It is exciting to own an aquarium because you can enjoy your underwater world without fear.
Reefs are perfect for people who are worried about keeping fish alive. If you want a marine aquarium, it is best to get the best reef sumps to keep things clean and fresh.
There are many reef sumps on the market. It is challenging to find the right one, but this short guide is sure to help.
Table of Contents
- What Is a Reef Sump?
- Benefits of a Sump for Reef Tank
- The 6 Best Sumps for Your Reef Tank
- Reef Sump Reviews
- What to Put in Reef Sump?
- How to Setup a Reef Sump?
What Is a Reef Sump?
Before buying a reef sump, you need to know what it is. A sump is a container that goes behind or beneath an aquarium. It holds the water and gives you a place to store equipment that the system needs.
A reef sump can be made of acrylic and glass. It can also be made of food-grade plastics or livestock feeding troughs. The material chosen depends on how much space is available.
Usually, you need a glass or acrylic tank if the sump must go under the aquarium. If the sump is in the basement or has plenty of space, stock tanks are suitable. The container type should be considered as well as the sump.
Benefits of a Sump for Reef Tank
A reef tank sump has many advantages. It is helpful to learn about the benefits, so you understand why you need a sump.
Pollutants in the tank accumulate in the water. A sump slows that issue and increases total water volume. The sump also skims the water’s surface, giving you clear water.
Sumps also work well to lower the water temperature by up to two degrees Fahrenheit. This can help your reefs thrive and grow.
The sump also hides your equipment. This can include protein skimmers, heaters, and monitoring probes. You can also move more equipment to the sump and out of the display area.
With a sump, you get more consistency with water levels. Your display tank maintains the right water level regardless of the time. Evaporation does occur in the sump.
Most aquariums need additives to help the water. You can pour the additives directly into the sump. This allows the chemicals and RO/DI water to mix well before it enters the tank.
The 6 Best Sumps for Your Reef Tank
The right sump for your reef tank can be a challenge to find. Sometimes, it is helpful to have a visual aid. The below table shows a variety of information so that you can make an informed decision.
|Pictures||Reef Sumps||For Aquariums|
|Pro Clear Aquatic Systems Freedom Reef Sump||Up to 100, 200, 300, 400 Gallons|
|Eshopps AEO14005 Reef Sumps Rs-100 for Aquarium Tanks||Up to 100 Gallons|
|Eshopps RS-75 Reef Sump||Up to 75 Gallons|
|40" Refugium, Marine Aquarium Filter, 40 Gallon Sump||Up to 150 Gallons|
|IceCap 48XL Reef Sump||Up to 350 Gallons|
|Windridercreations 50 gal Refugium-Sump||Up to 300 Gallons|
Reef Sump Reviews
1. Pro Clear Aquatic Systems Freedom Reef Sump
The Pro Clear Aquatic Systems Reef Sump comes in four sizes: 100, 200, 300, and 400 gallons. It is designed to work well in saltwater systems. It is easy to use and inexpensive to maintain.
It includes dual intake ports to provide efficiency. It also has silencer tubes that remove bubbles and suppress noise. It also diffuses the water flow to prevent debris from passing through.
The Pro Clear Aquatic Reef Sump also has water retention with an after foam block. This helps to remove the bubbles before the water goes to the return pump.
With the sump, you also get wire clips, a probe holder, and a dosing holder. The sump also has bulkhead fittings, flexible hoses, and 4-inch Micron bags.
All consumers who have tried this product rave that it does the job. However, the upper chambers could be slightly wider.
2. Eshopps AEO14005 Reef Sumps Rs-100 for Aquarium Tanks
The Eshopps Rs-100 Reef Sump is suitable for many systems. You can use it as a Berlin, refugium, or wet-dry filtration system. The filtration is also very quiet.
The design is aesthetically pleasing. There aren’t many compartments to get in the way of seeing wildlife. The clean-lined design is modern and works well with many home décors.
It is rated for a 100-gallon tank. However, you can use it on smaller tanks. It isn’t recommended to use the sump for tanks larger than 100 gallons.
This product does not need modifications. For example, you can use an overflow rather than drilling holes in the product.
Consumers like this sump product because it is so quiet and has enough room for a heater and skimmer. One common complaint is that the sump isn’t interchangeable with other filters. You must use the filter that comes with the product.
3. Eshopps RS-75 Reef Sump
The Eshopps RS-75 sump is suitable for tanks up to 75 gallons. The dimensions are 18”x10”x16”. The return compartment is 3.5”x9.5”, and the Skimmer compartment is 8”x9.5”.
This reef sump includes plenty of room in the sump area to accommodate your equipment. Equipment can include pumps, skimmers, and other devices for your aquarium. It also has a pre-filter sponge that keeps air bubbles and debris out of the pump.
This sump has an open-top design, which makes it easy to gain access for maintenance. The Micron bag is also easy to remove.
This reef sump is suitable for reef and saltwater aquariums. Each sump has a cover, 1-inch bulkhead, square foam, 300-micron bag, and three feet of flexible hose.
You can quickly add other aquarium accessories. You also get more water capacity to keep the tank stable.
Many consumers claim that this product is adequate. However, they do with the return area was a little larger.
