View Full Version : Hale's 55 FOWLR

01-23-2009, 04:37 PM
Since my brother finally took the fish he dropped on me when he moved back I had a freed up tank to use. I moved my Amazon tank over to the evicted 30 gallon tank and had an empty 55 on my hands. So I painted the back with black krylon and decided that since I had a good amount of baserock left sitting in my closet that I would do another saltwater. Filled up my 55 with RO/DI and instant ocean salt that I got cheap and transferred all the cured rock from my 10gallon frag tank over with the new baserock. I didn't want to load it up with high lighting or anything so I decided to go with a bare bottom fish only with live rock setup. Right now it is sitting with a rena XP3 with some ceramic media for more bacteria and an aquaclear power head with a media attachment for flow and to run carbon and GFO. The ultimate plan is for a species tank with a snowflake moray eel but that won't be for a long while. Not until I get a proper skimmer and build a tight fitting canopy. Here is a list of things gotten and approximate prices if anyone wanted to duplicate the setup.

----::Inventory/Price List::------
-55 gallon tank - free (had this sitting empty. I think I paid around $60 new for it some years ago. You should be able to get one fairly cheap/free checking local ads and craigslist.)

-55 tank stand - free (also had this from when I originally got the tank. Think it was $50 or so new.)

-300w Stealth Heater - Free (again had from previous tank. Should be able to find them fairly cheap online.)

-1 can satin black krylon fusion spray paint -$3

-Hood and Light - Free (previous tank yadda yadda.)

-Rena XP3 canister filter w/ ceramic bio media -Free (previous tank. They have gone up in price a good deal since I bought mine new for around $100. Should be able to find a deal on one if you are patient.)

-Aquaclear power head and attachment - Free (previous tank yadda yadda.)

~40lbs base and live rock mix - $15 (This was acquired from a LFS sale awhile ago and about half the rock was seeded and cured using rubble from my reef tank in a 10gallon frag aquarium for a few months.)

-1 Female Blue Damsel Fish - Free (Bought at Petco because of the price and my father was mad that I had a "tank of just a bunch of rock!" So he bought it for me for $4. Looks in great health and ate NLS TheraA+ pellets on day one so hope it does good.)

Totals so far - $18

Projected Cost if purchased everything new now ~ $600+

Here are items not yet gotten for the tank which is the skimmer, good canopy, and the snowflake eel.

The skimmer I am looking at is Octopus hang on skimmer with Sicce pump which will be around $250. The canopy should be easy to build pretty cheaply or I may just get glass and weigh it down with some bricks so the eel can't push it out.

Now here are some pics.

Here is filling up the tank with water and right after dumping all the salt in.

Here is the tank completely filled with proper salinity and temperature and the rock placed in.


Here is the tank today with some quick aquascaping done.

Here is a close up of the right side of the tank with the camera hog joining the photo.

01-23-2009, 04:38 PM

Here is the left side of the tank. This is where the damsel hangs out a majority of the time in the small center cave. It will swim around this rock area then zoom all around the tank for awhile before coming back to hover around it's cave.

Here is the damsel hanging around it's cave. It is very difficult to get a decent photo of this fish because it is so fast. You can tell it is a female by the black dot on it's dorsal fin and lack of a yellow tail fin.

Here is another of the damsel by it's cave.

And one final damsel shot.

Thanks for looking there will be more updates at a later time!

01-23-2009, 10:00 PM
Looks nice! It'll be fun to watch your tank progress!

01-23-2009, 10:58 PM
Cool. Can't wait to see it with more fish. Also, what skimmer are you planning on getting?

01-24-2009, 03:07 AM
Cool. Can't wait to see it with more fish. Also, what skimmer are you planning on getting?

The skimmer I am looking at is Octopus hang on skimmer with Sicce pump which will be around $250.

Not planning on making a sump for the tank but you really never know. Was trying to decide between the Octopus 800S which is the one with the sicce pump or the Octopus 300F. The 800 has a higher quality pump while the 300F has two pumps in one unit which I don't really like. They both seem to have an internal bubble plate which is a huge plus and both come with surface overflows which I won't buy a HOB skimmer without. If I do decide to do a sump I would get a 75g and stand and turn the 55 tank into the sump. Then I would use either a Warner Marine K1 skimmer or a Vertex IN-180. However I don't plan on adding a sump for a long time as my second floor room can't take that much additional weight.

01-26-2009, 10:38 PM
Had an interesting development in my FOWLR tank. Has been running for a few weeks since I broke down two of my other tanks. Got a call from a friend who started their own marine tank yesterday afternoon. Seems he bought a moray eel and then had second thoughts about it. So after talking for awhile and having an open tank I got a juvenile snowflake moray eel for free. It was swimming around and is probably 9-11" in length. So far it was very peaceful with the damsel hovering right by it's head for several minutes as it tried to take over a crack in the rock cave the damsel was sitting in without even a nip. However nothing in life is free so I was on a mission to get some needed equipment for the new addition. First was fixing the hood to keep it from carpet surfing during lights out. So with some extra egg crate I had around and some 2.5lb weights I sealed the tank fairly good. Next came the issue of filtration. I had planned on the octopus 800S hang on back skimmer. However I didn't have $250 to drop suddenly for that so I decided to go check out the used racks at the LFS. Looked for awhile and only saw in-sump skimmers till I checked way in the dark back corner. Found a CPR Bakpak skimmer that was used in a tank for maybe a month marked for $100. So I grabbed it and went to the counter to pay and they went and got the pump that came with the skimmer. Few minutes later the clerk came back without the listed pump that was missing in the stock and replaced it with a maxijet 1200. This also lowered the price to a cool $70 for my inconvenience. Today the moray ate a few frozen krill from a feeding stick so all is well. I was able to get a few pictures of the little guy but it only had it's head popped a little ways out of a rock.

The eel chose to relocate homes from the damsels cave to the newly occupied right rock pile side of the aquarium.

Here it is with it's mouth open.

Came out of the rock a little bit more.

and one final photo.

Thanks for viewing more updates to come!

01-26-2009, 11:38 PM
you stole my moray eel! lol

01-31-2009, 07:04 PM
Small update with the tank. Had the maxijet pump on the skimmer for a few days but really didn't like the bubbles I was getting from it since it had the stock impeller in it. So I got a modded Gen-X 1000 pump online that came with a needle wheel impeller. Took me awhile and digging through piles of old parts till I finally attached the pimp to the skimmer. The bubble foam is really nice now and i'm working on fine tuning the collection cup to get a nice skim. Eel has been gorging on krill for the past days which is good. Still been messing around with aquascaping to get cooler looking rock piles for the eel. Going to get some more base rock and piece it together with epoxy putty to make a structure specifically for the eel. Got some pictures to add also although I was having trouble with focus on the eel.

Here is the eel poking it's head out after the lights turned off.

different angle.

Here is the only decent photo I got of the eel's rear lol. Slithered away just as I was taking the picture.

and one last one.

Thanks for looking more updates to come.