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To sump or not to sump

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  1. #1
    CR Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Ann Arbor

    Default To sump or not to sump

    It seems that just about everyone on this site uses a sump on their tank. I have been in this hobby for over 12 years with good success but I have never used a sump on my tank. I do have a hang on back pyramid skimmer that I would suspect hold about 3 gallons of water and an aquaclear 70 for filtration. This has been my tried and true method for filtration and I have not had many problems with maintain water quality. Can somebody give me some insight as to why a sump is better? I would love to have one but I do not have the space and need to keep the aesthetics of the room. Am I missing something cause I want to keep up with the hobby and provide the best filtration for my animals.

  2. #2
    jolson10450 - Reefkeeper
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Flat Rock
    First Name
    Awards Grow Out King Monthly Giveaway Winner Monthly Giveaway Winner


    the main thing is it increases your water volume which = less likely chance something can go bad quickly, second you hide most of the clutter in your tank like heaters, pumps for the skimmer, the HOB filter. in a sump you can also have a fuge which you can load with rock rubble for added biological filteration and with some chaeto to help control nitrates. you can also use it as a spot to house troublesome fish say if you have a damsel and its picking on your clowns you can catch it and house it in the sump until you figure out what to do with it, its an easy spot to put an Auto top off, its a good spot to hide probes and such if you have reefkeepers, you can keep your fuge light on opposite schedule from the main display to help maintain PH levels. there are tons of benefits to having one!

    i have a 29g with a 10g sump and it fits everything in it, i also have a 5.5g frag tank with no sump and a 1g with no sump because they are to small

  3. #3
    ETBReefer05 - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Romeo, MI
    First Name


    Its really all about what works for you. The benefits of a sump include but are not limited to: More water volume for dilution of nitrites, nitrates, phosphates, and silicates. Room for a bigger protein skimmer with greater turnover and pump utilization. Room for a refugium which provides extra nutrient export and nitrification.
    If the HOB filter and skimmer are working for you, then go ahead and stick with it. Most people who are starting tanks now make room for a sump for the reasons listed above and more. Its the same thing as anything else in the hobby, people do it because it has worked for other people and/or its a popular thing to do.
    "You're gonna need a bigger boat..."-Roy Scheider as "Chief Brody" in "Jaws"

    Ask 10 Reefers a question and you'll get 12 opinions in return.


  4. #4
    Sir Patrick - Reefkeeper A2 Club Coordinator
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    UofM territory
    First Name
    Awards Monthly Giveaway Winner


    I also have been running fuge-less for years. I just set up my first fuge a month or so ago.

    There are many ways to skin a cat, and sounds like you got your method down!

    As stated above though- if any of the reasons stated above sound good to you, ya might want to consider it, although its not necessary- it can be beneficial.

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