What's on the bottom and why do you love it or hate?

How much do you like your current substrate?

  • Love it

    Votes: 156 30.5%
  • Like it

    Votes: 257 50.2%
  • Thinking of changing it

    Votes: 58 11.3%
  • Don't like it

    Votes: 20 3.9%
  • Hate it

    Votes: 13 2.5%
  • Changing is out ASAP

    Votes: 8 1.6%

  • Total voters
    512

Vamsi

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Caribsea Sand. Hate is a strong word. I would say its Ok and it not the fault of the sand IMHO. Have a yellow watch man and a pistol shrimp, keeps digging up all the time and burying/irritating corals. Also the clownfish keeps wiggling its tail and displaces sand all over the place.

IMG_9434.jpeg
 
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Shankpa1

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No substrate from me. I change it out. Nitrate getting out of hand. Too many fish, too much to feed. KZ zeovit starting soon.



Today I have a simple question for you! Us reefers change our mind about things and decisions all the time when it comes to our reef tanks. This includes our aquarium substrate! Are you happy with what you got?

1. What substrate are you using in your reef tank?

2. Why do you love it or hate?

3. What would you or are you going to change it to?


image via Ryunosuke Sera
Screenshot_2020-03-25 My Reef Tank (1st, Mar, 2015)(1).jpg
 

PotomacReef

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BB. I love it and will never go back to a sand bed in the display tank. I wouldn't mind a sand bed in a refugium though for anchoring mangroves, etc.

For me it's:

Upside:
  1. less maintenance, easier to clean.
  2. Algae? Blow or brush it off.
  3. Detritus? Simple removal.
  4. I also don't have to worry about fish or equipment messing up my scape.
  5. Don't have to worry about flow, and in fact it's encouraged to have flow LOW in the tank to keep the detritus from settling.
  6. Did I mention I can keep a higher flow in my tank? Also it's much less work to keep the flow in the goldilocks zone. Much more range of error.
  7. CUC spends time on my rocks, less time on the bottom of tank.
  8. Don't need as much of a CUC as sand bed
  9. Coralline algae and plating montis give a good texture. If I was into hyper-modern look it's easy to scrape off.
  10. With modern biological filter media and the abundance of ways to get nutrients out of a tank, there simply isn't a need for sand bed unless that's what you're going for aesthetically.
Downside:
  1. Can't keep certain wrasses or nassarius snails.

For me it's rather lopsided in favor of BB!
 

Claire Austin

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Caribbean Bahamas Oolite. Super-fine stuff. I had a seahorse accidentally snick up a big piece of sand when she grabbed a mysis off the substrate. Got it stuck in her trigger mechanism and choked/starved to death. I now have a diamond goby to clean the sand.
 

James404

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Had CaribSea special grade, but flew around too much...went bare bottom and hated it. Now I have Tropic Eden Reef flakes and absolutely LOVE it.

For my new 280 I went with the slightly larger grain Tropic Eden Reef Flakes Grand Select so I can crank the flow up even more!
 

Buckster

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Will be setting up a reef tank after corona is no longer a major threat. I am leaning towards Caribsea special grade as I plan on introducing a couple of gobies.
 
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Paul B

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I have dolomite gravel over a reverse undergravel filter and I love it. I have been using that gravel since the early 70s and it is full of sea urchin spines, broken shells, sticks, broken glass, parts of old toys, some screws and nails.
 

nkyreef

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Started with a bare bottom and when I upsized I went to sand. I like the look so much better however the sand has lead to many scratches on the glass. It seems my parameters are more stable with sand. When I upsize again I'm not 100% sure on which route i would take.
 

WiscoFishNut

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1. What substrate are you using in your reef tank?
None! BB

2. Why do you love it or hate?

Love it because I don't have to worry if something crawled in it and died. Don't always love it because stuff shows up more lol

3. What would you or are you going to change it to?

Nothing. In my new nano build I may go with pink Fiji sand, but I'm not 100% decided yet. A lot will depend on if the powerhead makes sand storms.
 

Z-man

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Starboard bare bottom tank. Love it for the ease of keeping it clean. I sometimes do miss having a crushed coral bottom with a pistol shrimp.
 
https://www.omegasea.net/

Dacotahk

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I have CaribSea Special grade, but have not tried any others. There is always some buildup but not a problem. I can see the ease of maintaining the bare bottom but to me it’s a more natural look and a more natural environment for the animals we keep. No sand looks clinical somehow.
 

Eggs

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I have Fiji Pink in my 75 and it’s ok, but have Special Grade in my 30 that’s just up and running and so far like it better
Same here. Fiji Pink a little too fine for my taste, will go to Special Grade on the next build.
Reason I like the finer sand is because of the requirements for certain livestock I like to keep.
 

vlangel

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My 56 gallon reef has sand for substrate. It's tiered and has 3 levels: the lowest level has 1", the middle level has 5" and the top level has 8". I love it for the dimension and natural look that utilizes the height of my tank.

Originally I painted the bottom so this could be a bare bottom seahorse tank. I missed having sand so then added a little sand, which eventually turned into a lot, ha ha! Its has been this way a couple years and I have no plans to change it as it is my favorite choice in the 20 years I have been reffing.
15851841071834782921322774565122.jpg
 

Do you have any coral frag mounting tricks or tips you have learned that really help you?

  • Yes I have learned some tricks (please share in the thread)

    Votes: 9 20.9%
  • No but I would like to learn some (check the thread)

    Votes: 25 58.1%
  • I don't frag corals

    Votes: 9 20.9%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

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