Is a sump required?


New member
Well I recently bought a 100g tall aquarium and realized its going to cost WAY too much to get going to have what i want so I decided to use my current freshwater 55g and convert it to saltwater. I bought an xp3 for filtration and was wondering if I could get by without using a sump box (or refugium) as long as I have a good enough protein skimmer and the xp3? At least for now. I have read a lot about sumps but am still confused as to if they are required or not. I plan on a fish/reef tank with coral.
Thanks in advance.
I would not use a sump for the 55 but slowly gather equipment to get the 100g working and use the 55 as a sump..
only thing is if you don't get a sump be prepared to dedicate a lot of time to cleaning your tank. also having a refugium helps to increase your pod population. i think if your going to have a sump though, you should wait until you set up your 100g first
Well, I don't have a sump on my 75 and my 75 is a reef. I don't have any problems with my tank but, I would agree with Zee, I do feel like I do a little more work. I run canister filters on my 75. I run LR in my canister filters, and I do have a HOB refugium that I made out of an old Penguin filter. Having that combined with LR in the main tank, and a Protein Skimmer seems to make my tank run very well, but that is just what I do.

So, my answer would be No, you don't have to have a sump to have a successful reef tank, but I would imagine it would make life a little easier, and give you more options.

Hope that helps.
You definetely do not need a sump. The only purpose my 10 g sump serves on my 125 g is to hold my heater, float valve 4 auto top off and protein skimmer. Nothing else in the sump. Bare bottom with high flow so nothing settles down in there.

A sump can be a good safe haven for pods and critters to live and reproduce.