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Old 08-22-2010, 05:26 PM   #1 
puppyrjjkm
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Bare Bottom or substrate?

After looking at different tank styles, I see some of us using gravel or another type of substrate or leaving a tank bare bottom. I was wondering what everyone uses, and why. What are the pros/cons of both? I normally always use gravel but may try out a bare-bottom soon.
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Old 08-22-2010, 05:58 PM   #2 
LMac54
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Gravel is good for multiple reasons. It can hold plants and other decor in place. Any kind of substrate is also good for holding bacteria, so a tank with substrate is easier/faster to cycle.

The only reason I see to use bare-bottom is for quarantine tanks or very small tanks for easy cleaning.
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Old 08-22-2010, 06:23 PM   #3 
naturegirl243
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I have never tried a bare bottom, but have three tanks two have marbles that I only buy at petstores cause the cheap ones you can buy anywere are dangerous the paint comes off and they break(I know cause it used to happen when I had them).In my thrid tank I have gravel which holds plants and stuff better and I like it but both are good just be safe with marbles cause they do break and can be sharp and dangerous for your betta.Hope that helps.
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Old 08-22-2010, 06:30 PM   #4 
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Talking I use all

I have used an organic soil substrate 2.5 inches, and natural sand cap 1 inch liberally and love it when using live plants!

YOu cant go wrong with using lots of soil, as it will be great from room for roots to grow and expand, therefor being one of the main factor and the top half of the plant to grow and mature with great color and foliage!

I also use gravel in my 75 gallon UGF system and so far so good. I will be adding live plants in raised planting beds, planting sac's and floating plants so I will be happy with that hopefully as well!

I have only used bar bottom for breeding which I find messy and unappealing...to both myself and my bettas, I would choose a soil substrate with sand cap for breeding now, as the sand seems to be easy enough for bettas to pick up eggs from in a natural setting.

Overall I enjoy taking the time and effor in creating a think soil bed base wih a sand cap. Love the way it looks, and the way the plants will grow!
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:34 PM   #5 
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Thanks for the tips guys, I think I'll be sticking to the gravel :)
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:31 PM   #6 
doggyhog
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I have some of each. A few bare bottom tanks and a few with gravel. IMO it depends if the tank is cycled or not. Cleaning gravel in a cycled tank is a breeze, just vacuum it up! But in an un-cycled tank, talk about a pain in the neck! I still have some non cycled tanks with gravel though. LOL
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:06 PM   #7 
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I use gravel in my larger tanks, I would say anything 5 gallons or larger. My two 10's have gravel. My three 2.5's I leave bare bottom. Cleaning those suckers are a breeze. Dump, rinse, and fill.
I had gravel in them a long time ago and it wasn't so bad, but it did take longer. I think aquariums with substrate look a lot better too.
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:05 PM   #8 
betta99
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gravel is the best. it makes the tank look homier, prettier, and more realistic for both the fish and you
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:47 PM   #9 
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thanks guys. honestly none of my tanks are cycled, i've just never had a problem with them not being cycled, so i've never done any different... but am going to stick with gravel. thanks for the advice!
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Old 03-18-2011, 03:39 PM   #10 
fish4ever
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i would definitly recomend gravel because it is good for live plants and decorations. and if you really want to get into aquascapeing get the little polished pebbles gravel its about 15 dollars for a 25 pound bag and the rule basicly is a pound to a pound and a half of gravel per gallon
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