Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
Old 09-11-2005, 04:30 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: St. Louis, Mo
Posts: 38
Send a message via MSN to Ocicat
Sand or no sand?

Someone recommended today that I forego sand in my tank and keep the bottom clean, or use a very small sand bed. He told me that a sand bed of 3"-4" can become a nightmare if it doesn't get stirred up enough. I'm looking now at the 180-gallon size, so I suppose that would be a lot of sand for critters and/or water movement to keep stirred up so it doesn't pack down.

Are there any problems that would occur with no sand or very little sand? I assume some creatures wouldn't like it, but I could avoid those.



Ocicat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2005, 05:04 PM   #2
AA Team Emeritus
Devilishturtles's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Frederick, Maryland
Posts: 8,544
Send a message via Yahoo to Devilishturtles
Sand is important. Don't forgo it. It gives your
LR something to sit on, and a place for wastes and detritus to gather. It also gives home to a number of pods as well. All beneficial things.

The only real problem with a dsb is that it can form pockets of nitrogen gas in it. You will be fine however with a 1 to 2 inch sand bed.


Live in the Western MD/West Virginia/DC Metro Area?
Join our very active regional forum Here

Like the advice someone just gave you? Add to their reputation! Click on the balance icon underneath their username and let them know.
Devilishturtles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2005, 05:52 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Addict
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Poughkeepsie, NY
Posts: 3,294
It is your choice there are pros and cons to both. I would never set up a tank w/out a SB. For me its the look and I love the pods and worms, its just natural.
Look at the LFS who run bare bottom, you see all the fish poop all the time. Then you will need to vac it up when you do water changes, which is a PIA.
Run a shallow SB 3-4 inches and get some sand sifting snails and your good to go.
Pick up some play sand instead of LS to save some $$
9/02-125 REEF, 125 lbs LR,LS 4x160 VHO, Reef Devil /Sump, Fuge
7/03-55 FOWLR 60lb LR, 50 lb SD sand 2x40 NO strip light, Reef Devil/sump, Fuge

TANK PICS http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=98202
seaham358 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2005, 06:04 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice FINatic
flanque's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 740
I wouldn't run any aquarium without some form of bedding, be it sand (like me) or crushed coral or argonite. Your rock isn't evenly balanced and has points of pressure which could scratch or damage your tank. Having the sand helps distribute the pressure and weight of the rock. Even though it is in water it still has a weight factor which you don't want to apply to your glass.

I also have found with my aquarium that my calcium levels have been relatively high requiring little buffering, when I've had my DSB.

I've also read in other threads here that it's better to have a DSB than crushed coral or argonite. Check those threads for an explaination.
flanque is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2005, 10:10 AM   #5
Aquarium Advice Activist
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Fl
Posts: 168
Please go with sand, you won't regret it. Especially with the size of tank you're considering. You can add so many wonderful little creatures that thrive in the sand, gobies, blennies, wrasses, jawfish, etc etc.
An aquarium is a living mini ocean in your own home, so how can you have an ocean without sand?
125gal. megaflow. Fish Residents:
Yellow Tang -(Junior), Flame Angel -(Flamey)
Bicolor Blenny -(Butch), Randall Jawfish -(Jaws)
Lawnmower Blenny -(Lenny), Talbot's Damsel -(Dottie), Tomato Clown -(Ketchup)
Nameless fish include, Neon Blenny, Singapore Shrimp Goby, Yellow Tail Damsel, 1 Skunk Cleaner Shrimps, purple pseudochromis.
gfishguy56 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2005, 10:31 AM   #6
Aquarium Advice FINatic
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Central PA
Posts: 971
Regardless of which you choose, waterflow is one of the biggest keys to either method (bare or sandbed). You don't want detritus being able to settle and mix into the sandbed, the wisest choice is to use high and dynamic flow to keep it suspended as long as possible to me removed through filter feeders, the skimmer, etc.

You don't have to worry about the rock stressing the glass and breaking it from being placed directly on it, that is an urban legend. Many European reefers go bare bottomed with huge tanks, there is also a plastic product called Starboard being used to line the bottom of tanks if you feel you have to have something.

FWIW, I am a "sand guy", but understand that it is not a "set it and forget it" methodology. One of the biggest choices should revolve around what animals you plan to keep (soft corals, stony corals, no coral!) and then analyze the benefits and pitfalls of the systems.
HoopsGuru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2005, 12:12 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: St. Louis, Mo
Posts: 38
Send a message via MSN to Ocicat
Thanks very much, everyone.

I totally agree that it needs sand to look natural — that is what most bothered me about the idea of not having it. Also, I assume all the creatures will like having it even if they don't depend on it.

I just want to make sure the whole thing is as healthy and clean as possible!
Ocicat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2005, 12:36 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice FINatic
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Central PA
Posts: 971
I've been surprised at how nice some of the bare bottomed tanks can be. By adding corals, coralline algae, etc., they really do not have to look as naked as you would expect. But, I too remain a sand guy for now....I would like to run two tanks to see which I really prefer with experience, I can always add sand later
HoopsGuru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2005, 02:27 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice FINatic
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Sturbridge, MA
Posts: 595
Send a message via AIM to jaiden
although i'm a "sand guy" (and a relative newbie) lots of people on other forums talk about "Starboard" which apparently is some sort of stuff you can cut to fit the bottom that looks like sand, but acts like a bare bottom. may be an option for you. google it I guess.

54g all-glass bowfront corner planted FW

Red tiger lilly, Rotala Indica, Sagittaria Subulata, Micro Sword, Cardinal Plant
Fluorite Black sand and gravel
jaiden is offline   Reply With Quote


Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Tahitian Moon Black Sand/ Moonlight White Aquarium Sand angels004 Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 13 06-07-2005 08:44 PM
Sand sifting starfish staying out of the sand at night Scatcat Saltwater & Reef - Sick Fish or Coral 3 04-21-2005 09:41 AM
Barebottom substrate or 1/2 -1" sand non-deep sand bed? luckycat Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 1 04-12-2005 04:52 PM
Pleco's and Pool Filter Sand - Update - Added Sand Today! :) noteworthy Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 10 01-02-2005 12:40 PM
need live sand in Dallas Fort Worth, TX or Southdown Sand LionStorm Archive 3 07-30-2003 11:42 AM

» Photo Contest Winners

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:39 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.