Views on using a sump system for tropical

🐠 June TOTM Voting is Live! 🐠
FishForums.net Tank of the Month!
🏆 Click here to Vote! 🏆

Malcolm1974

New Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
In addition to my tropical tank I have a 400l marine tank which obviously filters through a sump which also houses a heater, UV lamp and a protein skimmer. (I know I won’t need the skimmer) I’m looking at upgrading my tropical to an 8ft 1000l one. I really like the sump system on the marine as it hides all the filter etc without using up space in the tank. It’s also really easy to top up and do partial water changes without disturbing the fish in the tank. They only problems I can for see is cleaning the substrate although with a tank this size I’ll have gritters and a clean up crew anyway. The price difference is going to be around £400 however I won’t need to buy a filter as I’ll just buy sponges and balls and when you look at what a tank like mine will cost £400 isn’t much in the grand scheme. What are your views on doing this, can anyone see any issues. And advice or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

Colin_T

Fish Guru
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
36,664
Reaction score
21,097
Location
Perth, WA
Trickle filters are great filters on fresh or salt water aquariums. The bigger the sump the better but they are exceptional filters and worth the extra they cost to set up. :)
 
OP
OP
M

Malcolm1974

New Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
I don’t have that on my marine it’s a traditional Herbie system. In the tropical I was thinking of having a trickle system in the return pipes from the weir in the main tank but hadn’t thought of doing a trickle filter. I suppose that would have the benefit of using all the media in the sump as apposed to just having the water going in to one area. Although I guess I’ll need to research if a filter system is better or worst than having one outlet and a sock. Thank you for your feedback greatly appreciated.
 

Colin_T

Fish Guru
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
36,664
Reaction score
21,097
Location
Perth, WA
I'm not sure what a Herbie system is?

If I understand what you have written, you were thinking of using the overflow system in the tank as the filter?
If yes, that is one way of doing it but it will be a fairly small filter, although it would work.

Another type of trickle filter is where they have a sheet of glass along the back of the tank and it separates the main aquarium water from the area at the back. The section at the back becomes the tickle filter.
 
OP
OP
M

Malcolm1974

New Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
I’m with you. I was thinking of putting the trickle system in the sump underneath.

My concern with having at the back of the tank is that the tank will be viewed from both sides as I will cut a hole in a wall so I would need to do it at the side and the other thing is it will reduce the size the fish have to swim in.
 

Colin_T

Fish Guru
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
36,664
Reaction score
21,097
Location
Perth, WA
If the tank is a room divider then a trickle filter in the sump underneath the main tank is the way to go. You have a drain pipe at one end and the return pipe at the opposite end. The water drains out of the main tank into the sump/ filter below, where it is filtered before being pumped back up to the main tank.

The only things you would see in the tank is the drain pipe and the return pipe, and these can be hidden with plants or driftwood. The heaters, filter media and pump/s would be in the sump underneath the display tank.

If you get a double tier stand you have the display tank on top and a big sump underneath. When you do water changes you turn the pump off and drain the sump, then refill it and turn the pump back on. You enclose the bottom part of the stand to cover the sump and have a nice display tank on top.
 
OP
OP
M

Malcolm1974

New Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Yes that was the basis of my question as I have that system in my marine tank. I wanted to see what people’s views where as I didn’t know if there was a downside of having the sump underneath the main tank
 

Colin_T

Fish Guru
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
36,664
Reaction score
21,097
Location
Perth, WA
About the only drawbacks to having a sump under a tank is the stand can rot or rust more readily due to the moisture from the sump. However, lots of paint on the stand will reduce moisture getting to the metal or wood frame of the stand, and coverglass on the sump will reduce evaporation and limit the amount of moisture that collects on the stand. Having air vents around the stand also helps.

And if the sump is not large enough to hold the water from the main display tank when the pump is turned off, you can have a flood. But if the sump is made for the tank it will be big enough.
 
OP
OP
M

Malcolm1974

New Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Thanks Colin. That’s what I thought. I know with my smaller tanks I use a symphon in the tank to agettate the gravel when I clean it. I don’t do that in my marine as the bacteria in the sand is good for the ecosystem. If I have a sump underneath I didn’t know if I’d need to still syphon from the display tank or if I can just do the water change through the sump.

Your suggestion about a trickle filter was useful and something I’ll look into
 

Colin_T

Fish Guru
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
36,664
Reaction score
21,097
Location
Perth, WA
If you have plants in the display tank then you don't need to gravel clean where the plants are, but you should gravel clean areas where there are no plants. You can use a basic gravel cleaner from the pet shop or if you have a big tank, then make one from a 2 litre plastic drink bottle and a garden hose. Just cut the bottom off the 2 litre drink bottle and stick the hose in the top where the cap normally goes on. Then run the hose out the door and gravel clean the gunk out onto the lawn.
 

AbbeysDad

Fish Gatherer
Joined
May 13, 2011
Messages
2,467
Reaction score
2,417
Location
Central New York, USA
Setting aside the increased cost and complexity (over a HOB or canister filter), a sump can be excellent for a FW tank....whether a drip filter is employed or not. The ability to hide the heater as well as employ deep sand and/or medias like Matrix/De*nitrate, MarinePure CerMedia, and/or plants/refugium to aid in water purification is really intriguing. Large array of possible configurations.
 

seangee

Fish Aficionado
Joined
Feb 16, 2008
Messages
4,884
Reaction score
4,104
Location
Berks
Thanks Colin. That’s what I thought. I know with my smaller tanks I use a symphon in the tank to agettate the gravel when I clean it. I don’t do that in my marine as the bacteria in the sand is good for the ecosystem. If I have a sump underneath I didn’t know if I’d need to still syphon from the display tank or if I can just do the water change through the sump.

Your suggestion about a trickle filter was useful and something I’ll look into
If you use a sand substrate it will develop beneficial bacteria. For a well balanced planted tank there really is no need to clean the sand. I have MTS, Corydoras and a Bristlenose in mine. Between them they provide all the agitation / aeration the sand needs.
 
OP
OP
M

Malcolm1974

New Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Seangee that’s great thank you for that info that’s just what I needed. I was thinking of having mostly sand with a little gravel just for ascetics.
 

seangee

Fish Aficionado
Joined
Feb 16, 2008
Messages
4,884
Reaction score
4,104
Location
Berks
Seangee that’s great thank you for that info that’s just what I needed. I was thinking of having mostly sand with a little gravel just for ascetics.
Just don't make it deep enough to form anaerobic pockets, at least not sulphuric ones. 2 - 3 inches on average is plenty.
 
OP
OP
M

Malcolm1974

New Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
No I won’t. It’s the same with my marine tank. I did read somewhere that you can use play sand in a tropical tank, don’t know if it’s true though !!
 

Most reactions

trending

Staff online

Members online

Top