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Old 04-26-2007, 01:43 AM   #1
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Adding Sump=more fish capacity?

I recently started setting up a 36 gallon bow front. Right now I just have an Emperor 280 and a penguin 100 on it with about 35 pounds of LR.

I've been reading up and really like the idea of a DIY sump and I think I'd like to upgrade.

My first real question is will it allow me to stock more fish? I've heard that you shouldn't stock more than 1" of fish for every 4 gallons-- so if I add a sump does that mean an extra 1" of fish for every 4 gallons of sump capacity?

Also what sort of filters/PH's/skimmers?etc should I use for a sump? For the time being It'll be FOWLR but eventually I'd like to go reef.

What sort of Pump should I use? (i will most likely put the sump directly under the tank and it will only need to up 3' at most) Do I need a skimmer or canister filter in the system or will a LR chamber suffice?

Thanks for the advice! :)
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Old 04-26-2007, 03:49 AM   #2
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IMO the fish per gallon rule is a general guide line. Other factors need to be factored in like what type fish and is he a messy eater and size of tank(availibility of swimming space). A majority of these factors are based on your tank and size and your sump will not help there. The good thing about a sump is it adds water volume which the more you have it will be more forgiving should you make a mistake or have problems. IMO that is the purpose of a sump. A sump is a good thing but how many fish you have is up to the factors I mentioned above.
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Old 04-26-2007, 10:43 AM   #3
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Also keep in mind that all the extra filtration i.e. Quality skimmer, sump, fuge, ect... which helps keep nutrient levels low and often allows for slight overstocking is completely useless during an extended power outage in which an overstocked tank will quickly run out of oxygen.

The general stocking rule is 1" per 5 gal and IMO is a very good rule to follow for beginners.

As Mike said you still need to research each fishes needs.

i.e. Just because following the "rule" of 1" per 5 gal on a 75 gal tank which gives you 15" doesn't mean it's OK to put one 15" fish like a Sohal Tang in it. Other factors like aggression, is it reef safe, ect.. also should be taken into account.

www.fantasyreef.com has a great database of some fish that would be good for your 36 gal tank.
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Old 04-26-2007, 02:54 PM   #4
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I agree with the above....another point to make is that if you are adding a sump it should be of decent size otherwise it will not be much benefit to you. With a 36g tank, if it were me I would get a 20g tank and use it as my sump. That will add a substantial amout of volume to your system and be a benefit.
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Old 04-26-2007, 05:36 PM   #5
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Also what sort of filters/PH's/skimmers?etc should I use for a sump For the time being It'll be FOWLR but eventually I'd like to go reef?
I would highly recommend using a good skimmer. I would also suggest imcorporating a fuge into the sump design. That will allow for more LR along w/ growing macro algaes to export nutrients, and also boost micro-fauna populations- ex. pods, etc.. Nutrient export is extremely useful on a reef, and the pods, etc. and their offspring are a good food source for fish/coral.
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What sort of Pump should I use? (i will most likely put the sump directly under the tank and it will only need to up 3' at most)
There are a few choices. I use a Mag pump. They are fairly popular pumps that are quite and reliable. They make many models to suite most flow needs.
PS- I'm not sure if you've been to this site, but it has a TON of info on DIY sumps- http://www.melevsreef.com/links.html
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Old 04-26-2007, 11:28 PM   #6
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I would think thatthe amount of fish that you place in the aquarium would only depend on the size of the main display. Yes, adding a sump does give you the edge that there is more water and more room for beneficial bacteria to grow, but given the fact that some fish need more space to swim and more space for less aggressiveness, wouldnt the sump not count towards how many fish you could put in the main display?
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Old 04-27-2007, 11:44 AM   #7
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I would think thatthe amount of fish that you place in the aquarium would only depend on the size of the main display. Yes, adding a sump does give you the edge that there is more water and more room for beneficial bacteria to grow, but given the fact that some fish need more space to swim and more space for less aggressiveness, wouldnt the sump not count towards how many fish you could put in the main display?
Yes, you are correct--the GENERAL rule of fish per gallons DOES NOT include the sump.
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Old 04-27-2007, 12:00 PM   #8
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Some people do use the additional water volume to offset additional fish that they would otherwise not have in their tank. A good point was brought up that in the event of power failure the O2 in the tank will be depleted quickly so it's not a great idea....
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