The Fish Guru

Why a 55-Gallon Fish Tank is the Best Choice for Marine and Freshwater Species

Bigger is Better: The Benefits and Maintenance of a 55-gallon Fish Tank

For hobbyists who are passionate about marine and freshwater species, owning a fish tank is not just a hobby but a way of life. However, the question that arises is: how big should your fish tank be?

The answer is that bigger is better, and a 55-gallon fish tank is a perfect size for both marine and freshwater species.

Why Bigger is Better

A 55-gallon fish tank provides ample space for marine and freshwater species to thrive. The larger volume of water also ensures that fluctuations in water temperature, pH levels, and other parameters are small and less drastic.

That being said, a larger water volume requires less maintenance, as it dilutes waste products and toxins that may accumulate in the water. Additionally, a larger water volume means that there is a greater capacity for beneficial bacteria, which can reduce the incidence of disease and keep the water clean and safe for your fish.

55-Gallon Fish Tank Maintenance

While a 55-gallon fish tank requires less maintenance than smaller tanks, there are still some basic care routines that must be followed to ensure that the water stays clean and healthy for your fish. One of the most important aspects of tank maintenance is performing regular water changes.

Ideally, a 20% water change should be done at least once a week. The process involves removing a portion of the water and replacing it with clean, fresh water to dilute the waste and other pollutants that accumulate over time.

Another important aspect of maintaining a 55-gallon fish tank is equipment upkeep. It is vital to ensure that the filters, heater, and other equipment in the tank are working correctly, and any malfunctions or defects are immediately addressed.

A clean and functioning filter is essential in keeping the water clean and healthy for your fish. It is also essential to ensure that the water flow and water temperature are maintained within acceptable ranges for the species in the tank.

Lastly, adding beneficial bacteria supplements can help establish a healthy and stable biological filtration system.

55-Gallon Aquarium Stocking Ideas

When planning a 55-gallon aquarium, there are several factors to consider, including freshwater and saltwater systems, aggressive and community fish, and equipment needs. For freshwater setups, the choices of community fish are extensivethe possibilities are almost endless, including tetras, guppies, swordtails, mollies, and many others.

The more challenging aspect of establishing a freshwater system is determining the compatibility of the species. While some species get along well together, others become aggressive and territorial.

For example, cichlids are known to be territorial, and in some species, they reach an aggressive level that may pose a threat to other fish in the tank.

As for establishing a saltwater setup, it is vital to ensure that the appropriate equipment is in place.

This includes protein skimmers, powerheads, and UV sterilizers. Once the equipment is in place, a saltwater aquarium can also provide a home for an endless variety of marine life.

However, just like freshwater setups, the compatibility of species is crucial, and the wrong combination of creatures can quickly lead to mayhem. Fish that are considered community-friendly include clownfish, tangs, and wrasses.

Recommended Freshwater Equipment

To successfully establish a freshwater system, there is some equipment that every hobbyist needs to have. Filtration is undoubtedly one of the most crucial pieces of equipment for a tank.

A filter helps to remove the particles present in the water. There are several types of filters available, including a canister filter, HOB filter, and sponge filter.

The type of filter you choose depends on your tank’s size and the type of fish you plan to keep.

Water flow is another important aspect of tank setup as it ensures that the water is properly circulated, which leads to healthy fish and plants.

Powerheads, air stones, and water pumps are all options for increasing water flow within the tank. When it comes to heating the water, a good heater is a must.

The temperature of your tank should stay between 78-82F.

If you plan to add live plants to your tank, make sure they receive enough light.

LED lights are generally the best option, as they are energy-efficient and can be customized to mimic natural lighting. Lastly, a sponge filter can be used as a secondary filter or as a primary filter for small aquariums.

They’re excellent at breaking down toxins, and they’re very easy to maintain.

Planning for Freshwater Fish Tank Setup

Before purchasing any fish for your freshwater tank, it is essential to research the species and ensure that they are compatible with your tank’s size and other inhabitants. Depending on the size of your tank, you have several options for the number of fish you can keep.

Generally, it is recommended to have about one-inch worth of fish for every gallon of water.

When planning for your freshwater tank, it is also essential to consider the long-term costs of maintaining it.

This includes regular water changes, equipment upkeep, and replacing dead fish or plants. Being prepared for these costs can help make the hobby more enjoyable long-term.


In conclusion, a 55-gallon fish tank is a perfect size for both novice and experienced hobbyists. They provide ample space for marine and freshwater species to thrive while offering low-maintenance care routines.

Planning for a fish tank setup can be a challenging task, but with proper research and equipment, it can be enjoyable and rewarding for years to come.

Recommended Saltwater Equipment

When setting up a saltwater system, there are some vital pieces of equipment that you’ll need to establish a healthy and sustainable environment. Unlike freshwater systems, saltwater systems require slightly more advanced equipment to keep the salinity, pH levels, and other parameters in check.

