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Old 08-20-2012, 08:58 PM   #1
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Different kinds of sumps?

Hello salties recently my parents have shown an interest in a large SW tank for our living room.

One of the questions that keeps coming up is are there different kinds of sumps. Some craigslist ads are offering refugiums, and others just list a sump.

Could you guys help me? Id like to know what they do for the tank aswell ( i know its the filtration,but i don't get how it all helps with the tank)
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:11 PM   #2
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I dpn't have a sump (yet), but from my researching this is what I've found:

A lot of people have sumps to store "unsightly" equipment. Instead of hanging all your equipment on the back of the tank you can put it in the sump to hide it from view. Common equipment includes skimmers, heaters, auto top-off units, and other such items. It offers a sleeker display area as well as adding more gallons to the tank for water stabililty.

As for filtration sumps can house macoalgaes which offer natural filtration for the tank at less risk of having the macroalgae go sexual and explode in a lusty cloud of spores. This is only if you have a light on the sump 24 hours a day so that there is no night-cycle to trigger the macro maturation.

Refugiums, lastly, I believe are just an area in the sump that is used to house macroalgae and other beneficial critters, live rock, and live sand for more filtration. The refugium can be in the sump or by itself as a HOB or in-tank unit too. It is also where a lot of undesirable guys end up, such as mean spirited fish, coral-eating inverts, and other creatures that you wouldn't necessarily want in your tank, but are still beneficial to the tank (like the macroalgae).

Hope that sheds some light on the matter! I'm no expert, but that should give you a good foothold in understanding sumps.
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrichor
I dpn't have a sump (yet), but from my researching this is what I've found:

A lot of people have sumps to store "unsightly" equipment. Instead of hanging all your equipment on the back of the tank you can put it in the sump to hide it from view. Common equipment includes skimmers, heaters, auto top-off units, and other such items. It offers a sleeker display area as well as adding more gallons to the tank for water stabililty.

As for filtration sumps can house macoalgaes which offer natural filtration for the tank at less risk of having the macroalgae go sexual and explode in a lusty cloud of spores. This is only if you have a light on the sump 24 hours a day so that there is no night-cycle to trigger the macro maturation.

Refugiums, lastly, I believe are just an area in the sump that is used to house macroalgae and other beneficial critters, live rock, and live sand for more filtration. The refugium can be in the sump or by itself as a HOB or in-tank unit too. It is also where a lot of undesirable guys end up, such as mean spirited fish, coral-eating inverts, and other creatures that you wouldn't necessarily want in your tank, but are still beneficial to the tank (like the macroalgae).

Hope that sheds some light on the matter! I'm no expert, but that should give you a good foothold in understanding sumps.
That is a pretty good run down of sumps and refugiums. I will add a few things to that explaining what there purpose is.

Sumps, yes besides hiding equipment they also add water volume which can really help with water quality.

Refugiums are generally used as places to grow beneficial macro algae that feed off nutrients in the water such as nitrate and phosphate. This algae can then be harvested to physically remove the nutrients. Not all macro algae require a 24hr light cycle to prevent going asexual. Chaetomorpha is an example of this. Also deep sand beds are often used in refugiums to aid in denitrification but they are not required. Some inverts can be thrown into the refugium as well, however the size of the refugium(space) should be taken into account.

Also not that usually with refugiums a section of the sump is reserved for it. Most times they are not separate systems (only divided by baffles).
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:13 PM   #4
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How about a wet/dry filter?
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:17 PM   #5
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I would go refugium 100%... Grows good bugs and other critters, macro to help nitrates, and a safe haven for a bullied fish if big enough to try and re-intro to the tank.

I would suggest, if possible, in chambers 1, skimmer, 2 fuge, 3return pump.
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:25 PM   #6
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Cool. Thanks guys this info is helping alot. Could someone explain a wet dry filter?
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubbles0oO
Cool. Thanks guys this info is helping alot. Could someone explain a wet dry filter?
Wet dry filters are just biological filters if you have live rock then that does all the biofiltration for you. Wet drys are not as commonly used in salt tanks for this reason. They also trap rotting organics and add to nitrate production, which is a bad thing.
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Old 08-21-2012, 01:30 AM   #8
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Here is what I posted earlier in a thread abou sumps/refugiums. Check out that thread for additional information. It is titled: what do you use in a sump/refugium for bio filtration.

I keep a large 210 gal. reef tank and as a sump/refugium i have 3 chambers. Chamber one contains filter floss and that is it. I change often to avoid bad bacteria growth. I also clean it often with watering hose which has high pressure to get out all of the dirt. Then I have a few sections of walls to prevent micro bubbles from passing to the next chamber. The second chamber is the biggest. It is kind of the refugium section of it. I have a six inch sand bed with a little bit of live rock, and about 10 3 inch tall and 4 inch diameter pvc pipes which as a great place for good bacteria to grow and copepods to take shelter in. Then I have some high quality cheato algae connected to the rock. Then I have another section of micro bubble walls. In the final I have two odeysea return pumps which have pre-filters in them. The filters have a lot of refugium rubble on-top of them. The sump/refugium has hoods on it and a zoo-med flora-sun light on top of that. It provides the perfect light for the cheato algae.
As for the uv sterilizer, I am all for them but I am more for multi-functional filters. I use a Vortex D-1 diatom filter. This filter forces micro particles through dead diatom skeletons. These skeletons are 0.5 microns to 1 millionth of a micron. (Of course the 0.5 micron is more common in the powder than the 1 millionth) It takes in diatom algae, parasites (yes including the parasites that cause ick) poop, and just about anything. It also polishes the water and makes it absolutely crystal clear!
In conclusion, my opinion does not mater. I am just saying what i do. My motto is, "If it works for you do it, if it doesn't then don't!" Try different ideas but when you find something that works, no matter how many people tell you it is the wrong way, don't listen! "If it works for you keep doing it!"

Good Luck!

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Old 08-21-2012, 03:55 AM   #9
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The different styles of filtration have been described fairly in depth, id suggest actually going out to some sw fish stores and checking out their filtration systems.. Yes they will more than likely be huge commercial systems with giant piping, but atleast youll have an idea. Also it cant e stressed enough, just because something works for another salty, doesnt mean itll work for you, and vis versa.
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:17 AM   #10
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Ok gotcha. Thanks guys!
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