I've looked at a few but I really don't know what I'm looking for
any suggestions? it's going to be a freshwater setup
oh yeah, and lights...how much light would I need?
it's a 55gal
(I'm still in the planning stage lol)
Use fluorescent lights. Do you plan to make it a planted tank?
I like the Visi-Therm Stealth heaters. I just picked up a 250 watt for my 55 gallon that's also in the planning stage. Although I have never used a canister filter, I bought a Rena Filstar XP3 based on research, recommendations and price. I also plan on running an HOB filter with this setup. Hope this helps or at least gives you some ideas. Almost everything I've read about canister filters says the do a better job than a hang on back filter. Thay are also quieter and require less maintenance than a HOB. However they cost more up front. Remember I have no experience with a canister....I have done a bunch of research though.
When picking a filter, I read where you shouldn't listen to the manufactures recommendations on the package. If a filter says it will be good up to "X" amount of gallons ... it usually isn't. I base the size of the filter on the Gallons Per Hour. You should choose a filter that has 6 or 7 times more than your tank size. The XP3 is rated at 350 gph, between 6 and 7 times, which is why I'm going to add a HOB on the opposite side. That, and I always like to have a spare for a hospital tank and good water flow all around.
The Stealth heaters are very nice. Unbreakable, accurate, and they have a low water cut off. The only drawback that is they don't have an indicator light.
Lighting depends on plants. Regular fluorescent bulbs will be fine for a non planted or low light planted tank. Two 24" hoods like the AGA deluxe hoods, usually fit on a normal 55. You can pick them up for about $20-$25 each complete with everything. There are a bunch of different types of bulbs that you can use for different lighting effects. I tend to stick with the bulbs that come with the hoods which is usually a full spectrum bulb.
If you plan on planting...........I really can't help there. I use some low light plants that are doing good with "stock lighting", but that's it.
another vote for Visi-Therm heaters.... i would make sure you get 2 heats and not just one.
lights can be as easy as shop lights for non planted. if you want to go planted then look at the lights from ahsupply.com
My 75 gallon tank has a filter that does 900 gph..
But then again, I like to over do things.
I had two fifty fives way back in the day. One had a cheap hang on the back, and the other a canister.
The canister was so much easier. It only cost about 100 dollars too.
Now that same canister is only 50 dollars. This will do the trick for filtration just dandy. It hangs on the back, but it is a canister filter.
As for heaters, Just get one that is submersible. It's better to get one with a thermostat that actually lets you pick the temperature then one that is just adjustable.
I checked it out last night (heh, I've been so into the planning that I had it sitting in the corner) and it had a submersable heater (I wrote down all the numbers on it but forgot to bring them over here O_o) it's by a company called Eclipse, anyone heard of them?
And the hood had two flourescent bulbs but I don't know if the hood itself is broken or the bulbs just don't work anymore
Yeah, eclipse makes a lot of aquarium supplies.
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