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Helen

Sad But True :( Bare Bottom Tanks Deprive Goldfish from Foraging :(

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so I thought I would document by video exactly when this happens and vocally elaborate as to why.. please respond with the exact moment you notice these fish cease to forage.

:)

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Wonder if my little plants in my fish tank well ever look like that.

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I'd say that at around thirty seconds in, they stop foraging at the bottom of the tank but they seem to continue with the anubias roots and then revisit the bottom just to make sure. They're like little crack heads searching for that rock they just know they dropped. LOL

Off topic, did you "construct the anubias-logs yourself?

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How unfortunate... and I planned on switching back to barebottom! :(

Those plants look wonderful, Helen.

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I completely agree :) I honestly see no difference in activity level or behavior with substrate as compared to when I had a bare bottom tank. It's all about having plants and/or small stones for them to forage around in in a bare bottom tank. I certainly wouldn't promote a completely empty bare bottom tank (that would probably be pretty un-stimulating for the fish), but a bare bottom tank can absolutely meet the needs of our foraging goldfish friends. Barebottom vs. substrate all comes down to preference of the owner. I am sure there are pros and cons of each ;)

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Trick question right? :teehee They never stopped foraging in my opinion. Between the plants and even the bare bottom they spent the whole time looking for more food. Such little cuties!

Edited by CindiL

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It doesn't stop them from foraging but it limits it. My goldfish are so much happier sifting through the gravel , plants etc

. Just my :twocents

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I've had both, off and on, and I feel like my fish do JUST fine without substrate. They prefer their bottoms to be bare, just like their mother. :lol2

Your tank is always stunning, Helen.

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This is something I've been saying since I switched from barebottom a few years back. Just the difference in their ability to forage through a substrate as they would so naturally provides a lot more mental stimulation.

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Wonder if my little plants in my fish tank well ever look like that.

why should they not? you have the perfect live fertilizing producing bombs for that :P

I'd say that at around thirty seconds in, they stop foraging at the bottom of the tank but they seem to continue with the anubias roots and then revisit the bottom just to make sure. They're like little crack heads searching for that rock they just know they dropped. LOL

Off topic, did you "construct the anubias-logs yourself?

rubbish! they were just taking a derpy breather! :rofl but I love that you followed directive :booty

I fused an anubias to one of them, yes, if that's what you mean. one of the large anubias, the one with the thinner, longer & pointer leaves.

How unfortunate... and I planned on switching back to barebottom! :(

Those plants look wonderful, Helen.

aww, you should! :SmackBottom:

I completely agree :) I honestly see no difference in activity level or behavior with substrate as compared to when I had a bare bottom tank. It's all about having plants and/or small stones for them to forage around in in a bare bottom tank. I certainly wouldn't promote a completely empty bare bottom tank (that would probably be pretty un-stimulating for the fish), but a bare bottom tank can absolutely meet the needs of our foraging goldfish friends. Barebottom vs. substrate all comes down to preference of the owner. I am sure there are pros and cons of each ;)

very good insight hun., I feel there is no disadvantage at all. and after much discussion on the forum about this, well, I just wanted to show exactly how my fish do not lack this natural activity with my tanks being bare bottom. and I agree, totally bare is a no go.

Trick question right? :teehee They never stopped foraging in my opinion. Between the plants and even the bare bottom they spent the whole time looking for more food. Such little cuties!

:rofl bingo!

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It doesn't stop them from foraging but it limits it. My goldfish are so much happier sifting through the gravel , plants etc

. Just my :twocents

I appreciate that answer :) , would you mind elaborating on what 'limits'? it's been 4 hours since my vid & they're still foraging

I've had both, off and on, and I feel like my fish do JUST fine without substrate. They prefer their bottoms to be bare, just like their mother. :lol2

Your tank is always stunning, Helen.

ooh, a spankworthy reply :o

:rofl :rofl

This is something I've been saying since I switched from barebottom a few years back. Just the difference in their ability to forage through a substrate as they would so naturally provides a lot more mental stimulation.

yes, something that is forage worthy, I agree. I just saw a youtube vid from a guy in the US with absolutely nothing in is tank but filter, water and goldfish. this is far from natural and I don't think it's appropriate. keeping the tank bare bottom is more for my understanding that less can go wrong. and I compensate by providing something natural that won't harm them so that they can continue their natural ways without argument :) I still consider my tanks bare bottom, even with the plants in there. I had gravel in my tank years ago. from the gravel to now, I don't see any difference in my fish. also, I am not against those who have some substrate in their tanks, I just grew slightly tired reading replies that insinuated my fish were at a disadvantage with no substrate. which prompted me to post this vid. clearly, they are at no disadvantage :)

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I think as long as they are being provided mental stimulation(which they clearly are) that is the key. I agree with you that completely bare tanks just don't do much for the fish. Goldfish are very active and curious animals and seem to enjoy interacting with their environment. im certainly not saying barebottom is horrible, but when keeping the bottom bare I think people need to ensure they provide other things for the fish to do.

