09-12-2011, 10:05 PM
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a stupid question is the one not asked.
i would personally avoid 55 gallon tanks for a saltwater display. yes, people have 55 gallon saltwater tanks, but they are narrow and tough to get a nice rock scape.
not only does it cost an arm, leg and maybe your other leg to purchase all the saltwater equipment, it is going to cost a chunk of change to keep it running. a bucket of salt, RO/DI water ( which i suggest making at home ) alk, cal and mag to dose, fresh quality foods, ELECTRIC BILLS, and so forth. ive heard its best to create the ultimate freshwater tank if money is an issue some corners were just not ment to be cut.. just something to consider.
some good advice might be to search your area for a local reefing club. bet you can find all sorts of used equipment and setups for sale there, just research what your planning on buying before you buy. google it, read reviews ( esp. with skimmers ) and so on... a smart shopper is a good shopper.
freshwater filters are best left for freshwater tanks. this goes for, but is not limited to, bio balls, bio wheels, hang on filters, canister filters, sponge filters.. even filter socks if they arnt cleaned very frequent, and anything else that can collect, and build up junk that is allowed a chance to break down into excess nutrients.
hang on filters and canister filters can work if ran empty or only with carbon, but i choose a carbon reactor for that.
best saltwater filtration IMO is, a sump with a quality skimmer, enough liverock in the display, good flow, careful feedings, a bi-weekly water change.. and you shouldnt have issues. this ofcourse is what has worked for me.