Substrate, or no substrate?

islandguy11

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Sep 17, 2017
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Thailand
I prefer bare bottom for the main reasons others have stated -- but for sure they still take effort: nothing looks worse than a bare bare bottom with waste or left over fish food swirling around the bottom of the tank.

So to keep your tank looking nice you have to remove it, either automatically with filtration (and then be prepared to change/clean your filter floss/foam often) or take the time to siphon out the waste on a daily basis (which I do religiously because a) I'm borderline OCD about tank cleanliness and b) I don't have a sump like pacu mom or esoxluciusesoxlucius).

I do have a tile bottom on my 375, and certainly looks better than bare glass, but as Rocksor mentions it's inevitable you'll get some waste/detritus build up in cracks, corners etc. -- I can really only recommend tiles for lightly stocked tanks (I only have 2 younger fish in that 375 so not a big deal, nitrates stay pretty low).
 

Kashif314

Jack Dempsey
MFK Member
Aug 21, 2019
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Bare bottom tank is easy to maintain but it doesn't look beautiful. I mean it does look good with the rocks and woods but not as good as with substrate in bottom. Usually discus keepers keep a bare bottom tank but I never like seeing a discus in a bare bottom tank. I would prefer looking at a school of discus swimming on top of some elegant substrate. Its a matter of choice (unless you have a fish that loves bare bottom tanks). In my opinion substrate is the way to go.
 
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johnnymax

Candiru
Original poster
MFK Member
Jun 7, 2019
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Southeast, Texas
Has anyone ever tried to grout the bottom with pebbles?

grout1.jpeg

grout2.jpeg

grout3.jpeg

grout4.jpeg

Just a thought. Here is a link to the source of the pictures.

Here is an example of some stone tiles sold at Lowes. They may look good on the back.

Wall.jpg

It may work better for a home built plywood tank.
 
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