Here are some of the most essential pieces of equipment you’ll need to set up a saltwater tank:

Filtration: A quality filtration system is crucial to ensure the water remains clean and healthy for your fish, corals, and other invertebrates. A canister filter, protein skimmer or a sump can be used to effectively filter the water.

Water Flow: Good water flow is critical in a saltwater tank, and it’s needed to keep the water well-circulated, which encourages gas exchange and nutrient distribution. Powerheads, water pumps, and wavemakers can all be used to generate water flow in the tank.

Heater: A reliable heater is necessary for maintaining a constant temperature in your saltwater tank. The temperature should remain between 74-78F.

Refractometer: A refractometer is a specialized tool used to measure the salinity or salt levels in the tank. It is a more accurate method than using a hydrometer, which is less precise, and readings can be skewed if the equipment is not calibrated correctly.

Decor and accessories: A saltwater aquarium is not just about the fish and corals. Additions like rocks, sand, and artificial decor will provide a more realistic environment for your fish while making the tank aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

Lighting fixtures: Quality lighting is crucial in a saltwater aquarium, not just for the corals but also to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria and algae. LED lights are the most popular lighting type as they are energy-efficient and easy to customize to simulate natural lighting.

Porous live rock: Live rock is an excellent way to introduce beneficial bacteria into your tank and provide shelter for your fish and invertebrates. Porous live rock will also provide a place for microorganisms to grow and thrive, which is necessary for establishing a stable and healthy biological filtration system.

Mineral/nutrient supplements: As saltwater aquariums often have limited natural resources, it’s essential to ensure that your system is well supplemented with minerals and nutrients. Most marine salt mixes will have a calcifier such as calcium, magnesium along with trace elements.

Planning for Saltwater Fish Tank Setup

Planning for a saltwater fish tank requires a bit more consideration than a freshwater tank as saltwater fish have specific requirements that must be met. Before purchasing any fish, you’ll need to research the species and ensure that they are compatible with your tank’s size and other inhabitants.

As predatory species are more common in the marine environment, communities are rare in the saltwater aquarium hobby.

The function of coral and live rock is not just for aesthetic purposes.

In a new saltwater aquarium, these organisms are important for establishing biological filtration along with ammonia and nitrite control. Small fish, like clownfish, are generally regarded as a good starting point for a saltwater system.

Large fish may not be suitable for tank life due to their complex needs. Keeping tanks clean is essential, along with establishing adequate gas exchange, proper salinity levels, and efficient equipment maintenance.

Top 5 Choices

Choosing the right aquarium for your fish and going through all the options available can lead to a difficult decision. We have created a list of the top five aquarium choices to help make the decision process easier.

1. Aqueon Standard Glass Aquarium Tank 55 Gallon: This glass tank is customizable and offers a sleek look.

The black rim complements the silicone edges and allows for numerous attachment options. The dimensions of the tank make it easy to fit in any room.

2. Clear-For-Life 55 Gallon Hexagon UniQuarium: Designed with acrylic, the hexagonal shape gives a unique focal point in the room.

There is an internal filtration system installed in the aquarium, promoting better water filtration and circulation. Acrylic is also 17 times stronger than glass and offers better clarity.

3. Tetra 55 Gallon Aquarium Kit: With a complete kit, this aquarium is great for the beginner and experienced hobbyists.

The LED lighting system ensures enough light enters the aquarium, while the Whisper filtration system keeps the water clean. The tank also comes with a two-door stand, providing extra storage solutions.

4. SeaClear 55 Gallon Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set: This combo set includes a filtration system and is designed with acrylic for better clarity and impact resistance.

The seamless edges provide a stylish touch, and the size and dimensions offer plenty of room for fish and corals to thrive. 5.

Aqueon LED 55 Gallon Aquarium Kit: Another complete kit catering to the fish enthusiast. The LED lighting system allows for custom lighting options, while the QuietFlow filtration system ensures clean water.

The aquarium is also easy to set up with the included heater and thermometer.


In conclusion, starting a saltwater aquarium takes time, patience, and research. The equipment required is slightly more advanced, and establishing fish compatibility requires some effort to ensure that your marine inhabitants are happy and healthy.

However, with proper planning and care, a saltwater aquarium can be a stunning and rewarding addition to any household or office. Choose the right aquarium that can cater to your needs and fish requirements.

In summary, the article emphasizes the importance of properly setting up and maintaining a 55-gallon fish tank, whether for freshwater or saltwater systems. A larger water volume ensures a stable environment for fish and other aquatic species, and regular maintenance routines and proper equipment are essential to keep the tank healthy and thriving.

For those interested in saltwater setups, additional equipment and planning steps are required to maintain optimal salinity levels and gas exchange. Lastly, the article provided a list of the top 5 fish tanks available in the market, catering to different fish enthusiasts’ needs.

Overall, establishing and caring for a fish tank is a worthwhile endeavor that takes patience, research, and planning, leading to a beautiful and rewarding addition to any household.

Popular Posts