Okay, so I come from a forum that has mostly fresh water fish keepers MFK.
I have never seen so many people say they don't see the point in a SUMP for FW tanks as I do on this forum. So my question is this, all of you who have that feeling, do you run fresh water also or manly SW?
I would like to have an actual discussion about this not an argument. So regardless of if your run FW or SW, if you feel sump is pointless on FW, I am interested in hearing your reasoning. I am also interested in hearing reason for sump on FW.
A sump is a sump is a sump. You can easily use it on FW as it provides a place to hide equipment (heaters, thermometers, UV sterilizer, CO2 systems, filter media, etc.). It might not be as necassary as a marine tank, but it can serve the purpose for FW too. I run a small FW tank with no sump, just HOB, but if I went bigger I would run a sump.
Sump concept can be apllied to any tanks.
Only draw back with sump/overflow is that in case with dutch aquarium (planted tank), i would not recommend unless modified.
Of course if you can remove any leaves which may have caught up on strainer/overflowflow thus eliminating the possibilites of overflowing the tank, why not?
As leaves pile up/block the water flow, water level will rise and can overflow and as water overflows, the water level will get low enough in the sump to run the pumps/equipments dry.
This can be nightmare, even with ATO (auto top off) system where water on the floor and burned out equipments, not too mentioned possibility of fire may/can result..
Should protect the system with water detect and shut off system by detecting water on the floor(similar to one used for dishwashe/washing machne) OR Float switch ( Or Infrared water level Sensor) which can shut the system down when water goes too high in the tank /float switch in the sump to shut off system when water level drops.
Not trying to scare people but be aware of consequences when improperly managed.
When properly DESIGNED/maintained (even modification to overflow to prevent fish from getting into drainage system) , it should be the best system for any types of tank.
In my opinion, this depends greatly on the bioload. In freshwater systems with a high bioload, traditional trickle style filters will supply the greatest amount of nitrifying bacteria. This would generally require a sump system. However, most freshwater tanks do not fit this description, so the added costs of a sump are simply not a necessity.
On a marine system, there is a huge benefit to the sump, because equipment use is often far greater. It is not unusual to see a marine system with a protein skimmer, refugium, calcium reactor, phos reactor, UV sterilizer, and even an automatic top off system. This equipment would be very unsightly without a sump.
Also, the overflow system that accompanies the sump is beneficial. Proteins bond at the surface of a marine aquarium, and the overflow skims these proteins from the surface, and then allows the Protein Skimmer to remove the proteins. This is how the term "Protein Skimmer" came into play in the United States. The correct term is Foam Separator, because the actually skimming of proteins occurs by the overflow.-)
So far I have heard from people that have not said they think they are pointless in FW, sure hope to hear from some other members who think they are.
FW Sump Pros
: Constant water level in the tank, compared to any other type of filtration.
: Hiding place for equipment, its always safer to have heaters away from big fish
: When designed correctly hiding place for injured fish.
: when desinged correctly can allow cleaning without shutting down the system, and you can clean the mech filter without messing with the biomedia
: You can more easily setup drip systems for automation of water changes. We all know when things are not easy they get neglected, and in fw NitrAte is the one thing that's typically neglected.
Another issue with planted tanks and a sump system, is the lose of CO2 due to excessive aeration of the water in the sump.
As I have promised my Wife a SW tank this year, I would like to here the pro/con for sump on a FOWLR and full Reef. I just figured If I am going to spend the time to learn SW and the money to get it setup I might as well learn how to setup Reef.
I agree that most people that run sumps in fresh water do not need to, even if you have tank of monster such as Cats or Arro's you could have the bacteria in a canister, if you pay the money for good media. 5 to 10 liters of high quality pores ceramic media will support large messy fish. I haven no SW experience, and have ran many FW, some with sumps, some with canister, and some with HOB.
I personally think that in FW the type of filtration you run depends on your exceptions and needs. For the most part if you run a canister you can run inline all the equipment you want, thus hiding it from you tank. With canisters you have to shut the whole system down to do maintenance, and depending on the canister setup you may have to remove the bio media to get to the mech media; such as in off the shelf Fx5. A canister is typically less complicated to setup, much easier for beginner hobbyist, Sumps while not technically complicated require you to know what you expect and will require some modification if you want non standard operation.
For example you can have a canister in the main living area and its quite and adds little to the humidity, where as a typical off the shelf sump has high humidity and is typically much more loud. While the big benifit form a well thought out and designed sump is consent water level in the tank, and room to hide all the things required for tanks life support, you can also make sumps just as quite as a canister, and have lower humidity.
I just ordered a 150 gal with a sump 3. Awesome filter it will be the only filter I need and it was going to be less than getting all of the other filters I was going to have to buy to get the amount of filtration I was wanting, plus all of my heaters will go in it as well as the UV filter when I get that. And I can use any kind of filter media I want and even mix any number of ways to filter the water. Sorry I couln't provide a negative comment on the sump but I think it is the best filter you can get.
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