Bare bottom SPS advice please

ampemployee1

New member
Hi, I was hoping for a bit of feedback/advice from fellow reefers that have gone with BB for primarily SPS systems. I am in the process of planning my upgrade to a 120 gallon Oceanic Tech. For those reefers who have gone BB, would like your feedback about things you like/results/observations vs. traditional sand bed bottom.

Thanks, Ed
 

k4ndyk1ng

New member
Love the bb on my tank, 60g with 150x turnover, 1 dead spot in the whole tank, the sump when I get it running with have 8g volume and 1500gph down there. 1 place to cleanup no nitrates, nothing, love it
 

trueblackpercula

New member
I have done both BB bs sandbed debates are in abundance around here do a search. I for one love dsb as bb was way to much work.
 

reelredfish

New member
Why is BB to much work? I have my first one up and running now for a few months now and don't see where the extra work comes in?

new 180 BB
275 DSB
 

Wazzel

New member
Bare bottom tanks are not more work. I have run both and prefer bare bottom tanks. Lots of info out there. My biggest reason was after taking down my last tank that had sand and dealing with the crud that was in it. All sand beds will trap some amount to detritus. In a well set up bare bottom tank you can get lots of that out by various means.

Truth be told both work, just depends what approach is best for you.
 

Benar

New member
BB- I enjoyed having very low nutrients, even when feeding 3-4 times as much, without carbon dosing or anything! I disliked having to scrape the bottom, there was always a spot where detritus collected which always bothered me. Also friends/family coming over saying "shouldn't there be sand in there?"
SSB- I like having friends/family over not saying "shouldn't there be sand in there!" I dislike knowing how much crud will be in there, the fact I had to get a high tech low volume peristaltic pump to auto carbon dose, the dirt I can visually see, the grey cloud that puffs up when the sand gets stirred.
One thing I'll point out, I found alkalinity swings more severe running BB.
 

ormet

Just one more frag
I have ran both BB and sand bed tanks. I really like BB since sand beds get so dirty and you gets sand everywhere and cleaning the glass is a hassle when you have sand in the system. Cyano, dinos and other cruddy nuisance life forms are much harder to combat, or needs a lot more patience at least :p

My biggest problem with BB is that it is very easy to reach low nutrient levels that starve your corals. Colors can be good but growth is often limited. I think BB is best coupled with Biopellets or some Zeo method that feed your corals organic food.

Sand bed systems tend to keep more inorganic nutrients in the water column thus feeding your corals and creating good growth but often also resulting in darker colors.

Both husbandry techniques have their pros and cons and both can be successful or fail miserably ;)

For me the decision boils down to if i like to have sand bed dependent critters or not. and atm i do. Goby/Shrimp pair and sand bed fauna.

Just my thoughts and observations after 3½ years Acropora reefing.
 

trueblackpercula

New member
Why is BB to much work? I have my first one up and running now for a few months now and don't see where the extra work comes in?

new 180 BB
275 DSB

You will find out in time lol I will not debate this topic because the bottom line is keeping a reef the way you want is exactly that. barebottom was just not for me even with starboard on the bottom.
 

Nanighan

New member
I find BB easier to keep the tank clean. I have lots of flow and blow out the rocks all the time, so sand is out of the question. If you want to keep sps happy long term you need to keep detritus at bay. Sand has a history of trapping all kinds of unwanted stuff which can(or not for some) cause issues down the road. Just paint the bottom white and enjoy.
 

alexx2208

New member
BB, for me, helped with phosphate levels, and to me, atleast, looks more professional. I decided to use tile as my protector of the bottom glass, and even decided to put it on the overflow. I did make sure though that there was no filler in the tile, more expensive, but it is possible, at least in Canada.

a Really bad phone pic, but this is the tank empty.
 

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Wazzel

New member
BB- I enjoyed having very low nutrients, even when feeding 3-4 times as much, without carbon dosing or anything! I disliked having to scrape the bottom, there was always a spot where detritus collected which always bothered me. Also friends/family coming over saying "shouldn't there be sand in there?"
SSB- I like having friends/family over not saying "shouldn't there be sand in there!" I dislike knowing how much crud will be in there, the fact I had to get a high tech low volume peristaltic pump to auto carbon dose, the dirt I can visually see, the grey cloud that puffs up when the sand gets stirred.
One thing I'll point out, I found alkalinity swings more severe running BB.

Why would you scrape the bottom? I just leave the stuff that grows. Makes it look less sterile.
 

ampemployee1

New member
Thanks, appreciate all the inputs.

Thanks, appreciate all the inputs.

FWIW, I like the look of a shallow sand bed, and like what someone posted, both BB and SSB require maintenance.
 

Charlene

Certified Reef Fanatic
I've seen folks who have put a thin layer of cement down and sprinkled sand on it when wet to give the look of a sandbed w/o the maintenance. Just a thought.
 

Tweaked

FUP&A Member
BB is no work at all. I run 3 MP40's at 50% most of the time in a small tank, and once in a while, I just blast em on NT mode. Hour later all clean, every inch of the tank.

 

kevensquint

New member
I keep a DSB in my sump, combined with nothing settling in the display, the tank runs ULNS. No GFO or carbon or corals pale out. In fact I dose NO3 now just to have a little. Aside from that have been BB since 2002. Its a fine method if you can have sand somewhere in your system.
 
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