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Is it really old school to not use a sump/refugium?


TonyV

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Looking at setting up a 55G Tenecor to upgrade from a Bio-Cube. The plan is start start slow with a FOWLR and not even think about the expensive stuff required for a Reef tank for a long time. My LFS is telling me that even for a FOWLR tank it is best to go with the sump/refugium and that the canister filters or hang-ons are "Old-School". A buddy of mine has his FOWLR tank running just fine with a Rena Canister filter and a Aqua Clear hang on with a Korallia power head to increase circulation. I can't seem to justify the added expense and equipment requirements needed to support a simple Saltwater tank with a few "Nemos" for my 2 1/2 year old son. I'd really like to keep it simple and expand as my budget and knowledge increases and then it could be a good hobby for the family. The idea is to have the Tenecor tank pre-drilled, plumbed with fittings, and include the back filtration but have it all capped off if I can get away with running a setup simillar to my friends using a canister. This gives me the opportunity to go down the so-called conventional route in the future if I want. Thoughts?

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Get the canister, they work great. Eventually, when you start upgrading to reef status, you can consider a sump, but even then they aren't really necessary, they just make things a little easier and less cluttered.

 

Your LFS guy is a moran, lol.

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actually that LFS guy told you some realilistic advice. canister filters do work, but they tend to clog up and reduce the flow through them. they are a PITA to do maintence on. your going to spend the money anyways. Even if it was a simple sump setup. most people cant resist the urge to get a reef going anyways. so you'll end up going that route. i think in the end you'll save money now to at least get a simple sump that can be used later on down the road. and dont get everything else yet, but just so you know even FOWLR need skimmers.

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I agree, sumps are not necessary. Having said that - if you plan on making the switch to a reef aquarium one day, I would consider getting a reef ready aquarium now. Simply put - it is easier to have that system setup now, then to make the change when the aquarium is already setup.

 

The addition of a sump allows you to hide all the equipment, and perform maintenance...etc…etc...

 

My first aquarium did not include a sump - had it for 6 months, made the change. All my systems since have included a sump.

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my fianca had a 30g with some clowns for years with just an eclipse hood. it had algae problems, but i attribute that to the fact that she used tap water, rarely did water changes, and the filtration on the eclipse hood was a joke. had she used ro/di, a good mechanical filter, and performed weekly water changes, there is no doubt in my mind that tank would have been crystal clear.

 

he already said he planned on getting it pre-drilled and capped so that he could upgrade in the future. sounds like he has it all figured out for the most part.

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look this is a hobby where people get hooked and buy more than they should. for a 55G tank, he will probably have more than just 2 fish in there. no reason to buy a 55 then if your only going to have 2 fish and thats it. you need a skimmer to pull that fish crap out of the water. its not like a nano where you just do a water change and thats it. he doesnt want to spend money so that means hes not going to get an RO/DI unit. so yes you do need skimmer.

 

 

 

But tony if you only want 2 fish and just 2 nemos, just get a 20G then, and do water changes when ever it needs it. if that is all you plan on keeping. and go buy a cheap light online. and have a canister filter feeding from the back. not saying you cant do it like this, ive done my few setup without a sump, but when you get into the bigger tanks, it makes a difference.

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Thanks for all the ideas and suggestions guys. I do want to go down the right path. The tank coming from Tenecor will be reef ready. It sounds like the skimmer is a beneficial piece of equipment and I am prepared to spend the $200-$300 on a skimmer. Are there skimmers that do not need a sump/refugium?

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My sump cost me...

 

$25 used 30 gallon tank

$15 diamond drill bits

$80 plumbing (bulkheads, valves, fittings, pipe, cement)

$50 return pump.

$20 glass for overflow box

 

Now I have a 30 gallon sump for $190 CDN, or less than some canisters. And I won't ever have to take apart the tank to add one.

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no i dont work for any LFS, i just dont want to guy to waste his money like i did at the beginning. if you want to spend 200 to 300 dollars on one, then you can get some pretty good ones for that price, if you are in america, then euroreef. and if in canada, vertex skimmers are almost the same, but i think better.

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Thanks for looking out for me boomboy. I appreciate that. I am located in California. I would prefer a HOB skimmer but like mentioned above I only want to buy stuff once and I want to do it right. My motto has always been "buy cheap...buy twice".

