Bare Bottom Reef Tank

Peninsula Tank Build – Going Bare Bottom

This is Part #10 in a series of blog posts about my 225 gallon peninsula tank build.

I have never had a bare bottom reef tank but that is going to change with this new aquarium. Why, well, strong flow is very important for SPS since it helps to deliver nutrients and with a peninsula tank I think it will be a real challenge to keep sand in place.

The plan at this point is to have all of my re-circulating pumps on the end of the tank so those pumps will be cranked up, a lot, to deliver enough flow across the six foot long tank.

ecotech mp40

Why I Resisted Bare Bottom

In the past I have resisted a bare bottom since I like the look of sand in a reef tank. However, nearly all of my sand beds in the past have developed bare spots due to high flow in the tanks and it has been a pain to keep refreshing those spots.

Another reason I favor sand beds is due to my affection for wrasses. Most wrasses require sand, including Leopard Wrasses, my favorite type of wrasse.

Here is a third reason why I have favored sand beds in the past: they provide another home for bacteria and act as an additional biological filter for the tank. This is a good thing since the bacteria do the heavy lifting when it comes to removing and recycling excess nutrients, as they absorb ammonia and phosphates found in fish and invertebrate waste.

Rationale For Going Bare Bottom

However, I am starting this tank with very porous live rock, a great home for bacteria, and I should be able to easily spot and remove detritus without any sand around.

bare bottom reef tank

I did create some space underneath the aquascape to make it harder for detritus to settle on the bottom of the reef. With strong flow it should be easier to elevate most of the detritus into the water column and export it via mechanical filtration. I also plan to siphon any additional detritus on the bottom during water changes.

bare bottom reef tank

Anyway, I am going to give bare bottom a go. Hey, I can always add sand if I end up not digging the bare bottom look.

Additional Resources

If you would like some help with a new tank build, including help designing a custom aquarium, or help re-configuring your current setup then you can visit this page for more information. And if you are looking to add some equipment, I do sell GHL, Pax Bellum, Reef Octopus Calcium and Kalk Reactors and Royal Exclusiv products, including Dreamboxes, which is the equipment I use and recommend. I also sell Reef Brite metal halide and LED fixtures as well as Maxspect & IceCap Gyres.

As for additional insights and information, please explore my many other reef tank and SPS related articles as well as my YouTube channel. For an even deeper dive into reef tank care you can check out my Reef Keeping Master Class. This online course is an immersive and one of a kind educational tool designed to help reef aquarium hobbyists build and maintain a beautiful SPS reef tank. The course is a series of video presentations with some supplemental video from my YouTube channel. There are also quizzes to help students retain and understand the information presented in the course.

Need some frags…..I can help with that as well 🙂 Please visit my SPS Frag store to see what is available.

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