Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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PaperclipGirl 03-08-2010 01:30 PM

Questions about going Barebottom
I have a 20g long tank that is barebottom that is housing my goldfish temporarily until the pond is up and running... I love how easy to clean it is... so I have to ask

Does anyone else do this? What about a larger tank with tropical fish (i.e. 55 gal)?

I had just a thought about doing a barebottom tank with potted plants/driftwood and some other decorations- am I crazy or is this doable?

bearwithfish 03-08-2010 01:42 PM

i have a few friends who run bare tanks and love them.. it is a matter of preference and how you want it to look.

beetlebz 03-08-2010 05:14 PM

I for one always recommend going bare bottom. are we still talking about fish tanks? :P jk jk

I have a barebottom 10g that i raise swords in, i like it personally, easy to clean, easy to find the fry when they pop, i just have to look at the poo on the bottom until i clean it :)

iamntbatman 03-09-2010 01:20 AM

I don't really like the way it looks at all so I'd only do this if absolutely needed (like maybe for raising discus fry or something).

I also think the weird reflective properties of the tank's floor would stress your fish out. I think they'd prefer having a substrate.

PaperclipGirl 03-09-2010 11:00 PM

Hmm... It seems like a lot of saltwater tanks do this - as that is all I can find pictures of on the net...

I might get in trouble, but here's a picture of a tank set up I want to do eventually -

MoneyMitch 03-09-2010 11:37 PM

in my exp i havent seen any need for a bare bottom unless people got rays or a hospital tank but pref is up to you not good or bad either way

PaperclipGirl 03-16-2010 10:57 PM

Okay - trying to set up the tank like the picture above - not working!!!

The soil I used in the pots got into the tank water and particles floated up top even when topped with gravel and stones - it took me a few hours to clean that mess up (it was all presoaked and all that and from what I have researched a pretty normal reaction - though should I try this again, I will soak them in a bucket first and then put them in the tank so the "floaties" get out in the bucket water first).

Then the plants I bought - ugh - I realized after some research that while labeled "aquarium" plant, did not mean that it was actually supposed to go in an aquarium (gotta love big market chain pet stores). I didn't want to spend a fortune on the online place, but as the saying goes "you get what you pay for' so now I have to wait until I can order some plants online and hopefully something that can go with my fish and NOT require a CO2 infuser.

However, my parents were over the other day and commented that it looked "way too sterile" - my parents are in the mid-70s so they don't really mince their words anymore.

I really really considering only keeping 3 to 4 fan tail goldfish in the 55g, so maybe plants aren't a great idea anyway, and I know that goldfish like to "chew" on gravel and whilte they usually spit it out they can potentially choke on it, so some people recommend a bare bottom for goldfish - but again I'm not sure that will be an issue until the fish are fully grown.

So I guess tropicals are out for me unless you count my betta and 4 ottos crowded into the 14g tank.

aunt kymmie 03-16-2010 11:04 PM

I love that picture, paperclipgirl. I want to do something similar to my hospital tank. I have tons of floating plants for my fish who is in there now but I want to spruce it up for her a bit. I bought three tiny clay pots today, some sterile soil, and tomorrow I'm going to attempt the same thing you did. :)

PaperclipGirl 03-16-2010 11:25 PM

Let me know when you do it and get me pictures..

I think I might just be too impatient!!! One thing I think you need in fish keeping is a lot of patience! Who knows, maybe my daughters OT really recommended this for me and not her... LOL!!!

PaperclipGirl 03-16-2010 11:47 PM


Here is what 1077 said on my other post (looks like I blanked out the part they marked at MOST IMPORTANT:

Have used potted plants numerous times with various cichlids that like to dig as well as Discus.
Plant's were Amazon sword,Crypt,Hygro.pond lillys,and tiger lotus.
Unglazed terra cotta pots work well. Place a layer of fine gravel about 1/2 inch deep in the bottom of the pot to keep soil from leaching out of the hole. Then take some plain garden soil or potting soil, (no additives) and wet it until the soil has consistency of playdough. place this in the pot until pot is nearly 3/4 full. The take your finger and push a hole down in the wet soil to insert the plant. Then fill the pot the rest of the way with fine gravel. Gently pull the base of the plant up just a tad so that roots aren't packed too tightly and shoulder of plant is just above the gravel (just a little). Then the next step is VERY important,, Take the potted plant and set it in a bucket of aquarium water or dechlorinated water for approx thirty, to fourty five minutes to allow air pockets or bubbles to burp out into the bucket ,otherwise they might do this in the aquarium(big mess, trust me).
Then ,place the plant under adequate light and that's it. I have used organic miracle grow portting soil combined with flourite or just plain potting soil and plants all did well. Maybe every six months to a year ,or longer,, simply replace the potting soil with new mixture after it has given up it's nutrients.
Worked quite well as mentioned in cichlid tanks and moving them around was not a problem. Hope this helps.

Going to try again then! Thanks 1077 where ever you are!

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