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Old 04-16-2018, 08:48 PM   #1
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55 gal setup

First off hello and thanks in advance for the help.

I am looking at setting up my first sw tank. It will be a 55 gal FOWLR. Im planning on using roughly 60 pounds of sand. Is live or dry better than the other, i know some pros and cons but any help in this area is appreciated same goes for rock (live or dry)? Also whats a round lb rule of thumb on rock (ie. 1 lb per 1 gal). As far ad filtration goes ultamitly i would like to go with a cannister but for now i may go with a few hob filters running 500gph of filtration And a skimmer attachment.

As far as stocking goes these are not a must but am leaning heavily towards.

- Tailspot blenny
- Saddle valentini puffer
- A goby (taking any thoughts on this one)

I do like some of the dwarf angles and my kids really want a clown fish so that will probably be another option. But i do have a question about having a CUC with the puffer? Can you have a CUC with a puffer i know its part of their diet but is there any fish that could help?

Again guys anything im missing would be greatly appreciated, so please bring the questions to me aswell!
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Old 04-16-2018, 10:03 PM   #2
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Either live or dry, it doesn't really matter one way or another. I used live, but dry is much cheaper. The lbs per gallon rule applies to rock as well as sand.
Canister filters are usually pretty garbage, but can be used if they are cleaned weekly during weekly water changes. A sump would be better for running a skimmer, but if you have to use HOB equipment make sure you do your research on it as they aren't all built equal. You will need good filtration as puffers are quite messy eaters.
You can have a CUC with a puffer, but they can be a pricey snack depending on the puffer.
Even dwarf angels need room. The only ones I would put into a 55 would be either a coral beauty or a flame angel.
With a blenny, puffer, goby, dwarf angel, and a clown would be maxing your tank out.
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Old 04-18-2018, 12:45 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. Those were all just options as far as fish go not saying im going to get all of them. Im thinking im going to run 1.5"-2" sand bed.

Another question i forgot to ask is about lighting. Again im just planning for a FOWLR tank im looking in the price range of around 70$. Seems to be tons of options but if anyone has any recomendations of products they have had good luck with or like. Also same goes for skimmers.
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Old 04-18-2018, 03:15 AM   #4
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If your price range is that low, Iíd suggest saving up for awhile. A decent skimmer can cost double that.
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Old 04-18-2018, 09:02 AM   #5
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Sorry that was the price range for the lighting. Im just wanting recomendations on skimmers
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Old 04-18-2018, 10:47 AM   #6
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I have a bubble magus NAC 3.5 on my 40 breeder and it puts in some work. Youíd probably want the 5.5 for a 55 though
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Old 04-18-2018, 09:08 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by N2theUnknown View Post
First off hello and thanks in advance for the help.

I am looking at setting up my first sw tank. It will be a 55 gal FOWLR. Im planning on using roughly 60 pounds of sand. Is live or dry better than the other, i know some pros and cons but any help in this area is appreciated same goes for rock (live or dry)? Also whats a round lb rule of thumb on rock (ie. 1 lb per 1 gal). As far ad filtration goes ultamitly i would like to go with a cannister but for now i may go with a few hob filters running 500gph of filtration And a skimmer attachment.

As far as stocking goes these are not a must but am leaning heavily towards.

- Tailspot blenny
- Saddle valentini puffer
- A goby (taking any thoughts on this one)

I do like some of the dwarf angles and my kids really want a clown fish so that will probably be another option. But i do have a question about having a CUC with the puffer? Can you have a CUC with a puffer i know its part of their diet but is there any fish that could help?

Again guys anything im missing would be greatly appreciated, so please bring the questions to me aswell!
60lbs of sand in a 55 is overdoing it unless you are planning on getting a deep burrowing fish. I have 60lbs in my 90 and it is plenty for a Diamond Watchman Goby and Melanurus Wrasse (Wrasse buries itself in the sand at night). You can do a puffer if you are willing to commit to the fact that you will be replacing CUC more frequently. Also be careful as some varieties of puffer can release toxins to kill the life in your tank when stressed. Personally I just find them to be too much of a risk to bother with one. The clown will work, a dwarf angel will be pushing it in a 55 (they need lots of grazing space and are very active), but if you are going to attempt one I would go with a Coral Beauty. Flame Angels tend to be the one that catches people's eyes first and they are pretty but are generally aggressive buggers. I had one in my 36 gallon bowfront for a few weeks and he became an unholy terror. I actually have a vid of him scaring my watchman goby:

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Old 04-19-2018, 12:10 AM   #8
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Yea im still not 100% on a dwarf. Just looking for a food mixture of fish. Good point on the toxins i do know the valintini puffer can be toxic.
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Old 04-19-2018, 01:23 AM   #9
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The Toby puffers arenít toxic. Not something you have to worry about with them. I have a potters angel in a 40 breeder who does well. No coral nipping since his intro over a year ago. But yeah I agree with the coral beauty recommendation. Pretty easy to keep
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Old 04-19-2018, 12:06 PM   #10
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Hi there fish friend. I have a 55g tank goin on a year old. I have a Aqueon OptiBright Plus LED. I love it. It comes on slow and goes off slow like the sun is rising and setting. You can find it on Amazon for around $90.00.
I also run a Reef Octopus Classic BH90 hang on back protein skimmer. Love it also. It runs around $200. They have another model Reef Octopus Classic 100. Itís around $175.
Also use a canister filter just for added filtration. Tank dose good. No issues.
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Old 04-20-2018, 08:44 PM   #11
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The amount of live rock depends on fish adult size as you want to give them room to swim. You can cut down on rock as you step up your filtration. 1 lb per gallon fills up a tank fast, but if you have small fish that should be fine.


