What exactly is An aquarium tank Sump And So why do You will need One?9211521
A sump, when related to an aquarium, is essentially just a secondary tank positioned somewhere underneath the main tank and that is fed with water by way of gravity. The water is returned for the main tank having a pump once it's been processed inside the sump. Generally, the level of the main tank will pass through the sump a few times an hour. The sump itself may be configured in several different ways to provide specific functions that profit the main tank in some way.
Above all a sump, even in it's simplest form, adds volume somewhere. When the main tank is 100 gallons and also you put in a 50 gallon sump, well then the level of the entire system rises to 150 gallons. With that added volume comes added stability. A bigger level of water takes longer to change in temperature, salinity, or whatever parameter you would like to use. And as I've said over and over, stability is key with a healthy aquarium.
After adding volume, the following most common need to incorporate a sump within your aquarium refugiums would be to give you a spot to put all the apparatus that runs one thing. Filters, heaters, skimmers- it could all will end up in the sump. This means less clutter inside the tank or hanging off the back than it. Much more so it will be the only option when the back from the tank fills up and you still have equipment that should be hooked up. Furthermore, because the sump is likely based in the enclosed stand the noise everything that equipment generates will disappear also.
All sumps are fed by a few kind of overflow mechanism either hanging about the back of or built into the tank. This mechanism is made so as to let the water in the tank spill over into it when it gets too much and flow right down to the sump. The advantage of this can be how the top of the water in the tank is actually skimmed clean. Tanks without an overflow usually have a greasy film of proteins and oils floating at first glance with the water which is problematic as it can certainly block gas exchange. By having an overflow, this layer is pulled in to the sump and churned into the water for the protein skimmer to handle. Additionally, that churning likewise helps increase gas exchange - enhancing the dissolved oxygen level of the water.
A sump does mean a more stable water level in the main tank. Marine aquariums particularly lose lots of water to evaporation. On setups with no sump the lake level inside the tank drops as water evaporates, possibly exposing intakes or other equipment inside the tank (or perhaps corals that have grown very tall) towards the air. Not to mention even when it is all totally low enough to not be affected you still wind up seeing the lower level from the outside frequently which, while not exactly a tragedy, isn't pretty either.
Perhaps the best benefit of a sump that's not immediately recognizable would it be provides you with a safe place to introduce additives to the tank. Reef tanks typically need daily doses of calcium, alkalinity, and/or other supplements to keep the water's parameters in balance. Several chemicals are highly concentrated of course, if added straight to the tank have to be added very slowly. Having a sump where one can just dump them into be diluted down before they go into the tank makes adding them significantly less of your headache. Likewise topping off evaporation is easier using a sump for the similar reason. Relatedly, a sump produces a good way for the heater and/or chiller since the localized hot/cold spots they produce will probably be safely out of the inhabitants from the tank.