08-04-2009, 06:30 PM
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I am very glad to see that canister filters are starting to get some bad press. It is about time. The reason for this move away from canisters is that they have to many negative qualities, and do very little good on a system with live rock, live sand, and a protein skimmer, which is the preferred method of maintaining a successful saltwater aquarium long term.
Very brief.... canister filter trap detritus, which breaks down into nitrate and indirectly phosphate. Additionally, these detritus particles and organic accumulation deplete carbonates from the buffer system, making alkalinity and calcium more difficult to maintain. Over the long haul, the success of your marine aquarium will depend on maintaining low Nitrates, stable alkalinity, and stable calcium levels. As such, the canister works against you, not for you.
On your fish selection, I would ditch the Six Line Wrasse. These little fish are ridiculously aggressive in smaller sized tanks, and I'm afraid it would cause some issues in a 55 gallon, especially for your Cardinals. Also, I agree that a BiColor is a bad choice, unless you can purchase one collected from Fiji.