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"Sand" isn't really a needed item, though many people don't like pebbles (AKA "crushed coral") as a substrate because they tend to trap detris which will decay and cause water quality issues, unless you keep it gravel vac'd.
Many people with saltwater go for Araginite "sand" (It's really 2-4mm pebbles) because it has some buffering capacity (it will disolve if your PH is too low, helping to raise the PH and maintain it).
Many people also run "bare bottom" tanks now. You can do a search on that and find a lot of good info out there.It's not the size of the dog in the fight... It's the size of the fight in the dog! -unknown