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Old 04-22-2018, 12:15 PM   #12
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With a 55 gallon, and on a budget, I would avoid any aggressive fish and do at the most semi-aggressive.
If I was stocking another 55 again, I would do:
1. Clown(false ocellaris) with an Anemone
2. A Sand Sifting Goby(options very wide) maybe a Pink Spotted or Dragon Goby
3. A Tang (Scopas/Tomini/Kole)
4. Coral Beauty Angel(easy to care for)
5. Falco Hawkfish(these have great personalities, and typically are like Huma Triggerfish, as they are like Saltwater dogs)
With the Goby and Tang they should be a very productive clean-up crew.
And yes, these 5 will max out your tank.
Flipside, they are all around $20-$25.
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Old 04-22-2018, 12:25 PM   #13
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As for equipment, yes I would eventually get rid of the canister filter. In the mean time, ensure you are not using a glass life for your tank.
Skimmer, definitely a HOB Reef Octopus. The classic with the motor outside is prefect.
A powerhead, will be a must as a Canister filter will not be producing enough GPH flow.
Sand, I would only do two bags of live sand.
Rocks, I would start out with 40 lbs and add more if needed, or as the fish grow.
Best advice:
1. 5 gallon water change weekly.
2. Do not add all these fish at once.
3. Acclimate then with the lights off.
4. Buy Turbo Start from Fritz Zyme
5. Buy live sand
6. Know how much money this is all going to cost you. The minimal is always cheaper than the list of other things you need to properly take care of your tank.
For a 55 tank, you will end up spending roughly $725(not including tank/stand/live rock/sand).
Sump/filter-$200, HOB Skimmer-$200, ATO-$150, Powerhead-$50, LED Light-$100, , Mag Float-$25,
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Old 04-22-2018, 10:38 PM   #14
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Thanks for the replies everyone. Ive been doing some more research. And im looking at doing a sump. With 4 sections 1st section my drains (2- 1inch drains) will dump into a filter sock which will be in my skimmer section. It will then go through a series of baffles containg a rack that can house anything i may need (carbon, media etc) which will over flow into my 3rd section being a refugium. Then on to my return pump (1200 gph with 2-3\4 return lines)? The only thing is would this be enough filtration?


Also planing on having 2-4 250 gph powerheads to help pick up dead spots
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Old 04-22-2018, 10:49 PM   #15
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With a 55 gallon, and on a budget, I would avoid any aggressive fish and do at the most semi-aggressive.
If I was stocking another 55 again, I would do:
1. Clown(false ocellaris) with an Anemone
2. A Sand Sifting Goby(options very wide) maybe a Pink Spotted or Dragon Goby
3. A Tang (Scopas/Tomini/Kole)
4. Coral Beauty Angel(easy to care for)
5. Falco Hawkfish(these have great personalities, and typically are like Huma Triggerfish, as they are like Saltwater dogs)
With the Goby and Tang they should be a very productive clean-up crew.
And yes, these 5 will max out your tank.
Flipside, they are all around $20-$25.
Where are you seeing the tangs for that price? Just curious.
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Old 04-22-2018, 11:10 PM   #16
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One can keep one of the beistletooth tangs in a tank of this size, I did for some time, but it will have issues with a dwarf angel like a coral beauty. Iíd pick one or the other.
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Old 04-22-2018, 11:53 PM   #17
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One can keep one of the beistletooth tangs in a tank of this size, I did for some time, but it will have issues with a dwarf angel like a coral beauty. Iíd pick one or the other.
Not really leaning towards a tang was just curious as the few sites ive seen have them for 30-50$
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Old 04-23-2018, 05:12 PM   #18
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I see koles and Tominis from $30-50 depending on store or site as well. Honestly stocking wise Iíd go with a dwarf angel as well but be careful as they can nip corals. Iíve gotten lucky with my potters angel in my 40 as he doesnít touch anything. Iíve had nothing but horrible experiences with Falco hawks...between beating up other fish and trying to kill every invert I owned I went with a flame instead and he was great until he jumped . But idk man falcos from my experience are little devil fish
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Old 04-23-2018, 06:06 PM   #19
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I see koles and Tominis from $30-50 depending on store or site as well. Honestly stocking wise Iíd go with a dwarf angel as well but be careful as they can nip corals. Iíve gotten lucky with my potters angel in my 40 as he doesnít touch anything. Iíve had nothing but horrible experiences with Falco hawks...between beating up other fish and trying to kill every invert I owned I went with a flame instead and he was great until he jumped . But idk man falcos from my experience are little devil fish
I keep going back and fourth haha i cant decide. However im still aways away from making that decision. Hopefully this week i will begin on drilling my tank and buulding the sump.
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Old 04-23-2018, 06:21 PM   #20
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Yeah youíve got time haha. Gotta get all the other equipment and setup done.
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