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Barebottom Tank


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  • Regular Member

Hey Guys,

So yesterday my mother and I went Christmas shopping, since I finally got done with my semester at college

She went to church, so I had her drop me off at mmm.

I was looking through the fish obviously. Completely admiring all of the goldfish.

They just got in some beautiful Oranada's. They were 3-5 inches, but I want to have them younger.

I didn't buy any of them, but they were so cute.

Now on to the main reason.

mmm was having a sale for a 38gallon and a stand for $200. It was on sale. I had the money and than just had to convince my mother.

It was so easy to do. :D

I now have a 38gallon fish tank, which means that Zylos, Sharkie, Bandit, and Crash are all finally not going to have to live in a 20 gallon.

My mother insisted if I bought the tank that she gets a goldfish to call her own. I obviously agreed :P

The goldfish was in regular fancies, but has a near fused caudal tail (only a small slit is cut...so a nymph?)

Also he has a headgrowth....I can't tell exactly if he is an oranda, but looks like it. I will get some pictures soon, so maybe you guys can tell what he is.

He is so cute.

I will have to keep the 38 gallon at my house, since my college is only 30 minutes away I can easily come home everyday if need be.

I am home on break for a month, so I figured I would be able to get a huge start on cycling the tank.

I am doing a fish cycle. My mother's new fish and my two smallest fish, sharkie and bandit.

I have done this for my 5 gallon and 20 gallon tank, so I know this means that I have to do loads of waterchanges.

My 20 gallon currently is and my 5 gallon when I had goldies in it (first starting...noobie mistake...now I have a betta in it) I had gravel, but I have heard from many of you guys that barebottom is a healthier way to go.

I also feel this would be easier for my mother to keep track of. I am slowly trying to teach her.

I would like to know the best advice for keeping a barebottom tank.

What kind of fake plants or rocks or whatnot can I keep in this tank. How do I keep fake plants down, since no gravel?

The tank came with a Aqueon 30 (200 gph), so I also need another filter. I can't afford a canister. Advice on a second filter.

Any other advice on barebottom tanks would be greatly appreciated.

I live in the middle of nowhere and have dial-up. which is currently running sooooooooooooooo slow that it took 15 minutes to load this forum.

I will post pictures of the new tank and the new fish ASAP :D Maybe even a video, if I can go to a friend's place with high speed.

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  • Regular Member

That's so cool about your mom/new tank/fish!! I don't have barebottom but if you want fake plants get the silk ones with a resin base. The base has some weight to it so they stay down without gravel. Here's a link that shows some nice examples. They are available in most petstores. I have quite a few and they work great.


As for filters I really like the Whisper HOB's. They come in all sizes--I got one for 40 gal that I use on my 30 gal tank. They have bigger ones though. I heard they also help with aeration since they are a waterfall style. Bacteria will grow on the white filter pads but I put ceramic thingies in them as well for bacteria to live on--there's plenty of room in the filter for both types of media. And like the name implies--they do run very quietly!

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Barebottom tanks are the easiest to keep clean and healthy for goldfish. Just because you have a bare bottom - or lack of substrate - it does not mean that you cannot have an aesthetically pleasing tank. Larger stones, hand picked for beauty or color, are great. I have a few 3-6 inch stones in most of my tanks. Artificial plants can be kept down by many methods - my favorite is to glue a ring of pretty stones around the base of each plant, using aquairum sealant. REal plants are something easy to use, too. Many here will plant a real plant in a glass cup or small vase or pot. These, set on the bottom give a pleasing effect. I have even put real plants into a small pot that I covered in small stones - glued with aquaium sealant - to make it look as if the plant were growing from a pile of stone.

Some decorations - not hollow - will sit nicely on a bare bottom. I have a tank where I have a ceramic "log". On the log, I have tied various real plants, where they grow nicely. They do not require substrate.

Keeping a barebottom clean is easy. A swish of the aquarium sponge on the bottom as well as on the sides keeps all sparkling clean.

As far as a filter goes - any smaller HOB in addition to the Aqueon 30 that will bring up the GPH to 400gph or more will do the trick. I happen to be a fan of the Emperor brand - plenty of room for BB platform and such and fairly cheap. They are real workhorses and last for many many years. I would suggest an Emperor 280 - that way you will have 480gph - perfect in my opinion for at 38 gallon tank. You need to realize that as a filter gets "used" its gph is somewhat lessened - so you need to aim a bit higher. Only tiny fry and very sick or injured fish will have problems. Placing a plant or rock in such a position to block to flow in one place in the tank will give the fish a sleeping place, and all will be good.


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Thank you very much fpr the insight :D

I now gotta do some shopping on Bigals, since I am also interested in buying Hikari gold for the new fish and I can't find that anywhere here locally. I also need to get a couple other things, like a better heater. I don't like the filter that came with it because it doesn't have the degrees listed on it to switch the tank to.

Time to go shopping :D

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