View Full Version : My 55 Gallon Tank

12-29-2011, 04:05 PM
hey guys ,

so after about 1-1/2 months of having a 10G salt nano tank i was getting frustrated about what i c an and cant put in their. so after a couple of weeks search and complaing my wife finally gave in and convinced her dad to give his old 55G tank with a HOB filter and basic lights.

what my plans are:

modify the single T12 Bulb hood into a 2 T5 bulb fixture for each hood- 60watts total
modify the aqua tech 30/60 power filter into a fuge(300Gph) or mini sump
modify another aquatech 30/60 power filter into a phostpate/carbon/ filter floss filter.
2 koralia nano 425(were bought for x-mas for use in my 10 G and salt mixer)
30LBS live rock and 25-30LBS dry rock

add a Koralia evo 1440 powerhead, and two Koralia evo 550 powerhead in combo with the 2 nano 425 with the hydor smart wave controller. to make an effect tidal motion or a wave motion.

i will be starting to put this together in the next couple of days when i get my live rock, and will add the dry rock later as it has nothing to die off or harm the cycle.

a pic of the tank:

12-29-2011, 05:31 PM
teh substrate will be crushed coral a total of 40 lbs

01-04-2012, 05:48 PM
just got my 40LBS of dry rock placed into the tank. 5lbs of live rock, not much but it will do the job i suppose. i will be getting 15-20 more pounds of rock, thats all the store had at the time.

01-04-2012, 06:57 PM
sounds cool!

01-04-2012, 07:04 PM
Will the extra rock that you mentioned you will be adding be live rock or dry rock ?

If you only go with 5 lbs of live rock to start, just remember to stock extremely slowly while the rest of the dry rock becomes live.

01-04-2012, 10:27 PM
Yea I gonna stock one fish every three weeks or so, it's gonna be more dry rock,

I have been looking into other options for lighting , what would be considered to much light for any kind of tank?

01-04-2012, 10:38 PM
If you just want a FOWLR, no corals what so ever, then just get some actinic bulbs for the fixture you currently have in the hood / lids currently on the top of your tank.

Best budget option for a FOWLR, IMO, and should still give you enough lighting for viewing the fish and brining out their colors.

If you want to add corals later on, then I would suggest a 4 bulb T5HO fixture with: 1 actinic, two superblue, and one 12000K white bulb.

01-05-2012, 03:39 PM
4 bulb T5's won't break the bank and you'll be able to do softies when you get bit by the bug... trust me it'll happen unless you have fish in there that will just eat the corals haha

However if you aren't looking to get a new lighting fixture right now as Cliff said grab some actinic blue bulbs since that'll help promote the coralline algae growth and BB growth

01-06-2012, 02:37 PM
Im gonna stick with the factory lights and switch them, how ever I most likely will switch to a t5 setup around tax time lol

The light isn't bad but so far so good

01-06-2012, 09:52 PM
sweet! are you just taking your nano reef and putting it in the big tank? or doing both?

01-07-2012, 01:27 AM
i want this to be a fowlr tank, but how ever i want SPS and LPS and this tank would be great to have those in . so i will be keeping my nano for my star polyps and zoas and i might be getting this into a reef but we will see.

im gettng another 30lbs of dry rock in the next week.

01-09-2012, 02:03 PM
so after adding est 5lbs of live rock, i dose with ammonia, bringing my dose pretty high(oops) as of this morning my ammonia reading is .50-1ppm my nitrite is around 1ppm and my nitrate is between 80-120ppm(above 80ppm but below 160ppm)

so im thinking in another 10 days it should be fine and cycled- getting more rock on Thursday.

im starting to narrow down thoughts for stocking
i want some sort of dwarf angle
copper band butterfly fish
kaurdens cardnial
Declivis Butterflyfish (
Pakistan Butterflyfish

not all of thema t the same time but some of these is a starting point that peaked my interest

01-09-2012, 02:55 PM
Very cool... i'd suggest adding the angel last since they're known to be territorial. Also you probably know already but with that stocking you won't be able to add corals down the line since Butterflys are usually coral eaters

And just a suggestion towards the dwarf angel (not angle :hmm3grin2orange:) I'd either go with a flame or a coral beauty, they seem to have the best survival rates in captivity along with some flashy color and liveliness

01-09-2012, 03:16 PM
would you happen to have any good ideas on reef safe nice looking fish ?

