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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys...new here to the forums. I scored big on a 55 gal tank today. Light, stand and heater included for $40!!! Anyway, after reading a viewing a few articles here, I came up to the conclusion on how I wanted to set up my tank up:
undergravel jets
silica sand for substrate
texas holey rock
few assorted plants
plain black background
hang over filter

And what brand do you recommend for a filter system that doesn't break the bank?
 

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me2 :thumb: on UG filters. My giggest tank is 55 g. I generally use a hang-on back filter and several Hydro-Sponge filters. In my 10g -15g grow-out tanks I have started using power-heads with Hydro-Sponges as prefilters.

I found out undergravel filters are a worthless expense for most cichlid tanks since our little "darlin's" are living backhoes. :p
 

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I run an Emperor 400 HOB and Fluval 305 canister on my 55. If you only want to do HOB, then 2 Emp 400's would work nice or even 1 Emp 400 and one Emp 280. I am a big fan of the Emperor filters. The bio filtration is good and you have a lot of media options with the spare grey media holders. You can find the Emp 400's online for $40 plus shipping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Picked up a few thing today. I went w/ the AquaClear 70, instead of the Texas Holey rock, I decided w/ Blue Marble rock. It's what my local landspace store had. .15/lbs, not bad so I picked up 60lbs of it. I went w/ this instead due to the cost. Also picked up a 50lb bag of silica sand at Home Depot. I can't wait to get this started. :D
 

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Good ,glad for u man that's great. What type of fish u going with
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
jimmie said:
Good ,glad for u man that's great. What type of fish u going with
I really like the Yellow Labs and Electric Blue (sorry, I'm not familiar w/ the correct names). I like the color combo. I'm not sure what else i could mix with them. I really like the Frontosa, not sure if they'll mix well or not.
-Can Frontosa's mix well w/ Yellow Labs & Electric Blues?
-If I do plan on adding the Frontosa, should he be the bigger of the other fish?
-My local fish store has cichlids as small as 1" - 1.5"...how many can I put into a 55 gal?
 

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you can also add venutsus to it with the pattern blue and yellow,fronts also can mix with them,some folks don't like it ,but fronts can mix with it. :fish:
 

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You also want to think about the bio-load (how many fish) that will be in the tank when planning your filtration. If you are going to be light to moderately stocked, a single Emperor or Aquaclear power filter might be fine on it's own. If you are going to be heavy to overstocked, I would suggest investing in a good canister filter in addition to the power (HOB) filter because canisters can hold much more media for bio-filtration.

Regardless, it's never a bad idea to have redundancy in filters... it's like an insurance policy in case one of them ever stops working.

Also, to address your question:

My local fish store has cichlids as small as 1" - 1.5"...how many can I put into a 55 gal?
Keep in mind that the store is selling juveniles and they WILL get bigger. In my opinion, you should stay away from Frontosas and Venustus with a 55 gal tank, and I would try to stay in the 12-17 individuals range. But everyone will tell you something different on this.

Yellow labs and other mbuna species will do quite well in a 55. A very aesthetically pleasing combination is the popular yellow labs and demasoni mix.

One last thing... fishless cycle first!! :)

Best of luck and welcome to a wonderful hobby!
 
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