Custom 55 Gallon Tank Project

Discussion in 'Freshwater Aquarium Builds' started by Bells87, Apr 8, 2017.

  1. Bells87

    Bells87Valued MemberMember

    Hi everyone!

    So I want to upgrade my 20 gallon planted tank (that Ive had for a month and a half...its my first tank in 10 years and I like to level up fast ahaha). My stand is waay bigger than my tank--it measures an odd 34×19 inches (L×W) as my dad had it custom built for my mom originally but I repurposed it as a tank stand since its metal and very sturdy and has a lower level to store my cleaning implements and other stuff.

    Now, I want to upgrade to a custom tank that would fit the dimensions of my stand perfectly so the tank doesnt sit awkwardly with an overhang or a space on its stand. I did a volume calculator and got marginally mixed results--one site said it would be 54.97 gallons or something and the other said closer to 56 gallons, the difference is minimal so 55 gallons is a good estimate. This is at 34×19×19 or 20 inches (havent decided how tall I want it to be yet).

    Currently for filtration in my 20g. I only have a small 2W air pump and a 4 in diameter sponge filter but it works well for my current inhabitants, 7 Cardinal Tetras and 8 Corydora Aeneus (2 are albino, and yeah I'm aware theres a bit too many of them in the tank but I have plans of taking the 2 albinos and setting them up back in the 20 gallon once Ive moved the other fish to the 55 gallon and getting them 2 or 3 more albinos to make a shoal for another separate tank build--oh and theyre all juveniles so it isnt terribly ireparably cramped just yet).

    My lone baby-juvenile Angelfish named Ghost was living with them but I noticed him being a little aggressive with the cories that liked to stay near the front of the tank (most of them love doing this--I think they like watching me as I watch them). I believe he's claimed that whole spot for himself because its where I like to do my feeding, its a clear open space for everyone to kinda swim around when theyre not hiding or otherwise exploring around the driftwood. I plan on returning him and keeping a close eye on him though, he did look quite splendid against the planted driftwood tank!

    But back to the 55 gallon! My stocking plans are as follows:

    - 10-12 Cardinal Tetras*
    - A pair of German Blue Rams
    - 1 Angelfish
    - 1 Dwarf Gourami
    - 6 Bronze Corydoras

    *Depending on my budget--they get prett-y expensive here, besides the angelfish and dwarf gourami, they're my most expensive fish and for such small fish, everyone in my family seems to be having a hard time swallowing their price tag haha

    I am aware that the conservative temperatures for these fish may not match but I have made sure that all my fish are alright at the standard temperature of water outdoors here (as the tank is outdoors) which is 29-30°C. I want to add more fish. Any suggestions or is this overstocked as it is? I dont want any platies, perhaps male guppies but my tetras are an odd bunch....they like to sorta chase each other and when my Angelfish was new to the tank, they tried nipping at him! They stopped shortly after they got a sense of their own actual size compared to him.

    For filtration....this is where I need help. I previously miscalculated the gallon-measurement for my tank-to-be and planned for a 40 gallon. The HOB filters I was originally looking at now seem like they can barely get the job done! I do love sponge filters just because of their ease of use and how theyre, from my understanding, more energy efficient than the aforementioned HOB filters? I definitely don't want to go cannister filter because of their price tag and how uncommon they are here. I guess my main questions are:

    - if HOB, what GPH should I be looking out for? Tips on how to muffle the output flow? And anyone's experience on the energy consumption (the HOBs ive seen that put out 350gph were about 10 watts).

    - if sponge, how big of a sponge should I get and how powerful of an airpump? Does this make a difference in the filtration power? And how does the energy consumption compare? the energy consumption the same if wattage is the same?

    As for decoration, I went very natural with my decor for my 20g and almost all my fish, except for my betta and my gourami are south american fish, I believe and I think my tank mimics their natural habitat quite well! But for the 55 gallon I wanted to add more ornamental things like sunken ships and statue heads and perhaps a darker substrate but still heavily planted.

    Any thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?

    Thanks guyss
  2. Quimpz

    QuimpzNew MemberMember

    For a 55g you would really need a canister since it will be a heavely planted tank. If you really want hob filters, i would get 2 hob filters rated for 55g and place them on both sides of the tank to maximize flow. Are you also planning for co2? Fertilization?
  3. aquatickeeper

    aquatickeeperFishlore VIPMember

    If HOB, you need a minimum of 440 gph. If canister, a minimum of 275 gph.

    Your stocking looks good so far
  4. OP

    Bells87Valued MemberMember

    Nope! No plans for CO2 or fertilization, Ive had very good luck without it :)

    Do you think I can add any more fish to that?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2017
  5. aquatickeeper

    aquatickeeperFishlore VIPMember

    I'd maybe add a few more
  6. OP

    Bells87Valued MemberMember

    Why is a lower gph acceptable for a cannister filter?
  7. aquatickeeper

    aquatickeeperFishlore VIPMember

    They hold more media
  8. OP

    Bells87Valued MemberMember

    Ohh I see. How much wattage does that usually use up? cause the recommended HOB filter strength (i would have to get 2 of those) would be 7W so that makes a total of 14W.