Best Sumps For Saltwater Tanks In 2020

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When I put a sump on my reef tank for the first time, I was so excited. Many people believe that having a sump is not necessary, and while that is true, they sure do have benefits. With so many options on the market today, choosing the best sump for your saltwater tank takes research and it can be challenging to find the one that will work for you.

In this article, I will show you the best sumps for saltwater tanks in 2020.

  • Trigger Systems Sapphire 26″
  • Eshopps RS 75
  • IceCap 30
  • ReefOctopus 15A

What is the purpose of a sump tank?

A sump tank is nothing more than an additional container of water that normally sits underneath your main display tank. Most will use another aquarium or a pre-made custom-built system designed by the manufacturer. Its purpose is to hold necessary equipment, filtration and anything else you need to have a healthy environment for your livestock.

Do you need a sump? What are the benefits of having one?

The answer is no. You do not need to have a sump on your saltwater tank. They are not necessary and many hobbyists prefer to not have them. But if you have the option of adding one to your system, you will have extra benefits that sumpless setups don’t have.

Benefits include:

    • They add additional water volume of your system
    • Great for storing and hiding equipment
    • Integrate an auto top off system
    • Add a refugium section into the sump which can be very beneficial
    • Increases gas exchange
    • More space for filtration media
    • Excellent spot for dosing supplements

 

  • Increased surface skimming
  • Easy to work and helps create a healthy environment

 

Best sumps for saltwater tanks review

#1. Trigger Systems Sapphire 26″

 

The Trigger Systems Sapphire 26″ sump is my top pick as it gives you the most features and best quality for the price. Yes, it costs slightly more than some others but it is well worth it. Trigger specializes in sump design and manufacturing. You will receive a top-quality product with a modern design and color that you will love. No more bland and boring looking sumps!

These sumps are designed with an acrylic top support brace to prevent bowing. The round corner design is an added feature that gives additional strength over square corners.

Other features and specs include:

    • Water height adjustment
    • Probe and hose holders
    • Skimmer and refugium sections

 

  • Return pump section
  • 4″ filter sock
  • Self-adjusting foam block
  • Dimensions: 26” long x 13” wide x 15” high
  • 1 drain input with 1″ bulkhead
  • Total Water Volume: 20.4 gallons
  • Sapphire blue coloring to block light and prevent unwanted algae growth

 

 

#2. Eshopps RS 75

 

 

The Eshopps sumps are commonly used on saltwater tanks. They are known to be reliable and well built. The RS 75 is a simple design that will work on tanks up to 75 gallons. I recommend a smaller tank size as the sump itself is only 12 gallons. It has plenty of space for a protien skimmer and retun pump. This sump is the most affordable on the list so if you are on a budget and have a smaller saltwater tank, this sump will work great for you.

Other features and specs include:

  • Includes filter sock and pre-filter sponge
  • Very quiet
  • Compact design doesn’t take much space
  • 3rd generation are new and improved
  • Easy to maintain
  • Dimensions = 18″ x 10″ x 16″
  • 1 drain input with 1″ bulkhead
  • Total water volume: 12.4 gallons

 

Check out: Best Aquarium heaters for large tanks

#3. Ice Cap 30 Reef Sump

 

 

The IceCap 30 is a modern looking, fully operational reef sump that will meet and exceed your expectations. This sump was designed with extra effort into detail and visual appeal. It looks awesome! This sump incorporates a spill over design in the filter sock location.

It comes installed with adjustable baffles and probe holders. There is plenty of space inside the sump for a protein skimmer, refugium, return pump, and other gear. Rated for tanks between 90 and 160 gallons.

Other features and specs include:

  • Strong acrylic construction
  • Bubble Diffusing Intake Chamber
  • Adjustable water level
  • Probe holders
  • Dual 4″ filter socks
  • Rim is reinforced for extra strength
  • Freshwater reservoir
  • 2 drain intake bulkheads 1″
  • Dimensions: 30″ x 16″ x 16″
  • Total water volume: 33 gallons

 

Marine Depot Aquarium Supplies

#4. Reef Octopus Octo 15A

 

 

The Reef Octopus Octo 15A sump has something that not many other sumps have. The color red! Not only that, but this sump is designed by one of the most famous brands in the business. So you don’t have to question the quality. This sump is one you can truly show off and others will be jealous.

It includes a built-in filter sock holder designed for hobbyists who like to use auto-filter rollers. If you have an issue with salt creep, this sump comes with a bubble diffusing intake that reduces microbubbles from entering the display. It’s a great feature to have. If you have a smaller tank, this sump is a great choice for you.

 

Other features and specs include:

  • Reef Octopus red accents
  • Durable long-lasting design
  • Adjustable water levels
  • Skimmer and return pump chambers
  • ATO reservoir
  • Bubble-diffusing chamber
  • Includes filter sock
  • Accommodates auto filter rollers
  • Dimensions: 14.96″ x 14.96″ x 13.78″
  • 1 drain intake bulkhead 1″
  • Total water volume: 13 gallons

 

 

 

 

 

FAQ’s

 

What can I put in a sump?

You can put any filter media and equipment in your sump providing it’s beneficial and convenient. The most common items would be a protein skimmer, heater, filter padding, chaeto macroalgae, chemical and biological filter media, rock and sand, ATO systems, return pump, reactors.

 

Are there alternatives to using a sump?

Yes, there a few options if you either can not use a sump or choose not to. You can use a hang on the back refugium which are great and I have one on my 120-gallon tank. They are not as beneficial as a sump system and they can be an eyesore but they are useful and many people like using them. An example would be the CPR Aquafuge.

You can also choose to use a media reactor that hangs on the back of your tank or a hang on the back filter.

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