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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I was thinking about just getting a Fluval FX4, even though it would be overkill by what I have read, but I also read it might actually be too much for that size tank. What are people running for cichlid 55g setups? I am not opposed to HOB as well, I just assumed canister would be better.
 

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Your Cichlids DO NOT read the recommended tank filtration sizes provided by the manufacturer. So no, those little piggies will definitely eat a lot. And, esp. with African, Rift Lake Cichlids - they tend to run with a pretty high metabolism rate.
So yes, a Fluval FX4 should get the job done pretty nicely for your 55 gallon tank.
But.....
I am a huge fan of keeping technical, electric stuff out of the interior of my aquariums. Meaning? I REALLY don't like putting those submersible electric heaters down into my tanks. So, before you commit to anything quite yet.... I would recommend you look into in-line electric heating units. Or even, all-in-one canister systems (Eheim - $$$). Those will definitely, Deliver the Goods. :cool:
 
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@don.alcombright , an FX4 should be just fine as you can direct the output nozzles fairly well. Be sure it will fit inside your stand doors easily though before buying.

You can also do a couple of HOB filters if you didn't want to use a canister filter. I like the Aquaclear 110 models for 55G and up, reliable, easy to clean and you can add some media in a mesh bag.
 

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Would agree, what species are you looking at. Any system needs mechanical/biological and chemical filtration. Remember that water changes are an essential. The end point of any biological filter is the production of nitrate. I would recommend having a spare pump and a length of hose or getting something like a python so you do not need to carry heavy buckets off water. And plan a routine for Water changes .
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Would agree, what species are you looking at. Any system needs mechanical/biological and chemical filtration. Remember that water changes are an essential. The end point of any biological filter is the production of nitrate. I would recommend having a spare pump and a length of hose or getting something like a python so you do not need to carry heavy buckets off water. And plan a routine for Water changes .
Species I am not 100% sure on yet. since its a 55g I need keep to mid-size/smaller ones I would assume, but I want a lot of color as it's a display tank in our living room (this isn't my first ever tank just so people don't think I'm diving headfirst into fish with cichlids haha, I have a few 20/30g setups). As for a hose system, it would be nice but not necessary as its literally 2 doors and about 5' from outside.

But since this is my first time with cichlids, I do plan to ask a lot of questions on what fish people would recommend in the tank. I have decided on all males unless someone could convince me otherwise, and I do want an OB Peacock, so I guess I would be going peacock/haps for the setup. I don't want to get too far down the rabbit hole of fish yet though, unless that strongly determines the equipment needed to house cichlids from species to species, which is something I didn't think mattered to much as they are all heavy waste producers no?
 

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Some individuals like Fluval. I am a die hard Eheim fan. The Aquaclear 110 is another tank of a filter that runs & runs. I am a big proponent of duplicity when it comes to filters. If that was my tank I would hang two Aquaclear 110's on it. If one goes down you still have a running filter and/or you can alternate cleaning filters so as not to mess up your denitrifiers. And different species produce different waste loads based on their size. I also don't like heaters in my tanks but I tend to gravitate toward heaterless tanks.
 

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@don.alcombright , when you are ready to think about stocking questions, post in the appropriate forum for suggestions though it sounds as if you are considering Lake Malawi cichlids.

Choosing filters really comes down to personal preference and what you want to spend; I too am a die hard Eheim Classic filter fan though I did have an FX5 on a 125G tank along with and Eheim 2260.

Cichlids generally produce more waste than typical tropical fish so that is something to keep in mind when choosing filters. It is also suggested that water changes are larger than typically seen on smaller tanks with smaller fish. My preference is 50% weekly water changes as it helps dilute liquid waste from the fish, adds some minerals back to the tank depending on your water source and the fish seem to enjoy clean fresh water.

Lugging five 5 gallon buckets of waste water outside and then five more buckets of clean water indoors to refill the tank gets old real fast. As @Patrick67 mentioned, the Python Drain and Fill product is an option but the same thing can be accomplished with a water bed drain/fill gadget and a water safe garden hose though you would need to add a shut off valve at the tank end of the hose and make a DIY PVC J-hook to hang on the tank for hands-free filling.

