It's for added stability.
Something I wish I had done personally...a little late now heh
It'll work without, but if you plan on doing some interesting rock work (like me) it can be difficult without a deepish sand bed to keep it in place.
Even then, critters that burrow could ruin the whole thing if they dig out the support for your rocks..
Luckily I also used the tank sides and front with some fairly flat pieces or my house o rocks might have come a tumblin down by now heh
Other methods are marine safe epoxy or zipties..
So far the place and wiggle to ensure no movement is working for me, but carries some measure of risk I guess..