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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m really tempted to buy a gorgeous 90 gallon tank I’ve found on eBay, it comes with a sump and all the pipe work which originally came with the tank when new but the owner never used. I’ve never had a sump before and it all seems a bit confusing, how do you balance the amount of water entering the sump with the amount pumped out? Presumably I’ll have to buy quite a hefty return pump and loads of media so will prob end up costing as much if not more than a new canister filter so I’m not sure whether to go for it or not.


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Sump is more economic and efficient for large tank, recommended.

Water pumped up and flow back down, water level in tank is steady and water refill and change can be done in the sump.

A submergable return pump don't cost much for 90g, but make sure it sits balance and reduce unnecessary off center rotary vibration, because most common problem is this unbalance vibration will shatter the ceramic disc(holding the shaft) inside, and reduce pump life.

I use a lot of polyester fiber for gravity filter media, those pull out from old sofa, cheap and effective, a lot of surface area and don't need any bio ball or whatever, but need to clean the polyester fiber every other week because it tends to clog. (I only clean half and another half next time, so bio filter will keep working)
 

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snails are your friend
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Lots of quality return pumps out there for under $100, or spend a bit more and have one that should run for a decade. I'm a big fan of sumps on larger tanks, but I much prefer the tank to be drilled to using an external overflow box. Is this a drilled tank by chance? It will still work if not, but is noisier and has a potential fail point, should you break the siphon.

Maintaining water level is easy as pie! It basically does it itself. However much water the return pump pushes into the tank, is the amount that will overflow back into the sump. As evaporation happens, the tank level remains the same, the sump is what gets low. If you use a more powerful pump, more water goes through it. There's a point where the overflow box can't keep up with the return pump so you don't want more than it can handle. Media expense can be near nothing, outside of any Purigen/carbon/etc. you might use in any filter. You won't require extra bio media in a planted tank, but even in a fish-only set up you needn't buy "bio balls" and so forth. My best fish-only marine tank ever used lady's hair curlers and plastic army men from the dollar store as bio media. Anything that provides surface area will work. In a planted setup, I'd be inclined to use just mechanical filtration like rinse-able foam pads and sponges, plus any chemical filtration your particular tank might need.

If you have any questions about the tank you are interested in, you can copy the ad and post a screenshot (pretty sure that's allowed), or PM the link to the actual ad to me and I'll give my honest opinion on how good a deal it is. I'm in the retail side of the trade and could probably look up wholesale value or comps if I don't know them already.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for all the info, I really want it now. Bet I get outbid! There are no pics of the sump on the listing as the seller didn’t use it, he said he wasn’t sure how to set it up properly but when he did it was too noisy so he took it out and covered the holes. It’s this tank https://aquaoak.co.uk/1000/01/01/aquaoak-120cm-x-60cm-systemised-aquarium/
Used but looks to be in good condition, doesn’t come with lights unfortunately just the tank cabinet sump and pipes.


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