Best Refugiums Reviews – Every Thing You Need To Know

What is an Aquarium Sump or Refugium?

Refugium or aquarium sump is a separate aquarium that you can attach with your existing aquarium. This type of add-on fish tanks are mostly used with saltwater aquariums.

It is usually placed inside the cabinet of fish tank or aquarium. Sometimes, they are also pumped to a separate fish room or basement.

Fish basement acts as the most suitable and commonly used builds for easy accessibility of the breeding fish. However, most of the aquarium owners mostly put the aquarium sump inside the cabinet.

Most of the refugium are designed with 3 sections:

  • The drain section
  • The flex space section
  • The return section

How to Select a Refugium?

There are many different types of refugium available in the market. But to figure out the best one for your requirements, you have to consider some important factors.


The size is the first thing that you have to consider is the size of the cabinet. It is good to have a bigger sump but make sure that you can easily fit and manage it.


Make sure to get the refugium with multiple chambers and adjustable baffles. This will be very helpful to fit different types of equipment in it.


It is important to get a highly durable sump as changing or replacing it after few years would cost you very high. A good-quality refugium should last for lifetime.

Acrylic vs. Glass

It is better to avoid glass material as it is prone to cracking and scratch. On the other hand, acrylic is very lightweight material and also very less prone to scratch and cracking.

Acrylic vs. PVC

The more durable material than acrylic is PVC but it is quite expensive. For saving money, you can also go for a PVC hybrid which includes both Acrylic and PVC.


Enter You also need some essential accessories for your tank. The most important and essential accessories are probe holders and euro bracing. These help to work with the design in a cleaner and easier way.your text here…

Ease of Installation

Always consider the installation process of the sump. This is because if not setup properly then it will not work in an accurate manner. Thus, choose the sump that comes with easy installation process.

Low Noise

Make sure that the sump does not create much noise.

Below Are the Different Types Of Best Refugiums Reviewed

1. Marina Hang-On Breeding Box

Fluval Multi-Chamber Holding and Breeding Box, Large – Up To 3 Separate Housing Compartments
  • Compatible with Most Aquariums: Easily attaching to the side of most aquariums up to 1” thick, the Multi-Chamber Holding & Breeding Box provides up to 3 separate compartments for protecting fry, sick/weak fish or new fish that require acclimation.
  • Required Parts: Please note that this multi-chamber will require an Air Pump (1 L/per minute) and Airline Tubing, both of which are sold separately.
  • Usage: Ideal as a hatchery and incubator to help protect newborn fry from being eaten (which improves survival rate). Provides a safe haven for injured or weak fish. Helps acclimate new fish as water circulates from the aquarium
  • Space-Saving: This chamber’s design measures 10.25″ L x 5.5″ W x 4.75″ H (26 x 14 x 12 cm) and holds 0.5 US Gal (1.9 L) of water. Hangs onto aquarium exterior for easily observing fish and convenient maintenance.
  • Versatile: Utilizes the same conditioned water as your aquarium, no additional heater or filter required. Can be used with fresh and saltwater aquariums.

Last update on 2023-06-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • This is a completely safe & secure fish tank for breeding, and acclimating fish.
  • It is made with space-saving.
  • This can be used for multiple purposes.
  • It can be easily installed on the outside of aquarium.
  • It is available at a very affordable price.


  • There is a problem of outflow due to big space.

Just box to create a refugium or a breeding colony is enough and this product proves it. You can build a very successful and isolated environment for your sensitive fishes with this single box attachment.

It hangs on to the outside of the aquarium frame and does not overweight it on any pressure point. 

It is also a multi-purpose holding box which includes purposes from breeding and refugium to isolating and acclimatizing the fishes to a new tank.

2. ​Aqueon ProFlex Sump Model 1, 44-55-Gallon

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  • It has three chambered system that offers better filtration flexibility.
  • It is made with highly durable acrylic material.
  • It has very clean-line design.
  • It comes with a lifetime warranty against leaks.
  • Less noisy and suitable for both freshwater and saltwater use.


  • It’s set up is quite hard.
  • It is very expensive.

It can be set up as a refugium, berlin or wet/dry filtration system. The filtration process is super quiet and does not disturb the habitat of the fishes.

The design is clean and every process can be seen by the user for better transparency and supervision. The device is induced with easy sump modifications for a custom set up too.

This refugium kit can hold up to 50 gallons of water and is efficient for larger tanks too in due intervals with a combo of hose gravel vacuum. Also have a look at the best gravel cleaner in the market.

3. ​​Eshopps AEO15005 Refugiums for Aquarium R-200

Eshopps AEO15005 Refugiums for Aquarium R-200
  • Micron bag (Rectangle)
  • Skimmer compartment
  • Made of Foam

Last update on 2023-06-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • ​It comes with a micron bag.
  • ​This is designed with skimmer compartments.
  • ​It is made of foam.
  • ​It increases tanks stability and performance in many ways.


  • This is very expensive.
  • Some buyers have complained that this tank has leakage problem.

This is an already built refugium kit. It comprises of all the compartments from isolation to breeding. The three compartments are well divided with a micron bag.

It is best for sensitive and isolated fishes. This refugium can also b converted into a normal tank after the needs are met. The skimmer compartment has the flooring made of foam to get better results.

It is quite easy to clean because of the non-sticky material of the frame. The kit is altogether cheaper than the products used to create an aquarium individually.

My Pick

In my opinion, the best one is Marina Hang-on Breeding Box. It is a very safe and secure breeding box that is available at a very affordable price.

This is specifically designed for breeding, and acclimatizing. It acts a perfectly suitable nursery for live bearer fish and also makes view and maintenance easy.

It properly circulates warm and oxygenated water through the breeding box by using an air pump. Moreover, there is no need of additional heaters and filters.


[Revised and Updated for July, 2019]
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Written by Debra Hutchinson, founder of FishXperts

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