04-23-2013, 08:54 AM
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As far as bare bottom is concerned, I suppose it depends on the type of fish. Bottom dwelling fish find security in being on the bottom - it seems to me that such fish would not like to see all kinds of space below them. Of course many people do it without "incident", but that's my feeling on the matter. My only bare bottom quarantine/hospital tank is on the floor, so that is not an issue. The rest have substrate and decor. With sand, you can still see what's coming out of the fish. Decor is important in making a fish feel safe, which minimizes stress, which in turn aids in recovery.
To add to what andrew said about heating - you will also want to adjust the temperature based on WHAT you are treating, not just the kind of fish you are treating. Some illnesses are cured by heat, while others thrive in it. For instance, if you were treating for ich, you would raise the temp to 86+, though if you were treating for columnaris, you would keep the temp as low as possible.