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Old 01-24-2011, 06:19 PM   #1
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is gravel a necessity?

I have a 30 gallon freshwater tank with plastic plants a sunken ship and a couple of rocks but no gravel. Do I really need to add gravel or will I be fine without it?
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Old 01-24-2011, 06:30 PM   #2
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Depends on what you want to do with the tank if it's just decorative and you want it to be pretty gravel is a good idea and the gravel is home to alot of the necessary bacteria that's helps get a tank cycled. The only time I wouldn't add gravel is if you wanted to breed some fish. In that case no gravel will make your tank cleaner and easier to maintain
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:59 AM   #3
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Gravel isn't necessary unless you're running a UGF.
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Old 01-27-2011, 06:27 AM   #4
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gravel is for looks and isnt a must by any means.
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Old 01-27-2011, 01:45 PM   #5
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Just so long as you don't keep the likes of catfish! Plus you'll have to up your filtration but that's a good idea anyway.
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:46 PM   #6
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Thanks I now have two hob filters and a submersible filter too.
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Old 01-27-2011, 06:51 PM   #7
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let me understand this:

gravel, sand, tiny rocks, in the buttom in the aquarium.

is this what you are recommending that guy to avoid?
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:15 PM   #8
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To me gravel is a necessary. Not only is it appealing to the eyes bur this is where you will find a lot of important bacteria living. This bacteria is what breaks down excess fallen food and fish waste. I would imagine you will find cycling a home aquarium a very long process without one and will cause problems with adding new fish to the tank which will result in spikes of ammonia and high nitrate on your water. To be honest it just looks nicer to. What is your reason for not wanting any
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:54 PM   #9
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+1 for bacteria home!
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nereksnad View Post
let me understand this:

gravel, sand, tiny rocks, in the buttom in the aquarium.

is this what you are recommending that guy to avoid?
I didn't see anyone recommend avoiding it...

I would say whether or not gravel is a requirement depends upon what kind of filter you are running. I agree with Tropical Boy that beneficial bacteria does grow in substrate, but most tanks would have sufficient biological filtration within the filter media.

Many folks run quarantine, breeding, and hospital tanks without gravel without experiencing any adverse affects to bio filtration. It is common in saltwater FOWLR/Reef tanks to run bare bottom tanks... but I am not sure I would want a display tank without some kind of substrate.
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Old 01-28-2011, 12:04 PM   #11
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Substrate or lack of it will definitely not slow down your cycling process almost all your beneficial bacteria live in the filter not substrate there are some I'm not saying there aren't any, but the vast majority is in your filter
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Old 01-28-2011, 12:25 PM   #12
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Yes as Big-j says, the vast majority if bacteria will be in the location they can get the most microscopic foods, otherwise they wouldn't grow there. Because of the flow, this will be your filter. However, the rocks and ornaments you have will also establish colonies and because you will not have gravel it is extremely important that everything remains wet at all times to keep the bacteria alive. If you filter ever stops running and drains out for any reason you are probably more at risk of re-cycling your tank than someone with a substrate. This is what you are risking, but is gravel required? No, it's not.
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Old 01-29-2011, 05:49 AM   #13
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ill agree with the others about most of the bacteria is in the filter. there is a little in the water and some on the surface of the rest of the aquarium be it glass be it wood rock or substrate.
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