Trigger Systems Sapphire Sump - 26 inch

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Trigger Systems LLC

Limited Edition Sapphire Sump

Trigger Systems specializes in aquarium sump manufacturing. They manufacture all sumps here in the USA (Dallas, TX). Trigger Systems build each sump as if it were their own. They take pride in the robustness, efficiency of the design and visual appeal of our sumps. All sumps come with a full top support brace which are made of a solid piece of material. Without this the sump will over time begin to bow out from the humidity and water pressure. They also round instead of squaring the corners which exponentially increases the strength of the corner.

Trigger Systems have taken feedback from their customers through the years to enhance their products. Small things in the design aspect will pay off considerably when putting the sumps to use. A simple example is that they always maximize the distance between the protein skimmer location and the return pump in an effort to minimize the chance for micro bubbles returning to the display. All Trigger Systems sumps come with a refugium section that can be used to house other equipment if a refugium is not desired on the particular setup.

The Sapphire Sump features are:

  • Interchangeable plates (PAT PENDING)
  • Lid to prevent splashing
  • Adjustable water height
  • Self-adjusting foam block platform (PAT PENDING)
  • Dual platforms
  • Protein skimmer section
  • Refugium section
  • Sapphire blue coloring to block light and prevent unwanted algae growth in other sections
Sapphire Water Flow

Water enters the Sapphire sumps into a dedicated section where the water will then flow over into Section 1.

Sump Diagram

Section 1 is where the interchangeable plate is located allowing for either filter sock or foam block mechanical filtration. This area is covered with a lid to prevent water splashing. Water then flows out the bottom of Section 1 into Section 2.

Section 2 is typically where the protein skimmer is located. Water then flows through the ‘Trigger Symbol’ cutout into Section 3.

Section 3 is the refugium section. The water then flows over the second baffle through 2 perforated platforms and under the third baffle into Section 3. The top perforated platform comes with a foam block filter and the bottom one is open to use for several different filtration methods (bag of carbon, bio balls, rubble rock, etc.).

Section 4 is the return water section back into the tank. This is where the return pump will sit.

Interchangeable Plates - Patent Pending
Each Sapphire sump comes with two plates that can be placed into Section 1:
  • Filter Sock Plate
  • Foam Block Plate
The filter sock plate is installed when the included 100 micron filter socks are desired.

The foam block plate is perforated with holes and comes with a foam sponge block filter. The foam block plate can be used when filter socks are not desired or in the case when the filter socks need to be changed or cleaned but replacements socks are not readily available but yet mechanical filtration is needed. In this case, simply remove the filter sock plate and install the perforated foam block plate and then place the included foam sponge block filter in place.

Adjustable Water Level
Water level in the sump is adjustable from 7” to 9.5” to accommodate for the water height requirements for different protein skimmers.

Self Adjusting Foam Block - Patent Pending
As the water level is adjusted by sliding the wall up and down, the foam block sponge filter and the perforated plate that it sits on will also move up and down automatically. This is important to maintain the correct location of the foam block sponge filter with respect to the sump water height.

Probe Holder
All Sapphire sumps come with a probe holder that can hold up to three probes. The two outside holes are 0.63” in diameter and the center hole is 0.8” in diameter to fit different sized probes.

Hose Holder
All Sapphire sumps also come with 4 holes in the top support brace for holding in place 1/4” OD tubing from reactors, dosing pumps, ATO, etc.

  • Dimensions: 26” long x 13” wide x 15” high
  • Drain Input Fittings: 1
  • Mechanical Filter: 1 x 4” filer sock and/or foam block
  • Skimmer Section: 8.25” x 10”
  • Center/Refugium Section: 7.75” x 12.5”
  • Return Pump Section: 5” x 12.5”
  • Total Water Volume: 20.4 gallons
  • Skimmer Water Level: 7” - 9.5” adjustable
Model Dimensions Skimmer
Water Level
Sapphire 26 26x13x15 8.25x10 7.75x12.5 5x12.5 20.4G 7”-9.5”
Sapphire 34 34x15x15 10x14 10.25x14.5 6x14.5 31G 7”-9.5”
Sapphire 39 39x16x15 14x15.5 10.5x15.5 6x15.5 40G 7”-9.5”
Sapphire 20C 20x20x15 11.625x9 19.5x6 13.25x7.625 24.3G 7”-9.5”

16 Reviews



Experience Level: Expert

Nice design but..

