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Leach29
05-05-2014, 04:13 AM
I am in the process of setting up a new FOWLR tank. Dims are 72x24x27.

I am curious on everyone's thoughts on sand vs. bare bottom? I have seen lots of bare bottoms recently.

Thanks

kien
05-05-2014, 06:44 AM
My thought is that I have never seen a bare bottom ocean. Or sea for that matter. Or lake even. Or river.

Coral Hoarder
05-05-2014, 06:58 AM
My thought is that I have never seen a bare bottom ocean. Or sea for that matter. Or lake even. Or river.

Lmao I vote sand two you can't have wrass without sand :)

Wheelman76
05-05-2014, 08:35 AM
Lmao I vote sand two you can't have wrass without sand :)

There are many wrasse that don't need sand beds , including all Cirrhilabrus (fairy wrasse) , and even the wrasse that do sleep in the sand for example halichoeres family ,can adapt without a sandbed from what I have read and also heard from other reefers who have kept them in bare bottom tanks.

albert_dao
05-05-2014, 10:35 AM
My thought is that I have never seen a bare bottom ocean. Or sea for that matter. Or lake even. Or river.

I've never seen a river or ocean.. or a lake or a sea contained by five glass panels :P

mark
05-05-2014, 02:17 PM
6line for years with BB but can't keep the shrimp/goby pair

reefwars
05-05-2014, 02:21 PM
BB here , loving it :)

If I were to do a fish only though I'd prob go sand but reef and I'm BB:)

kien
05-05-2014, 02:45 PM
I've never seen a river or ocean.. or a lake or a sea contained by five glass panels :P

You've obviously never seen my tank then.

Reefer Rob
05-05-2014, 03:32 PM
You have sand if you like the look of sand. What other people think shouldn't matter.

But since you asked. Having a bare bottom is very liberating :mrgreen: There's no way I'd have the flow patterns that I have in my tank with sand.

jordsyke
05-05-2014, 03:35 PM
I have very little sand in my tank in the front, Lots of flow so it blows around a lot :D. But the back part of my tank is bare bottom and I like that I do not have to get into those hard to reach spots to maintain it. I have a large rainbow wrasse that dug himself in at night in his previous tank, but because of my small sandbed just hides in a rock at night now, happy as can be. :D

Coral Hoarder
05-05-2014, 03:40 PM
Was thinking about Cori's wrass one of my favorite fish and I know not all sleep in sand just the pretty ones Do lol

banditpowdercoat
05-05-2014, 03:41 PM
Just got rid of all my sand. Had 2" initially for like 3 years. Moved tank, went almost BB. Maybe 1/2" But was mix with some really fine sand, for another 3 years. Yesterday had tank emergency. Bottom bulkhead leaking. Complete drain. I removed ALL my sand. One corner, and under the rocks was soo full of detritus, it was like over 2" thick in locations. Total dead flow spots I know. But hard to get flow under the rocks. And impossible to siphon. Now I want sand again, I like the looks. Wish Crushed Coral wasn't such a Nitrate grabber and easier to clean too. My CUC had pretty much dissapeared and I never noticed for quite a while. Can't seem to keep Inverts well either lately.
My 150g is moderate stocked, Yellow, Hippo, Naso Tangs, Coral Beauty, Foxface and 2 clowns. Clam seem's Happy, have a RBTA that shriveled up, and seems to not like light. Lights are low tho, and he is slowly expanding more, but moves up and down the rocks daily.
My WC intervals are like 6 weeks due to my work schedules etc. Tank is left fully automated while I am in camp for 3 weeks at a time...

Thoughts on my getting more sand? What more CUC should I get? Had 2 Brittle stars and 2 Serpent stars, But only 1 Brittle star is left too

hfp75
05-05-2014, 05:19 PM
Sand looks good and if healthy is good for the tank.

By healthy I mean, sand is a bit of its own separate world in a tank. It can help with filtration. A healthy sand bed will have a bunch of snails and a few sand stars (depending on tank size). The key to a healthy sand bed is that it is being turned over frequently. A stagnant sand bed is bad news. If your able to maintain it then go for it!!!

If you are going to forget all about it and let it become a nitrate / detritus sponge then it's bad news.

When your fish die off you notice within a day or so, because you can see it. What's alive in the sand you can't see so you need to be very observant!!!

Also remember that when you clean your tank you should vacuum or siphon off/out the sand and take out a bunch each time, wash it and dump it back in..... just helps keep the brown sludge that can accumulate down.

