A sump for the Triton Method
The newest kid on the block these days is the Triton Method. People have been quick to adopt and criticize the high resolution testing and additives of this new approach calling it everything from the future of reefing to another marketing gimmick. Unfortunately, I think many miss the point completely on this new approach with the myriad of tests and additives and fail to see that the “method” is truly about simplicity and understanding of your aquarium.
Ehsan has said it himself, the Triton Method really isn’t a method at all. It’s just a means of understanding what is actually happening in your aquarium. The tests break down every detail of what is happening in your tank and empower you to make the decision and appropriate changes. You are supplied with the knowledge and you take the action to maintain or improve the environment of your tank.
What I think is also great about this method is the purity and simplicity of the filtration. There is no requirement for specialty equipment, no need for proprietary bio material or mysterious liquid in bottles. The mechanics are simple, an appropriately sized fuge and a skimmer. The key here is an APPROPRIATELY SIZED refugium. Somehow through all the marketing of widgets and gizmos, refugiums have gone by the way side. If you find a fuge at all in your sump it’s likely to be 1-5% of your overall water volume making pretty much pointless for nutrient export. The Triton Method recommends 10-20% of your water volume dedicated to a fuge. A fuge is the main nutrient export, a throwback to decades ago when fuges were the norm and skimmers were just supplements to filtration, but still a tried and true method that has stood the test of time. Julian Sprung even just spoke about this very topic at the 2014 MACNA. Use the filtration that is easiest and most stable and spend your time understanding and enjoying what is in your tank.
Now the Triton Method is not for everyone, but if you want to start the Triton method and don’t have a fuge adding one is easy. Simply elevate any container higher than your sump and use a small pump to push water to that container. A simple bulkhead or uniseal will allow the water to gravity feed back to your sump. Just remember it needs to be 10-20% of your overall water volume.