another noob introduction! to sump or not to sump? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 26 Old 02-26-2007, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
another noob introduction! to sump or not to sump?

Hi Guys,

My name is Ryan, I've pretty much read most of the stuff in the SW area of this forum, as I'm looking to start my saltwater experience this month.

My previous aquarium experience was mainly FW with African cichlids and the odd arowana/saratoga (australian name for it).

Just wanted to start a post to say hello and introduce myself to you guys so that when i do ask questions hopefully you guys will be keen to help =).

The reason I wanted to go SW is because I was getting kind of bored with FW fish (no offence FW guys that are reading this forum!) and I wanted a bit more of a challenge, so I thought SW will be the way to go!

Enough bout my lil life story I dont want you guys being dettered from reading my posts!

Right now I've purchased a 4 foot standard sized tank (4ft long x 20 inches high x 14 inches wide) I'm pretty sure that translates to about 40-50 gallons? correct me if im wrong. Also purchased a Hailea brand 1200 lph cannister filter.

The main question I have right now is, is it that hard to fabricate a sump? and is a sump worth making and is it essential to have for SW setup? The LFS guy said its pretty hard to make and you don't really need one, but from all the posts I've read on this forum it seems that most of you blokes have one?

I have a 2 foot tank just lying around, so I was thinking of turning it into a sump, but I really dont have any clue how and/or if it is essential to do?

All your feedback will be appreciated.

P.S. I'm looking to setup fish with live rock and some corals/anemone's (a lil bit of everthing) :D
en71ce is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 26 Old 02-26-2007, 06:15 PM
another ryan on this forum? gonna start getting mixed up lol

Well for the sump, is your tank a reef ready? Are you picky about what unatural things are in your tank (for example a skimmer, filter intakes, heaters, thermometers, things that dont normally belong in the wild but are a nesscesity in an aquarium). If you are picky, then a sump is for you. The main reason for a sump is to place mostly all the equipment in it. It also gives you the chance to make a refugium to help filter your tank the more natural way. I wouldnt neccesiarlily say that making the sump is hard, it just takes a lot of equipment and some time. The three most important things about the sump is that you need some way to get the water into the sump. The best way is to professonally drill a hole into the back corner of your aquarium where the water will drain out, then you will place a box that will let the water overflow into the drill but not take any fish with it, it will also contain the spounge pre-filter. Another way of getting the water in the sump (which isnt that good but means you dont have to do any drilling, i'll come back to the part where it is not good) is to buy an overflow box. It is a very simple thing of two boxes, one in the aquarium, one out of it, and a siphon tube. The water goes into the first box and then gets siphoned into the next box where it travels down a tube to the sump. The next important part is the sump itself. There is no way to correctly determain how big of a sump you need, the best guess for it is to see what equipment you want, look at your skimmer, measure it, as well as the heater etc. Then decide if you want a refugium or not. Make sure that you leave some room for the bubble trap. The third most important part of the sump is the return pump, to get the water back in the aquarium, all you need to do is buy a water pump designed for this duty and install correctly.

That is a brief overview on what you need, you can find more indepth information from people who actually own one.

Also i said i would tell you why drilling is better than an overflow box. When a power-outage happens the water pump stops. When it stops the overflow box will fill the sump with water (if you do your math, or how australians say maths correctly the sump will not fill up). THe main problem is when the power comes back on, the water pump will start up and will start putting water back in the aquarium, the siphon on the other hand is empty and wont work which means all the water in the sump goes into the tank without going to the sump which means some floods and very intense anger and mopping. Imagine a 50 gallon sump overflowing on your living room carpet, not pleasant. With a drilled hole on the other hand when the power comes back on the water will continue to go to the sump since there is no siphon, just very basic but effiecent water flowing.
musho3210 is offline  
post #3 of 26 Old 02-26-2007, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
good reply!

great reply! it pretty much answered my concerns..

but the main question is, will not having a sump have a major effect compared to having one? in other words is it worth all the effort/money in having one?

second concern, is a 1200 lph cannister filter sufficient for a tank my size with fish/LR and later looking to have corals/anemone's?

Also is a protein skimmer essential? because a friend of mine has an established tank without a protein skimmer only running a cannister plus a couple of power heads.
en71ce is offline  
post #4 of 26 Old 02-26-2007, 07:20 PM
Having a sump doesnt prove to be of any major filtration benefiets (besides the added refugium) but if all the equipment is in the sump, wouldnt it mean the fish have more room to swim around in the tank? The choice is really up to you.

