Pump/ set up recomendtaion.


I recently got a whole 55 gallon tank set up from my girlfriends friend. It has a protein skimmer and an emperor filter system that hangs on the back of the tank and has paddle wheel filters and put the water back in. Im a total newbie to this. The tank has an eel, starfish, a clown fish and two other fish i cant seem to identify because they were shocked and lost there color. I want to replace the pump/filter with something new because this one is old and nasty. Iam only going to have the fish and going to get some live rock for now. once im good at it all i want to upgrade to a reef tank. so im looking for something that will work now and will be able to use once i upgrade if possible. I dont have a whole lot of space, it will go in the tank stand with the space inside measruing about 9inches by 3 feet. thanks in advance :help:


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space inside measruing about 9inches by 3 feet. thanks in advance
That's gonna be tough with that narrow a space...
Look into opening up the stand to at least 12" x36"...


Here's my 2 cents since my fellow reefers aren't helping you out:
Unless you can afford lighting for your rock you plan to get I would wait and get lighting first. The die off from no lights could cause you to loose your fish from not having proper lighting. Emperor filters are pretty worthless and take up a lot of room. For a fish only I would get a Fluval canister filter for now and go overkill and get something for around a 100 gallon tank. Once you get into Reefing like all of us (which you will, trust me), Then that can work as a back up filter for your sump (which is ideal).
Remember that those filters that look nasty have a lot of bioload in them and keep them on there running for a week while your new filter is building that.
If you decide on going with a reef I would get dual 250 watt mogul electronic setup with 20k's. There are a lot of good retro kits out there for cheap. You won't need a chiller for that most likely.
Or T-5's are nice too. I have both on my 120 reef.
Oh and if you have a crushed coral sandbed I would switch in a few weeks to live sand or do it sooner. Crushed coral traps a lot of detritus and causes amonia spikes (that are bad). A good 2-6" sandbed is ideal depending on what you decide. I prefer 2" but some say deeper like 6" is better.
We're all here for ya and there are lots of opinions out there and that's great and helps you make your own decision.
Oh, and welcome to the fun world of Saltwater..