Question Substrate Or No Substrate?

LC1

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Just curious of how many goldfish keepers have bare bottom tanks versus having sand or gravel substrate? I've had both sand and bare bottom (currently) in smaller aquariums but I will be picking up a new MASSIVE 155 gallon for the aqua babies and like I said I can't decide if I want substrate or not..Thoughts?
 

Skavatar

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mine aren't exactly bare bottom, i use small river rocks, covering about 50-60% of the bottom. the goldfish can still forage around them, and vacuuming is very easy.

some ppl really like the course Black Diamond blasting sand.

this is my 75g
full.jpg
 

lonewolf 47

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For that tank size better avoid substrate. It will be a pain to vacuum it. I have a 92 gallon with goldfish and I am thinking of removing it. What filters will you use?

P. S. Forgot to mention that I have 15 to 20 anubias plants and that doesn't makes it any easier @Skavatar's idea with the pebbles is good perhaps you could use pumice stones for added surface area for beneficial bacteria.
 

TheeLadyG

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I have black diamond sand substrate and I love it, so do my ladies. I feel like having substrate is good for stimulating a goldfish's natural foraging behavior and helps keep them active. You don't have to have a LOT of substrate, I have .5-1" of it, you could even do thinner if you want. I feed messy foods sometimes (like broccoli!) and the sand gives the bits someplace to settle while my visually impaired fish goes poking around for goodies.

I found that if I leave "low spots" (I have 1 under the sponge filter, 1 behind a decor, and 1 under my canister filter intake) most of the junk accumulates there. Vacuuming is much simpler that way!
 
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LC1

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mine aren't exactly bare bottom, i use small river rocks, covering about 50-60% of the bottom. the goldfish can still forage around them, and vacuuming is very easy.

some ppl really like the course Black Diamond blasting sand.

this is my 75g
full.jpg
Oh I didn’t even think about larger pebbles like what you have! That might be the route I’ll go for this tank. Trying to keep it simple and easy to clean up after the piggies

For that tank size better avoid substrate. It will be a pain to vacuum it. I have a 92 gallon with goldfish and I am thinking of removing it. What filters will you use?

P. S. Forgot to mention that I have 15 to 20 anubias plants and that doesn't makes it any easier @Skavatar's idea with the pebbles is good perhaps you could use pumice stones for added surface area for beneficial bacteria.
That’s kind of what I was thinking too being a much larger footprint to vacuum and stir up sand during water changes. But I do like the pebbles that @Skavatar uses in his tank so I might end up doing something along those lines. I’ll have to check my lfs and check if they carry pumice.
A fluval fx6 canister is what I’ll be using along with a large sponge filter. When I bought the fluval I felt like it might be overkill but now I’m worried it’s not enough filtration.

I have black diamond sand substrate and I love it, so do my ladies. I feel like having substrate is good for stimulating a goldfish's natural foraging behavior and helps keep them active. You don't have to have a LOT of substrate, I have .5-1" of it, you could even do thinner if you want. I feed messy foods sometimes (like broccoli!) and the sand gives the bits someplace to settle while my visually impaired fish goes poking around for goodies.

I found that if I leave "low spots" (I have 1 under the sponge filter, 1 behind a decor, and 1 under my canister filter intake) most of the junk accumulates there. Vacuuming is much simpler that way!
I thought about just a small amount of sand to keep them busy but worried about scratching the low iron glass if I accidentally catch some sand with the algae scrapper. Am I just being paranoid about that?
My current bare bottom has green algae of some sort that grows like tall grass and they happily “mow” it for me. I feel like that’s their sand sifting substitution currently lol.
What canister filter do you use?
 

Thor555

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I don't use any substrate ... bare bottom completely. Goldfish are just hard, imo. Using gravel trapped too much "naste". If I had 'em in an aquarium I'd use sand ... but I have them in 73 gallon cattle watering trough and it's tough to vacuum sand in that kind of arrangement. So bare bottom it is. It seems to work well since I also use an autofeeder to feed the goldfish so that they don't get too much food at one time. They can find it quick on a bare bottom.
 

Redshark1

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When I have observed Goldfish going about their business they seem to spend all their time mouthing the substrate for food. Therefore I would never deprive them of it.

Also the substrate is a vast surface area for beneficial bacteria so to deny yourself of this resource is to approach fishkeeping with a ready-made handicap.
 

TheeLadyG

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Oh I didn’t even think about larger pebbles like what you have! That might be the route I’ll go for this tank. Trying to keep it simple and easy to clean up after the piggies


That’s kind of what I was thinking too being a much larger footprint to vacuum and stir up sand during water changes. But I do like the pebbles that @Skavatar uses in his tank so I might end up doing something along those lines. I’ll have to check my lfs and check if they carry pumice.
A fluval fx6 canister is what I’ll be using along with a large sponge filter. When I bought the fluval I felt like it might be overkill but now I’m worried it’s not enough filtration.


I thought about just a small amount of sand to keep them busy but worried about scratching the low iron glass if I accidentally catch some sand with the algae scrapper. Am I just being paranoid about that?
My current bare bottom has green algae of some sort that grows like tall grass and they happily “mow” it for me. I feel like that’s their sand sifting substitution currently lol.
What canister filter do you use?
I use a regular old Cascade 1000 but I set it up "pondguru" style with 2 baskets full of biomedia. I also have a sponge filter running that has served to carry and transfer beneficial bacteria and just help polish "bits" out of the water.

Your green algae sounds amazing, I'm jealous! I have dark red that grows in an sheet on the back of mine and my fish love it
 

Foxxway

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Goldfish are dirty fish. Their urine kills other fish. That said, I DO really like them, especially the orandas. In my 110gal pond, I used larger gravel sparsely scattered . They can have a few bare spots but have most of the floor to grub around. They do that a lot bc they ALWAYS seem to be hungry. I just wish I could get them to breed already. None of them have yet.
 
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