View Full Version : To sump or not to sump...there in lies my question

03-07-2005, 1:06 PM
Hey gang...

I am new to the forum and to saltwater marine keeping in general. I have just purchased a 55 gallon tank with a Geneva series stand for a FOWLR setup. I am needing some info on how to set up a cost-effective sump system...

I was planning on getting an Emperor 400 biowheel filter and an Aqua C Remora skimmer (hang on). A sump system seems like a better long-term idea as I will eventually be advancing to a larger tank...

Random thoughts, advice, schematics, etc. gratefully appreciated :)


03-16-2005, 1:13 PM
just some basic info. one benefit to having a sump is that you put all the usual equipment in the sump, out of view in the main tank. There are other advantages, like increasing overall system water volume. in your current situation, it sounds like your tank has no "internal" drains, ie not drilled, so you would be looking at getting it drilled, or just getting an external overflow box. CPR is one of the favorite overflow box manufactures. for the actual sump, you can go with a basic glass tank (cheap), whatever size will fit under your stand, or get an acrylic sump which may have a section built in for a refugium (will cost more). I have used my aqua c remora as both HOB and in sump. you will have to buy a return pump to get the water back up to the tank.

you mention moving up to a larger system in the future. chances are that for a 55 gal, whatever size sump you get for the that, may be too small for the larger future tank. people generally try to fit the largest sump they can fit under the stand. so, say you get a 20L tank for the 55g sump, then in a year you end up moving to a 125g tank, which may fit a 55g sump.

you may just consider running the 55g without a sump, just using the remora and a few powerheads.

maybe something will pop up in the for sale section.
03-17-2005, 1:22 PM

I too am setting up my first reef (salt!) tank in a 55. I did a ton of research and decided that a sump was virtually necessary. I went with a simple 10 gal glass as my sump. I found a very good 2 box overflow (to hopefully help avert flooding disaster) on ebay for only 80 bucks delivered. I will go to HD to get some glass cut for the baffles and I am going to put a regular skimmer (not HOT) in the sump. That does not leave much room for a refuge but with a deep sand bed in the refuge as well as some macro alge, I should see benefits.

Let me know what you decide.


03-17-2005, 6:02 PM
you mentioned flood disasters. to test for a flood situation in a power outage, unplug your return pump to simulate a power failure, and see if the sump has enough room for the backflow of water. a 10 gallon may be cutting it close. then plug it back in and see that the overflow restarts. see, in the begining, just keeping a tank with no sump and just HOB equipment, you can aviod the worry of a possible flood.

06-21-2005, 10:32 AM
Hey all,

I am new as well to the forumn and I am currently tossing the idea around of adding a 10g sump to my 30g FOWLR system. The tank is not drilled so I am planning on going with a CPR overflow. Anyone have any thoughts or advice on the best way to go about this? Should I get the 10g sump drilled for bulkheads? Just trying to get as much info as possible before I get a plan together. Any input would be great.

06-21-2005, 4:21 PM
You aren't going to like this answer, but my suggestion is to get your tank drilled (or get one that already is), rather than using a siphon-based overflow. I don't think I could sleep at night knowing the overflow could lose suction.