01-09-2012, 03:29 PM
most of the wrasses are cool just make sure you get one that's reef compatible since there's a bunch that aren't, also there are some blennys that are very cool looking imo... it all depends on what you're looking for lol

Personally I have a coral beauty angelfish and she's stunning and I'll probably end up getting a royal gramma and two bangaii cardinalfish and i think I'll be pretty stocked after that lol

It's all up to your personal taste though, there's some very cool fairy wrasses out there and the leopard wrasse is super cool looking (however they are picky eaters much like a mandarin) so just do the research before you get any fish

If you wanna do some research of your own google is always great haha I just started by searching "55 gallon stocking list" and came up with a bunch of forum hits and stuff like that, so that could give you some ideas along with a site such as liveaquaria there's a filter in their fish section that gives you what minimum tank size recommended is, (however take that with a grain of salt since they distort the truth sometimes lol)

01-09-2012, 03:55 PM
+1 to the above. Research a potential list of fish that you like then look into them in a little more detail to see if they would work in your tank.

To help with that, the below three threads have some info on some fish to try to avoid when starting out. Keep in mind, this info is based on the long term health of fish and help ensure any fishkeeper's success in the hobby.




01-09-2012, 05:55 PM
im going to start off with some clowns or some damsels most likely and then add on to there, after reading about the few i liked i realized that they are not hardy, so starting a new tank i want hardy fish to start. thanks again for your help. ill keep posting when the tank progresses more.

01-10-2012, 10:23 PM
so i spent most of the day researching LED and LED brands. i did find a brand that i think suits my tank, i most likely gonna get the 2 of the Evo100 Dimmable LED Fixture (http://www.evolutionledlight.com/)the specs from the site:
•8" wide 18" long 3.25" from light face to top of dimmer knobs.
•2 watt Epistar with 90 degree lens angle LED's
•8' Dual Power Cords, 1 for White, 1 for Blue
•On/off Switches to turn on/off Blue/White Separately
•Matte black powder coated housing.
•2 Ultra Quiet Cooling Fans.
•4- 12" Stainless Steel hanging Cables.
•15-460nm blue 10-450nm blue, 25-14000K White.
1 unit covers a tank up to 24"x18"x24" tall

im getting two to light both sides of my tank each side measure about that what they are rated for. 2 for $618 is cheaper than other brands, although aqua illumations is awsome with their controller, they are just way expensive.

wont have these till about march or so, but the coral bug will most likely have bitten me hard by then lol.

01-11-2012, 02:43 AM
yea it prolly will have hit ya hard at that point lol cool to see those lights I haven't seen anything on them before haha good to see you're looking into stuff, especially the LEDs since that's definitely the direction the lighting is headed

As far as your stocking I'd recommend the clowns over the damsels, only because damsels have a reputation of being punks haha by that I mean they can be very territorial towards other fish and bully them, you won't have that problem with the clowns. Either way try and get tank bred fish b/c it'll help with the survival rate since they always seem to do better.

01-11-2012, 03:27 AM
yea actually that company looks legit and i like how they are dimmable, for the price cant bet them.

im talking to the guy i get my coral from and he can order the ORA clowns, so i might be getting two of those and placing them into quarantine until the tank is ready

01-11-2012, 04:05 PM
today my test results
ammonia: 0 pmm
nitrite: 1 ppm
nitrate: 100+ppm

im not gonna do a water change until my nitrite has hit zero at that time i will do a 20% water change(15gallons) to lower the nitrate. i will keep doing this till those levels are acceptable.

moved my QT to under my DT and will be getting some fish on tuesday and get them ready for a 2-3 week QT, by then im hoping that my tank will fianly be ready for them :)

01-12-2012, 06:36 AM
today i got my for now main power head a sun-sun 1600GPH dual power head off ebay for $24. this will be my back up when i get my 2 1050 korilia PH

01-12-2012, 02:19 PM
sounds like it's coming along nicely... expect to see an algae bloom soon with such high trates in there... definitely a good plan with the w/c schedule

if you do start to see huge algae bloom some people throw turbo snails in there to help with that (they'll be ok in the high trate level)

01-13-2012, 01:39 PM
I got another 17 pounds of rock, I swear I have the worst timing for buying rock lol. That brings me to 47lbs gotta wait a few days for another shipment


01-13-2012, 02:46 PM
The scaping looks cool! If that's going to be something like your final layout though make sure that it's sturdy or else it's bound to fall and you don't want it to fall and hurt something

01-13-2012, 06:21 PM
i still need more rock, however it is very stable how it is now.

i just ordered a T5 fixture for the time being its a 4x54w fixture. it comes with 2 10k bulbs and 2 actinic bulbs, im gonna switch one 10k and a actinic bulb with a super blue bulb's, to make it much more appealing and blue

01-13-2012, 06:53 PM
and BTW why wont my nitrites drop ?

