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Old 04-09-2013, 01:47 PM   #1
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Sump

I'm getting a 55 gallon and I read in some places that a sump is needed but then in other lfs I noticed that they have some tanks with sumps and some with just filters. Can't I get a powerful filter? And if I NEED a sump how would I set it up? What goes in there? How do I get water down to the sump then back up?
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Old 04-10-2013, 04:08 AM   #2
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Imo a sump is not necessary BUT... It helps a sump will give you more water volume which is a good thing. Plus it helps filter. And you can out all your equipment in it like heaters and what not. I currently do not have a sump. I have a hob filter. Your live rock is your filter basically. I only run poly floss material in my hob to grab big particles out of the water. AC/DC I constantly change them out so my rock keeps up the biological end of it. Oh and I run purigen in my hob too. If I had a hob skimmer I wouldn't need the filter.

Anyways I'm rambling to sum up
You do not have to have a sump. if you have the money it's a really good investment but not needed to have a successful reef tank.

If you want a sump you can drill.holes in the tank. Or buy a overflow box and you need a pump to pump it back into the tank either way.
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:49 AM   #3
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I'm thinking of doing the fluval 306 canister filter would that be ok? What should I be putting in there? And what is a skimmer?( sorry never felt with a SW tank)
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:02 AM   #4
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I say skip the canister and it for a skimmer. I set up my 55 as a FOWLR without a sump and is worked great. But since I've also started a 29/15 sump tank, the idea of not having a sump seems silly now after trying both.

The canisters ESP with bio balls everyone told me to stay away from, they are apparently "nitrate factories."

Google image "octopus skimmer" there are in-tank or hang-on-back versions, the latter is used if you skip the sump.

The filters I use in my FW tanks get dark and cloggy and I squeeze them monthly in tank water to keep the flow.

With a skimmer, you don't have "material" (maybe a sock or pantyhose its up to you) but rather a "cup" to collect skimmate. a small pump adds bubbles to the intake inside a chamber design which eventually makes a concentrated filth juice of every poop or rot happening that mechanical and biological filtration don't address.

Very layman's terms, but if you get a sump just add heater, skimmer and live rock.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:55 AM   #5
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Sorry I'm still confused what's the purpose of a skimmer, and If I just do clean up on the canister it shouldn't matter. And do I have to have both the skimmer and a filter?
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:00 AM   #6
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The skimmer uses air bubbles to break down the proteins in the water. And the sludge stuff forms in a cup that you can dump out. Canister filters will start producing nitrates which is bad. Your live rock is your filter. You could get by with out any filter just, live rock and water changes. But some sort of filtration is better
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:03 AM   #7
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I also believe that canister filters are not good for salt water, although I do understand that some people use them with success. I run a 55g with only 2 x power heads and an oversized skimmer and use my live rock for the main source of filtration. I would def do a sump if I had a bigger tank but for now this system works for me. I don't know the science behind a skimmer but they are called protein skimmers and do extract protein from the water column, much more effectively than a canister I believe. Canisters trap the waste and the water still pass through it hence why people say "nitrate factories" skimmers hold the waste in a cup at the top which you empty regularly but does not re enter the tank. Hope that helps, I am no expert!
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:34 AM   #8
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By live rock you just mean the rock that's in the tank? And I know you say no canister filter but if I do get one can I put live rock in one of the trays to capture some stuff as well?
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:41 AM   #9
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Do you have rock already? You can purchase dry (base) rock or buy it live, always good to get a bit of live to seed the base ( I went all live, more expensive but it was worth it in my opinion) you could put live rock rubble in the canister (and I believe people do) but if you don't have gear then why not just buy a skimmer in the first place? Would be more beneficial. What are your plans for the tank? Fish only or reef?
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:43 AM   #10
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I would like to do a reef and not totally sure on which fish but I want it to look all natural. And I don't have anything yet I just want to clarify some stuff and see what others suggest. So what your saying is I don't need a filter just a skimmer correct?
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