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Old 08-11-2005, 08:39 PM   #1
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best 55 gallon kit

i am looking for peoples opinions on what is the bast 55 gallon kit to buy. ie. top fin, marine land... and where to buy it as well as price. OR the cheapest way to have a complete aquarium with heater, tank, lights and filter. i would like to get it all new rather than garage saleing or buying in a used magazine. i am in canada so prices in canadian would be great. i have seen kits that were 269.99 and i have seen other that were 399.99. anybody who has ever bought a kit like this please help me out so i can make the right choice, please list the pros and cons of buying a kit verses individually. thanks

i bought my 20 gallon kit from big als with the penguin 125 biowheel filter, flourecent light and hood for 229.99. was this a good deal? i really like it and the filter has never let me down.
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Old 08-11-2005, 08:43 PM   #2
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IMO, the kits in this range (55 and over) are not up to par with what you will really require. They just throw a lot of insufficient equipment together giving the impression that you are getting a deal. IE: The heaters, filters will be just the minimum required or less than what is required for the tank size.

I have found it better to get the tank and stand locally and order the equipment on-line. It does save money and you get better equipment in the long run.

HTH.
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Old 08-11-2005, 08:55 PM   #3
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yea i bought a cheap 55 gallon kit from walmart to start me off, and I don't wanna spend much more money on it since I'm getting ready to setup my 125gal tank... BUT I'll probably end up getting another HOB Filter for it...
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Old 08-11-2005, 09:07 PM   #4
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I agree that you will come away with better equipment for the money if you buy the tank and equipment separately. Here's an example:

I bought my 55 gallon tank for $99.99 from Petsmart, and it came with the hood and lights.
Emperor 400 filter: $40
Emperor 280 filter: $30
300W heater: about $30 (I could have gotten this cheaper online if I had thought to shop online!)
70 lbs. of rock: $20
driftwood: $20
huge clay pot: $17
gravel: about $20

So, for about the same cost, I not only got the tank and equipment, but I also got decor. I think you'll save a lot of money, plus you get the exact equipment that you want. You'll need to upgrade your lighting if you want to grow live plants.
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Old 08-11-2005, 09:09 PM   #5
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i was looking at a tank at big als because there is one near me it come with a marineland penguine 350 bio wheel power filter and a 300 watt heater for 299.99.
i plan on custon building the stand like i did for my 20 gallon tank so thats not an issue. is that a good price based on the equipment i am getting. this also includes the light and hood cover.
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Old 08-11-2005, 09:13 PM   #6
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is that american or canadian prices severum mama? i plan on buying the sand that raises your ph because i am planning on getting cichlids. it is 44.99 for 50 pounds at big als. and i was gonna go with lava rock and red slate for the interior. but thanks for your ideas
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Old 08-11-2005, 09:27 PM   #7
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Oh, I wasn't suggesting that you decorate your tank the same as mine, just illustrating a point. And I was talking about American prices, I didn't notice you were from CA!

What cichlids are you planning to keep? If you want African cichlids they will do better with aragonite/crushed coral like you are talking about because they need the higher pH. If you want South or Central Americans, it won't be necessary to alter pH.

If you really want to buy the kit I would advise you to add another filter in addition to the Penguin 350B. Cichlids are messy fish and 350 gph may not be enough for them. I filter 680 gph on my 55 gallon SA/CA cichlid tank and it works great for me. Of course, if you can afford a canister, that would be even better.
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Old 08-11-2005, 09:51 PM   #8
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i wish i could afford alot of things lol and i was planning on getting the aragonite sand. i was thinking about getting 4 yellow labs and 4 demonsoni. i will also put in some suckers to clean up the bottom of the tank and i was wondering if cories or loachs are compatible with these fish. the penguin 350 is rated for up to a 70 gallon tank so i thought that would be sufficent.
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Old 08-11-2005, 10:18 PM   #9
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I don't usually pay attention to the manufacturer's rating for filters. I usually shoot for about 10x per hour, but there are people here that would disagree with me so that's really up to you.

As for corys and loaches with Mbuna, my opinion would be no, but I've never kept Mbuna so take it for what it's worth. They just seem awfully aggressive to be kept with peaceful fish. Good luck!
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Old 08-11-2005, 10:34 PM   #10
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i have heard that the labs are really peaceful but i dont know about the demonsoni i guess i will check up with the fish store people thet actually seem to know what they are talking about. thanks for your help
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