07-06-2009, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by fighttest
i was thinking id probably end up getting a hang on filter because canisters seem to be far more expensive but im not sure of all of the different filters, heaters, and since i do want live plants what lights are best
I love this hobby.
Lets talk plants for a minute. You ask about lights, because you assume that live plants require more lighting. However, you also have to realize that live plants utilize more CO2 as a direct correlation to the amount of light they receive. Increasing light intensity can actually make live plants more difficult to keep. Rather than looking at more intense lighting, I suggest you look at keeping plants which can live under low to moderate lighting, such as a double strip light fixture with full spectrum florescent tubes.
For filtration on a 55 gallon tank you have many options. I think you need to decide what sorts of fish and aquascapping you desire prior to deciding on a filter. A 55 gallon is small enough to filter with a simple sponge filter, but large enough that you may even use an Emperor 440 power filter. Almost any method of biological filtration will accomplish the task. Just be sure that you have an actual biological filter, and not just a hang on power filter such as a Whisper, which is primarily for mechanical and chemical filtration needs.
I have a livestock suggestion for you. I challenge you to set up an eye catching display. This is best accomplished by buying fish which have an extreme amount of space to thrive in a 55 gallon tank. I would avoid any fish which attain any level of size, and instead focus on large schools of small fish. I think Cody was on to a great idea in suggesting a large school of Neon or Cardinal Tetras. Rasbora Hets make a nice compliment to a school of Neons in a heavily planted tank. You want to create a display, not just keep fish.