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The Advantages Of Adding Live Rock To A Sump!

As live rock continues to grow in popularity amongst the fish keeping community, we have noticed more and more people looking to integrate live rock into their tanks in a number of different ways.

One of these more common, non-traditional uses of live rock in an aquarium tank is to use live rock in a sump for your tank with this probably being the second most common use for live rock right now.

You can use live rock in your sump if you wish and it can offer you a number of benefits due to offering a quick, easy, and cheap place for microorganism seeding.

On top of that, you can also get the various other benefits such as nitrate regulation from the live rock but this will depend on other things in your tank too.

Please note that just because using live rock in a tank sump is very popular right now, it does not mean that you have to do the same.

For the most part, you can get very similar benefits by adding bio-balls, ceramic cylinders or PVC pipe to your tank with other tank safe surfaces also being possible too.

Depending on your budget and experience levels, one of those live rock alternatives for in your tanks sump may be better as they can be easier to care for.

The Advantages Of Adding Live Rock To A Sump!

The most common advantage of adding live rock to your tank sump is the microorganism seeding with this potentially offering a range of benefits for your tank.

In some other situations, it can also offer the benefits of helping to lower nitrates due to denitrification of the water too while also offering a place to breed pods too if needed.

Although putting live rock in your tanks sump can help with nitrate levels, it will not do anything to lower phosphate levels at all even though this is commonly stated on social media.

If you are specifically looking to lower phosphate levels in your water then adding live rock to your tank sump is not the best option as it won’t offer any benefit.

Depending on exactly what you are trying to do, you can use the live rock in your sump as a place to place various types of pods to breed without any predators there to feed on them.

This can potentially offer you an ongoing supply of various types of pods to later transfer to your main display aquarium to use them as a highly nutritious food source that is as close to free as you are going to get.

The Disadvantages Of Adding Live Rock To A Sump!

There are some disadvantages of adding live rock to your tank sump with the most common one being that it is not as easy to care for as people on social media suggest and there can be problems.

These problems range from parasites to fungus growing on the live rock but when done correctly, the chances of this occurring really are minimal but they can be common problems for people new to keeping live rock.

We have dedicated articles going over some of these common problems with live rock no matter if you keep it in your sump or main tank that may be helpful.

We go over white fungus on live rock, sponge on live rock, and bubbles on your live rock in these dedicated articles to help our readers better avoid or correct these problems due to them being so common.

Some live rock can take a surprising amount of time and effort to setup too, especially if you are using a random rock base that you sourced yourself.

We have lost count of the number of people who have used unsuitable base rocks that have ended up causing problems with their water parameters so always use a suitable rock with synthetic rocks often being a better option for people new to keeping live rock.

Should You Put Live Rock In A Sump?

Only you can decide if you should put live rock in a sump and although the live rock can offer a number of advantages to your tank, there can potentially be a number of disadvantages too.

You should also factor in the current state of your tank to work out if its current state would even benefit from any of the potential advantages of adding live rock to your sump too.

Although the two most common advantages of putting live rock into your tank sump is the microorganism growth and denitrification, we really do feel that pod breeding is a more beneficial benefit for most people.

This can provide you with an almost endless, low price, nutritious food source for your main aquarium but this can be done in a dedicated tank if needed rather than your sump.

As we pointed out, the majority of the disadvantages of adding some live rock to your tank sump are often easy to fix, especially if you do your research prior to the setup.

This is why so many people are starting to add live rock to their tank sump these days and as more people share their setups on social media, more people do the same so it starts to grow at an exponential rate.


That brings our article going over using live rock in your tank sump to a close. We hope that you have found our article helpful and that we have been able to present both sides of the argument for adding live rock to your tank sump as the majority of social media posts that we see on the topic only tend to focus on the benefits without touching on the potential negatives.