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Old 09-22-2013, 11:17 PM   #1 
blufish425
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Bare bottom tanks?

So long story short, in an almost month long battle to eradicate a fluke problem(they lay eggs, nasty little buggers), I removed all substrate from my tank. I had treated the fish in a QT tank, cleaned his regular tank really well, thought I was rid of the problem, put him back in the regular tank, and then the symptoms were back a couple days later, so I tossed the substrate. Anyways, because of all that my 5 gallon is currently bare bottom, and for some reason I'm kind of liking it, and am considering going this route with the 10 gallon also, here's why..

#1 Peace of mind. With bare bottom there is no nooks and crannies for unwanted parasites/bacteria to linger in. I am able to easily cup my fish, and clean everything super well. I feel that keeping it bare bottom could help prevent another incident like this in the future.

#2 I'm kind of digging the look of it. It looks bigger, and I clean my tanks often enough that I don't think they will look dirty.

Note: My tanks aren't cycled, nor am I going to cycle them.


I'm looking for suggestions, pros/cons, photos, etc regarding bare bottom tanks.

Thanks!
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:50 PM   #2 
10asartin
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There isn't any reason why you couldn't do a bare bottom tank, unless it stresses your fish (which is the case with some). It is super easy to clean and if you like the look of it then why not go for it? Personally, I like the look of a substrate in a tank, specifically sand. I feel it adds a more natural look, plus I have all planted tanks so they need a substrate to grow in.
The only tanks I do not have substrate in are my hospital tanks because it makes it easier to clean and monitor poop.

However, I will ask out of curiosity, why are you not going to cycle your tanks?
There are so many benefits to doing so I am not sure why you wouldn't want to.
Also, I am not sure that it is even possible to not cycle a tank (unless it is small) it is a natural process that kind of just works itself out. You would probably have to do a lot of big water changes and frequent cleaning in order to prevent a cycle from establishing itself.
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:51 PM   #3 
bambijarvis
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Bare bottom is a lot easier for a non-cycled tank.
a couple fake plants or other hiding spots will probably be welcome for the betta though.
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Old 09-23-2013, 12:20 AM   #4 
blufish425
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10asartin View Post
There isn't any reason why you couldn't do a bare bottom tank, unless it stresses your fish (which is the case with some). It is super easy to clean and if you like the look of it then why not go for it? Personally, I like the look of a substrate in a tank, specifically sand. I feel it adds a more natural look, plus I have all planted tanks so they need a substrate to grow in.
The only tanks I do not have substrate in are my hospital tanks because it makes it easier to clean and monitor poop.

However, I will ask out of curiosity, why are you not going to cycle your tanks?
There are so many benefits to doing so I am not sure why you wouldn't want to.
Also, I am not sure that it is even possible to not cycle a tank (unless it is small) it is a natural process that kind of just works itself out. You would probably have to do a lot of big water changes and frequent cleaning in order to prevent a cycle from establishing itself.

I had originally planned on having a planted, cycled tank, but I've had so many illness issues between my 5 fish that it's been impossible to cycle. Constant 100% changes, scrubbing tanks down, sanitizing everything. Tried live plants, had to take them out to add AQ salt for multiple issues, tried to keep them in water but all the plants died. $40 down the drain. Until this week I had 4 QT tanks going, 4 daily water changes, separate salt baths, medications, etc. Gill flukes are the worst. I'm a fairly new fish owner, and at this point I just want healthy fish. I don't want to be monitoring water parameters every day while I try to establish a cycle with the fish in the tank. If it happens on its own then that's fine, but for now I just need the simplest setup possible.

Last edited by blufish425; 09-23-2013 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:35 AM   #5 
veggiegirl
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Hey there,

I own 22 bettas and they are all in bare-bottomed tanks. My reason for this is because I do not have much spare time and it makes cleaning much quicker. Also I like to be able to actually SEE that my tanks are clean. I use silk plant to provide interest and security for my fish. I have never cycled a betta tank either and I have never had a problem with ammonia spikes because I do very regular water changes. Tanks will naturally cycle after a while as the good bacteria builds up. Its all about finding the right balance between fish and water volume. For me it is one betta per 10 litres.

I included a photo of my main set-up.
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:54 AM   #6 
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wow veggiegirl, what a unique setup! I have found some pictures of absolutely beautiful bare bottom tanks. I think I'm going to go for it, try it for awhile at least and just save my substrate. I love redecorating anyways ;)
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:44 AM   #7 
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My fish live in tanks with bare bottoms. Personally I think having gravel or sand makes cleaning a lot more difficult. My bettas have a plastic plant and a cave and they love it. :)
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Old 09-23-2013, 06:03 AM   #8 
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All 5 of my tanks have no substrate. They are also all cycled. I wouldn't have it any other way. Say you do a water change every third day: just before that change, the ammonia is higher than it would be if your tank were cycled. Is it too much? That's up to you. It's too much for me. As long as you don't overclean your tanks, (by sterilizing the walls, decor and filter media) your tank will eventually cycle. Your fish will then reap the benefits of a cycled tank.

There are a variety of live plants that don't need substrate: Anubias, Java fern can tie-down or float. Thee are many floating plants that eat ammonia voraciously and provide topcover, resting spots and security for your fish.

Last edited by Hallyx; 09-23-2013 at 06:06 AM.
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:15 AM   #9 
rickey
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I'm for the most part bare bottom

R
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:09 AM   #10 
Hallyx
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Yes! And I wish You'd do something about it! You're much to old to go around like that.

Reminds me of the thread I started here some two (very) odd years ago about "Bare-bottom cycling." Now, try to get that image out of your head. Heh-heh-heee
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