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Old 03-25-2006, 11:45 PM   #1
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Sump question

Hello everyone. I am new to saltwater and I'm feeling overwhelmed 8O . Could someone explain, in detail, a sump. Do I NEED to cut any wholes? What are some advantages of sumps? Disadvantages? I'm planning on setting up a FOWLR tank in a couple weeks/months. I have a small budget and I was wondering if I could save money by making any of the components at home (please keep in mind I'm not very Power tool savvy). What do I NEED to make a sump work? Thanks in advance

PS-I have had abundant success in freshwater for 4+ years.

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Old 03-26-2006, 04:13 AM   #2
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A sump is by no means neccessary.... but it is a very nice thing to have. It allows you to have a larger amount of total system volume, which is much better for maintaining water quality because fluctuations in parameters go less noticed. It also allows you to hide all of your equipment like heaters, probes, thermometers, protein skimmers etc. You can also create a separate compartment within the sump for a refugium, that can be used for pod proliferation as well as nutrient export via macroalgaes etc. Those are some of the advantages.

Here's an article for more info:


As far as disadvantages go... Not many I can think of other than extra cost and potential headaches from designing, sizing and incorporating them. Well worth it though, IMO.

I would look for a used tank that's no less than 20% of your main tanks volume and use that as your sump, housed in the stand. Then, if your main tank doesn't have a built in overflow, you'll need one. You don't have to drill anything. you can house the return pump in the last section of the sump. PVC pipe and appropriate fittings is all you'll need to accomplish it all.

Search for sump designs for ideas on baffles etc.



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Old 03-26-2006, 11:02 AM   #3
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You might want to check out Melev's Reef - Sumps & Fuge's for some ideas on a DIY sump.
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Old 03-26-2006, 02:55 PM   #4
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I agree if you're looking to build a sump/refugium http://www.melevsreef.com has some of the best idea's that I've seen
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Old 03-26-2006, 03:29 PM   #5
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Honestly, I can't imagine keeping a tank without one. Mine has expanded to include an auto-topoff (which is the best thing I've found in SW keeping) and a fuge with chaeto (which cleared up 90% of my algae issues, besides flow issue algae or the normal glass algae). The extra volume helps keep things REAL stable.
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Old 03-26-2006, 09:41 PM   #6
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I read that when the water evaporates, the water in the sump goes down, not the main tank's water level.

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