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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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Welcome to the CF! Since you are looking for a Hang on Back filter I personally recommend AquaClear. They are very easy to maintain, do a great job and low cost since you don't have to buy the replacement cartridges. :thumb:
 

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I think you could skip the UG jets, and use a powerhead and a hang on filter, as AZ said, you could use an aquaclear or a fluval C4, they both have media that can be rinsed/reused
 

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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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The UGJ's are fun to set up (I like to tinker with things) but you have to factor in the amount of space the submersible pump will take up when you put it up
 

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Welcome to Cichlid-forum, check out the cookie cutters for stocking ideas for your 55 gallon.
Also, I wouldn't recommend frontosa as they get around 15". Same goes for Venustus (8-10" adult)
 

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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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