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Old 02/08/2015, 03:06 PM   #1
jimrawr
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Thinking of going barebottom - anyone have any regrets doing this?

I am thinking about removing my shallow sand bed and going bare bottom. The reason is the SB seems to be a magnet for the uglies. Diatoms, cyano, detritus collection, etc. None of these seem to collect on rock work, so I am thinking if I remove the sand, the tank will just be healthier overall and without cyano, etc.

Anyways, I am wondering if anyone went from having a sand bed, to BB, and regretted it?


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Old 02/08/2015, 03:08 PM   #2
Sk8r
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Unless you maintain strong circulation at all levels the unsightliness will tend to collect at a spot on the bottom glass. There's not much escaping detritus of some sort.


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Old 02/08/2015, 03:27 PM   #3
jimrawr
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Unless you maintain strong circulation at all levels the unsightliness will tend to collect at a spot on the bottom glass. There's not much escaping detritus of some sort.
Right, but then its easier to siphon out. It seems like right now the SB is just collecting everything it can (po4, detritus). Then when it starts to leach out, the algae growth happens on the SB as well. If I can remove that, get the crud out, and let algae growth happen on my scrubber instead, that would be good. I wonder if people see a drastic decrease in cyano once the SB is removed, or if it just starts to grow on the rock instead?


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Old 02/08/2015, 03:35 PM   #4
Sprink669
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I have a 60 cube that I siphoned the sand out and I am really happy with it. I have 2 MP10's. I sucked out as much as I could each water change, 20 gallons. No regrets at all and no dead spots.
I have a 40 breeder with "star-board" white bottom I am going to be setting up soon.


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Old 02/08/2015, 04:03 PM   #5
whosurcaddie
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Its not worth it. The amount of poop that piles up in a single day is enormous and becomes an eyesore. snails fish crabs all poop and it will all end up in one pile. If you don't mind siphoning every day then go for it otherwise your gonna be disappointed. Either that or having to siphon every day will get old fast.


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Old 02/08/2015, 04:18 PM   #6
whiteshark
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I have absolutely no regrets with my solid epoxied sand bottom. All the advantages of the looks of sand and the benefits of BB.


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Old 02/08/2015, 04:28 PM   #7
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You might want a little more flow than just the 2 tunzes in your sig if that's all you have. People seem happier with them if the flow keeps detritus floating until it's drawn into the sump. I cycled my tank bb to get an idea of the flow patterns and everything, it's crazy how much gross stuff will just rot in your sand if you let it. I would not have believed how much nasty is hiding on the bottom if I hadn't seen it myself.

Also, depending how old your sand is and how well it's been cleaned, sometimes it gets saturated with nutrients. If you take it out and you don't like bb, replacing it with fresh sand might help the algae (once the diatoms clear)


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Old 02/08/2015, 05:27 PM   #8
DaveRaz
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Personally I think BB is ugly. Don't get me wrong, I've seen many beautiful BB tanks but they look better with sand substrate. I vaccum it every other week while doing a water change. The bb have to be vaccumed as well so I don't see the advantage. With 1-2" of sand its cake to keep clean.


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Old 02/08/2015, 05:35 PM   #9
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Started bb and still love it. Everything collects in one corner behind one rock. I've got a 90G with one MP40. Plus I painted the underside of my tank with a sand colored paint to make it look nicer. Got coralline growing on the bottom glass too


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Old 02/08/2015, 05:45 PM   #10
ShannyG
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Absolutely no regrets. Blow out under the rocks a couple of times a week with a turkey baster and let your mechanical filtration pick it up. I have a pile of sand in one corner for my dragonet that stays more or less in place. I don't see much detritus and I feed a lot.


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Old 02/08/2015, 05:51 PM   #11
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The biggest problem I've found with sand is not keeping it clean, but keeping it in place. I want my SPS tank blasting with flow, and no sand will stay put. If you don't need major flow, I think a sand bed is fine. For SPS to thrive, and to eliminate dead spots, well I think it's very difficult to achieve with loose sand.

I do much prefer the look of a tank with a sand bed, though. Again, this is why I'm so happy with the epoxied sand bottom.


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Old 02/08/2015, 06:11 PM   #12
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Thankss for all the feedback guys, lots of good info. Im not too conserned with detritus piling up, at least this way I can see it and remove it. I have two tunzes plus the mag12 return which puts a lot of movement in the water as well. Even if I turkey baster the detritus, hopefully they it will get into the overflow/skimmer.

I agree tanks look better with sand, but ONLY when its clean and white, which seems RARE to me. Every tank almost always seems to have some dirtyness to the sand, which becomes an eye sore to me, even if others don't notice it.

So far it seems like not one person regretting going BB, and thats the feeling I get when speaking with people about it as well.


