Has anyone tiled the bottom of their tank with rock?

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Joseph3

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Hey everyone,

I know sandless tanks have lots of flow, biological, and maintenance benefits, but I just really prefer the look of a sand bed. Instead going completely bare bottom, could you tile your tank’s floor with flat bottomed base/shelf rock and create a “substrate” that has a lot of the benefits of a bare bottom tank, but looks less artificial? Would this create weird dead zones in flow? Has anybody tried this? If so, I’d love to see how your tank looks.
 
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Daniel

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I've done this with tiles, originally wanted to grow Zoas on these but ended up putting goni frags.

Here are a few quick snaps… sorry the tank was in evening mode for these pics so it’s a bit dark!! I will say, that detritus does build up underneath the tiles, so every month or so when I'm doing water changes, I will disturb the tiles slightly and siphon between cracks to clear out any build-up.

I'm using 2x2" Reefing Art Ceramic Coral Frag Tiles.


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Daniel

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^ At some point I imagine coralline algae will spread completely between the grooves?
Yep! They most definitely do, but brittle enough to shake free individual tiles. In fact, my larger emerald crabs from time to time are able to shift them during their grazing. There is enough "subtle" movement from flow, and inhabitants that they never really are cemented in place by coralline. Corals on the other hand... I can imagine once encrusting occurs, it's a different story.
 
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