sump or no sump....

leximommy

Member
what are the advantages of having a sump and what are the advantages of not having a sump...also the cons of each..... do you have to drill holes or anything? how do you install one.....all details would be aprieciated....
 

sgould

Member
Advantages are that it increases your systems total water volume. Larger volume systems tend to have more stable water quality than smaller systems. Also, with a sump you can move a lot of your filtering equipment to the sump, taking it out of sight for viewing the display tank. Down side is...uh...not much. I suppose risk of flooding if things are not plumbed just right.

Agsansoo can answer better as far as the plumbing and installation.
 
  • Thread Starter

leximommy

Member
ok well how/where would I get one and how do you set it up?
 

timg

Member
Most sumps are DIY affairs. You make it to suit yourself and the needs you have.
Advantages are:
increased volume, as already mentioned
choice of filters. you can select your own media
the option to move not just the filtering but also the heaters out of the main tank

The dis-advantages are:
Risk of flooding; most sumps are installed below the tank, which can lead to problems with siphon effect, difficulty controlling the flow to and from etc
getting the water to and from the sump; It is best to have the pipes drilled into the tank, but if this is not practical, then powerheads or siphons have to be used. This then causes flow regulation problems.

The overall opinion is that if you are not sure what you are doing, either get someone to do it for you, or buy an alternative filter.
 
  • Thread Starter

leximommy

Member
ok well I have small kids so I can't take a chance on flooding and we rent so....


what would an alternitive filter be?
 

timg

Member
Alternatives would depend on the size of the tank and what you keep in it. If you are running a reasonable size of tank, as in 55 gallons + then a cannister filter would be a good option, if it's smaller then either HoB or internal filters.

It depends on how much money you want to spend and where you live.

In the UK, HoB's are very expensive, Under Gravel Filters are very cheap, in the USA, it's the other way round.
 

bhcaaron

Member
Thanks once again LexiMommy, once more you ask a question I had in mind. Also I wanted to ask another question for anyone reading...

Since a sump is not intended for public view, can a sturdy plastic container (like a small trashcan or clothes bin) be used? Will the plastic withstand the salinity?
 
  • Thread Starter

leximommy

Member
ok....I know what's what for the most part now, but I'm still not sure what I should get.....
is there anyways I could get a piece by piece list of what yall think is nessacary to keep a tank (30-55 gallons) running smoothly....NO SUMP! I know there are more advantages, but id rather try the basics to start out with...what would be "luxery" items yall think are nice to have?
 

bhcaaron

Member
Fish!
 
  • Thread Starter

leximommy

Member
ok aaron! my original plan was to spend hundreds of dollars on a great tank setup and then just watch the empty tank....but your idea is better! lol

your funny
 

timg

Member
Since a sump is not intended for public view, can a sturdy plastic container (like a small trashcan or clothes bin) be used? Will the plastic withstand the salinity?
No reason why not. Most of the small commercially available sumps are manufactured in plastic.

bhcaaron said:
That is a luxury that only comes when everything else is right!

ok....I know what's what for the most part now, but I'm still not sure what I should get.....
is there anyways I could get a piece by piece list of what yall think is nessacary to keep a tank (30-55 gallons) running smoothly....NO SUMP! I know there are more advantages, but id rather try the basics to start out with...what would be "luxery" items yall think are nice to have?
Saltwater or freshwater? The two setups are entirely different
 

agsansoo

Member
bhcaaron said:
Thanks once again LexiMommy, once more you ask a question I had in mind. Also I wanted to ask another question for anyone reading...

Since a sump is not intended for public view, can a sturdy plastic container (like a small trashcan or clothes bin) be used? Will the plastic withstand the salinity?
Yes ... Sturdy is the key word. Rubbermaid Brute container are the preferred plastic container for sumps (strong, inert, easy to drill and cheap). Any plastic container should also be food grade, Any container made for holding food will more than likely be "food grade". Others will leak, crack or seep chemicals into the water.
 

bhcaaron

Member
leximommy said:
my original plan was to spend hundreds of dollars on a great tank setup and then just watch the empty tank your funny
Wow, leximommy! You're weirder than I thought! hahaha! JK

Thanks to the other two answers about plastic.

Leximommy... were you thinking fish only, fowlr, or reef?
 
