What size sump tank?

Fox0521

Hello! New to the saltwater life! I have a new 55 gallon tank currently cycling. As I get further into this, I realize I may not have thought everything through too well. I currently have a canister filter rated for a 100 gallon tank running. I plan to develop this tank into a reef aquarium with corals so I will need a protein skimmer. I am trying to avoid any cord or hoses hanging from either of the long sides of the tank so that it is ascetically pleasing from both sides. I am thinking of installing a sump tank for filtration and skimming, but the issue I see is how I will fit it inside the tank stand without tearing down the entire tank. There are support panels down the center of the front and back of the tank (the back of the tank looks exactly like the front without doors).
My question is how big of a sump tank do I need for a 55 gallon aquarium? If I were to install a hang on skimmer, would it be a bad idea to have the filter inlet and outlet on the same short wall as the skimmer? Will I be fine as long as I install a circulation pump? Any advice is greatly appreciated!
 

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PeteStevers

I would suggest going with the sump now. Empty the tank disassemble the stand and go with the sump. I'd also suggest leaving some space around the sump for equipment that you may want to add later (dosing containers, reactors, ATO reservoir, etc). I'd suggest maybe a 20 gallon long (30 x 12 x 12) sump if you are doing a DIY (plenty of videos available). That would leave you with some room on the bottom of the cabinet for external stuff. You'd be able to house your skimmer and heater(s) in the sump. You also need to figure out if you are going with a hang on back overflow or if you will be drilling holes for plumbing (not sure if a 55 has tempered glass). Obviously, you can go either way (hang on equipment or sump). A sump would hide more equipment but is added expense. Good luck!
 
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fishkeepinginaisa

Hello! New to the saltwater life! I have a new 55 gallon tank currently cycling. As I get further into this, I realize I may not have thought everything through too well. I currently have a canister filter rated for a 100 gallon tank running. I plan to develop this tank into a reef aquarium with corals so I will need a protein skimmer. I am trying to avoid any cord or hoses hanging from either of the long sides of the tank so that it is ascetically pleasing from both sides. I am thinking of installing a sump tank for filtration and skimming, but the issue I see is how I will fit it inside the tank stand without tearing down the entire tank. There are support panels down the center of the front and back of the tank (the back of the tank looks exactly like the front without doors).
My question is how big of a sump tank do I need for a 55 gallon aquarium? If I were to install a hang on skimmer, would it be a bad idea to have the filter inlet and outlet on the same short wall as the skimmer? Will I be fine as long as I install a circulation pump? Any advice is greatly appreciated!

All a sump does is add water quantity (which makes for a more stable setup) and give you a place to put your heater, skimmer, and other junk. From what you're saying, I think you would do well with a sump. You can choose anysize, but a twenty gallon should give you the room for what you're wanting to do. To get a really neat look with all the hoses hidden, you can drill the tank and install an overflow. If you do this, all the hoses and such will be hidden under the tank. If you don't want to drill it, you can also buy a hang on the back overflow and then one more return pipe. This way you only have two visible hoses.
 
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Bellasmith

I think 20-gallon sump should be suitable for your tank as it would give you enough space that you want to spend.
 
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Bellasmith

I bought Eshopps RS 75 reef sump for my 55-gallon tank but I wish I'd have bought a larger one though. The chamber for the return pump is pretty small and I have a hard time getting my pump in and out
 
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Jesterrace

Don't waste money on a pre-fab sump tank, DIY are as easy as buying a tank and putting in some egg crate partitions at a fraction of the cost. Go with as large of a tank as you can but at least something in the 20 gallon range (or it will be a lot of work for little benefit). An average in sump skimmer is far more efficient than even the best HOB Skimmer and has the added benefit that if it overflows it does so in the sump tank. If an HOB Skimmer overflows it goes all over the back of your tank and all over the floor creating a colossal mess (Yes, this has happened to me).
 
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Jesterrace

All a sump does is add water quantity (which makes for a more stable setup) and give you a place to put your heater, skimmer, and other junk. From what you're saying, I think you would do well with a sump. You can choose anysize, but a twenty gallon should give you the room for what you're wanting to do. To get a really neat look with all the hoses hidden, you can drill the tank and install an overflow. If you do this, all the hoses and such will be hidden under the tank. If you don't want to drill it, you can also buy a hang on the back overflow and then one more return pipe. This way you only have two visible hoses.

I would say the sump does a fair bit more than that. It also gives you a much higher flow rate, a ready made setup for refugium for biofiltration and pods (just add chaeto and a light), gives you a more efficient skimmer since even an average in sump skimmer outperforms the best HOB, Gives you a time out spot for a potential aggressive fish, extra place to put live rock so your display tank isn't as cluttered.

I agree though that a sump would be well suited for the OP and your recommendations for the sump tank and the way of doing it are all spot on.
 
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