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euro reef does not make a HOB but they do make the RC series that you can run externally so no need for a sump... but look to double your budget for even the smallest (im not talking the new nano euro reef skimmer) is over 500

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In response to not using a sump/fuge being "old school" I gotta agree that your LFS guy is an imbecile...

 

I had a sump (called wet/dry filter at the time) in 1986....If that ain't old enough school I don't know what is....

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HOB skimmers are alright...but an insump model for the same price is probably going to outperform it. A sump will clean up all the equipment from the tank because you can put them in the sump, so all you'll see are some powerheads.

 

Especially since your tank is already drilled and has an overflow, it makes putting in a sump that much easier. All you need are some bulkheads, piping, and various other sundry goods to plumb it in.

 

I've done it both ways, with and without a sump. I'm much happier with the system with a sump and a skimmer. Maybe it's the gratification of knowing exactly how many proteins/lipids you have really pulled out versus them being dissolved in the water change...

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Think of it this way. If you are planning on eventually getting a sump/refugium why don't you just wait alittle bit longer save up some extra money and buy a sump when you can. Why spend money on a canister filter (which do work) only to get rid of it later and spend more money on a sump/refugium. All in all sumps/refugiums work better than canister filters. They mimic the "natural" filtration system better than a man made filter ever could. Humans aren't so good at replicating what God did (ie the ocean) so in the long run its better to go with what worked in the first place. Plus if you have a refugium it helps to house copepods and what not that your fish like to eat. Also you can through some cheato in there and keep it on a reverse light cycle and it'll help knock down your Ph and nitrate levels. All in all a sump/refugium is a better way to go. But like I said a canister filter will work.

 

A skimmer is not "necessary" but is VERY beneficial. Especially in a tank the size of a 55 gallon. Unless you want to be doing water changes once a week (and therefore buying an additional RO/DI filter) I'd just go with a good skimmer. I don't have any experience with HOB skimmers but I've heard some do a good job. I have an "old school" oceanic ventura skimmer in my sump with an ehiem pump and it does a good job as far as I can tell. I'd also suggest going with a ventura skimmer for the fact that you wont need to replace the air stone in the future since it does not use one.

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Thanks for looking out for me boomboy. I appreciate that. I am located in California. I would prefer a HOB skimmer but like mentioned above I only want to buy stuff once and I want to do it right. My motto has always been "buy cheap...buy twice".

are you ####ing kidding me? that isn't at all what you said.

 

The plan is start start slow with a FOWLR and not even think about the expensive stuff required for a Reef tank for a long time. My LFS is telling me that even for a FOWLR tank it is best to go with the sump/refugium and that the canister filters or hang-ons are "Old-School". A buddy of mine has his FOWLR tank running just fine with a Rena Canister filter and a Aqua Clear hang on with a Korallia power head to increase circulation. I can't seem to justify the added expense and equipment requirements needed to support a simple Saltwater tank with a few "Nemos" for my 2 1/2 year old son. I'd really like to keep it simple and expand as my budget and knowledge increases and then it could be a good hobby for the family. The idea is to have the Tenecor tank pre-drilled, plumbed with fittings, and include the back filtration but have it all capped off if I can get away with running a setup simillar to my friends using a canister. This gives me the opportunity to go down the so-called conventional route in the future if I want. Thoughts?
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1. Mechanical filter module from Pentair Aquatics (filters to 5um and also holds carbon).

2. Mag7 pump

3. Assorted plumbing

4. Upgrade: buy sump and some additional plumbing. Re-use pump, sell filter.

5. ???

6. Profit.

 

 

/thread. Have a nice day.

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Thanks for looking out for me boomboy. I appreciate that. I am located in California. I would prefer a HOB skimmer but like mentioned above I only want to buy stuff once and I want to do it right. My motto has always been "buy cheap...buy twice".

 

"Cheap" and this hobby do not go together well...

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xbwolfx - thanks for making a noob feel welcome. I was referring to a cheap skimmer vs spending a few more $ to get a more reputable brand. The posts above my comment was recommendations on brand "A" vs brand "B".

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55G Tenecor?? If your trying to get by with an inexpencive system then why buy such an expensive tank to start with? From what I can find about the cost of this tank alone you could set up a complete system.

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xbwolfx - thanks for making a noob feel welcome. I was referring to a cheap skimmer vs spending a few more $ to get a more reputable brand. The posts above my comment was recommendations on brand "A" vs brand "B".
Are we supposed to be mind readers around here? sheesh.
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