Is a bare bottom definately the best?

Pretty much explains itself really. If you have questions about tank set-ups, tank furniture, (caves etc) chuck them in here!

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Bare bottom or covered?

Bare bottom
10
40%
coarse sand bottom
3
12%
slate bottom
1
4%
v.fine sand bottom
11
44%
 
Total votes: 25

rich1988oxford
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Is a bare bottom definately the best?

Post by rich1988oxford »

I currently have my four zebs in a 2ft tank with medium/fine black gravel anout 1inch thick. My new three tank system should be arriving in about two weeks, and the main question is whether to have a bare bottom to the tanks. I have read about all the pros of having bare bottoms, easy cleaning, less damage to fish undersides, less damage to fry that get kicked out, food not filtering into the gravel etc etc... But i was just worried about the light being reflected back up off the bottom of the tank and thus stressing the zebs. Should this be a worry or would still say that bare bottoms are the way to go. Another idea i had was to silicone some of that foam background imatation slate to the bottom. If not i was going to put some slighly coarser silica sand in.
Thanks for any comments
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Post by smithrc »

I can only go on personal experience...

Light coloured sand = shy zebs...
Dark sand = happier zebs :)
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rich1988oxford
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Post by rich1988oxford »

Cheers for the comment smithrc :D The tank there in at the moment has dark coarse sand and they seem to be rather inactive. They dont yet have any caves, just loads of bogwood and plants. I am waiting for the silicone to dry overnight so they should have caves as early as tomororow :D . When they get moved to there new three foot i like the idea of a real slate bottom :P . i Was going to silicone it to the base which should offer a nice dark, easy to feed on bottom. Is this a good idea or are there any downsides i should be aware of? :?
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Post by rich1988oxford »

No one seems to be voting for a slate bottom. :(

Is there any reason for this?????

Or is bare bottoms and sand just a better idea??? :?
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Post by eklikewhoa »

I read an article about tropheus fry raised in bare bottom tanks being dumber than the ones raised with a substrate.

I personally prefer thin layer of fine sand, glass bottoms would be easy to clean and maintain but it does not look good IMO. The sand is really easy to clean since everything sits on the top ready to be siphoned. With slate I think it would be a bad idea cause the cracks and crevices would be crap traps and be somewhat hard to clean underneath the slate pieces with caves and such on top.
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Post by McEve »

I don't think a lot of people have tried slate bottom yet... Mine is siliconed to the bottom, no craptrap there ;)
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Post by crazie.eddie »

I only have 2 zebs, which are still juveniles. One is about 1.5", the other about 2". Here's my experience with them...

1. I originally had them in a 10 (US) gallon BB tank with slate caves. The bottoms and backs were painted black. They were the only inhabitants in the tank. The tank was located on the bottom half of the tank stand. The zebs rarely came out, even during feeding.

2. I moved them into 20 (US) gallon long tank, with black sand. The sand is larger than normal sand and I was told that it's the size of pool filter sand. It's larger size does not get too effected by water current nor will it get sucked up by the filter. I also added about 20 RCS (Red Cherry Shrimp), Amano shrimp, 5 otocinclus catfish, and a juvenile L-183 Starlight Brisstlenose pleco. The tank is also located on the top of the stand. I do noticed that the zebs appear to be more active now in the tank. They still hang around mostly in their caves, but when they are curious, they come out of the cave openings, ready to swim back inside in case of danger.

In the first scenario, with the BB tank. The tank does make it easy for me to clean up their waste and uneaten food. I just hardly see them. Even if I do spot them outside their cave, once I approach the tank, they will quickly go inside their cave. Since the tank is on the bottom of the stand, the zebs may have been afraid seeing these huge legs approach the tank as I approach it, and so hide in fear.

In the second scenario with the black sand, the zebs do come out often. I can also slowly approach the tank and sometimes go quickly inside when I am next to the tank. A few times, I'm able to sit next to the tank and watch them outside of their caves. It maybe that there are more activity in the tank with the shrimps and otos that the zebras feel more comfortable coming out. Or it also could be the placement of the tank, since it's higher now. They might see my head and just think it's a large funny looking fish, like a discus.

I like the appearance of the black, sandy bottom. It makes the tank look more natural.
Last edited by crazie.eddie on Wed Jan 31, 2007 3:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Plastic Mac »

Where ever possible I would have a tank with a substrate. I prefer it and I know the fish do too.
However when it comes to a zebra fry tank, I've gone BB and survival rates back up that choice.

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Post by TwoTankAmin »

Zeb eyes are on top of their heads, the dont really see the tank bottom. I have 3 tanks with zebs- two are growout and a breeder tank. The breeder tank is bb as is one growout, the second growout has small size gravel. I actually see fry out more in the bb than the gravelled tank.

I have found these fish are very sensitive to motion. When I see fish out from a distance and want to look closer, I usually crawl slowly on the floor to the tank.
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Post by McEve »

TwoTankAmin wrote:When I see fish out from a distance and want to look closer, I usually crawl slowly on the floor to the tank.
:lol: :lol: I can picture you doing that in my mind :lol: What we do for these fish :roll:

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Post by rich1988oxford »

Thanks for the input guys, I am actually awaiting the arrival of my new three tank system so i suppose i can try three different bottoms. In the main three foot tank i think i am going to have two feet of slate going into a foot of black sand. The sand should help fill gaps in the slate so there should be no danger there. I will cut the last peice of slate at an angle to create a sort of beach effect with the sand. What do you guys reckon to that idea?
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