01-13-2012, 06:58 PM
In a SW cycle, the nitrate eating bacteria will take a very long time to grow. You will have to give that part a few more weeks (or longer)

When I cycled my 90 gallon, I did not see a natural drop in the nitrates for another 4 or 5 weeks after the ammonia and nitrites where consistently at zero

01-13-2012, 07:16 PM
Like Cliff said it's just the way it is lol nothing to be over concerned about just gotta let things run their course

01-14-2012, 09:58 PM
so i have been debating if i truely need a sump and protein skimmer. i would love to have a PS but with out a sump that is not going to happen, however my stand is narrow and not allot of room and i think i would only fit a 10G tabnk plus a small QT tank next to that . unless i would make my own Sump+ QT all together but sectioned off.

what should i do ? go with a PS and sump ?

01-14-2012, 10:29 PM
Having a QT section in a sump kind of defeats the purpose of QT’ing a fish as that section of your sump is a part of your main tank’s water supply. If you would add a new fish there that had ick, you would likely spread ick thought-out the whole set-up that way. You would to keep the QT section completey shut out from the rest of the system for that to work. It may not leave enough room for your skimmer and return pump in the remaining part of the sump.

I really like having a sump as it adds extra water volume and can help to keep your whole set-up more stable when done right.

If you have no room for a sump, you can always just get a HOB skimmer that will not take up any more room than your HOB filter you are currently using. If I am understanding correctly, I think that was your concern with a HOB skimmer. The only HOB skimmer that I am somewhat familiar with is the Aquac C Ramora, but there are a few out there that are pretty darn good..

That might be another option for you to consider

01-14-2012, 10:50 PM
for teh HOB skimmer i just dont want this massive cylinder thing above my tank lol. i found a few mini skimmer's as well as a fuge/ skimmer combo, are these good?

i gonna get a nano skimmer for my nano only becuase you see soo much particles in the water and it takes away from the reef. they are only noticeable when the floor get disturbed or when you look super super close

01-15-2012, 01:45 PM
This is the type of protein skimmer I'm leaning toward
http://www.marinedepot.com/CPR_Bak_Pak_Protein_Skimmer_Hang_On_Venturi_Protei n_Skimmers-CPR-CR1111-FIPSHOVS-vi.html

Anyone had any experience with these?

01-16-2012, 02:09 PM
i just bought a devil hand coral and a tree coral- both are fairly large, the guy is holding them for me till i get my lights set up here,

i took a picture of the devils hand i just have to upload it later today.

my tank water is cycled i believe, my ammonia has been at zero and my nitrite is at zero and high nitrates. so i dosed a little bit of ammonia to see if it would drop in a few hours, just to make sure everything is in good order. my ammonia is now at 1ppm.

01-18-2012, 02:17 PM
Got my t5 fixture yesterday as well as 22lbs LR so total of 66lbs of rock
A few pics:
All four bulbs on

Just the actinic on

01-18-2012, 03:07 PM
Very cool! Love the look of tanks with just that deep blue color on them

01-18-2012, 03:45 PM
Nice! It's so exciting to watch a new tank mature!

01-20-2012, 12:50 PM
Just got an acan colony, and a devils hand in the tank:
The devils hand is currently at the bottom area till later today when I will move it up higher, the acan is also at the bottom but seems to like it there.

01-20-2012, 02:11 PM
Acan's generally like lower light so it should be fine there, very cool looking on too... and the devils hand is kinda crazy looking I've never seen one before

01-20-2012, 03:59 PM
yea the devils hand is pretty neat looking/ the Acan i was shocked they had them on sale, they were selling 2 head frags for half of what i got that guy for great deal.

im just now getting the diatoms in the tank, so i stole 2 hermits from my nano and placed them in tank, im also gonna take my emerald crab as well as there is no algea in my nano.

im also taking part in a fragging day shortly- gonna try my hand at fragging my Zoa's and paly's and my other star polyps.

01-20-2012, 05:30 PM
Zoas and stars should be pretty simple... they're just about indestructible lol

01-20-2012, 06:59 PM
how do you reconnect them? do you place glue on the cut part of the polyp and place it somewhere?

01-20-2012, 10:19 PM
Most people just take a chisel and break part of the rock off that has the colony on it. If you plan on trying to pull them up from the rock that's much tougher

01-20-2012, 11:19 PM
Nice acan colony!