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Old 02/08/2015, 06:19 PM   #13
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Any thoughts on using something like this for a bottom:

http://www.designsbynature.net/produ...s/rocky-sheet/

I am going BB on my current build. Right now I need to finally decide if I am going with starboard (either black or white, not sure)...or the above thing.

The worries I have about the above thing is it could leach something (though seems unlikely since it is designed for aquariums)...or that it would look weird having rocks just sitting on top of something like that.

What would others do, black starboard, or the above sort of fake rock thing?


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Old 02/08/2015, 06:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wetWolger View Post
Any thoughts on using something like this for a bottom:

http://www.designsbynature.net/produ...s/rocky-sheet/

I am going BB on my current build. Right now I need to finally decide if I am going with starboard (either black or white, not sure)...or the above thing.

The worries I have about the above thing is it could leach something (though seems unlikely since it is designed for aquariums)...or that it would look weird having rocks just sitting on top of something like that.

What would others do, black starboard, or the above sort of fake rock thing?
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=392144
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...392144&page=20


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Old 02/08/2015, 06:33 PM   #15
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Is the tank new or empty? If so you can paint the underside white or use a textured spray paint... on the outside of the tank of course...

Looks great, I scrape mine to keep clean..






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Old 02/08/2015, 06:43 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimrawr View Post
Thankss for all the feedback guys, lots of good info. Im not too conserned with detritus piling up, at least this way I can see it and remove it. I have two tunzes plus the mag12 return which puts a lot of movement in the water as well. Even if I turkey baster the detritus, hopefully they it will get into the overflow/skimmer.

I agree tanks look better with sand, but ONLY when its clean and white, which seems RARE to me. Every tank almost always seems to have some dirtyness to the sand, which becomes an eye sore to me, even if others don't notice it.

So far it seems like not one person regretting going BB, and thats the feeling I get when speaking with people about it as well.
Just went barebottom TODAY after years of using sand. I found it was total pain using my Vortech pump as it would blow sand onto zoas and chalices then you have to turkey baster blast it off of them... You shift a rock and release trapped detritus, god knows how long that was building up. My plan is to crank up vortech each night for a few minutes to get any detritus into the column and hopefully into the overflows


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Old 02/08/2015, 06:48 PM   #17
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I went bb three tanks ago and do not regret it at all. I have had better results in tanks with out sand.


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Old 02/08/2015, 08:20 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by whosurcaddie View Post
Its not worth it. The amount of poop that piles up in a single day is enormous and becomes an eyesore. snails fish crabs all poop and it will all end up in one pile. If you don't mind siphoning every day then go for it otherwise your gonna be disappointed. Either that or having to siphon every day will get old fast.
+1

I also noticed that crabs looked like they had trouble walking across the glass.


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Old 02/08/2015, 09:40 PM   #19
hart24601
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I went BB and love it. I really doubt I will ever setup a tank with sand again. Among other reasons I don't want to get sand under mag floats and scratch starfire. Not that it scratches more, just seems to be more apparent.


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Old 02/08/2015, 09:42 PM   #20
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Love bb. Coraline or corals quickly cover the bottom


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Old 02/08/2015, 11:09 PM   #21
lhm nole
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BB and love it .. Run 2 mp60 and a mp40 in my 8 ft 300 reef have occasional detritus I siphon in a suck every few days only takes a few minutes bottom stays very clean other than coraline growth..I can also put lots of flow in the tank without a sandstorm.. Only thing I dont like it does limit me on some types of wrasses


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Old 02/09/2015, 12:36 AM   #22
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My brother went bb, and he could crank his mp40s to the max and not worry about the holes in the sand.


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Old 02/09/2015, 06:46 AM   #23
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The two reasons I wouldn't ever go BB are aesthetics and biodiversity.

Although there are BB tanks that look beautiful (like GOSKN5's above), I have yet to see a BB tank that doesn't look at least somewhat unnatural. Even with starboard, epoxied sand, textured paint, etc., up close they all look somewhat artificial. Don't get me wrong - if you can keep up with the detritus (which is a PITA, IMO) and scrape the bottom class clean from coralline, they can still look really nice. They just don't look "right" to my eye.

Also, I find just as much pleasure in the many different critters that inhabit our mini ecosystems as I do the corals or fish that I keep. Going BB means eliminating the sand-dwelling infauna that are not only beneficial, but interesting (and accurate) as well.


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Old 02/09/2015, 06:56 AM   #24
whosurcaddie
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Originally Posted by GOSKN5 View Post
Is the tank new or empty? If so you can paint the underside white or use a textured spray paint... on the outside of the tank of course...

Looks great, I scrape mine to keep clean..



How does your yellow corris do without the sand? Tank is beautiful by the way.


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Old 02/09/2015, 07:01 AM   #25
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Sorry I should have said... I have a 6"x4" or so place behind the rocks where I built an acrylic wall that holds 3" of sand... the coris and melanarus sleep there... works great

I wouldn't keep these wrasses in a barebottom without this... it's their security and comfort


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