Barebottom Reefers vs Sand Bed Reefers: Which one are you?

BRS

Are you a sand bottom or a bare bottom reefer?

  • Sand

    Votes: 694 81.0%
  • Barebottom

    Votes: 135 15.8%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 28 3.3%

  • Total voters
    857

austibella

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Crush coral. So much easier to clean and my copepods love it and bred cause they have so many places to hide. My red coris wrass who is now about 7 inches amazes me that he will dive under the crushed coral and stay there for hours then when he emerges copepods are in the water everywhere for a feast for all. it is also better to have crush coral bed because I don't have to worry about wave pumps blowing sand around. When I vacume the crush coral I wait for the copepods to surface in the water that was sucked out then I put them back in the tank cause there are so many of them. Never had that with other tanks i had in the past that had sand
 

thermoJoe

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Sand, mostly for wrasses. I even have one tank with silica sand from a nearby beach, but I've never clean the sand. One acro-dominated tank is more than 10 years old now and never cleaned. It doesn't have that pristine while color, but then again I haven't had to clean it ever. I haven't cleaned my sump in a long time either. Bring on the detritus! My N and P are always below detection. I've tried dosing N, but gave that up. Most acros grow well, but their color could be better.
 

thatmanMIKEson

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I like em bare with abs bottom im covering this one with lepto's, its just easier to suck out a small pile of detritus in the corner, rather than wondering whats under the sand under my rocks...I can see under every rock for now...


My vote BB...
 

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Mmar2385

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Today let's talk about the substrate or the non-substrate of your reef tank! Some reefers like the look of a sand bed and others like the maintenance of a barebottom reef. What about you? Let's talk about it today.

1. Are you a sand bottom or a bare bottom reefer?

2. Why do you choose one over the other?


image via @dr.dator
_MG_9740.jpg
I originally started with dry crushed coral and dry Aragonite sand. It did no favors for my tank. So I switched over to "live" sand where it's slightly wet and it's been smooth sailing! It's doing good for the water chemistry and biological filtration.
 

Appoloreefer

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Today let's talk about the substrate or the non-substrate of your reef tank! Some reefers like the look of a sand bed and others like the maintenance of a barebottom reef. What about you? Let's talk about it today.

1. Are you a sand bottom or a bare bottom reefer?

2. Why do you choose one over the other?


image via @dr.dator
_MG_9740.jpg
I currently have a 125 bare bottom and I chose to go this way for the care of having a bare bottom tank is much less and you do not have to worry about having sand critters to sift through the sand. I have had sand bottom in the past and my tank crashed and I lost all but two fish and come to find out my sand had built up carbon even though I had snails and star fish and other sifters so this time I went bare bottom and I love it so much better.
 

RUKelly

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I have a sand, finely crushed coral/rock mix and some of my fish are construction workers. Continuously moving, waving, shoving it into whatever type of nooks/crannies they feel they need. I have a spiny star that lives in it and I’d always been told substrate was biological good for a reef tank.
 

vetteguy53081

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1. Are you a sand bottom or a bare bottom reefer?

Actually both - I run sand but a very fine layer (about 1/2 - 3/4"). I have virtually no detritus and build up on the bottom.

2. Why do you choose one over the other?


Ease of maintence and the look of sand without the depth of sand.
 

PacoPetty

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I said other.
my current tank is very shallow and for the amount of flow I have it’s bare bottom but when I get another taller tank I will use sand because it looks more natural to me. The bacteria thing will take longer on a bare bottom but I don’t want to see all my sand piled up on the side of the tank either lol
All of my tanks have sand except for one and that is because it is a shallow tank and the water moves moves the sand around too much. It is my first ever tank without sand.
 

reefguy250

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Sand for sure because..

1. My Diamond Watchman Goby is one of my favorite fish
2. The natural look of sand in a reef tank

BUT

bare bottom tanks that have encrusting coral or zoa gardens look superb as well and eventually I will have both types of tank
 

kennyreef

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The benefits of a BB are beyond doubt. But ever time I look at a BB tank it’s like watching a LFS grow tank not a reef. I rather look at a Crushed Coral bottom tank.

can sand be a PITA! Yes! But it’s part of the fun. If we keep taking out from the hobby for automation and easy maintenance we gonna end up wish bare fish bowls for single corals!
 

Subsea

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I have a sand bed and probably would never go without. However I just listened to a reef therapy podcast and they spoke heavily of sand beds and why they are a major factor in low ph. More so than co2. I can’t explain it as well as they do They state that the sand bed uses more alk and other resources than benefits gained. One quote was something along the lines of having a sand bed is equivalent to having a huge grouper in your aquarium. Also that the reported benefits of beneficial bacteria in the sand bed only last a few months before the sand gets covered in other things. I’m really butchering the conversation but give it a listen. It won’t personally change how I run my tank because I absolutely love the life in my sand bed.

Not sure what a “reef therapist” is but a sandbed with bacteria consumes oxygen 24/7. Unless there is robust gas exchange, when lights go out photosynthesis stops producing oxygen & starts producing carbon dioxide. With an increase in carbon dioxide and a decrease in oxygen, you will get reducing pH along with reducing oxygen. Without sufficient gas exchange, low oxygen is much more serious than low pH.
 
BRS

ARE YOU PROUD OR EMBARRASSED OF YOUR REEF TANK?

  • Proud

    Votes: 221 57.9%
  • Embarrassed

    Votes: 49 12.8%
  • Neither proud or embarrassed

    Votes: 95 24.9%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 17 4.5%
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