View Full Version : opinions on subtrate in your nano

03-08-2014, 10:30 PM
hey im starting up a new nano tank, what do you guys thing the best substrate for a nano sized tank would be in your opinion.
I have always found sugar sand to be too fine and make a mess on change day.
lets see what everyone thinks

03-09-2014, 01:07 AM
Lots of debate anything other than nano id use sand but nano id say bare bottom

03-09-2014, 01:40 AM
What do you consider a nano? I've used Caribsea Reef Select in all sorts of tank sizes from 5 gallons and up. I don't think the size of the tank matters so much as the amount of flow and the livestock going into the tank.

03-09-2014, 01:51 AM
I'm barebottom on my 20 gal. If I had sand in it I'd have huge dunes and barespots from the wp25. The 3 Koralia 425's I had previously didn't affect the sand too much but they also didn't move the detritus into the water column. In a small area it's tough to get the perfect amount of flow so barebottom is just what I find easiest.


03-09-2014, 01:54 AM
does anyone have any experience with crushed coral for subrate in a nano?

03-09-2014, 03:06 AM
does anyone have any experience with crushed coral for subrate in a nano?

I would say crush coral is a bad choice for nanos. Because most of the time, people would keep fishes like gobies in nano who are prone to getting scratched from crushed coral. Look at aragonite special grade. Big enough to stay in place.

03-09-2014, 03:43 AM
very good point on the gobies, I will probably have one in there too! so top ideas will to be no substrate or to do a thicker

03-09-2014, 03:51 AM
Depending on the goby you will need ti have some kind of sand for them to sift thru... if its that kind of goby

03-09-2014, 05:35 AM
Check out both Caribsea Select and Special. Special is a bit more coarse than Select. Either would be fine in a nano. I like to use Special in tanks with high flows - like SPS tanks.

03-09-2014, 02:13 PM
What size nano? I hate bare bottom as much as the next guy but in smaller tanks if you plan on keeping them more then a year this is the way to go. In 2 my gallon I originally had a thin layer of aragonite but it just trapped more and more and more detritus. I took it out and almost 4 years later the tank is still running great.

If you're talking a 15-20 gallon then medium sized aragonite is fine. Just think about if you're going to be able to vacuum it or not. It will probably be okay for a while but after a year or 2 it will be pretty gross if left untouched.

03-09-2014, 03:59 PM
I had sugar sand in my nano something I regretted due to how much it got blown around in such a small system.

I helped a friend setup a 25 gallon and I liked what he did which was put course sand down over two thirds of the tank to about an inch deep and then put crushed coral down in the other section to same depth however the downside was the sand eventually mixed in and spoiled the look but according to him his gobies loved sitting on the crushed coral during the day

I think if it was done right it could look good in a nano system sand and crush mix I know I like it In my big tank

03-09-2014, 05:00 PM
I'm a travertine tile fan. Clean and doesn't look as crappy as BB

03-09-2014, 06:45 PM
If you want to go bare bottom another option is to use "Starboard" aka HDPE plastic aka cutting board material. Most plastic/acrylic shops carry it and it's not expensive. You can order it in 1/4" or 1/2". It floats and silicone won't stick to it well enough to hold it down, so you have to put rock on top to hold it down. Looks great. Do some Google Image searching for "HDPE BB reef".

03-10-2014, 06:33 PM
yeah! that looks pretty awesome! I might try the cutting board material.