I am designing an aquaponics system for my basement. I am thinking about one large fish tank approximately 3500 gallons. The grow beds will be above the fish tank and consist of twelve 45 gallon beds. Assuming after adding the grow medium, water volume will be reduced to about 35 gallons each.

This means on a one pump system, the most water that will be removed from the fish tank is 420 (12 x 35) gallons. I am thinking that this will have a nominal effect on the fish in the tank so no sump tank should be necessary. Is my reasoning sound?


You are correct in that a separate sump tank is not necessary.

As long as you have access to service pumps and filters, it can certainly all be in one reservoir.

  • Could you provide any references to support your answer, or a bit more detail? – LShaver Nov 6 '18 at 15:58
  • In the system described, the tank simply becomes the sump. The water level difference depends on the dimensions of the 3500 gallon tank. – Jim Nov 7 '18 at 18:31

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