Is Live Rock more beneficial in the sump versus the main display?

BRS

Do you think that live rock is more beneficial in sump than it is in the main display tank?

  • In the sump

    Votes: 59 13.2%
  • In the display

    Votes: 185 41.4%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 59 13.2%
  • Not sure

    Votes: 144 32.2%

  • Total voters
    447

homer1475

Figuring out the hobby one coral at a time.
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As far as bacteria goes, I don't think it matters. They will colonize any hard surface be it the sand, the glass, or your LR.

And I would have to agree with @Triggreef that what your most likely seeing is just freeing up space so water has a place to flow around the rocks leaving less area for detritus to settle(algae loves detritus), which means less algae and a more stable healthier tank.
 

DJF

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Yes I believe there is a benefit not just because of flow but Also the types of sponges and bacteria that thrive in minimal light. I’ve seen covered brute cans full of rock plumbed to a sump for that exact reason. My LFS has a 250g ibc tote full of LR as a sump and nothing but racks in the display.
 

Twigg

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I set up a frag tank months ago with live rock in the sump as well as marine pure balls. Amazing how clean my glass stays. Very high flow sump. I love rock in the DT but think it’s doing wonders in my sump alone. I always have extra tock in my sumps and they are much cleaner than in DT.
 
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revhtree

revhtree

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anecdotal evidence but I use only bio media like brick or ceramic rings etc...in temporary systems with no issues and when I say temp I mean multiple fish for a couple months including some corals

This will make a great QOTD one day!
 

CrimsonTide

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I think more rock is more rock. More surface area therefore more bacteria hard surface. I would also say that reduced predators in a sump would help your micro filter feeders survive and work (copepods). I would say a mix of both is probably the best. And if you want to do one of those cool NSA scapes just shove a bunch of rock in your sump for more benefits.

But if you done want 40+lbs of rock in say a 40 breeder display you can definitely put 20 to 30 lbs up top and 10-20 lbs in a 20g sump.

Also always having rock in your sump available to seed another tank in a pinch has great benefits.
 

galantra

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From my own experience I actually keep live rock in my sump as part of my refugium. So it gets constant light and different types of algae grows including sponges in the sump. My tank also seem to stabilize better when this is done and the amount of coralline algae grows so much.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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I dont think any reef system will ever have trouble with this allocation of surface area, the bioloads we carry are vastly outnumbered by the collective surface area all these various substrates present. that being said, in a fish only setup this could be problematic as we're taking away the main contact surface area for immediate ammonia resolution right beside fish where they emit it, and channeling this crucial contact zone all after the outflow of a small drain pipe into a sump. big bioloads up top emitting waste swirl around with no contact, potentially elevating free ammonia control in the display and that's about what it would take to have any display tank fail to control its waste. I dont believe a group of anthias or tangs could cause this in a reef setup.

Based on the builds for the show Tanked, high bioload and sequestered filtration surface area (every build) even this risk may not occur.
 

ca1ore

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Hard to see how.

I suppose less rock in the display means less surface area for algae to grow, but better to address the root causes. Less rock in the display also means less places for the fish to sleep and potentially more aggression problems. My approach (and no plans to change it) has always been to include enough rock in the display to achieve the target aesthetic and sleeping space requirements. If additional is required to meet biological filtration needs, then it goes into the sump. Rarely required though.
 

HB AL

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I voted other as I keep it in both. As far as biological filtration goes I would say it's equal. I do have a ton of rock in my tank because I have alot of fish and corals 6 of them triggers and 9 other fish which gives all of them plenty of areas in there to chill, sleeping quarters etc... which curbs any aggression.
 

Calm Blue Ocean

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Having just started a thread about my out of control nutrients, I have to ask, can live rock in your sump become a nutrient trap? I recently added live rock rubble to my filtration in an attempt to seed the tank with some good things but can it be doing bad things too? Not sure how people run their sumps but in my AIO there aren't any critters to crawl around and maintain rock back there.
 

Wen

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I have rock in 4 places. The more flow you get around the rock the cleaner it stays. That makes the rock a better filter and is better than having one big pile of it.

But that's just my opinion.
I agree with you.

Have live rock in DT, refugium, in overflow, in unlit sump chamber and under filter socks.

DT LR picked clean by fish, has coralline and sponges on it.
Fuge LR covered in macro and sponges.
Overflow LR has different life forms on it.
Unlit chamber and under socks has sponges and worms.

The more LR the better imho.
 

Treefer32

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I would argue the more surface area the better. . . Heck a pile of pvc pipe in the sump would increase filtration capacity and bacterial populations. . Most any surface can clean filter water (that's reef safe). That said. limestone or reef rock have additional buffering capacities that artificial stuff does not that benefits corals. Does it matter where the rock does this, not in my opinion. Other than maybe the sump keeps the surfaces cleaner and porous for bacteria...

I've wanted to do a trial but, I haven't figured out how to do it yet. When I redesign my plumbing and sump I may enlist help to do it right... I have a 5 gallon pale full of around 40 lbs of rock rubble (dry right now) I'd like to incorporate into my main tank.

I would like to plumb an add on sump (whether it's a 5 gallon tote, bucket, or 40 gallon breeder. Some type of multi layer, multi stage filter sump.

The idea would be:

Stage 1: Water flows in from my overflows to multiple layers of filter floss. Which then flows into a layer of 40 lbs of rock rubble. Which then flows into my main sump that contains skimmer, heater, and algae scrubber. I've always wanted to try the "bucket of rock" remote sump idea. I'd consider lighting it to house a frag rack there or something too for a frag tank away from my idiot fish that carry my frags around the tank.

I don't know if this is a good idea or terrible idea... Or adds too many failure points from a plumbing perspective. It seems quite difficult to have one tank flow into another without problems. . .
 

Barnabie Mejia

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I have rock in my display, and have 4-5 pieces of rubble in the sump. but I do have 2 gallons of marine pure spheres in the sump. I have been thinking of adding more flow in that chamber where they are. I am running a 20L sump and I really don't have a lot of room for more live rock down there. it would be awesome if I did, and I would definitely have some more rock down there.
 

rtparty

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It doesn't matter where it is. If you crank the flow through the sump and turn on a light, now you just have 2 display tanks.

Flow around the rocks is the more important part. That is why rock walls and tons of rock is so bad for the long term health of a tank
 

Cole.mormon

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In the display and the sump the fish need places to hide and the more flow in the sun would be better for live rock as someone said above it keeps it cleaner and makes it a better filter so therefore things don't decay on it personally I like this play rock and then maintain just for the aesthetics live rockin' the sump also makes a lot better filter for bacteria and can have places for copepods to hide, but on the other hand I can't be sure seeing as it I have nine bags of matrix in the sump along with some rubble Rock
 
BRS

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