Poll: Sand or Bare Bottom - What's your Preference?

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by dbl, Oct 26, 2017.

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  1. Sand/Substrate

    448 vote(s)
    82.4%
  2. Bare Bottom

    96 vote(s)
    17.6%
  1. dbl

    dbl It Takes Less Energy to be Nice Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    So do you prefer a sandy bottom to your tank, or do you prefer the clean look of going bare bottom? What's your preference?
     
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  2. Jimmy Lee

    Jimmy Lee Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    I had sand and went bare bottom for the last year. Im upgrading tanks again and Im going back to sand. Too much detritus in bare bare bottom. Algae grows faster on the bottom glass in bare bottom. Cleaning is easier but more messy in a barebottom. In a tank with sand you can just siphon all the algae and detritus that accumulates on the sand bed. Bare bottom you have to use a sponge and scrub it off, let it sit, then suck it out.
    I voted Sand bed.
     
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  3. Labridaedicted

    Labridaedicted Wrassetastic R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

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    I think sand looks more natural and I think I get plenty of flow even with it.

    Plus I always have shrimp gobies/pistols, jawfish, and wrasses that burrow. Gotta have that sand. I use the special grade size and its pretty much perfect. Big enough not to blow around, but small enough for the burrowers.
     
  4. Shep

    Shep Acan Connoisseur Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa

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    I have always had a sand bed but for this build I have decided to go bare bottom to try something new out (plus I like the clean look)
     
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  5. Antics

    Antics Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

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    Only thing keeping me from going back to BB is my wrasse. Don't really want to go the container of sand route because I think that will end up looking terrible.
     
  6. jsker

    jsker Reefing is all about the adventure Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    Hawaiian black sand, I use to always run poca shells with on undergrave in previous builds:rolleyes:
     
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  7. DSC reef

    DSC reef Coral wasted R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    Bare bottom. Love having corals plating the glass and coralline algae. Cleaning is easy and I don't think I'll ever go back go sand. I don't notice any more or less algae growth. I do like the look of sand too but the bare bottom to me is much easier with the maintenance schedule. I miss keeping a radiant wrasse or leopard wrasse though.
     
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  8. Grey Guy

    Grey Guy Well-Known Member

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    I’ve had my best results with bare bottom. When trying to maintain low nutrients. I still think it’s the best for that. But now people are saying that nutrient starved systems are no longer desired. For looks though, I much prefer a little sand.
     
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  9. b3ja

    b3ja Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    An inch sand for natural looks.. nothing beats thoose nice white sand with awesome corals on it
     
  10. mckinleyw

    mckinleyw AIRBORNE REEFER R2R Supporter Tampa Bay Reef Keepers Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    Shallow sand bed for me. no more than 1 1/2". looks great and gives critters a place to live like pods...:D for my mandy.
     
  11. McMullen

    McMullen Valuable Member

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    For me, sand, lots of fish and critters rely on a sandbed.

    However, there are some really cool bare bottom tanks on this site with encrusting coral covering the bottom.

    IMO, one is not better than the other, just a style preference.
     
  12. Greaps

    Greaps Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Bare bottom has been the most successful for me. Bare bottom is more work IMO. My current tank has sand, rubble, caulerpa species, and xenia. I am hoping I can get the dirty tank desires out of my system. Its still growing out...
    IMG_20171014_174924.jpg



    My upgrade in a few months will be likely be bare bottom and use some starboard. Maybe some crushed coral, a thin layer. I want the flow at 40-60X turnover in tank as I plan to try my hand with SPS. Not going the natural look, going for a display frag tank look haha.
     
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  13. Alfredo De La Fe

    Alfredo De La Fe Member

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    Sand every time except a QT system. It just doesn't look natural without sand. Same with having tanks with rows of different frags. This is more like gardening to me, not collecting.
     
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  14. Bob E

    Bob E Active Member Partner Member 2019

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    My preference is that tanks look better to have sand (shallow). I have never tried the bare bottom tank, well except for a QT tank
     
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  15. Kman237

    Kman237 Active Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

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    Sand all the way!!! It looks better and brings up par slightly. Sand isn't hard to keep clean. Take a turkey baster down near the sand bed and squeeze stirring up the sand with the movement of the water you are creating. It will go deeper the harder you squeeze. I do this often and it's really kept the sand clean. Make sure you have a filter sock on to clean and catch all the stuff you push into the water column with this method. It's the easiest way I have found to keep the sand clean I vacuum the sand maybe once every 3-4 months.
     
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  16. Shep

    Shep Acan Connoisseur Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa

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    Some people make ceramic dens that are designed for wrasses to use, might be something to look into
     
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  17. skiergd011013

    skiergd011013 Well-Known Member

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    Ive had both. I set up a bb tank 3 years ago, and after this one, I will never have a sand bed again. Saying bb is so much easier to maintain would be an understatement. You can have as much flow as you want and wont make annoying sandstorms. More flow equals less detritus, algae, and waste. During waterchange time, you just siphon the bottom. A common argument against bb is that it looks too sterile or unnatural. Well, it doesnt look like bare glass for long. It will develop a layer of coralline etc and will blend right in. I have also seen people make an amazing lawn out of gsp and cover the bottom. I am so much happier with no sandbed to cause problems. Anyways this has been my experience with it. I HIGHLY recommend it.
     
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  18. revhtree

    revhtree Owner Administrator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Cyber Monday Sponsor

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    Both can be a big pain in the butt but I vote sand for looks.
     
  19. Rakie

    Rakie Federal Coral Reserve R2R Supporter Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    I voted substrate, but I'm always interested to go Bare Bottom -- I blame @GoVols partially here, for having a nice looking aquascape on BB.
     
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  20. A Toadstool Leather

    A Toadstool Leather Well-Known Member

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    I like having about 1/4 an inch of sand for sand dwelling corals. Also bare bottom looks ugly to me until ot is filled up by encrusting corals. Im sure a gsp bed would look cool, of maybe a bed of sunset montipora.
     
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