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It doesn't stop them from foraging but it limits it. My goldfish are so much happier sifting through the gravel , plants etc

. Just my :twocents

I appreciate that answer :) , would you mind elaborating on what 'limits'? it's been 4 hours since my vid & they're still foraging

I just mean that when i had my fish in qt in a barebottom tank with a few plants they ''foraged'' around for a while after lunch but then got bored whereas with gravel/sand/bottom covered they always have lots of places to forage in the whole tank including plants and ornaments. I just believe that our responsibility as fish owners is to try and make there environment as natural as possible. I have single tailed variety's though so maybe that leads me to that.

I am in no way though saying that barebottom tanks can't work while being mentally stimulating to fish as well like in your tank they have got plants and plant roots. But not every case of barebottom tanks include natural things for the fish to explore.

I hope that made sense ..

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I keep a few rocks here and there in my tank so they can mess with but its probably about two handefuls or so.

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The only environmental/physical difference I can think of would be the actual mechanics of taking mouthfuls of substrate, trying to find food in it, and then spitting it back out. I'm always amazed they can find that one grain of food in all that gravel/sand but they can tell. If I filled my mouth with all of that, I'd have to spit it all back out! :lol3 and certainly wouldn't be able to pick out the one grain of food in it.

I have no idea if this provides something more worthwhile or not. I don't believe its more mentally stimulating because there are other things you can put in a tank like plants etc but I guess the question is whether that provides them with something they would otherwise be lacking in their environment.

I don't think people should insinuate yours is somehow lacking though. Your tank is bare of substrate but its not bare bottom by any means with the drift wood and plants. I really love that driftwood, is it real or fake? Where did you get it? Anywhere I could find it? :)

Edited by CindiL

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How unfortunate... and I planned on switching back to barebottom! :(

Those plants look wonderful, Helen.

aww, you should! :SmackBottom:

I am, I am.

Just need to find something to do with the substrate. I might actually use it for gardening after I sterilize it.

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Chelsea, use it in a separate tank/container to grow plant. Currently, I have my old sand plus plants and a snail in a giant (12 liter) jar. The plants are growing like crazy with only a very little fertilizer, and the snail is too. I'm not running a filter and really just change half the water once a week. When the plants get too big, I clip off some and heave it into Newton's tank.

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I'm tempted, but unsure. At this point I'll probably use some for gardening and sterilize the rest of it to store it.

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Haha for a second I thought you were serious. XD Yeah I don't notice any lack of stimulation for my goldies really. I also make sure that there's a plant and some stones scattered about for them to poke around with because you can go bare-bottom without going sterile and empty!

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Your tank and Goldfish are gorgeous!!!!

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Your tank and fish are gorgeous, as always, Helen. :)

I will have to say this, though. Not all barebottom tanks are created equal, just as not all substrated tanks are equal. There is an appropriate way of doing either, and in the case of the barebottom tank, we suggest making sure there are enough things of interest around for the fish to do. You and I have both seen these ultra-minimalist tanks where the entire environment is painted black, without only a splash of fake greenery floating at the top. I wonder how healthy for the fish, and what do they do in their black boxes all day. It's certainly gorgeous looking for us humans, but for the fish, it's somewhat of a deprivation, I'd say.

Anyway, back to the point, I personally prefer substrated tanks for myself, simply because I like sand, and because I don't want to have to clean the bottom of the tank, but I think that were I ever to go back to barebottom tanks, I would model it after your tank, which is simply stunning, and designed with the interest of the fish in mind. :D

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I removed all the substrate in my 75 today except for some half dollar sized shells. Hope they like it. The amount of debris in the rocks was disgusting.

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I removed all the substrate in my 75 today except for some half dollar sized shells. Hope they like it. The amount of debris in the rocks was disgusting.

I found the same thing when I removed all of mine and replaced with a minimal amount of new, like it covers the bottom but if I swish the water around you can see the glass. I spent a lot of time vacuuming mine every week so was surprised at the amount of debris and how dirty it turned my water.

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk 2

Edited by CindiL

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I try to provide my goldfish with enough stimulating material for them to enjoy themselves. There's lots of river rocks for them to poke around, and a few little bits of gravel from the plant vases that they've plucked out. Just so long as the bottom is bare enough to prevent waste from accumulating, I'm fine.

I have been thinking about switching to sand too, which would have similar benefits and allow them to forage a bit more.

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I'm thinking about putting some golf balls in mine. Could be fun. Maybe ill make it a golf themed tank. Wait a minute... I don't even like golf. But I'm still gonna try the balls.

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