There is a Hydor ETH inline heater that works great for me though it is limited to certain hose sizes and you would need to DIY an option for the Fluval FX filter due to its hose diameter.
 

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To Deeda's point, you will be changing 25 gallons or more weekly so a Python saves a lot of muscle, breath and drips.

55G is difficult for all male and make sure you have extra tank(s). You want calm males due to the 55G size. OB peacock is a hybrid, thus on the aggressive side.
 

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All good points above, from some very experienced aquarium keeping folks. To inform,
I recommended the in-line heating for your tank - mostly - because of the 3D, internal backdrop you asked about in another section of the forum. That is something decorative ($$$) that is not required or really even needed for an aquarium. Nope. They just look nice. So, the 3D background is a definite 'bonus' install for an aquarium. Will one be a nice visual touch? Just a little over the top?
Sure.
So, to that end, from an aesthetic point of view at least.... it makes total sense to remove as much of the 'wonky-looking' technical stuff out of an aquarium as possible with one of those, if you want to present the most natural looking, aquatic scene possible for that little glass box of yours. Plus,
Your internal 3D background could cause some problems if you decide to hide an electric submersible aquarium heater behind or around it somehow in an effort to minimize it's visual presence in your aquarium. With electric in-line heating mounted to the discharge hose of an (appropriate model) canister filter - or a full up, all-in-one canister filter with the heater built-in to the unit? The electric heating required to properly maintain your tropical Cichlids will never be seen in the tank.
And get this, those in-line or all-in-one electric heating system are a HUGE amount more efficient in heating the water of your aquarium, than just dangling a glass heating tube with an electric wire into the water of your tank will be!
So yes, by using something like that, you'll also save yourself some electric bill dollars to properly heat your aquarium.
 

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Do you even try the double sponge filters for your tank? if you're going to build a ecosystem in your tank, a sponge one will help to grow the benefit bacteria faster than the ceramics ones, because sponge one is integrated bio-filtration, oxygenation and physical filtration
I use the hygger double sponge filter M model but my tank is 50 gal, the M one can be used for 55 gal max.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have an FX4 on my 55 and I've been extremely happy with it. I do not regret it one bit.
Do you do anything specific to change the flow rate or will it be just fine on a 55? I am looking to pick up the FX4 this week.
 

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You can change the outlet flow on it by closing the valve as needed. I don't have mine turned down at all and even added a wavemaker in my 55. My mbunas seem to really enjoy playing in the current. It's been doing a great job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Some individuals like Fluval. I am a die hard Eheim fan. The Aquaclear 110 is another tank of a filter that runs & runs. I am a big proponent of duplicity when it comes to filters. If that was my tank I would hang two Aquaclear 110's on it. If one goes down you still have a running filter and/or you can alternate cleaning filters so as not to mess up your denitrifiers. And different species produce different waste loads based on their size. I also don't like heaters in my tanks but I tend to gravitate toward heaterless tanks.
Dog Carnivore Plant Dog breed Companion dog


I had to come back to this comment and send a photo of my Aussie we just picked up, based on your username/photo. :) 9 weeks, named Jasper. This is why the 55g is a "work in progress" during the next few months haha.
 

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I had to come back to this comment and send a photo of my Aussie we just picked up, based on your username/photo. :) 9 weeks, named Jasper. This is why the 55g is a "work in progress" during the next few months haha.
Beautiful pup. Your in it now Don. We have 2 of these children in fur coats. Not sure if you have had an Aussie before but this is a VERY intelligent breed. They require rigorous training and a purpose in life or they will run your house for you. I have spent hundreds of hours training our 2 nuts (Romeo 14 months & Ozzie 8 months). Romeo has his AKC Intermediate Trick Dog Title & Ozzie has his Novice Title. Romeo has also been involved in obstacle course training. PM me if you need any help.
Dog Dog breed Carnivore Companion dog Snout
 

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So I was thinking about just getting a Fluval FX4, even though it would be overkill by what I have read, but I also read it might actually be too much for that size tank. What are people running for cichlid 55g setups? I am not opposed to HOB as well, I just assumed canister would be better.
Hi!😃
I was taught that bigger is better!!
 
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