Well we have danced around the issue for sometime here on this board but I thought I would just bring this out into the open. This is a discussion board after all and we seem to be skating the hottest topic available to the sand board. Basically sand or no sand. Bare Bottom versus Deep Sand Bed method. First of all I would like to point out that this discussion is anything but new. Sand beds as a method can really be traced back to 80's with the introduction of the Jaubert Method. Bare Bottom is just as old because with very few changes it is basically just a recycled version of the Berlin Method. In the 80's and early 90's the Berlin Method ruled and then people started switching over to keeping sandbeds. Now there seem to be momentum headed back the other direction. I have only been keeping a reef for little over a year now and many other newer people seem to pile into the discussion so I just wanted to point out that this is nothing new. My bias, well it would only be far to disclose what I think before making you read this rather long post. I like sandbeds and had thought of switching to BB but decided to leave it. I researched switching and got a better understanding of BB and since I seem to be a moderate on this issue I thought would be a good one to get this discussion going. I thought simple definitions of the two methods would be helpful as well. The "Deep Sand Bed Method" has been evolving since the introduction of the Jaubert method but the most up to date mainstream opinion at this point seem to be to run a 4" deep bed of 1-2mm grade sand works well. You add the sand to the tank during setup. It may take 2 weeks to month for it to cycle but once you start to see nitrate bubble coming out of the sandbed your set. Some thing even with in sandbed keeping are debatable but to the best of my knowledge the sandbed does its best taking care of itself. You should not vacuum it and the "sand bed cleaner critter packs" are mostly a bad idea. The vast majority of the creatures you need to maintain a sandbed are microscopic hitchhikers you will get free on your live rock. So set it up and leave it alone. Bare bottom. As the name implies no sand. Many people have started using Starboard, a plastic cutting board as a substrate in order to add some insurance against a rock side breaking your tank. Starboard is neither needed or particular harmfully in anyway so that is your call. Basically this is where the big different in the methodologies show up. In DSB detritus in the system that makes it way to the sandbed gets processed by the sandbed. The bacteria and micro infauna that maintain the sandbed break down the the waste products hopefully all the way down to nitrogen gas which bubbles out of you system. In BB instead of a biological method for breaking down detritus a mechanical method for removal are employed. Basically you add enough water movement that the detritus staying suspension in the water until it is removed from the system by a filter sock and then by a powerful skimmer. Waste processed in the tank versus waste removed from the tank before it can degrade.