As for the filter, i would advise you not to get anemones yet, maybe get a year or two's experiance before you try the very very hard to take care of anemones. Im not sure about all this lph (im a gallon man) but i think you would be better off getting double filtration, so maybe add another canister or try a wet dry filter that you can add to your sump. When you do infact get ready for the anemone, you will need a very mature tank (hence the waiting one year) as well as very clean amost perfect water conditions. The lighting plays a very very big part in corals, not like freshwater plants, im talking spot lights. The wpg rule isnt that good in the saltwater area but can be used in a brief sort of way. With anemones the best thing to do is to use MH lighting, around 10-15 wpg of 14,000k lights with a few CP antics to help with the photosynthesis. Almost all nice looking safe corals need a strong light (there are exceptions but these corals are normally pests).
musho3210 is offline  
post #5 of 26 Old 02-26-2007, 10:09 PM Thread Starter

o0o good point.. well is my mate and he tells me that:
1 200 litres = 317.006461 US gallons

haha hope that helps... it doesn't sound as powerful in gallons tho

so you think i should run 2 cannisters? wow that'll be a lot of downpipes in the tank >< are u sure? i never seen 2 cannisters run on a tank my size.

btw, regarding water i've read on this forum that you can use bottled water to fill up a tank. is that regular mineral water? or is there a special kind of bottled water i should look for? i don't really want to use tap water as i've read its pretty full of other nasties you shouldn't put in an aquarium.

btw, the tank i've purchased is still empty, i'm planning to have the stand made by next week and then will get it filled with water. i'm planning to buy LR and aragonite, i just want to confirm that i cure the LR first before putting any substrate like aragonite on the bottom of the tank? this is because when you cure the LR a lot of gunk comes out of them initially right?

second thing is lighting, i'm planning to get some anemone's/corals later on, but i think i should buy the lighting that is sufficient for them now so that way i dont end up with 2 sets of lights.. first question: are MH lights essential or can PC or fluro' lights do the same job effect with anemone's? the LFS guy said that MH are for full reef tanks etc.etc. so i don't really know which to believe? a friend is running a couple of anemone's with dual fluro lights and has had it running more than 8 months now?
en71ce is offline  
post #6 of 26 Old 02-26-2007, 11:03 PM
well all i can answer now (about to go to bed, very tired) is that you should use RO or DI water with your good quality salt mix as that is the best thing to do. You can find them at your lfs from 40 cents per gallon to 70 cents per gallon (american money :))
musho3210 is offline  
post #7 of 26 Old 02-26-2007, 11:46 PM
I can say that I run 4 Eheim 2217 canisters on a 6 foot tank. It's more for pickup then for overall filtration. I think canisters have an ability to pick up stuff within 2 feet so yeah I'd run 2 on a 4 foot tank in a second.

Canister filters should only be run on fish only setups as they can detract fromt eh overall water quality if you decide to go reef.

As to whether a sump is for you or not, I can say I'll never run tanks again, be it fresh or salt, without them. I much more prefer to hide my equipment in the sump then to have heaters, pumps, and such in the display. i heavily dose my salt tank so I like the ease of dosing in my sump rather than adding caustic chemicals to my corals.
caferacermike is offline  
post #8 of 26 Old 02-27-2007, 12:52 AM Thread Starter
woah 4 cannisters on a 6 foot...

ok i guess running 2 in a 4 foot is logical and is better than running 1. that means 4 pipes into the tank?

do you guys also think i will need 2 heaters for a 4 foot tank?

geez! im so excited to get it filled up so that i can start curing my LR.. i dont even know how i'm going to place them yet! w0ot w0ot!

thanks for helping me out guys!
en71ce is offline  
post #9 of 26 Old 02-27-2007, 04:53 PM
well why have 4 pipes in the tank when you can put all the pipes in the sump :P
musho3210 is offline  
post #10 of 26 Old 02-27-2007, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
haha ur right musho a sump will really free up a lot of space..

just not too confident on creating one, my main concern is drilling a hole in the main display.. LOL!
en71ce is offline  

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
To sump or not to sump...HEEEEELLLLP! RabbitsAreSlow Beginner Freshwater Aquarium 5 09-04-2009 11:58 PM
sump help please burbanmama Saltwater Aquarium Equipment 0 05-12-2009 12:01 PM
Should I have a sump? Twitch Saltwater Aquarium Equipment 3 08-11-2008 10:31 AM
Fry/Sump verbosity DIY Aquarium 2 02-11-2008 08:42 PM
sump or not to sump? goldfishboy Freshwater Aquarium Equipment 3 03-13-2007 06:54 PM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome