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The Wombat

Sump V's Canister filters.

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I would like to know what the advantage is of a sump verses a canister filter?

I have seen sumps on marine setups for many years and freshwater breeding setups, but not too many on the home hobyists single freshwater tanks, until recently.

I assume this has been discussed before but I'm new to the forum.


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i have a few canister filters, to be honest they are ok, but cleaning them can be a pain, plus you can't really tell when they need cleaning, you can kill your bacteria when cleaning them, they can clog up, but they are easy to set up, they can be hidden, if used properly they can be great, only run 1 tank per filter,

also sometimes after cleaning them its hard to stop them from leaking, :),

sumps are easy to clean, you really only need to change/clean dacron, you can run several tanks on one sump (cheaper on power), they seem to keep the water cleaner and stable, if you heat your sump it also saves having several heaters going,

down side is setting them up takes a bit of thought and extra work, most sumps cost a lot more to set up then buying a cheap canister filter, can be a little unsightly on the eye, specially if you have one in the lounge, lol, but they can be hidden if you get them made to size to fit under your tank,

if running several tanks on one sump if you get a disease it can go through all the tanks, so a hospital tank is a must,

you can also make sumps from lots of different things, not just glass tanks, you can use plastic drums, plastic containers,

me personally, i'm changing over to sumps, i'm looking at making a couple 5/6ft sumps to run a few tanks, also going to sump my ibc's,

hope this helps a bit,



Edited by steveandjules
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A sump gives you the ability to add more media thus allowing more water to be cleaned at one time (imagine a 4 foot tank full of bio balls, ceramic noodles, sponge, dacron, and other things that catch the bacteria and clean the water) where as a canister can only clean a small limited amount of water at one time...

In summary it just comes down basically to the amount of water a canister can hold as opposed to the amount of water a sump can hold.

Then your pump is determined 1 by your sump, then what ever plumbing you have and the size of your tank. The "bigger" the pump the higher the level of your water will be in your tank.

This is basic layman's terms.

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so boring tis not funny, either will do the job, either will be crap if not used correctly :)

so if u want either, make sure you understand firstly your basics, then buy either and use either :)

a sponge filter will out perform both if they are not used correctly :)

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