New 55 Gallon Tank Questions


New Member
Alright, so I was wondering if you guys could help answer some questions I'll be having on my way to having a saltwater tank. So here's the background info:
I'm 15 years old, and right now, my dad is in Afghanistan. (USAF)
I've wanted a saltwater tank since I was like 6. I definately do my research. That would be why I'm here.
I have very little experience with aquariums. My dad has quite a bit with freshwater tanks, mainly Cichlids. He's coming back in October and he wants to start doing more stuff with me. So he told me if I buy most of the supplies for a Saltwater tank, he'll buy the fish. I don't have a job, so I obviously have a limited budget. ($300-$350/maybe more) So to the tank:
I'm thinking a good 55 Gallon community tank. Safe to have invertebrates preferred. I have a few good fish lined up that I know I want.
These are:
Red Spotted Sandperch
Mandarin Dragonet
Royal Gramma
False Percula Clownfish
Jewel Damsel
I'm currently deciding on a Goby.
I was also wondering if a Shy Hamlet would be compatible.
I have some flexibility with tanks I could go up to a 75 Gallon, but money is tight. So think 55 Gallon.
I'd also like a few crabs, a mexican turbo snail or two, a few cleaner clams and a Cleaner Shrimp.
I would love some help from you guys. If you think it can't be done or if there are some flaws in this, please let me know.
I printed out a packet of fish that could be compatible, so let me know if you see flaws with any of these fish or invertebrates. I have corals/anenome options printed out as well.

I have a quarantine tank, and I was thinking that I could buy some salt water from ***** and start there. I will also get adequate Live sand and Live Rock from ***** once I have my display tank all set up for water.
Speaking of: How much live rock do you think I need?
I'm getting a Penguin Biowheel filter. I haven't decided on a powerhead or any other main supplies. I know what I need, I just haven't decided the best bargain and models.
I understand that Mandarin Dragonets are hard to care for, with the copepods and all. So I'm hoping to get a Fuge for the Copepods and introduce the Dragonet at a later date once most of my other fish are settled.
My dad is coming home in October. So I have time.
This is sort of an introduction because I will be asking lots of questions and I will be online a lot. Especially once things start getting under way.
I really want to be prepared for a saltwater tank. Despite my lack of experience so if you have any tips or suggestions, please; I'm all ears.


Great idea for a Saltwater Tank. The 55 Sounds good for a starter, to be honest you can get a whole setup on C-List for half your budget with stand,tank,hood and filter. I would most likely start there.
If you need a protein skimmer i have an extra i can mail you.
One thing i can say is try not to go to ***** the chain stores are interested in pushing product and not the help of the wildlife. Check yellow pages for a local one.
Hope this helps. Your stock list sounds perfect. I would also say the bio wheel is OK but 2 Cascade 300 Filters are super good and cheap ( Maybe 30 each? ).
Thanks, Jayson


Hi there and welcome to the hobby!
i agree with jayson find a local pet store. chain pet stores dont always care about the animals there selling. and it is cheaper in most cases to mix your own salt water.
you can look on craigs list for a fish tanks and like he said you can find some pretty decent deals! but if you dont have any luck with that. you can find a 55 gal tank in a package deal i think it comes with the heater, filters, air pump, all for under 200 dollers which will leave you some money for a protien skimmer,salt and test kits ect.
cant help you out much with your fish list but im sure some one else will be happy to help you out there! good luck to you!