01-21-2012, 03:58 PM
thanks im very happy with the colony, im starting to feed them today

01-24-2012, 09:53 PM
feeding the acnas went well, they are getting big(as i mean stretching up) they look great. also watching the leather hand today and it moves allot up down fingers side to side, kind of cool. however this algae bloom is kicking my butt. but it seems to be getting better, so i added my original green star polyp frag plug from the nano(as that has grown off and onto the rock) and my palythoa colony. starting to look good.

01-31-2012, 07:26 PM
its been some time since i have updated this, here are some pics of teh tank.

i cleaned the green algae off the tank thats why its greenish

02-09-2012, 08:35 PM
just an update on the tank.

i just got to put my maroon clown and my coral beauty into my DT finally after about 1.5 weeks in QT- dose 3 days worth of para guard and the rest clean water just observing. im proud to say that the coral beauty is eating the green algae on the back wall of the tank :) also the maroon clown and the coral beauty get along and they eat Flake food, mysis, and brine, how great they eat all what i have :)

also i made the jump and bought a 100GPD RO/DI unit. i got it from a friend of mind for cheap with new filters. it came with a 3G pressure tank and also a TDS meter and a pump- which i havent attached yet. and man these units are massive! i have it set up in the bathroom sink :( but the wife doesnt know yet . so when she gets home it should be fun lol.

Fishin Phil
02-09-2012, 08:38 PM
i have it set up in the bathroom sink :( but the wife doesnt know yet . so when she gets home it should be fun lol.

Let us know how that goes! :hmm3grin2orange:

Glad to hear the fish are doing well.

03-02-2012, 08:44 PM
the RO unit went okay with the wife in the bathroom.

ive added some fish since the last update, i just took out 2 cardnial's from QT and added them, also juts added 2 blue devil damsels in QT also just got a large piece of colt coral, well one big rock with 5-6 different trees on it, also got a nepthea as a bonus and a star fish, have had some crazy algea blloms how ever the green algae is subsideing but my red algae it not go figure,

lowered my light cycle to 8 hours instead of 11 hours. all corals and such are doing great , had one issue with my leater got attacked by a tank mate .

Old Marine
03-02-2012, 09:01 PM
looks like its doing wellthumbs2:

03-03-2012, 03:59 PM
tank is looking good man... watch that colt coral though it will take over your tank pretty quickly if it starts reproducing haha

04-03-2012, 01:00 PM
Just a quick update I have added a metal halide to the tank with some window screens on the tank to diffuse the light. Not many new additions except a baganii cardinal and the gorrilla nipple zoas, and some orange zoos, also got a huge colony of neon green palys.

Here's a picture with PC and Mh on


Just Mh
Sorry quality not the best it my iPhone 4

A video hope it works- this was shot in the first 30 mins of light being on :(

04-03-2012, 01:18 PM
As for red algea still a little very sparse not getting any more, 1week of cleaning and 3 gallon WC helped out and rearrange on some rock

04-03-2012, 05:19 PM
Looking good man!

04-04-2012, 02:41 AM
Thanks, its nice to watch it grow every week, also it's great to look in and find something new lol

04-04-2012, 05:22 PM
very nice looking! im in the process of starting my 40 breeder, the only thing holding me back is cost at the moment.

08-21-2012, 04:05 PM
so its been about 4 months since i posted an update on this tank. after the tank move to the new place, the rock structure kinda changed and still working out place to put things.
FTS- i switched my MH fixture for my t5 because they went to my sps frag tank.- switching back soon as these bulbs are about dead(had them since jan.)
left side
middle- notice how big the kenya tree had gotten from the above pics posted in march
the right side of the tank

also have been slacking on scraping the glass- that's why its green looking hard green algae buildup

08-21-2012, 06:40 PM
Tank looks great man! All the corals look like they're really happy

08-21-2012, 10:16 PM
Thanks, I just placed my mh fixture back on the tank so the corals look much better today, I also feed all my corals every other day- with only 3 fish in the tank it balances out the nitrates, also adding a cal reactor shortly

08-27-2012, 03:29 PM
took about 8 months for my LR to leech out all its going to. i feed my coral every other day and my fish daily, and my nitrates are only 10ppm. my only issue is my PH that at steady at 7.8

10-18-2012, 05:44 PM
72 watt Cree XPG up for sale in the for sale forum

10-21-2012, 07:36 PM
Interesting journal. Your tank looks really good - have you thought about adding a background?

10-22-2012, 01:35 PM

I need to update this, but I want to add a black background color, next time I break it down again

10-22-2012, 02:07 PM
Man, seeing all these killer saltwater tanks makes me want to try my hand at that. Your tank is very nice. Subscribed.thumbs2: