Bottom material

cichlidmaster

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Hmm, how do they work?? I mean that the bottom is most important element in aquarium for good bacteria

I don't agree. While it is true that a portion of the biological colonies do inhabit the substrate, it is not the only element for colonizing bacteria beds. In my opiniopn a sponge filter can harbor more bacteria than a gravel bed. Also the bacteria will only colonize the first 1" or so of the substrate so anything deeper than this is basically useless for this purpose.

Now on to bare bottom tanks:

I believe Discus breeders have something in as much as their tanks are usually ALL bare bottom.

I myself keep my fry in bare bottom tanks...they grow like weeds and are heavily fed, thus producing much waste. In these tanks are simple sponge or box filters.

Sorry I just don't believe that the substrate is THE most important element for colonization of beneficial bacteria.
 
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mrV

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In my opiniopn a sponge filter can harbor more bacteria than a gravel bed

Nope.. Some cases there is no any filters in aquarium and still there is no nitrite - why?.. Well, think about it: i have about 30(? not sure) liters ( about 70kgs) sand on the bottom and the external filter volume is only 7 liters...

And what do you think what happens when you wash your filters, if there isn't any nitro-bacter in the aquarium? Amonnia and nitrite level start to grow.

The bottom is important element in aquarium. This is my opinion, yours is yours :)

But of course you need filtration too, without it water doesn't even circulate enough.
 

cichlidmaster

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While I don't disagree that substrate is beneficial to harbor bacteria, my disagreement is :it is the most important element"

While it is also true that when cleaning filter material one will lose some bacteria, but if it is done in used tank water this lose will be nominal.

Some cases there is no any filters in aquarium and still there is no nitrite

Your original post did not make mention as to no filtration in a tank. Given this fact I agree that substrate is important as it would be the only thing TO harbor bacteria.

"The bottom is important element in aquarium"

I agree it is an important element, but not THE most important.

As I said Discus breeders keep mainly bare bottom tanks and they are very successful at what they do.

I also agree on another point....we can agree to disagree. That is what sets this board above other boards whose opinions are the only ones that matter.

I have enjoyed our debate and look forward to future discussions
:D  :D  :D
 
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mrV

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Yep... Well, should i say "Bottom is one of the most important element..." then ;)

There is a one problem, if you do not have gravel. When you was your filter material the benefial bacteria die (if you use tap water where is chlorine, chlorine kills nitro-bacteria) or they are washed away. So there isn't enough bacteria to oxidize amonnia to nitrite and nitrite to nitrate.

This is the problem what im trying to say. If there were gravel in the aquarium, there would be benefial bacteria then enough.

But as you said: "Discus breeders keep mainly bare bottom tanks and they are very successful at what they do"

Do they keep fish several weeks on aquarium and wash filters? Or do they keep fish in that aquarium one/two weeks and then take them away and wash only after that the filter? Or, do they have couple/several filters in aquarium what they can wash different time? And what about water changes, do they change water everyday - discus are very demanding fish and need fresh water to be well?

Well, anyway... It depends on many other things too.
 

cichlidmaster

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I agree if filter material is washed in tap water it will kill off most if not all bacteria. I always recommend washing it in used tank water.

As for Discus...never kept them, but know a few professionals who use the same process I do. They rinse filter material in used tank water. This limits greatly the amount of bacteria lost.

In case anyone is curious...I do keep several of my tanks bare bottom and also some of my fry tanks, but the majority have a gravel substrate.

There is one other consideration for using a substrate that I think it important to mention...it stops any glare from coming up through the bottom on the tank thus making the fish way more comfortable and at ease. Less stress...less chance for disease outbreak. As we are all aware stress is a major contributer of lowering the fish's immune system thus making them susceptible to disease outbreak.

Of course one could always paint the bottom (outside) of the tank to prevent most glare from occurring.
 
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mrV

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They rinse filter material in used tank water. This limits greatly the amount of bacteria lost.

Yep, this is good method. But lazy as i am, i always washed them in tap water :) It doesn't matter because i have couple filters in aquarium so i can wash them separately. And in the biggest aquarium i wash internal filter every week (it's only for circulate water and collecting rubbish from water) when i change water, but external filter only couple times/year (It's the newest tank, so i can't say how many times/year exactly yet)...
 

Macquatic

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:) Like the chat between you 2 :laugh: All my tanks are painted black underneath to prevent glare.
I use a single Hi-Blow 40 to run my tanks with sponge,box and the odd u.g. filter and the media or sponge is rinsed in tank water. Large tanks have externals.
Benificial bacteria will cling to any surface but if it does not get oxygen it will die, that's why a u.g. works. To me gravel is only use is for growing plants in and without some sort of extra medium it's pretty poor at that!
BTW mrV your tank looks ace! ;) Mac.
 
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mrV

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Thanks Macquatic!

I like sand more, because:

1. corydoras love it. They look apathetic on gravel (and get infection if the gravel is sharp). They love to "plough" bottom with their nose :)
2. you don't have to vacuum it :)

Yes, plants start to grow faster in gravel, but they grow well in sand too and grow good roots... And you can but fertilizers in the sand near roots or fertilize whole bottom if you going to grow many plants.. I haven't fertilized whole bottom, just the area where plants are..
 

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