Jump to content

Bare Bottom With Plants?


Midnight112x

Recommended Posts

  • Regular Member

I just thought I would share my experience with the different substrates. I have now had both gravel and bare-bottom tanks and have found that both have their advantages and disadvantages, ultimately it will be up to your personal preference of course, but it always helps having more information. I started my tanks using gravel and while it didn't seem to form any anaerobic pockets it did catch waste like crazy. I have also heard of larger fish choking on gravel. However, I also feel that foraging is a natural and healthy behavior, so that is one benefit.

Since adding sand to my betta tank I have noticed how much cleaner it stays because the waste doesn't get trapped and gets sucked up more efficiently by the filter. However, sand is a very bad option in goldfish tanks unless it is heavy enough to sink quickly when it is kicked up by the fish. I have heard lots of stories of impellers being ruined by sand that was constantly floating in the water. The main reason I switched to bare-bottom was that it is much easier to tell when the tank is dirty and I was concerned the choking issue. The fish in one of my tanks are too small still to actually fit the gravel in their mouths, but the others are quite large and often suck up 2-3 pieces at a time. I figured better safe than sorry. What I did was get a few candle holders and small vases and put handfuls of gravel in there to hold plants and to avoid crashing the cycle by removing a ton of gravel all at once. This has worked great for the plants but I have found that instead of being sucked up by the filter, the waste gets trapped in the vases, and I mean a ton of waste. Imagine all the muck you take out with the siphon every week being restricted to one or two handfuls of gravel. I also found that I was pretty nervous about knocking around heavy glass vases in the tank. Both lifting them out for cleaning and lowering them back posed a particular threat of cracks in the tank if one of them dropped. They aren't that heavy empty but filled with gravel is another story. I also considered filling them with river rock instead, but the issue of trapped waste and possible tank damage remained.

I really love about the sand how easy it is for the filter to suck up the junk in the tank and I also love letting the fish forage through the substrate, really the only problem is the filter intake sucking it up. After reading some great experiences with Tahitian moon sand I went ahead and ordered some this morning. This allows me to anchor the plants easily, avoid possible cracks from dropped vases, and reduces the amount of waste and food falling in between gaps in large gravel. Also, the moon sand is just large enough to fall back down when it gets kicked up instead of floating around and getting sucked up by the filter. All in all I think it is the best compromise. If you do decide to go ahead and do bare-bottom (which I do believe is preferable to large gravel, though maybe not preferable to large sand) you could use vases but be very careful that the fish won't tip them over and that you don't drop them during water maintenance. If you are interested in trying the moon sand check Foster and Smith. Right now they have a sale on 20 lb bags of substrate for only 15 bucks. Also make sure to get the Instant Ocean type and not Supernaturals. Instant Ocean comes with water and good bacteria included in the bag and can be added in immediately without the hours of rinsing that the dry sand requires. To ensure that no anaerobic pockets of bacteria form simply move it all around with your hand during water changes to keep any area from sitting stagnant for too long. Also less depth can help guard against pockets forming, so go with about 1/2'' or just enough to cover the bottom and secure the plants. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

thanks kiiarah. I have seen black moon sand and it looks really cool

I am excited about trying it. ^_^ I was reluctant but when I read the success stories from others on the forum I just had to try it. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I have used sand too with great results, I would go back to sand, but wow it cosst a lot!

As for rubber bands, they do fall appart over time, and I go through lots of them when mounting Anubias or Java fern. I've only used the uncolored ones. Rubber bands are made from natural rubber, and where does natural rubber come from? The Rubber tree! They use the sap. Look it up, its true.

Edited by Acro
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

There's alot of synthetic rubber about though - I don't know if there's a way of checking, although I guess it's more likely that natural rubber would degrade over time, as man made things never seem to rot..!

I love the look of the black sand. How do you vaccuum that stuff though? And is sand safe for a fish's gills?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

If you just buy the pack of cheap uncolored rubberbands, you shouldnt have a problem. It makes sence that it would costs more for the fancy synthetic rubber, which may not be harmful anyways.

As for sand, I used it for about two years I think, I've posted a few time about it (and so have others) do a quick search and it will explain how to vacuum it (I know I've written about it a few times). As for their gills, I never had a problem, havent seen any posts about others with gill/sand problems. In the wild, all sorts of gritty stuff would pass through the gills of a fish, they are tough.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...