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I don't think it's cruel per se, but it's probably not ideal for fish that like to pick at the soil or dig.

It's probably better for the fish to have a substrate

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I like to keep my fish in as close to natural conditions as I possibly can. I'm not saying it is cruel, I just don't like the look of bare bottoms.

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I vote it's cruel to keep any fish in any tank, put your biggest tank on a ute.. Take it to a river.. Have a good honest look, which do you think the fish would prefer?

Yep, I keep fish in tanks.. And bare ones. I'm cruel!

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depends on the fish, some are open water fish and others shallow water and like to dig the substrate. horses for courses. doubt very much that pantadons would care bare bottom or not ;)

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depends on the fish, some are open water fish and others shallow water and like to dig the substrate. horses for courses. doubt very much that pantadons would care bare bottom or not ;)
which is why I specified Americans. I'm in two minds wether to keep a 6' tank as I'm realising I just don't have the time to look after 4 tanks, but if I kept it bare it would probably be easier to maintain.

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which is why I specified Americans. I'm in two minds wether to keep a 6' tank as I'm realising I just don't have the time to look after 4 tanks, but if I kept it bare it would probably be easier to maintain.
In your opinion, do you think it's cruel to keep big Americans or any fish for that matter, in a bare tank with little to no substrate.

oh........ you mean't any fish (americans) my bad ;)

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I think it is cruel, yes.

I think painting the underside of the tank black would help, my Americans in bare tanks spend their whole day looking down.

But I agree with Mat, keeping any fish in a tank is cruel.

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I vote it's cruel to keep any fish in any tank, put your biggest tank on a ute.. Take it to a river.. Have a good honest look, which do you think the fish would prefer?

Yep, I keep fish in tanks.. And bare ones. I'm cruel!

This.

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Really captive bred fish? C'mon now we all know our fish would be sayin 'dont think you're putting me in that ****ty looking brown stream, with all those rough necked wild fish. I can't make it in the big bad world I'm institutionalized'!!

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I think it definitely depends on the fish. Fish that are adapted to a life in or around substrate are likely going to be more prone to stress, etc without it. Although for those that like the idea of 'less substrate, less mess, less work' or such, there are alternatives like pvc piping, etc.

Not exactly what I strive for and enjoy but different strokes for different folks. As long as it works for you and the fish then there's no problem with it I tend to think.

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There'd be a few of those in Caboolture! :P

I work in Caboolture, I know what you mean. lol. Thanks for your opinions guys & i must admit i thought there would be more against it. Personally, i don't think i could do it. You can take an animal out of the jungle & put him in a zoo, but to put that animal in concrete & steel cage is just wrong. I wasn't really sure what i thought about it at first, but after reading what Yoda said, ( That they spend all there time looking down) well that made it easy for me.

Edited by PaleAle

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Thanks for your opinions guys & i must admit i thought there would be more against it. Personally, i don't think i could do it. You can take an animal out of the jungle & put him in a zoo, but to put that animal in concrete & steel cage is just wrong. I wasn't really sure what i thought about it at first, but after reading what Yoda said, ( That they spend all there time looking down) well that made it easy for me.

i have a bare bottom in my breeding tanks, but gravel in my display tanks,

we have to remember our fish are tank bred, its what they know, its not like we are taking them out of the wild, (unless you buy wild caught) it's like keeping a bird in a cage, if its cage bred and you let it go, chances are it will die,

its all about what they are used to,

but saying that, if you have a fish thats used to gravel he may stress when put into a bare bottom, but he will adjust,

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I don't know. In this situation, I would observe behaviour with substrate for couple weeks and then observe without substrate for a couple weeks (allowing for an adjustment period)... and then see if there is an increase in stress.

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Staring at the bottom of a tank all day can't do much for their already feeble minds. I wonder if a bare tank fish shows it's true colours & personality even more if put in a decorated tank.

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that will depend on the fish, some will show different color depending on what color gravel you use, some never change,

when i had my americans they never sat and looked down all the time, they just swam around and ate, bred and bashed each other just like normal fish, :)

you take a fish that's used to bare bottom tanks and put him in a tank with gravel, i bet he is as stressed as one going from gravel to bare bottom, so which way is bad, neither, its more what you prefer,

neither way is more right then the other in my opinion,

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I found with dwarf americans that bare bottom tanks had some crazy reflection and fish were not happy, so went to sand, that worked well.

There are other ways I could have dealt with the reflection, but sand worked and also gave them something to sift in.

I have kept that way now I have moved to tangs.

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I painted the base foam dark blue before setting up my barebottom tanks, so looking down from the top all you see is a nice dark blue. I assume that is what the fish see also.

Cheers, Doug

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