Nice design but.. there is room for improvement. I just put a 65 gallon aquarium together in my living room a few weeks ago. I purchased this sump for that aquarium. It's my sons favorite color and since we were replacing the 20 gallon reef tank in his room with this one so he could have a desk in his room to do home work I wanted to give him a reef upgrade (He's 10 and I enjoy sharing my hobby with him). On to the sump it's far from silent, but over time it has gotten quieter (maybe it will be silent in a few months?). The sock is a bit of a challenge to work with due to location and the fitting design of the filter. The biggest concern for me was the amount of crazing I saw when I look at it with a flash light, but I haven't had any leaks or scares yet. It's a good one, but I'm not so sure the asking price is justified. Adding retention screws to the probe holders would definitely be a move in the right direction. I actually do like the sump, but for my hard earned money I would like to not see crazing and see built in methods to secure probes. I not only bought the sump, but the matching top off reservoir as well. My under-tank sump-scape looks pretty sharp at least. Oh and before I forget I am running a very nice sicce return punmp, if I dial down the pump a bit my sump is not as loud, but also as I said after a few weeks I am now running my return pump full flow and the sump is getting quieter - perhaps there is a break in period like there is with protein skimmers. Just my opinion - hope it helps. Good design!

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Experience Level: Intermediate

Should have bought the Eshopps

I had been going back and forth between the Emerald 26 and the Eshopps 3rd gen R-100 refugium sumps for several weeks. I'm not a fan of green and with the Eshopps being $100 cheaper I was all set to pull the trigger. I go online and search one more time just to make sure I didn't pass over something and I came across a BLUE series from Trigger Systems. Well low and behold, the Sapphire 26! Blue is my favorite color and it was enough to sway my decision. That is the end of the positive things I have to say about this sump. Shipping was fast and I was excited to get it set up and running. I open the box and take it out, drain my old sump and remove it. Drop this bad boy in its place, attach the return and drain lines, fill it with water, and flip the switch. First off, it is not quiet. My 20h sump with just a bubble trap was MUCH quieter. This maybe remedied by raising the water level in the skimmer compartment to almost max height, but my Curve 5 works best at about 8.5" so it looks like I'll be dealing with noise. Secondly the filter sock area is too small. You have to squeeze the rim of the sock to even get it in the compartment, and the plate the sock goes into is cut out in an oblong circle making it a PITA to get the sock into. I didn't measure the opening, but I assume it is 4.5" long and about 3.875" deep. This shape allows water to bypass the sock allowing particles the sock would normally remove to get trapped in the compartments of the sump. The only reason I give it 1 star is because it DOES look amazing. If the it performed as good as it looked I'd be completely happy with my purchase. Unfortunately it doesn't, and I'm left $100 lighter and wishing I'd gone with the Eshopps.

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Experience Level: Intermediate

Great Sump

The build quality of this sump is TOP notch. Plenty of room for all of my equipment. I am using it on my 75G dominated SPS tank. The only con I have is the filter sock department is a little difficult to get to and to change. Other than that, I love the sump!

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Experience Level: Intermediate

Sweet sump

This is the nicest sump I have ever seen. Very quiet, and very well built. Only problem I have is that the filter socks don't fit flush, and some water does go around them. It does give the option of not using socks and using a flat sponge, pretty cool.

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Experience Level: Expert

Trigger sump!

Let me start off saying this sump is very well made! Plenty of room for all my equipment. Extra large area for my skimmer. I replaced my old 40 breeder sump with this one and the noise level is virtually silent! All in all this sump is the best one I've owned in this hobby and I've had a lot! So if your on the fence about trigger sumps don't hesitate they are well made, very nice quality. Happy Reefing;-)

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Experience Level: Expert


I'm very impressed the picks don't do it justice. Love the fact that you have an option to use filter Sox or foam pad. Refugium section could be bigger especially if you like miracle mud. Overall well Designed and worth the money. I went with a cheaper maker the first sump I got n 2.5 years later I'm seeing stress cracks at the seems so replacing now before failure

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Experience Level: Intermediate

Nice but .....

I love the sump design and construction, clearly Trigger systems takes pride in there work on all the major parts of the sump. I then start hooking it up and all the little add on's don't work, no way to lock down my probes in the probe holder so my Apex temp probe just falls through the hole to the bottom of the sump (have to use a tie wrap), the holes for the dosing / top off just slide in no way to secure them so if you bump them you just emptied you ATO container on the floor. how do you build such a nice sump and scrimp on the small stuff.

2 out of 2 found this review helpful

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Experience Level: Beginner

Great Product

This sump is well made. It was packaged extremely well, and performs as expected. I am not using the probe holder, but the tube holes for the ATO are a great feature. I contacted Trigger Systems to ask a question about the sump and their response was quick and helpful. Based on that experience, and the quality of the product, I have no problem giving them 5 stars. I also purchased their 10 gal Crystal top off tank, which has the same quality.

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Experience Level: Intermediate

Great sump

I decided to replumb my 300 gal display tank and purchased the trigger 39 I don't know why I didn't buy this sump sooner it's great it is handling the flow of an ecotech L1 pump beautifully at about 2600 gph this is a great product the corners are finished very nicely with rounded edges I can go on and on but I would just say if you want a great sump that's easy to hook up handles massive water flow don't hesitate buy trigger system dumps

2 out of 2 found this review helpful

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Experience Level: Intermediate

Trigger Emerald sump

Excellent. Is the best sump that I have had in many years in this hobby.

2 out of 2 found this review helpful

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