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Old 09-30-2010, 11:03 PM   #1
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Canister or Sump?

Hello, I'm just getting the last bits of information to jump into salt water and was at the LFS today looking at all the different options. I know a lot of people go with a sump but I'm curious about a canister filter (along with a skimmer on both)? Is there an advantage of one over the other? I was heading down the sump path (as per the questions about holes in the tank with my previous post) but wondering if a canister, like a fluval or ehiem, might do the trick as well. I know that people have even used hang off the back power filters but just wondering about the different options. As for my setup I think it's going to be a 120gal with live rock, fish and hope to add corals down the road. Thanks so much...

Steve
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Old 09-30-2010, 11:09 PM   #2
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First off welcome to AA...

I would deffinetly go with a Sump- You will have more or a natural filteration than a Canister- not knocking canisters but they can house ton of detrius which can cause a Nitrate spike in your system...
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Old 09-30-2010, 11:12 PM   #3
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Okay Steve, the first thing to do is to write down what you want. Fish, corals etc. It seems that you are leaning toward a reef system. In that case a sump is what you would need. Cannisters are good for fish only setups and even with a sump you might still get a cannsiter to "Polish up" your water every now and then.
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:11 AM   #4
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Sump all the way. Canisters have too many compartments that can trap "junk" and add to nitrates rather than removing them. If you want to polish your water occasionally drop a bag of carbon in the sump where the water flows through it and it will do the job.
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:08 AM   #5
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Another vote for sump here.
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:26 PM   #6
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+1 for thincat
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Old 10-01-2010, 06:29 PM   #7
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Definitely Sump is the way to go. Added water volume is always a good idea.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sumps, Part I by Greg Taylor - Reefkeeping.com

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sumps, Part II by Greg Taylor - Reefkeeping.com

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sumps, Part III by Greg Taylor - Reefkeeping.com
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Old 10-02-2010, 04:31 AM   #8
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Old 10-02-2010, 07:53 AM   #9
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So will a sump actually help keep nitrates down vs a canister? How?
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Old 10-02-2010, 09:04 AM   #10
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The sump it`s self wont help to cut down nitrates but the equipment that can go into the sump will help. Like a skimmer or a denitrator. Sumps are for added water volume.
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Old 10-02-2010, 11:12 AM   #11
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Excellent links here Mike....It is good to plan for the (possible) future
Thanks !
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Old 10-04-2010, 02:11 AM   #12
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Thincat made a good point...find out what you want in the tank first...but I strongly suggest a sump with a in sump protein skimmer with any live rock tank with or without corals...more filtration..better bacteria buildup....hang on skimmers(good but not efficient) unless you have two 55 or better power heads...circulating the water...a hang on protein skimmer wont be able to keep up with the waste produced by the live rock the fish...not to mention the uneaten food stuck in the corner that you cant see(biggest water polluter) .... good luck!!! patience is the key!!!!
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Old 10-04-2010, 09:48 AM   #13
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In a three compartment sump (with a bubble trap as well) does it matter where the skimmer goes? What I was thinking of is:

1st section water from main tank. Can skimmer sit here?

2nd section sand/live rock and greenery???

3rd pump to go back to main tank. Can skimmer be here?

Steve
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:33 AM   #14
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Where the skimmer goes depends on what it needs and exactly how the sump is setup. Ideally it should be in the first section so that any bubbles that it lets out will be dealt with before they hit the return pump. Some skimmers need a stable water level. Of it needs a low water level it is best to have it in the last compartment, but without an auto top off the water level here won't be stable. If it goes in the first section you may have to drop the water level in the entire sump to keep the water level low enough in the first section. I have an external skimmer (AquaC EV) and it sits right behind the sump with the drain draining into the first section. This saves space in the sump while still leaving the output in the ideal section, and is a great skimmer.
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