Sand vs rock vs bare bottom

fire_newt

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What's better to use in a CFBN tank rock, sand, or just straight bare bottom?
 

Azhael

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Either sand or bare bottom. For cleaning and feeding purposes, a bare bottom is the very best choice, but many people find it rather unaesthetic. If you use sand, make sure to have a layer no deeper than an inch, or else anaerobic areas may form.
 

xMIDNIGHTx

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There has been multiple threads on this. Search.

To make a long story short.

Bare bottom is the easy and safe but to many it is not cosmetically pleasing. (I like it).

Sand would be a good choice but keep the depth very swallow. Make sure it is just plain sand.

Rocks will work but it requires you to shift around to find hidden waste. Make sure they are big enough so newts cannot accidentally swallow them. Bloat is a huge problem.

Good luck.

Mitch
 

SludgeMunkey

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I am an avid supporter of the bare bottom tank. Bare does not have to be truly bare though. I am a huge supporter of photographic bottoms.

This is easy to do with the advent of digital cameras and cheap hi res printers. I take pictures of assorted surfaces (usually rock) and then print it out in full color on some photo paper I get cheap at Costco.

Then I merely cut and paste the photo to the exterior bottom of the tank, picture side facing to the interior. Other times I do multiple cut outs from multiple pictures and collage them.


The result is easy, instant custom tank bottoms with all the beauty and none of the troublesome issues with real substrates!

But, Like Midnight stated, there are a ton of threads on the subject and a wealth of data on Caudata Culture and our other sister sites. A bit of effort with the forum search function is definitely advisable here.
 

Molch

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the bottom line is, substrate bottoms make it easier for live food (e.g. blackworms) to hide and for uneaten food to go unnoticed and spoil the water. Bare bottom tanks make cleaning up much easier.

Alternatively, you can even have a planted tank with a soil-based substrate (search for "walstad method" or walstad tank), which is very pretty, but requires some attention to detil and careful water monitoring while the tank cycles (which is a good idea for any newly set up tank).

If you go bare bottom, you can still have live plants if you either use rootless plants or those that grow floating (e.g. hornwort) or plant your plants in shallow dishes which you set into the tank.
 

fire_newt

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Thank you so much! I was debating between sand and bare bottom. But by the sounds of it I think I'll go to bare bottom as it sounds cleaner and healthier for the newts. Thanks again!
 
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