New to the Aquarium World - Recommendations PLEASE!!

  • #1
Update - ***Since I'm going with Saltwater now (FOWLR) and have educated myself more, I realize that I don't need a sponge filter or UGF. I will need quite a few more things however.***

HI all, I am completely new to the aquarium world, but my wife and I are really excited about it and would really appreciate recommendations for types of equipment to use. I have a 55 gal rectangle tank and am trying to get together everything I need to get started. This is what all I think I need, but please let me know if I'm missing anything:

- Filter (Power or Canister?? / Eheim, Rena, Fluval??): I'm thinking canister because they supposedly do a better job, last longer, and take away the big hanging box. I've heard good things about Eheim, but do not know much about the rest. I definitely want a good one that will require the least amount of cleaning, but I don't want to spend any more than around $200 give or take.

- Under Gravel Filter (Yes or No): I'm thinking No as I have read these really are not necessary and can actually cause problems.

- Powerhead (Certain brands and How many??): I really have no idea on this.

- Heater (Certain brands or Certain types??): I really have no idea on this also.

- Sponge Filter (Yes or No): I'm looking at buying one of these to stick under the gravel.

- Anything Else: Am I missing anything important?

Any advice is Greatly appreciated. Also, if you know anything else that could help me out...great websites, checklists, or guides to getting started that would be great.

Thanks A Lot!!
  • #2
Hi, welcome to Fishlore (and our wonderful hobby)

The following article may help you get started

For a 55G, I'd use a canister filter. I love the Eheim filters, but also have no complaints with Fluval. The Sun Sun filters get excellent results and are great value (available on eBay). For a 55, depending on your stocking, the Classic 2217 would suit you quite well

Under Gravel - not required, and not recommended. You only need one filter on your tank.

Powerhead - not required. The canister should provide enough water circulation.

Heater - Assuming you want a tropical setup, depending on your climate, aI'm for 3-4W per gallon. In a 55, I'd probably go with 2 x 100W or 2 x 150W if you're in a really cold climate. I like the Eheim Jagers as they can be calibrated. In a larger tank, 2 heaters can be better as it gives you redundancy if one fails, and allows you to have heaters at both ends of the tank.

Sponge Filter - not required. The canister will suffice. That said, sponge filters can be great to have on hand for quarantine tanks.
  • #3
I have a eheim 2217 on my 55 planted and it keeps the water crystal clear. I highly recommend it and I believe I bought it on amazon from Al's for within your budget.
Thai Aquarium owner
  • #4
Hello and welcome to the forum and the hobby
Great advise from RyanR
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Thanks so much for the information. I know I still have a whole lot to learn, but I'm educating myself and hopefully will get my setup going soon.
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Well after doing a lot more reading on the subject I have decided I want to go with a Saltwater setup. I guess the only thing else I need would be Live Rock, Saltwater Mix, Protein Skimmer, and Sand.
  • #7
Welcome to the forum...
  • #8
Welcome To Fishlore! ;D
tropical fish lover
  • #9
Welcome to fishlore
  • #10
Welcome to Fishlore. Good luck on the saltwater tank.
  • #11
You need to read the stickys in the Saltwater forum. Focus on rodI water, make sure you don't use tap water and top off evap with distilled
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Saltwater setup on this site says I should have at least 2-3 powerheads. Since I'm now going with a saltwater setup would I need to get additional powerheads in my 55 gallon tank? I'll be using the Eheim 2217 Filter and a Protein Skimmer (power head included).

  • #13
On my 60 I have

2 Fluval 406's

2 Aqueon Pro 250's

Unless you are raising fry you wouldn't need a sponge filter. Also, under gravel filters are more "old school". You could do a HOB if you want. I'd recommend an AC110. Any heater would work, but I like the ones with the case over the glass as a personal preference. A powerhead is not necessary but can be used for extra oxygenation.

Are you planning on doing a planted tank? If so you will need to consider lighting as well.
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
No planted tank, I'm going to be doing a FOWLR. I'll probably just start with the powerhead that is included with the protein skimmer and go from there. I'm now trying to figure out on my live rock and sand.

Live rock, I was looking at: Does this seem to be a good pick or is there another type or another website that someone would recommend?

Sand (Live or Regular?), I was looking at: Caribsea Arag Alive Is this a good pick? If so, what size would you recommend? I like the look of the fine sands, but I don't want it stirred up all the time. If someone knows a better sand or a better website please let me know.

  • #15

Since you are going saltwater the most important things I can think of are 1. good skimmer; 2. RODI water source (either buy or produce yourself); 3. Live rock (or dry & live rock combo).
I would recommend buying the RODI unit and produce the water yourself, IMO it saves you time/money down the road. You don't have to drive out to get water every now and then You will need frequent top offs. I do every morning.
I'm not familiar with buying live rocks online. I bought my dry rocks from BRS (bulkreefsupply). Also check your local fish stores?
I think the sand you picked would do fine. You will need roughly 1 lb/gallon. Not sure how much you will need if you are going with deep sand bed though.

Powerheads, I have a 45G and I used 1x 800 GPH Powerhead Aquarium Pump Wave Maker and 2x Hydor Koralia Nano 425 Aquarium Circulation Pump 425 GPH.
The Koralia ones are really quiet.
  • #16
Filter just become a haven for nitrates. The liverock IS your filter.

Read the stickys

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