To jump right to the point here, a sump is neither a necessity nor added luxury, the reef tank sump is an innovation to simplify fish keeping. I believe it’s absolutely fair to say that the most avid Aquarists you’ll meet today started their hobby with a standard aquarium without a sump, so, aquarium sumps are clearly not a necessity, but if you ask those same reef tank addicts today, they probably do have a sump.
Differentiating the hype from the truth!
Years ago, I started a simple bow front tank that was quite successful with soft corals, fish, and large polyp stony corals, but as I got more serious about the hobby, I came across the concept of using a sump and was intrigued by it. Well, today, as a self-proclaimed experienced aquarist, I don’t even want to consider a future aquarium without a sump unless it’s a smaller tank or is nano-style that just can’t support it. So, the chances here are that most of the hype about the Aquarium sump is nothing but the truth.
What is an aquarium sump? Why would you use it?
A sump is simply another tank that stays put under the display aquarium or someplace lower than the aquarium and provides the benefit of additional water volume and a place to house your equipment so it can stay out of the main display tank.
The best thing about a sump tank is that it provides an alternative space for installing the filtration equipment, hence keeping your main aquarium aesthetically elegant. Besides, it also offers added aeration to the system. Furthermore, adding a sump is always a great idea to improve the overall water quality. If correctly set up, the aquarium sump is a backup water overflow that saves the system if power fails.
Do you really need an aquarium sump for your saltwater fish tank?
Now, the most important question arises, “Are Aquarium Sumps necessary for your saltwater fish tank?” Well, the answer is “No.” Of course, you can have thriving saltwater or a reef tank without pairing it up with a sump. Some of my fellow hobbyists don’t prefer to have one. Moreover, you will see so many luxurious reef aquariums without having any sump integration.
Sump-less Wonder VS. Reef Sump- A general Comparison
I have seen some of the most splendid and healthy reef tanks working exceptionally great even without a sump, so keeping in view the efficiency of both types, it’s entirely up to you what setting you prefer the most.
Here are some important advantages of a sump aquarium over the sump-less.
- First off, the sump tank has an ideal setting to cover the heater, protein skimmer, media reactors, and other equipment. Besides, you can also put other vitals like calcium and nitrate reactors, etc., in it. Not only does it save space, but it also lets you adorn the true visual impression of your tank.
- Secondly, it’s a great place to set the bio-media organic filtration of the tank. Besides, it also performs additional chemical and mechanical filtration.
- Also, it’s a great way to dose supplements in the water. From topping off tank water to adding calcium and other additives has never been easy before sumps. Furthermore, it’s one of the most favorite methods to introduce water in the main tank by mixing it in the sump water. You can always use metering pumps, auto-dosers, etc., for this purpose.
But if you are still considering going with a standard aquarium, make sure that you employ media reactors, a thriving fuge, protein skimmers, and other essentials for a healthy saltwater tank.
Aquarium sumps have plenty of impressive features that make them worth considering for your saltwater tanks. You can always add a sump to your pre-existing aquarium or while planning on a new tank. So, it depends on your choice whether you like a sump for your aquarium or not. But with so many incredible benefits and value that it adds, why not? My biggest explanation for having one is it’s super easy to put together and enhances your aquarium’s aesthetics to 100%.
I am the founder of J. Louis, a digital marketing agency focused on providing innovative solutions and strategies built on a foundation of creative design and technology. A family man who loves travel and reef tanks, I’ve been coined as a jack of all trades, master of a few of them, most specifically website and sales funnel design, monetization and growth strategies, and viral marketing. I began pursuing my passions for business by cutting my neighbor’s lawns when I was just 8 years old and never looked back. Over the past 20 years, I have amassed significant experience providing consulting, design and development services for Fortune 500 companies, government, retail, private individuals, and A-list celebrities.