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I'm very novice in the world of fish. Currently, I have a 30g tank, with two peppered Cory cats and two angelfish. I've had them for about two years.

I'm about to move them into a 55g, with plans to begin adding additional fish, and to move into a 75g within the next year.

I'm ready to start buying equipment for the 55g, and would like to purchase quality items that are if an appropriate size that they can adequately sustain the 75g, once I get it.

I have numerous questions, a few of which are:

What are good options for a filter/heater/etc? Reliable brands, appropriate size? Canister or HOB filters?

Are air pumps necessary? Are they helpful, or just decorative?

Also, I'm looking for suggestions on fish to add. I'm concerned after much reading that my angelfish may not get along since I didn't add fish when they were younger? I love the look of Oscars, but I'm not sure if its possible for them to exist with angelfish?

I've done a ton of reading online, but I feel like my best opportunity for learning is by real people sharing information and experiences. Looking forward to hearing from all of you, and any and all help is appreciated!!
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WELCOME! You'll find lots of help here on TFK.
I'm very novice in the world of fish. Currently, I have a 30g tank, with two peppered Cory cats and two angelfish. I've had them for about two years.
....would like to purchase quality items that are if an appropriate size that they can adequately sustain the 75g...
What are good options for a filter/heater/etc? Reliable brands, appropriate size? Canister or HOB filters?
I'll start my comments with the filter(s). Everyone seems to have a preference, so here are my opinions (it would help to know if you were planning on a planted tank?):
For a 75, I'd recommend a canister. They are quiet and can generate significant water circulation. I use Eheims (I have several models), but they can be cumbersome to clean. Fluval is good also and easy to clean, but Eheim seems to be the least expensive. If you decide on Eheim, I recommend the "classic" 2217 model. I'm using a 2217 on a 55 gallon at the moment (with a custom spray bar to decrease the current flow) It is really a little much for a 55, without some easy modifications, unless your fish like high current flow (angelfish don't!)
For a 75, I'd also suggest a HOB filter. I find the HOB's are nice for clearing the "crud" out of the water but don't recommend any HOB as a primary biological filter, just use them as a secondary mechanical filter. Lots of models. The smaller Marineland HOB's are inexpensive on-line, but they can be noisy and wear out quickly, but are easily, and cheaply, replaced. For an HOB, it's ok to be slightly undersized, so anything rated for a 29-55 gallon tank would be ok as a secondary mechanical filter on a 75.

Heaters? I really like the Aqueon Pro line of heaters. They are just about unbreakable, and not excessively expensive. I'd recommend two heaters for a 55 or 75 gallon tank. Size? Depends on how cold your house typically gets, but if you used two 150 watt heaters, you should be fine. That wattage (300 watts total) should be able to elevate a 75 gallon tank 10C/18F above the room temp if needed. I use two 100 watt heaters in my 55 gallon tank and two 250 watt heaters in my 125.

Are air pumps necessary? Are they helpful, or just decorative?
Not needed, but I use an air pump in my 125 to drive some decorative airstones, it's a nice decorative effect. Your choice, but air pumps can be noisy.

Also, I'm looking for suggestions on fish to add. I'm concerned after much reading that my angelfish may not get along since I didn't add fish when they were younger? I love the look of Oscars, but I'm not sure if its possible for them to exist with angelfish?
NO Oscars and Angelfish won't play well together and the oscars need a really, really, large tank to reach their maximum body size. When you upgrade your tank, you can add more fish. There are compatibility issues to always check. You can even add more angelfish (of about the same size) IF you do it when you shift your old angelfish into the "new" environment". Don't add new angelfish to a tank with existing angelfish, it usually doesn't work out well, but if they all get added at once to a new tank and they are about the same size, it's not usually a problem.
 
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i recommend a sump filter for a tank that large.they are superior to canister filters.you can also put a 300 watt heater in the sump. kribs,keyholes and blue rams would be good choices.you may want to consider getting more corydoras .a school of 5+ is preferable.
 

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if you do not want to do the sump, two canister filters would be great.
With a properly sized canister and proper placement of a spray bar, you don't really need 2 units, especially in a 75g. Two filters does make elimination of circulation dead spots easier. You only need 2 canisters if: you really like redundancy, have the $$ to spend, prefer 2 smaller canisters, have fish particlarly finicky about nitrates (like cichlids), or you are planning to overstock the tank. I like redundancy, and having excess filtration is always better than too little, but I only use a single Eheim 2217 canister in conjunction with a HOT Magnum filter on my somewhat overstocked 125. Hmm, I guess technically that is two canisters on my tank!

There is also the operating cost to consider. All other things being equal, a single larger filter will cost less to operate long term than 2 smaller canisters.

Sumps are very nice since they significantly reduce the amount of equipment actually in the display tank and can have massive biofiltration capacity, but I've never had the energy to set one up and if I had a tank to use as a sump, I'd probably just end up using it as another display tank (can't help myself)!
 

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guess it is a personal choice. i prefer 2 smaller canisters.but i keep goldfish. i like staggering my cleanings and having the back up for the inevitable filter breakdown.
 

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guess it is a personal choice. i prefer 2 smaller canisters.but i keep goldfish. i like staggering my cleanings and having the back up for the inevitable filter breakdown.
Oh, yeah, Goldfish are huge on the bioload, I certainly see why you'd prefer 2 canisters! As you mention, it does provide a nice redundancy for cleaning and failures.
 
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