Sump Room

A sump gives you greater control over your reef or fish-only display tank. The benefits far exceed the risks, and thus most successful aquariums you'll see utilize a sump. Some even incorporate a refugium as well. Here are the numerous benefits derived from incorporating a sump into your current setup:

  • Increased total water volume - This dilutes your water of accumulating pollutants, and helps avoid issues that occur quickly in sumpless tanks
  • Automatic top-off device - Install an automatic float switch to add new water, as needed, from a nearby holding tank to keep your system filled up.
  • Refugium - This lighted area can grow macro algae, which takes up nitrates from your water. The plants also add oxygen, and help maintain pH levels when the display's lights are off. This predator-free zone will allow good growth of copepods, amphipods and other microfauna that eventually end up in the display tank as food for your inhabitants.

So how does it work specifically?

Water drains from the display tank into the sump container beneath. The water is pushed back up to the tank with a "return" pump, which is either submerged in the sump or run externally (which involves bulkheads and plumbing, but avoids adding as much heat to the water). As the water rises slowly in the display tank, it flows into the overflow box (or chamber), and this drains back into the sump. It is a constant cycle, and the goal is to pump as much as the tank can drain.