Starting off our list, this awesome wet dry sump filter by Eshopps. Mid-range price and small footprint make it a favorite among fish keepers. It fits perfectly in a cabinet without sacrificing functional space and boasts a smart, easy-access setup. Coming in various sizes with either single or dual intake, it suits aquarium of all sizes between 10 and 300 gallons.
We love that it has a large bio-ball capacity despite the compact dimension. Indeed, this wet dry sump filter provides outstanding biological filtration. Another nice thing is that it comes with an overflow box, drip tray, and cover. An egg crate and filter pad are also included in the box. Built from high-quality acrylic, this sump filter is also made to last. If you’re a novice, keep in mind that it comes with poor installation instructions. Luckily, this aquarium sump is easy to set up, and there are plenty of videos that explain the process, just in case you get overwhelmed.
Suitable for fresh and saltwater tanks, high-quality, and coming at a price that won’t break the bank, this is a great aquarium sump for novice and experts alike.
The Pro Clear Premiere is ideal for mid-size tanks with a capacity of up to 75 gallons. A must for any aquatic ecosystem, it comes with or without a pre-filter. Perfect for fresh and saltwater tanks, it’s also compatible with the Pro Clear skimmer and pump. Enhancing both biological and mechanical filtration when used with the proper pump, this wet-dry filter can cut down maintenance time and is perfect for newbies or busy fish keepers.
An array of accessories boast its value for money. It comes with a polishing block, bio-balls, return and siphon hose, as well as a return valve and all tubing. At this size, it has a flow rate of 300 gallons per hour and is the smallest in its class. For bigger tanks, you can choose from a range of units with flow rates up to 1,600 gallons per hour. We like its slide-out drip tray that allows for easy removal and cleaning without taking off the skimmers from the sump area. Furthermore, it needs minimal care thanks to its emergency overflow feature.
Setting it up and fine-tuning all settings might take a bit of time, but the process is straightforward thanks to the clear instructions. Quiet, easy to run, and coming at a great price, this is an excellent aquarium sump for the money.
If you’re looking for state-of-the-art filtration and don’t mind spending a buck, the TOM RP90 by KollerCraft could be a great choice. Designed to impress with its unrivaled performance, it makes aquarium maintenance a breeze for both fresh and saltwater systems. Its unsurpassed 6-stage filtration and large capacity filter allow it to keep the water pristine in tanks of up to 90 gallons.
What makes it stand out from the crowd, though, is a system that prevents the water from draining back into the filter sump in case of an electrical blackout. Furthermore, the sump system comes with all filter media included; indeed, you’ll get a premium carbon pillow designed to eradicate parasites while removing impurities and toxins. A poly-fiber media also processes waste and impurities, while the UV sterilizer prevents the tank water contamination with germs and bacteria. A refugium can be purchased separately to use in conjunction.
We also like that it has no siphons to worry about. While getting the right balance between the sump and overflow box might be a hassle, this wet dry filter is quiet, reliable, and truly performing. If you have a larger tank and need superb water quality with minimum effort, this is no doubt an excellent aquarium sump filter.
Tips for Choosing Aquarium Sump Filters
An aquarium sump filter…
… comes with many advantages for both fresh and saltwater tanks.
This system can:
Add water volume to your overall system
Provide a larger area for filtration
Adapt to your requirements and choice of media
… it remains hidden, making your tank more aesthetically pleasing.
When choosing, you should check the following objective criteria:
Flow rate: Perhaps the most important thing to consider if you want to keep the water pristine. In broad lines, the aquarium sump’s flow rate should be at least 6 times per hour the size of your tank. For instance, if you have a 10-gallon aquarium, go for a wet-dry filter rated at least 60 gallons per hour.
Size: You must also check the water capacity of the sump system; at the very minimum, you want it to be at least 20% the size of the tank. However, the bigger it is, the better. You can never have too large of a sump! You can also use this calculator as a guide.
Intake pipes: Most sump filters come with dual intake, although there are exceptions. The dual configuration speeds up the filtration, as the secondary pipe can deal with some of the load. Furthermore, this configuration also helps if the primary system gets clogged, as the secondary pipe can still support your system.
An avid goldfish breeder and keeper for nearly 20 years, Meredith Clawson is the founder of the Pure Goldfish website and author of the book The Truth About Goldfish. Pure Goldfish has been featured in Wikihow, Wikipedia, The Aquarium Guide and more.