Originally Posted by RedfireSVT
i would love to have a 200gal aquarium but that isn't an option. i start with very small fish and when they outgrow the tank i trade them for something else and start over.
A lot of people take this view but the fact of the matter is fish that are going to get larger then your tank allows for will not be happy in a smaller tank even while they are small. It is best to purchase fish that your tank can handle and care for them accordingly.
As for the lighting issue. Since you want to use a canopy (I agree with you on the look) and don't need a lot of light T5 may be the answer for you. Since this is a 55g tank you could easily get away with 2x54W T5s. They produce great light and not a lot of heat. Also they are fairly energy efficient and the bulbs have a good lifespan at 12+ months. TEK makes a great retro kit for $118 that would work with your canopy. Get a 10,000K and an Actinic bulb and you would have a great looking tank. All for less then $200