Custom Filtration

Elegant Reef offers the best in custom filtration design. Your sump will be designed for your system, with your given dimensions, and for the equipment you want. We offer sumps, refugiums, reservoirs and many other great pieces of equipment. Every custom job is designed in CAD so that you can see exactly what your filtration will look like and how it will run.

Lets face it, not all sump systems are the same. Many of our local aquarium shops have been selling the same wet/dry style filtration systems for years and most hobbyists don’t realize that these systems don’t offer the features a saltwater tank requires. Here’s what you need to know about sump filtration.

Saltwater sump systems have 3 basic functions, they must provide mechanical filtration, they must accommodate a protein skimmer (and other equipment), they should allow the use of chemical media, and they must be easy to service.

Drain holders with filter socks underneath.

Mechanical filtration is something that many of us do not utilize. The easiest way to remove waste is by removing it directly from the water column. This is usually accomplished by the use of filter padding. A sump must fit into a small space and every inch of the sump is valuable. Filter socks are a great way to capture particulate without taking up a ton of room. Our sumps are designed with drain attachments and filter sock holders (Typically one sock for each drain). This is our first step in nutrient export, the socks collect solid waste/debris/detritus. We simply wash out the filter socks and that waste is gone.











Skimmer in Constant Water Table

Protein skimmers are really the heart of the filtration system, they help to remove organic and inorganic compounds including proteins, fatty acids, metals, detritus, bacteria and they even provide oxygenation. This skimming process helps to keep nutrient levels at manageable levels.

Many hobbyists find themselves in frustration when they put a protein skimmer in a sump that does not have a constant water table.

Do you have a Wet/Dry style filter that only has enough room to put a protein skimmer in the same compartment as the return pump? Have you noticed that your protein skimmer only works correctly when you constantly add water to the sump in order to maintain the “water level?” This is because a protein skimmers’ adjustment is based on the amount of water the skimmer resides in. If you have your skimmer in an area of the sump that has a fluctuating water table (due to evaporation) your skimmer is only dialed in when you have the sump topped off to a certain level.

Our filtration systems take this into account and we always offer a constant water table for your protein skimmer. This means that you can adjust the skimmer and know that its going to stay in adjustment. This small feature alone will greatly improve your skimmers ability to remove nutrient.


A sponge in the media tray can be removed to allow passive media filtration.


Another important feature a sump should have is the ability to use chemical filtration. Although a media reactor is the best way to run any chemical media, we can still utilize carbon and phosphate removal passively as long as we have a good place in our sump for said media. Our sumps come with a built in media tray for this very purpose. If you don’t have the room for a reactor or its not in the budget just yet you can still run the media passively in the media tray of your sump.








Most importantly you want to have easy access to all the compartments and equipment in the sump. We always design our sumps to make it easier for the hobbyist to service the filtration equipment. Many of our custom sumps feature refugiums directly in the front of the sump so that you have full access to keeping this area clean.

Email or call Elegant Reef for all your aquarium filtration needs! 210-308-7333