convert without a sump

stu51 Member Posts: 187
edited May 2009 in Marine / Saltwater Fish
hi everyone
im getting my 4th fish tank its a regular 5ft
wanting to try marine for the first time
im not interested in corals just some marine fish and live rock
ive done alot of reading most say i need a sump, some dont
so im asking my trusty friends here is it possible to do without a sump?
can i do it with power heads and live rock? internal filter?


  • Mooo
    Mooo Moderator Posts: 7,653
    I am certainly no marine expert..But I have seen many without sumps, even small ones, I know sumps are a much better option for any tank system tho...
    I know many swear by them...
    photo mooo_avat.gif "I'm a Doug Addict" photo cow2heartkisses.gif
  • stu51
    stu51 Member Posts: 187
    hi moo
    i know cannisters are bad for them
    i just want a simple as possible set up i dont mind if internal pumps or heaters are showing
    but every setup i read about includes a sump
    just looking for how to set up a 5 ft without one
    i am so surprised how ifferent a marine setup is!

    god love you moo!!!
    always there for me
  • 321clayt
    321clayt Member Posts: 766
    Hi there
    I had a marine set up years ago and I only had a wet dry canister filer (ehiem) and unergravel filters that was in a 6ft tank. All fish were happy didn't seem to have any issues at all.

    Also had a skimmer running on the tank.
  • stu51
    stu51 Member Posts: 187
    hi 321clayt
    that sounds like my kind of setup that i want!
    what did you have in the tank?
    i mean fish, live rock?
    how did you have it setup?
  • 321clayt
    321clayt Member Posts: 766
    Just a basic set up coral gravel for the substrate.

    Didn't have live rock in the tank didn't know about that at the time. I had annimies (have no idea how to spell that) clown fish,damsels few other types of fish can't remeber now but they all thrived just fine.

    The underground filter was run with an air pump very basic.

    I did have a black light as well.

    I also had a 3ft tank with just salt water in it heated to 26c for water changes just had a powerhead in that for water movement made water changes very easy.
  • stu51
    stu51 Member Posts: 187
    wow thanks for the info
    youve given me hope that it can be done
    thanks <!-- s:dance1: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/yahoo.gif" alt=":dance1:" title="dance1" /><!-- s:dance1: -->
  • DeadSled
    DeadSled Member Posts: 303
    Definately use a sump. Makes life SO easy.

    They really aren't hard to set up at all.. i've just changed my sump setup to a four foot tank in the next room, as a sump.. for my four foot tank. The plumbing is easy, making baffles is easy, setting up is a no brainer.

    Go on some other forums like and check out the larger tank areas. They look complicated but they really aren't..
    GNARKILL_89 Member Posts: 60
    I agree. Go the sump. It takes out so much hassles of high nitrates later on when the tank gets a bit older.

    It also opens the door to coral's later on if you change your mind. (everyone does! <!-- s:P --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- s:P -->)

    Good luck
  • stu51
    stu51 Member Posts: 187
  • Roboat
    Roboat Member Posts: 328
    The main reason why sumps are used is for the abbility to have extra water capacity, refugium for growing macro algae to reduce nitrates and more liverock. Yes canisters can work perfectly if you keep up there maintanance and such, in the end salt water isn't any different from freshwater. My friend runs a 6ft tank from canisters with anomes and clowns, has been running perfectly for yrs.
  • DeadSled
    DeadSled Member Posts: 303
    Another point..

    If you have a sump, with a refugium.. you can grow the caulerpa (algae) but it also gives your tank somewhere for pods to breed. I just had a look at my sump earlier and theres like 5000 all over the glass, as opposed to like 3 yesterday. Pods in the fuge end up in your tank and they are a natural food source for your fish.

    Sump = Win.

    Btw.. i'd like to see someone successfully grow algae, have a breeding ground for pods.. and get a giant extra amount of water volume.. also have a possible future coral propogation area.. AND fit a skimmer into a canister filter.