For most experienced aquarium owners, a sump is such an essential feature of their setup, yet so few beginners or even novice owners will understand the benefits. In the majority of cases, they won’t even know what one is. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place as we’re going to detail everything you need to know.
So we’re all on the same page, an aquarium sump is basically a separate tank that’s connected to your actual fish tank aquarium. This is usually for tanks where you have an amazing setup, but you don’t want to ruin the aesthetic by having a load of pipes and equipment all stuck around the outside.
Instead, all this equipment goes into the sump, and the water is circulated between the two, meaning you get to keep an amazing looking fish tank and maintain the quality of the water you need, although without compromising on your experience whatsoever.
However, the question remains – which is the best aquarium sumps, and which is going to give you everything you need for the awesome experience you’ve been looking for? Today we’re going to find out but examining our five favorite sumps and what they’ve got to offer.
Eshopps RS-75 Reef Sump
Starting off our list, we’ve chosen this awesome reef sump from Eshopps. This is an affordable, mid-range device that’s suitable for both beginner and expert tank owners and designers and is sure to have everything you need in a sump and more.
Firstly, this sump is designed to accommodate all the equipment and tech you could to install into your tank. This includes skimmers, pumps, filters, and practically anything you can think of. There’s more than enough room for everything, plus the water of your tank.
All in all, this sump is designed to accompany tanks up to 75 gallons in size, which is more than enough for most people. Interestingly, there’s also another sponge feature through the middle which is design to stop debris and air bubbles passing into your water and contaminating it; another great feature from Eshopps to look out for you.
Everything is really easy to hook up and install, and the top lid of the device can be removed which allows you easy access to the inside the sump when you need it. There’s no need to fiddle around with lids or catches. Just open up and do what you need to do!
Searching online, the reviews online are mainly positive and announce this a being a highly functional; sump that does everything you want it too. Overall, there’s really nothing negative to say about this product, and it’s sure to run as planned! What more could you want?
- Supports tanks up to 75 gallons in size
- Sponge filter to stop debris and bubbles entering the water
- Easy to set up and install into your tank
- Comes with a simple lid for easy sump access
Trigger Systems 4431 Emerald Sump
Manufactured locally in the US, the Trigger System sump may be slightly more expensive than a budget-conscious buyer can afford, but if you’re looking for a long-term investment that provides you with one of the best sump experiences possible, this is the line for you.
The Emerald sump is designed to be effortless to use and comes with everything you need to get up and running in no time at all, including in-flow and outflow pipes, a sponge filter, and more. One of our favorite features exclusive to the Emerald sump is the full top support.
This is a solid piece of material used as a sturdy brace across the entire sump. With traditional sumps, you’ll find the humidity, and water pressure of consistent use makes the sump bump and become disfigured. Over time, this can cause breakages. However, this will never be a problem with the Emerald sump.
All in all, this is a lightweight sump that aims for quality and functionality over anything else. It’s easy to set up your filters and equipment, and you’re sure to find everything you need with this amazing design and a leading example of premium American manufacturing.
- Comes with full top support to stop long-term damage
- Lightweight and easy to set up and start using
- Comes with all connection pipes you’ll need for any aquarium
- Made locally in the US (Texas)
- Slightly more expensive and may not be suitable for budget-conscious buyers
Eshopps AEO15005 Sump for Aquarium R-200
Heading back over to the Eshopps brand now for yet another amazing sump, or in this case ‘refugium’ that’s designed to be a sleek and stylish solution for those looking to continue the quality of their tank’s aesthetic design.
This miniature ecosystem is ideal housing all your tank’s equipment or can even be used for housing sensitive or poorly pets and plant life, or simply for increasing the water volume of your tank. In fact, there are so many features and possibilities here, the choice is really up to you, and you can use it for whatever purpose you want or need.
One feature you’ll want to know about is the fact this sump is uniquely made of foam and acrylic. While this keeps the sump incredibly lightweight and easy to move around, it remains sturdy and reliable and won’t break easily.
Of course, all the built-in filter and stoppages are included as you would expect in a professional sump and all areas operating very quietly as not to distract you as you’re going about your day.
Suitable for aquariums up to 100 gallons in size and including more than enough space to include any pieces of equipment, and the compatible micron bags are readily available and are no hassle to get a hold of, all in all making this a great sump that fulfills everything you’re looking for!
- A reliable and high-performance sump
- Suitable for aquariums up to 100 gallons in size
- Compatible micron bags and easily and readily available
- Comes with more than enough room and space to add all your tank equipment
CPR AquaFuge2 Hang-On Refugium – Medium
A refugium is slightly different to a sump in the sense that they’re specifically designed to hold the living organisms of your tank, but there’s still enough room for you to add equipment such as filters and pumps if you’re looking for the extra room.
The CPR refugium is a great choice in this category due to just how affordable it is, the most affordable device on our list, and how easy it is to set up. All you need to do is hang the refugium on the back of your tank, connecting up the pipes as per the instructions and you’ll be ready to go!
Included with your purchase, you’ll find a small AquaFuge 2 Powerhead device that’s capable of processing up to 2.5 gallons of water, as well as a medium and large variation which are callable of processing 3.6 and 4.7 gallons respectively. Simply choose the one that works best for you!
The only downside to this refugium is the fact it’s a lot smaller than your typical sump which means it’s only really suitable for smaller tanks and looking after a select few organisms.
You’ll also need to get your own lighting setup if you want to use it for the latter, but apart from that, this is a self-contained device that’s inexpensive yet doesn’t compromise on quality.
- Comes with three AquaFuge pumps
- Easily hangs onto the side of your tank
- Completely suitable for budget-conscious buyers
- Comes with instructions and all pipes you’ll need
- Will need to purchase a lighting system if planning to keep organisms in the tank
WindRiderCreations Aquarium Filter Kit Refugium/Sump
The final product we’re looking at today is a large design that’s suitable for being used as both a refugium or a sump; basically, whatever you want all in one handy design for a completely inexpensive product that’s suitable for everyone.
This is a sump designed for high-quality acrylic that’s built to last. However, this is an aquarium sump kit, which means you’ll need to build and put together the kit yourself. Nevertheless, this is a fun and completely rewarding project, and it requires minimal tools and equipment.
Included with your purchase you’ll find all the materials and acrylic sheets you need to put it together, and there’s even a 100-page instruction manual and a three-hour YouTube if you want to follow along online.
Looking at the reviews of past customers, you’ll quickly notice this is one of the most popular sumps on the market. The company has done an amazing job at putting everything together, and the customer service team are fast to respond and really awesome and friendly at what they do.
All in all, this is a superior product that really brings an experience aspect into sumps and refugiums. You’ll find everything you need with this product, and it’s guaranteed to leave you wondering what you ever did without it!
- A DIY acrylic sump kit that comes with everything you need
- Truly outstanding customer service
- 100-page manual and three-hour YouTube video to help you put everything together
- Suitable for people buying on any budget
As you can see, when it comes to finding a sump or refugium for your fish tank aquarium setup, there are plenty of options to choose from. Make sure you’re looking into what you want from your sump and how much you’re willing to spend, and you’re sure to find the one that’s right for you.