Yes, sand is absolutely needed. With both the bamboo shark and the cat shark they "require sand as the substrate as the abdomen is easily scratched by a coarser substrate, which may lead to an infection" (liveaquaria.com).
A pool bottom wouldn't be suitable for them, because it would be hard.
Also you would require what any aquarium requires. Filters, a Skimmer, Live Rock, Sand. I would build a sump out of a Large tub. It wouldn't be cheap, cheap. Lighting would only need to be normal lighting as your not growing coral.
Fish Sticks, the best thing you can do with your dead fish.