4. 40” Refugium, Marine Aquarium Filter, 40 Gallon Sump
The Refugium Marine Aquarium Filter is a 40-gallon sump that is 40”x15”x15”. It includes dual one-inch bulkheads with the sock Silencer chamber. It also has interchangeable plates for various sock sizes.
This reef sump also has an adjustable water gate with a 5-10 inch adjustment option. The return chamber is 6”x15”, and it includes four water line holes with power cords.
This product is made using all laser-cut parts. All the parts are ¼” cast material, as well.
One unique thing about this product is you can choose your color. You must send a message to the seller telling them if you want blue, black, or red. However, the body is black, and the baffles are white.
The product is designed for saltwater aquariums, but you can use it for freshwater tanks. You do not have to drill holes to use this product.
Many consumers have rated this product with five stars. They all say that quality is excellent.
5. IceCap 48XL Reef Sump
The IceCap 48XL sump was created for the modern-day reef aquarist. It is designed to meet all your needs and is 48”x23.5”x16” tall.
The sump is highly suitable for 300-gallon tanks. However, it can fit tanks up to 350 gallons.
It includes a dual one-inch drain and dual four-inch filter sock holders. The freshwater reservoir holds 15 gallons of water. It also has a skimmer section that is 24”x14.8”.
The sump exceeds your expectations because of its practical design. It is also built with amazing attention to detail and provides more aesthetic appeal for your home.
The modern-day sump includes a spill-over design and compartment lids. It is very quiet when running. It includes adjustable baffles and probe holders to adjust to your filtration needs.
The product has enough room for your equipment, including heaters, reactors, and more. The kit includes filter socks, plumbing inputs, and more.
6. Windridercreations 50 Gal Refugium-Sump
The Windridercreations Refugium Sump includes two sock kits and is 45”x15”x15” tall. It also has four chambers, three baffles, and two bulkheads. It is designed with 50-gallon refugium-sump and offers a wet-dry aquarium filter feature.
The input chamber is 20 inches, which allows for large sock and skimmer options. The refugium chamber is 18” and includes a 10” wall. The third chamber includes a four-inch media bubble track.
The return chamber is six inches wide. It is designed to fit most internal sump pumps.
Many consumers have been happy with the product and claim that it works great. They also say the finishing touches are nice.
What to Put in Reef Sump?
Many people are new to reef aquariums and wonder what to put in them. Some aquarists only use a heater and skimmer in their sumps. Others like to put sand, live rocks, and other critters.
It is best to put in about four inches of sand at the bottom of your sump. You also want to include macroalgae to help clean the tank between water changes. You are also going to have your reef.
You are also likely to have a return pump to continue circulating water.
There are no rules about what you can put in your sump. However, some enthusiasts claim that you should not use activated carbon.
The carbon depletes trace elements that are needed in the aquarium. Carbon can absorb some metals in the water, but it works better for organic compounds. The protein skimmers you use in the tank also remove trace elements in the aquarium.
Therefore, you may not want to include carbon and other chemicals all the time. Many aquarists believe you should only use carbon if the water isn’t clear. However, with the right reef sump, you should always have clear water.
How to Setup a Reef Sump?
Once you buy the reef sump, you must set it up correctly. Otherwise, your livestock will die, or the water will turn brown. If you already have your tank set up with livestock, you can still buy a reef sump and set it up.
The tank might be on a stand, which might be difficult to remove. You should buy a sump designed for your size tank. The sump should be the same length and two inches shorter than your tank.
Most sumps have a section for a refugium, skimmer, return zone, and top-off compartment. The sump is likely to take up most of the room in the stand. That is the goal of the sump.
If you have old equipment that you’d like to use with the new sump, you should clean them thoroughly and rinse them well. However, the sumps reviewed here have all the tools you need.
You might want to put foam beneath your sump to prevent pressure points that could cause failure. Depending on the connections, you might have to drill holes into the stand. Some people think it is easier to build the stand around the sump.
Once the sump is in the place where it is going to sit, you should install the Kent valve and connect the RO/DI feature. You can now add water to your reservoir.
While most sumps have the RO/DI system integrated into the sump, it might not be best. You can set up a top-off container beside the sump. This limits the amount of freshwater that can be added at one time.
Once the top-off container is full, you can close the ball valve from the RO/DI unit. You can open the ball valve the next time you refill the compartment. If you choose the top-off container, it should handle your tank’s needs for 48 hours.
Refilling it should only take 45 minutes. It is advised not to leave your RO/DI unit on all the time. It only needs to run about four hours each week.
The RO/DI unit keeps your top-off section filled. When the aquarium needs water, the float sensor is activated.
The top-off pump adds more RO/DI water into the skimmer section. This step replenishes evaporated water.
You should attach the device and the sensor in the return section of your tank. It can be secured with zip ties.
Find the best sump for the reef tank is essential. Without the sump, you may have dirty water, algae problems, and other issues.
People believe that a saltwater aquarium is hard to maintain because it can be confusing. However, with any hobby, it takes time to learn. The reef sumps listed here are all designed to make maintenance easier.
As long as you know your tank’s size and what you need, you can find the right reef sump for your needs.