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I recently started a thread looking for suggestions on which canister filters would be considered the easiest (read: fastest and least often) to clean. However, today I came across the idea of using a sump instead of a canister filter, which got me thinking ... would a sump be considered easier/faster to clean.

Just to quantify what I mean by faster/easier/etc. Would a sump need to be cleaned less often than a canister filter. Also would a sump take less time to clean than a canister filter each time that it needs to be cleaned?

Lastly if a sump is indeed less work, I'm open to any recommendations for ready made sumps that would prove easy/fast to clean.

Thanks,
Harry

P.S. My current choice for the easiest/fastest to clean canister filter is the Eheim 2075, in case anyone wants to make specific comparisons, etc.
 

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I've got a sump on my 90 gallon setup and it require no time at all to maintain it. Every few days, I swap out the filter sock when it gets clogged, and every few months, I wipe down the drain and return areas clean --> I don't touch the center area that has all my bio media in it. I keep other filtration (i.e. filter floss, chemical filtration) in the baffles.
Plus you could keep your heater in the sump and not have it in the main tank.

I've never had a canister filter, but I don't see how you couldn't help but make a mess with them when you wanted to change sponges or take it apart to clean. In my opinion, it's just a bucket with a watertight lid on it.
 

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IMO sumps are great if your tank is drilled or you drill it yourself. But i'd never trust those overflows. When the power goes out make no mistake, they WILL dump all your water. Their is no runaround for this that I know of unfortunately.

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I've never had my tank empty on me when the power was cut. With the proper design, it should never happen either.

With that being said, there is a little bit that drains from the overflow box to the sump until the standpipe's elbow is above the water line ... maybe a gallon at most on my tank. I have never had it siphon back from the return line, either: just whatever was in the pipe at the time the power was cut. Easiest way to keep it from backflowing is to keep the end of the return line above the water line. Air in the line = no back siphon.
 

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IMO sumps are great if your tank is drilled or you drill it yourself. But i'd never trust those overflows. When the power goes out make no mistake, they WILL dump all your water. Their is no runaround for this that I know of unfortunately.

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How many overflow boxes have you ran on your tanks because this is not true at all? If it was then you would think that nobody would use them anymore. They will not dump all your water if you have it hooked up properly. I have been running overflow boxes on my tanks for over 15 years and have never had this happen.

My power goes out all the time and as long as you have a siphon break hole in your return line and only fill your sump up to the max fill line so you know that if there is a power outage your sump won't overflow you will be just fine. I have heard people bash overflow boxes for many different reasons. People have said bad things about the CPR overflows losing siphon if the pump fails, and while bad things can happen if you use it and maintain it properly then they are perfectly safe.
 

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I run a DIY PVC overflow, and have never had any issues in over 8 years of operation. No backup overflow either, just the one. Make no mistake, if you have an overflow that can dump any water on the floor during a power outage, you have it plumbed up wrong or the system is overfilled.

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IMO canister is faster & easier to maintain.
hehe spoiler here.

Changing fine floss, rinsing media, cleaning seal gaskets, flooding (priming) and restarting my Eheim Pro 3e 2078 or Pro II 2028 takes about 20 minutes each.

Removing the lid on the sump, changing the 2 floss panels, resetting the lid all while never shutting off the circulation pump takes about 20 seconds.
 

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hehe spoiler here.

Changing fine floss, rinsing media, cleaning seal gaskets, flooding (priming) and restarting my Eheim Pro 3e 2078 or Pro II 2028 takes about 20 minutes each.

Removing the lid on the sump, changing the 2 floss panels, resetting the lid all while never shutting off the circulation pump takes about 20 seconds.
+1. With my setup (it's not a wet/dry sump, but one that I repurposed from the old SW tank), it takes all of 5 seconds to slide a filter sock out of the holder and slide a new one in. Every once in a while, I change the filter floss in the first baffle which takes only 5-10 seconds as well. The floss just acts to catch anything that may have fallen down the drain tube and into the sump when I was changing socks.
 

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I love sumps. Quick maintenance, generally more area for media, and you can also hide you heater in there. That said, a QUALITY return pump can sometimes stretch your budget and can be noisy at times.
 

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How many overflow boxes have you ran on your tanks because this is not true at all? If it was then you would think that nobody would use them anymore. They will not dump all your water if you have it hooked up properly. I have been running overflow boxes on my tanks for over 15 years and have never had this happen.

My power goes out all the time and as long as you have a siphon break hole in your return line and only fill your sump up to the max fill line so you know that if there is a power outage your sump won't overflow you will be just fine. I have heard people bash overflow boxes for many different reasons. People have said bad things about the CPR overflows losing siphon if the pump fails, and while bad things can happen if you use it and maintain it properly then they are perfectly safe.
I had 1 on my reef tank ended up draining half the tank by the time I got home. Killed 2 expensive fish, never trusted them again. I suppose I might have incorrectly installed it, it was my first sump.

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The only thing I could think of happening was that your return line/loc line was underneath the surface of the water and/or didn't have a siphon break in the PVC.
Like the picture here, http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l273/ld0gg/120_Oceanic/DSC02402.jpg , when the power is cut and if there is no siphon break, water is going to back siphon back through the loc line until the loc line sucks in air (a good 10-15+ gallons probably on this tank).

I never did trust the loc line being below the surface of the water on my reef tank, so I put a couple Vortech's in there to keep the water flow up. I saw it as ~$600 for a couple powerheads vs. $??? for the house flooding.
 

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I am currently running 2x 20 longs with calflo overflows and 1x 20 long with canister and hob.

Yes, the sump system is easier to clean, easier to top up which encourages better maintenance practices. It is harder to feed though. To feed flake you must turn off the overflow or it will all get skimmed away, unlike with a canister where it will swirl around while fish pick it off. I've also had 2 espei rasboras somehow make it past the sponge prefilter and end up in the sump. Don't know how, but since I am only using sponges on the returns they survived.

The only canister that rivals the sump in ease is the fluval g series, but they have their own trade offs.

The biggest downfall to a drilled tank, imo, is that you are stuck with the tank configuration and background. With a black background, no negative space, and can't repurpose the tank against the wall into a room divider etc.

My .02 worth what you paid for it.
 

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I am currently running 2x 20 longs with calflo overflows and 1x 20 long with canister and hob.

Yes, the sump system is easier to clean, easier to top up which encourages better maintenance practices. It is harder to feed though. To feed flake you must turn off the overflow or it will all get skimmed away, unlike with a canister where it will swirl around while fish pick it off. I've also had 2 espei rasboras somehow make it past the sponge prefilter and end up in the sump. Don't know how, but since I am only using sponges on the returns they survived.

The only canister that rivals the sump in ease is the fluval g series, but they have their own trade offs.

The biggest downfall to a drilled tank, imo, is that you are stuck with the tank configuration and background. With a black background, no negative space, and can't repurpose the tank against the wall into a room divider etc.

My .02 worth what you paid for it.
I don't have a problem with food getting skimmed on my tank. To avoid that, I get a pinch of food and stick my fingers where the loc line is and let the food get pushed around for the fish. In my experience, they like to chase the food around more than they like to pick at it at the surface.

I agree with being stuck with the configuration, although I have seen some people hook up canisters to the holes in the overflow box. I don't have any experience with doing that, so I don't have any opinions on it.
As far as the black overflow box goes, yea that's a pretty big drawback, and it takes up valuable floor space, but I have seen them in blue before as well as clear glass/acrylic. I don't see why someone would go for the clear unless it was curved to somehow block the view of the plumbing, though.
 
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