka in he tank every day is your answer. Takes no more time than feeding the fish and requires no other work


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rtparty
10/04/2017, 11:06 AM
Sand doesn't cause a tank to be loaded with nitrates.

Go bare bottom if you want, but I feel like you may be in for a bad time if you think that'll cure a nutrient issue. Regardless of substrate choice, you need to either process or remove nutrients.This.

Keeping sand clean isn't hard or time consuming if you maintain your tank. Once or twice a month you should vacuum part of your sandbed with a water change. Super easy and by sectioning it off you don't destroy all of the bacteria populations at once.

Once I notice my sandbed is matured and doing well, I syphon ľ of it every other water change. On larger tanks you break it down further if needed and do like ⅛ of it here and there.

If your sandbed turns into a "nitrate factory" then it is literally doing its job. The problem is you, the hobbyist, have a nutrient issue and are importing more than exporting.