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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've also got a question about my tank's substrate...

/bad joke

Anyhow... In my divided 10 gal, 1 betta on each half, I've got pea gravel. It's only about 1-1.5 rocks thick, but it traps surprising a lot of gunk.

This is the tank where both bettas have swim bladder issues... Otherwise totally normal, just can't swim quite right.

I really like the look of the pea gravel, but I've been contemplating removing the gravel all together, and see if having much better cleaned water helps.

I do have a gravel cleaner, but I find I just can't suck up all the gunk without draining most of the water.

Could a bare bottom help? Would removing the gravel do any harm (presuming I don't clean the filter for a while after removing the gravel)?
 

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you could go sand instead of bare bottom. because it acts essentially as a solid surface, the mulm doesn't get trapped the way it does with porous substrates. easy to siphon out the mulm without losing sand or going through a lot of water.
I use sand in all of my tanks (16) and keeping a handle on debris is easy. time consuming with so many, but easy enough. also, half of those are planted with rooted plants . keeping a planted tank with sand isn't difficult.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, next to the gravel, sand would be my second choice. I've got sand in my other two tanks, and it's easy enough to clean, but I just don't have the colour of sand I'd like right now...

Was thinking of trying bare bottom to get nice and clean.
 

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With going bare, you've got to keep the bottom clean, wiping down when doing a water change, or the betta's fins will curl if not religious with wiping. Other than that, bb is the way to go for cleanliness.
 

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I want to join the discussion as I recently asked gravel vs sand. I just did a new 20 g tank and the day I got it a member was selling gravel with big rocks and I got it. I looks awesome with the plants and everything, but last few days I am thinking exactly the same, how I will be able to clean that? Maybe an undergravel filter was the way to go with this? I have bladder and malaisian trumpet snail + shrimps and I really hope they will do their job well :)

traco, that is interesting about betta's fins getting curly if the bottom isn't so clean, I didn't know that. What is the reason?
My betta tank has a fine gravel and cleaning is difficult. Especially given it is a relatively heavy planted one.

I will follow the discussion, thanks BullDog!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Not much in the way of plants in this tank. Just a clump of java moss in each half. Since the gravel is so thin, I can't really put plants in there now anyhow.

Might look at the tile though...

To those with slate/tile - Do you ever clean under the tile? I imagine since you can't get it a perfect fit, you'd still get gunk under there...
 

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To those with slate/tile - Do you ever clean under the tile? I imagine since you can't get it a perfect fit, you'd still get gunk under there...
I siliconed the tile down so there are no gaps underneath. Now I wish I had put tile on the back wall, too.
 

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Never thought to put down tiles on the bottom instead of using substrate but it seems like a good idea. Lol, Bulldog, I thought you were "going commando" on us from your thread title.:)
 

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To those with slate/tile - Do you ever clean under the tile? I imagine since you can't get it a perfect fit, you'd still get gunk under there...
You see, I have this long-suffering brother with a wicked toy box...um, workshop. The tiles were cut to size:)

I never lifted them to clean, but when I tore down the tank the glass underneath was clean.
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The tile was used in part to provide traction for the big fan shrimp, and was laid glossy side down.
 

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Ceramic tiles (i use 12"X12") are great and home depot or rona offer a huge variety of different colors and textures. Ive used them for years with no problems, best to silicon in between the gaps before adding water to prevent detritus from forming under them, but that said I had a 180 g that I only cleaned under the tiles once a year. All you need is a tile cutter to make them fit snug!
 
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