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Rick's New 55 Gallon Tank


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Here are some details and pictures (to follow) from my 55 Gallon Tank. Some of you here know me already (Especially vendors) as I've done my best to bend your ears for as much information as I could. (Doran and family - Fish Tank People, Pat and family - Saltwater Fantaseas, Woody - Seahorse, Rosecity Aquarium (Don't recall your name but my wife had fun playing with Big Joe ?, I think that was his name), Perry - Ocean in a Box, and perhaps a few others I've met in each store)


Now for the tank,



  • 55 gallon glass aquarium drilled for drain (1") and return(3/4") lines. (I redid the plumbing 3 times to get it where it is now and will likely do it once more to add another drain line)
  • 20 gallon fishtank sump (about 15 gallons of saltwater) with baffles added. (I changed the sump 3 times as well, the first 10 gal. tank had a leak and I wasn't happy with the plastic tote I put in to replace it)
  • The pump is around 550 GPH
  • One Powerhead used in the tank (Approx. 350 GPH if I recall right)
  • The in sump skimmer I added is diy based on a design found in an Internet search. It uses an Air Pump and one powerhead.
  • I initially started with overdriven 48" flourescent lights (One daylight and one actinic) but then I found a deal on a MH/PC/Moonlight fixture that had a bad ballast on the PC lights. This is installed in a homemade hood and I left one ODNO actinic in there as well. I replaced the PC ballast for the fixture so I have 350 Watts of MH lighting, 192 Watts of Actinic 460 lighting and around 70 Watts of Actinic 420 lighting, (The 420 makes the flourescent colors pop while it still maintains a blue color which I like) and 6 LED moonlights.


Substrate and Structure

  • 60 lbs of Aragonite. (50/50 fine and course over a plenum)
  • Several pieces of cured live rock from a couple of LFS. (plus a few hitchhikers)
  • Approx. the same amount of base rock as well both to allow the LR to spread and for the reef base as I add more later.

Livestock (Fish, hitchhikers, and cleanup crew):

  • 3 Yellowtail Blue Damsels
  • 5 Chromis (4 Green and 1 Blue/Green)
  • 1 Cinnamon Clown
  • 1 Coral Beauty Angel
  • 3 Blue Leg Hermits (One was a hitchhiker)
  • 2 Red Leg Hermits
  • 2 Zebra Hermits
  • 1 Electric Blue Hermit
  • 1 Scarlet Hermit
  • 1 Emerald Green Crab (To stop some bubble algea from spreading)
  • 1 Horseshoe Crab
  • 1 Peppermint Shrimp (To stop some aptasia that started to spread)
  • 1 Blood Red Fire Shrimp
  • 1 Serpent Star (hitchhiker)
  • 1 Nassarius Snail (hitchhiker)
  • 2 Turbo Snails
  • 4 Astrea Snails
  • A few small tube worm featherdusters in a piece of LR (hitchhikers)
  • 1 Crocea Clam

Corals, etc. (Most small frags):

  • 1 Australian Maze Coral
  • 1 Favia Coral
  • 1 Pink Birds Nest Coral
  • 1 Purple Acropora Coral
  • 1 Blue Tip Acropora Coral
  • 1 Echino Chalice Coral (I think although the ID is as yet unconfirmed)
  • 1 Green Star Polyp Coral
  • 1 (Bluish)Green Bubble Tip Anemone (Hosting the Cinnamon Clown)


I plan to include 2 more bulkheads so I can add another drain line plus another return line so I can tee it off outside the tank to reduce plumbing inside it (Currently I have a tee with 2 returns plumbed inside the tank to create turbulence). I'm also considering making the lighting and feeding PC controlled with a day/night webcam as well. (I'm a software programmer so I would probably write the programs for this myself) I also may expand to 100/120 gallons or so if I run across a good deal on another tank (Although I'm pretty much limited to 4 foot of length) A refugium may also be in the future as well.


For livestock I would like to add a Koran or Emporator Angel and a Purple Tang. (I doubt I'll add the angel unless I increase the tank size though but the Purple Tang will be added at some point even if it means taking some others out since my Wife wants it and I need to try to keep her happy) I'll also definately be adding more rock as well and some more coral frags. (Possibly some Zoas next after I see how well the current ones are going to do)


I'm sure I've made a few mistakes (a couple that I already know about) but overall the occupants seem reasonably happy so far. I'm relatively new to this hobby so speak up if you see any drastic mistakes I've made up to this point.

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BTA and Clown


Here are a couple of the Green Bubble Tip Anenome and the Cinnamon Clown. I've only had the BTA since day before yesterday however it seems to have settled here and the Cinnamon Clown took to it within a couple of hours.



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Electric Blue Hermit Crab


It's hard to tell in the first pic but in the second you can see this one was missing a leg when I got it. After a few days he hid behind the rocks for a couple of days and came back out with all of his legs. (Apparently he molted) My Scarlet Hermit Crab was the same way and also apparently molted after hiding out for a few days.



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Nice setup , how long has the tank been running. looks like you've done your homework on stocking especially the cleanup crew, very conservative, its good to see.

keep the pics coming, how about a full tank pic

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Nice setup , how long has the tank been running. looks like you've done your homework on stocking especially the cleanup crew, very conservative, its good to see.

keep the pics coming, how about a full tank pic


Thanks, About 6 weeks now. I'm trying to keep the cleanup crew to just enough that is necessary.


Here are some more pics:




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BTA, Star Polyp, Acropora, Birds Nest


Here is another one of the BTA today which seems to have settled here. The second is the Star Polyp. (The coloring on both are stunning when they flouresce under the actinics) The third shows the Acropora's but they are still too small to really get an idea of what they will look like. I was there when they were fragged though so I have a good idea of what they will look like. (Both are branching corals) The last one is the Bird's Nest. All three of the corals have new buds growing.





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Nice set up. You have the salt bug and it only get worse. Tell the wife I to like to play with "Joe" at Rosecity. Hubby laughed that that she remembered the great dogs but for got "Nicks" name. A store for you both.



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A few additions to my tank plus one additional hitchhiker discovered as well. I couple of nights ago I spotted a Bristolworm in/on a piece of live rock although I was unable to catch a picture before he vanished. As for the other additions:

I have four from DSOZ and one from Lowman that I picked up after the monthly meeting.

1: Frogspawn Frag

2: Montipora Frag (Dennis I don't recall which Monti this is so if you see this let me know. Perhaps Montipora Capricornis?)

3: Purple Mushrooms

4: Xenia

and the fifth from Lowman

5: Aussie Fungia (Bob, if you see this I'm currious if there is a more specific name or subspecies for this)






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Yes, pic #2 is an orange or red monti cap. When I got it, it was more red color. In my tank it turned orange. Maybe it will turn a different shade of red/orange for you.




Sounds good, I'll compare pictures in a few weeks and see if the color changes and let you know. We need to get some more contrast in the tank anyway to offset some of the purple/violet and neon greens.

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