  • Thread Starter

leximommy

Member
fish only with live rock....I know everyone says about 1 lbs per gallon of water, but I probly won't have that much....maybe half that..... id want it mainly for my fish, not for the filtering......


can you mix substrate? like live sand mixed with crushed coral.... and how should you do it? half on one side half on the other, one on top and one on bottom....mixed all the way through?
 

agsansoo

Member
leximommy said:
fish only with live rock....I know everyone says about 1 lbs per gallon of water, but I probly won't have that much....maybe half that..... id want it mainly for my fish, not for the filtering......


can you mix substrate? like live sand mixed with crushed coral.... and how should you do it? half on one side half on the other, one on top and one on bottom....mixed all the way through?
Just make sure you have plenty of mechanical filtration or heavy protein skimming. Also I wouldn't mix the substrates. Smaller pieces will settle to the bottom, larger will stay on the top. Please stay away from crushed coral, it promotes nitrate build up. Stick with sand.
 

bhcaaron

Member
I'm confused. I thought substrate was supposed to be a good thing. The Aquarium Dictionay states this about substrate:

Sometimes anaerobic conditions can form in the aquarium substrate and if these areas are disturbed, harmful compounds such as hydrogen sulfide can get released into the tank.

So, do the pro's outweigh the con's? I'd preffer not to endanger my future fishies at all. Can someone explain?
 

sgould

Member
That is one reason why you want to be sure your substrate stays well oxygenated. One way to do that is to include "sand sifting" inhabitants (some types of snails, some types of stars, even some types of fish) that will regularly dig/sift/stir the substrate. Lacking any of those species, another way would be to periodically stir up the substrate yourself by hand.
 
  • Thread Starter

leximommy

Member
ok well how hard is it to keep a tank with sand? don't you have to vacuum it often? if not how often should you do this and what would be the best way in a tank with sand.....oh and if I have a 50 gallon tank and I changed about 2 gallons a week would that be enough to matter or would I need to do like 12 gallons a month at one time.....and if doing little water changes is good how in the world does it make a difference in such a big tank?


lol sorry just wondering....
 

bhcaaron

Member
From what I've been reading, it is better to do small amounts more frequently as opposed to large amounts less frequently. From what I gather, as you build up all the good things you want/need in the water (such as bacteria, nutrients, minerals etc) you want to make sure you keep them there. By doing larger amounts, you take more of those things away at once risking a mini-cycle and harming the delicate balace you so arduously promoted. By doing smaller amounts, you keep enough of those things to maintain a healthy balance and still keep fresh/clean water coming in. I hope this newbie minded answer helps.
 
  • Thread Starter

leximommy

Member
lol I just read the same thing.....I have been looking high and low around here for a corner tank that doesn't cost more than my rent! lol no luck....I wish ebay had some around here....no luck.....let me know if you find any at any sites or such..... (withen 100 miles of dallas...lol)
 

bhcaaron

Member
Dallas! Woo hoo, one of the happiest cities in the US (less antidepressents prescribed, really!)

I'll keep an eye out on eBay! ooh! Time to eat gtg... I'll be back though.... bwahahahahaha
 
  • Thread Starter

leximommy

Member
lol if you looked at my family you wouldnt think that....I'm glad I got out when I did....lol
 

bhcaaron

Member
Its not a corner, but, its a 55G rectangle, current bid@ $25 in Grapevine.




this one's a 10G
 

bhcaaron

Member
If all you want is the look, an inch or two of sand will be fine. If you want it for the need of the fishes then you'll need anywhere from three to six inches of sand, depending on the fish. You only want to vacuum once a week, two tops, so as to not kill of much of the beneficial bacteria. You'll want to mix the sand up well once or twice a week (more than just vacuuming) if you are not going to have sand sifting critters. There are some types of vacuums, though more expensive, that allow you to vacuum the sand and substrate and then the vacuum itself filters it out so that the sand, substrate and most of the clean water go back in the tank. This saves you money in the long run by not having to replace as much of the sand and substrate as often. You might want to look into that, I know I will!
 
  • Thread Starter

leximommy

Member
thanks for that....let me know if you find one like that....also how much it is....oh and I plan on having some starfish and some snails and crabs so.....lol
 

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