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Old 08-24-2005, 12:17 AM   #1
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Stupid question...

What exactly is a "sump?"
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Old 08-24-2005, 12:24 AM   #2
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A secondary chamber (extra tank) that has water pumped from/to the primary tank. In most cases a sump is set up as a large filter that is biological, mechanical or combination in effect.
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Old 08-24-2005, 12:26 AM   #3
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What advantage does it have over normal filtration?
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Old 08-24-2005, 12:36 AM   #4
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you can have like, simply said, a ton more filtration and you will be able to have a larger aquarium and better filtration.

for example if you have a 55gallon with a canister filter you have a smaller amount of filtration material and with a sump you have all three times like 20, i would love to have a sump, let alone a 55+ and the room for it
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Old 08-24-2005, 12:37 AM   #5
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and i think i have heard you can put, some random plants in sumps and freshwater clams to help with the nitrates and keep the algae in the main aquarium to a minimum
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Old 08-24-2005, 12:40 AM   #6
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It increases the capacity of your biofilter so you can overstock your display tank. It can reduce the need for water changes by improving overall water quality.
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Old 08-24-2005, 01:00 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Hrafnkel
What advantage does it have over normal filtration?
Um, I don't think there is such a thing as "normal" filtration.

Basically, a sump gives you: a) more water capacity, b) more water surface area, and c) more space.

If you have a 55g tank with 20g of water in the sump, you have 75g of water when you think about stocking. Be careful, though... stocking is also based on the space each fish needs to live happily. You may now have a 75g tank, but you don't have a 75g footprint.

That extra water in the sump also means extra sufrace area for gas exchange, and also affects how much you can put in your tank.

The extra space is what appeals to me the most, though. You are thinking of a sump as a filter. Yes, you can put filtration equipment/materials in the sump. A common version of this is the trickle filter. You can also put heaters, thermometers, and probes in the sump and get them out of view.

If/when I get a c. 100g tank, I will definately get a sump.
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Old 08-24-2005, 10:34 AM   #8
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A few Kudos for koffee for correctly stating that, even though a sump adds more water capacity, thus making for cleaner water...you still only have 55gal of swimming space for fish in the main tank. So you still should not overstock the display tank.

Sumps are far more common in SW setups, but you do see them in FW setups, espeically with people keeping very messy, carnivorious fish, or delicate fish, like discus.
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Old 08-24-2005, 05:50 PM   #9
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By "normal" filtration, I meant what advantage does it have over just using a canister, HOB, or what have you.
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Old 08-24-2005, 06:39 PM   #10
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Hopefully we've covered some of the advantages.

I was just pointing out that there are really a lot of concepts and technologies out there. Even with HOB filters for example, you can have them with and without a bio-wheel.

You can put bio media in a canister, HOB, or sump. You can put carbon in there, etc. So, in some ways, most "normal" filtration is exactly the same. Filtraion is biological, mechanical, and chemical - you can put any combination of that in most any "normal" filter. The sump really differs in the mechanics of it all.

My earlier post gave some of the advantages I see to a sump.

Some of the disdvantages include complexity, cost, space, and possibly noise. Also, if you don't set them up correctly, you could drain your whole tank onto the floor. Don't worry... it is easy to set them up correctly to not run that risk, unless you are cutting corners/cost by not using a proper overflow skimmer (or ball valves or whatever).
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Old 08-24-2005, 11:52 PM   #11
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>.> I think I'll just not bother, unless I get a really big tank.
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