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Old 04-23-2013, 04:36 PM   #1
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Best Filtration method - 55 Gallon

I have a 55 gallon standard tank that I picked up at a yard sale. (Only $25 with the stand!) It didn't come with anything, as the guy had a snake in it. I don't have a ton of cash to throw at it all at once, so I am going to buy things a little at a time and piece it together.

The question is, what's the best option for filtration? I've been scouring the web looking at videos and reading forums since I got the tank two weeks ago, and have come across some great DIY ideas that are far cheaper than buying a pre-made filter. Basically I've narrowed it down to buying a power filter (or two), building a canister (PVC and a non-submersible pump), or building a sump (ten gal tank/plastic storage tote).

I would think the best bang for the buck would be the sump. For about $40-$50 I could build a good sized sump to sit under/next to my 55. But the canister is about the same cost in the long run.

Suggestions? Input? Links to tutorials would be very welcome, preferably videos.

Thanks in advance!
-Rigg
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:45 PM   #2
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are you sure this is an aquarium and not a terrarium? you would know by the thinkness of the glass, does the top have a center brace going across (typically a plastic bar about 2 inches wide)?

filter options you can go with the aquaclear line, they are cheap, effective, and reliable.

if you want to spend the time and you have the know how then a sump would also be a good option.
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:09 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by armymp327 View Post
are you sure this is an aquarium and not a terrarium? you would know by the thinkness of the glass, does the top have a center brace going across (typically a plastic bar about 2 inches wide)?

filter options you can go with the aquaclear line, they are cheap, effective, and reliable.

if you want to spend the time and you have the know how then a sump would also be a good option.
Make sure it isn't for reptiles like stated above..or you're going to have 55 gallons of water all over your floor. And you can get a aquaclear 55/75 if you're looking for some cheaper but still pretty good. Everyone on here has a different opinion on filters here though.
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:18 PM   #4
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It's definitely an aquarium. Glass is thick, has the brace, and a little sticker on the bottom with the gallons, and a few other pieces of info that I can't recall at the moment.

Like i said, I'm looking for the best bang for buck method. There are tutorials all over the place for building a sump, and I've seen a bunch for building a canister as well. Just not sure which I should go with since this is my first big tank. Previously, the largest I've had was a 20 tall, and that was over a year and a half ago.
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:23 PM   #5
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It's definitely an aquarium. Glass is thick, has the brace, and a little sticker on the bottom with the gallons, and a few other pieces of info that I can't recall at the moment.

Like i said, I'm looking for the best bang for buck method. There are tutorials all over the place for building a sump, and I've seen a bunch for building a canister as well. Just not sure which I should go with since this is my first big tank. Previously, the largest I've had was a 20 tall, and that was over a year and a half ago.
Well that was a very nice buy then! And it's also personal preference..do you wanna build it and do it yourself or just get a HOB and be done? Haha..going to cost around the same probably..or pretty close.
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:45 PM   #6
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For a cheap effective filter I generally prefer a sponge filter with a powerhead attached. Very effective and safe for the fish and any fry that are born if you care about saving them. I run an Eheim ecco 2234 along with a 90g sponge filter on my 55g for a redundant backup just in case. My sponge filter set me back about $12 and you can get a power head online for a very reasonable price.
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