i'm making a 150-200 gallon reef tank. i am planning on making a sump. my question is. what kind of filtration media should i put in it? should i put bio-balls, LR or LS? your response would be greatly appreciated.
GrotesqueHybrid in a reef tank your live rock is your filtration (also your sand if you have a DSB), A skimmer is also a real good idea. For your sump I wouldnt put any LR or LS in it the LR will just end up being a detritus catcher and usually the waterflow is to fast for sand to sit still. As per Bio balls I would stay away from them. Bio balls only convert ammonia to nitrite and then nitrite to nitrate, from that poin the nitrate goes into your tanks water column, fish can handle it a bit but for corals its a no no. With LR and LS ammonia will be processed down to harmles nitrogen gas, so its a better route.
Save your sump for your skimmer and other equipment like heaters, probes, pumps and other stuff.
You can put in a sponge or other filter material to catch gross particulates but you will need to clean them regularly, other wise you will get into the decomposition in water leads to high nitrate thing. I personally like a water flow that matches the thruput on the skimmer, so that the majority of water is being processed. The faster the sump flow the more chance of micro bubbles and noise abatement techniques will need to be tweaked.
As to UV sterilizers they come in several sized and wattages. Depending on what you want to accomplish, the flow thru rate can vary for different pests or pathogens. Improperly set up and matched is a waste of time , FWIW
Depending on how big you plan to make your sump you have a few options. I have a 50 gallon sump that consists of two main areas, one section has a refugium with a dsb and some macroalgae the other section is where my protein skimmer is kept. You also can have a sump and a separate refugium or just a sump. I would talk to as many people and take a look at as many sumps and refugiums as possible. The sump itself I would think most people would reccommend how and if you want to integrate a refugium is open to debate. I like my set up and would not hesitate to do it again.
I hear Ya Scott. It can be done for sure. But as you know using a DSB or Macro algae to remove nutrients is all about contact time. When researching my remotes beds I talked with several of the big pushers of DSB's and they all pushed that fact. With the amount of flow going through a sump it is not the best place to get it done, unless you creep your sump flow down to virtually nothing. IMHO if you wish to use a DSB or a Macro algae farm for nutrient removal a sumpo is not the best place. A very slow water flow through a independant refugium is the best way to go.