Leach29
05-05-2014, 06:11 PM
Thank you everyone for your replies.

Great to hear everyone's views, and thoughts.

Maintenance is going to be an issue for me, I was hoping to keep it as simple as possible. I am having it in wall with a fish room and my space is limited being able to syphon some spots due to framing ect. I will take pics and show everyone when I get my build thread going. It concerns me that I will have many dead spots.

If I have run refugium that would help with the water quality ?

hfp75
05-05-2014, 07:00 PM
Maintenance is going to be an issue for me, I was hoping to keep it as simple as possible. I am having it in wall with a fish room and my space is limited being able to syphon some spots due to framing ect. It concerns me that I will have many dead spots.

Your water change schedule will be up to you, when you change the water out just be sure to get out the waists that you can. I have dead spots that get cleaned once a year.

When I 'change out water' 2x / month I am really using the 'exiting' waters force and momentum to pull out some sand and the crap (solids) that collect within it - a means to vacuum the sand. The residual sand and solids in the water drainage bucket get washed a few times with tap water until it is clean and then dumped back into the tank. I lose very little sand down the drain during this process.

Usually Once a year I do a 'large clean'. I take a day and remove rock and coral into another tank / rubber-made and remove all the sand and wash it until it is clean and then it goes back in, along with all the rocks and corals. Then if the old water looks clean it can go back in and I fill the rest with new water. Being careful with water temps during this process.

If I have run refugium that would help with the water quality ?

Yes, BUT it will only remove nutrients that are 'dissolved/suspended' in the water. It wont help you remove solids that collect.

* Detrius (fish poop) are solids that slowly break down in the tank and as it breaks down releases P04 and N03. Your goal is to remove detrius before it breaks down with weekly water changes. That doesn't happen for a lot of us. So, your sand collects it and slowly releases the P04 and N03 that are held within it. You can vacuum out the thick/semi solid sludge that is detrius, but you will never get all of it. So, there will always be some P04 and N03 that is being released into the water. Hence the refugium/sump.

Refugium/Sump is where you will try to keep some:


algae(s) that consume P04 & N03 that is suspended in the water as it grows, as another way to remove the toxins (P04 & N03)
skimmer that also removes leftover suspended waists and aerates the water.
extra live rock that also removes P04 and N03, as another way to remove the toxins (P04 & N03)
Where you can 'feed' & 'return' reactors - two main types:



Phosphate removal reactor - Use Rowaphos!!!
Nitrate removal reactor - with biopellets....

*refugium - is more of a refuge from predation for small critters - a safe tank...
*sump - is where water processes are handled

Since the little critters can live safely in a sump there is terminology overlap.

You could have a tank for just the live rock and a tank for just algae - the goal is water purification but it will also act as a refugium. Then have it drain into a sump for the skimming and return pump..... most people I doubt truly run a dedicated refugium and it is really all about the water purification and the pods and slugs just happen to live in there.....

Does that make any sense? or did I just ramble?

jordsyke
05-05-2014, 08:10 PM
^^^ what he said, also tons of flow will keep the detritus suspended in water column to be removed by skimmer, and also to eliminate dead spots

kien
05-05-2014, 08:19 PM
Or you could just go bare bottom. A sandbed sure sounds like a heck of a lot of work for little to no benefit !

hfp75
05-05-2014, 08:46 PM
Remember that bare bottem, 'area' LxW in inches has bacteria growing on it.... and is flat

A single piece of sand, if it were a cube (surface area LxWxH), 1mm on all sides has a total of 6mm of area that bacteria can live on. So, 1mm (of flat) vs 6mm per layer of 1mm sand. By adding sand your good bacteria have 100s if not 1,000s (%) of increased area to live on which is good for the tank (depending on how much sand you add it could be millions or 10x's of millions).

You just need to take care of it.


* Don't forget we are talking about sand in a display tank so it doesn't need to be crazy deep. Its not a 'Deep Sand Bed', most people choose the wrong size of sand (& depth) for their display tank....

Leach29
05-06-2014, 03:04 PM
Does that make any sense? or did I just ramble?[/QUOTE]

Makes total sense.

Thank you, I appreciate everyone's input.

mark
05-06-2014, 10:56 PM
lots of fine looking bare bottoms here (http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1190944&page=14)

tt101
06-11-2014, 07:42 PM
Just personal preference here that I hate bare bottom tanks and could never imagine running one. I see a lot of people with discuss tanks do this. It just doesn't look or feel right to me.

