How Does A Sump Work?
A sump gives you greater control over your reef or fish-only display tank. The benefits of installing a sump, far exceed any risks you may think of. The most successful aquariums, all utilize a sump. Some even incorporate a refugium as well. Here are the numerous benefits derived from incorporating a sump into your current setup:
Increased total water volume: This dilutes any accumulating pollutants, and helps avoid issues that occur quickly in tanks without sumps.
Skims the surface: No more surface scum build-up.
Lowers temperature: Due to water movement and more dissolved oxygen.
Hides equipment: Heaters, protein skimmers, monitoring probes, grounding probes and more, can be moved to the sump area and out of the display tank area.
Consistent water level: The display tank will maintain the same water level all the times; evaporation occurs in the sump over time only
Safe place to pour in additives: Adding chemicals or new (Reverse Osmosis De-Ionized) water in the sump allows it to mix before entering the display tank.
Increased water circulation: The return water from the sump is yet another way to move water in your tank. You can point the return outlet(s) in different directions to create flow, instead of putting more powerheads in your display tank!
Increased oxygenation: As water drains into your sump, air mixes in the water, allowing beneficial gas exchange, releasing CO2 and adds fresh O2.
Automatic top-off device: Install an automatic float switch to add new water, as needed, from a nearby holding tank to keep your system filled up.
Refugium: This lighted area can grow macro algae, which uses and lowers the nitrates in your water. The plants also add oxygen, and help maintain pH levels when the main display's lights are off. This predator-free zone will allow good growth of copepods, amphipods and other microfauna that eventually end up in the display tank as a good food source for your inhabitants.
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