I always mention to people that with a sand bed you must include something that will sift it up to prevent the build up of toxic gasses. In my 90Gallon freshwater I have a horseface loach and in my SW setup I have a sleeper goby. (considering a sand sifting star but I know how difficult they are to keep)

So really it comes down to you, both ways are fine and BB is much easier and cleaner but it all comes down to you.

hfp75
06-11-2014, 07:56 PM
I have a Sand Sifting Star in my 55G and it has been in there for over a year without any issues.... hes moving all over and looks absolutely fine. Now its not a large one... maybe 2" diameter...

Just get the right size for your tank...

tt101
06-13-2014, 08:54 AM
I have a Sand Sifting Star in my 55G and it has been in there for over a year without any issues.... hes moving all over and looks absolutely fine. Now its not a large one... maybe 2" diameter...

Just get the right size for your tank...

With the sleeper goby, its no longer necessary, he does a good job but I will definitely be getting a star at some point in time.

crackedcorn
01-11-2015, 11:01 PM
With the sleeper goby, its no longer necessary, he does a good job but I will definitely be getting a star at some point in time.

Is your sleeper sifting and making the water milky (all stirred up)? Some say it's a nightmare some say it's not too bad...

hfp75
01-11-2015, 11:33 PM
Depends on your sand???? If you've got OO Lite yes....

And if it's really dirty....

tt101
01-12-2015, 12:42 AM
Is your sleeper sifting and making the water milky (all stirred up)? Some say it's a nightmare some say it's not too bad...

No, not at all. He used to keep the surface of the sand pure white and prevented anything from growing on the sand or any debris to build up. He was a really interesting guy to watch. Unfortuantely my 2 clowns were *******s and wouldn't let him sift all areas of the tank and by the time I realized...it was too late. I had one in my 75 gallon salt and he was in there for a while. Never had issues with him at all in terms of milky water.

Now I am too scared to put anything else in the tank, so the sand is nasty and needs cleaning every once in a while.

albert_dao
01-12-2015, 01:53 AM
meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehhhh... I've always thought of sand as an unnecessary evil. Spraypaint the bottom of your tank white. Done.

gmann
01-13-2015, 05:43 AM
no sand and you would never get to see the awesomeness of a jawfish :biggrin:

EarthEaterBob
01-13-2015, 06:29 AM
My thought is that I have never seen a bare bottom ocean. Or sea for that matter. Or lake even. Or river.

If you think the majority of the coral that we keep in our tanks actually get anywhere near sand in their natural environment, you'd be fooling yourself :lol:

That being said, I like sand for the aesthetics. But BB is definitely a ton easier to clean...

Myka
01-13-2015, 03:41 PM
I am in the process of setting up a new FOWLR tank. Dims are 72x24x27.

I am curious on everyone's thoughts on sand vs. bare bottom? I have seen lots of bare bottoms recently.

Thanks

What types of fish do you plan to keep? Many large fish, (big Tangs come to mind first) are quite smart and will use their pectoral fins near the sand to flush food out. In the process they move the sand around - some do this A LOT. Most of the FOWLR tanks that I know of personally may as well be barebottom because the fish have moved the sand about so much that half the glass is showing anyway!

If you do want sand, keeping one of the larger sand sifting fish (like Valenciennea sp gobies) really helps to keep the sand much cleaner. They can be a pain in the butt in reef tanks because they bury corals in sand, but they are a must-have in FO tanks imo. Also, choose a larger grain sand so you can vacuum it easier - nothing finer than the Caribsea Special Grade, but not so coarse that it traps food like crushed coral will.

You can go either direction and have a healthy tank. It's more about how much maintenance do you want to do and what look you prefer. Barebottom tanks, if you position your flow right and lift your rocks off the bottom you can do absolutely no vacuuming/bottom siphoning and can incorporate an easy water change system. With sand, you will be (should be) in there vacuuming it every week or two.

The Guy
01-13-2015, 06:31 PM
I think a tank looks incomplete with no sand on the bottom, It personal preference I like a sand bottom.

tytown
10-07-2015, 03:36 AM
I'm a bare bottom guy.
With the right flow and a good sump/skimmer, I think your regular eras of neglect can go longer with less reprocussions! On the same note I believe a sand bed brings some nutrient instabilities if they are disturbed or not taken care of
AND there are no scratches on my glass.
On the flip side there are some fish I would like to have but wouldn't even consider because I'm bare bottom.