55 Gallon Fish Tank Setup: How To Set Up A 55 Gallon Aquarium

One of the first things you should do is select the style of fish tank you want. There are many different styles and kits available for a 55 gallon fish tank.

Some thought should also be given to the type of aquarium environment you want.

As an example;

Freshwater or saltwater, goldfish or cichlids, planted or artificial.

Why is this important?

Well, the requirements for a 55 gallon goldfish tank would be much different from a 55 gallon freshwater community tank. The lighting, filter and even the tank shape is affected by this one decision.

Here are just a few of the different styles available for a 55 gallon tank;

  • 55 gallon rectangular fish tank
  • 55 gallon corner fish tank
  • 55 gallon hexagon fish tank
  • 55 gallon glass fish tank
  • 55 gallon acrylic fish tank
  • 55 gallon octagon fish tank
  • 55 gallon long fish tank
  • 55 gallon tall fish tank
  • 55 gallon bow front fish tank
  • Fish tank kits 55 gallon

How Big Is A 55 Gallon Fish Tank?

The size of a 55 gallon fish tank depends again on the style of tank you select. The measurements of a rectangular tank will be much different from a tall, long or hexagon fish tank.

To give you an idea on the size of a 55 gallon fish tank here are a few examples;

55 gallon fish tank dimensions;

  • Rectangular: Length 48 inches Width 13 inches Height 20 inches
  • Corner: Length 40 inches Width 39 inches Height 54 inches
  • Hexagon: Length 25 inches Width 29 inches Height 24 inches

As you can see the size of the tank varies quite a bit so be sure you confirm the dimensions of the exact fish tank you intend to buy.

Always be sure that you have enough space for your tank in the room you are going to set up the aquarium.

Finding A 55 Gallon Fish Tank Stand

Once you decide on the style of tank you will use, you’ll need a stand.

Most aquarium sizes can be purchased alone or as a kit which could include the tank, the stand and even the lights, filter, and pumps.

One thing to keep in mind is the size and shape of your 55 gallon tank, the stand will need to be compatible with the shape of your tank.

Below are a few examples of tank stands for 55 gallon tanks;

Sometimes depending on what you are looking for you might want to build your own stand.

Below you can find some examples of 55 gallon fish tank stand plans and a video of how to build a 55 gallon fish tank stand.

55 Gallon Fish Tank Hoods & Lights

Now it’s time to select your lighting and fish tank hood.

As I mentioned before the type of fish you plan on keeping can impact the type of lighting you want.

As an example;

For a Cichlid tank… There are two routes available here for lighting — to inhibit the growth of algae, or to promote it. In my opinion, you should promote algae growth. Not only is it essential for species like the ‘Mbunas’, but most African Cichlids enjoy scraping the algae off the rocks, or picking around in the algae, as algae growth is one of their natural sources of nutrition in their native Lakes – From Fish-etc.com.

Below are a few examples of lighting available for a 55 gallon aquarium;

The hood, lid or canopy is also something you need think about. There are many hoods and lids available and for the most part it comes down to preference. I love the glass lids as it makes my aquarium feel more open.

When selecting your hood be sure that it is compatible with your lighting.

As an example;

If you are using a glass lid with a LED lighting set up you’ll want to ensure your lights can be mounted to the tank frame as the glass lid won’t hold your lighting.

Below are some examples of hoods and lids for a 55 gallon tank;

Selecting A Filter For A 55 Gallon Tank

The filtration system for your tank is one of the most important parts of your aquariumThis is the one piece of equipment you’ll want to spend a little extra on.

For a 55 gallon tank you’ll want a filter that has a flow rate of at least 220 gallons per hour (gph), but I recommend to always overfilter your tank.  

If you are keeping goldfish or cichlids please be aware they are typically very dirty fish so selecting a filter with higher flow rate around 300 gph or higher would be recommended.

To see some of the best filters available on the market today check our fish tank filter selection guide.

Or, check out the examples below;

Heater For A 55 Gallon Fish Tank

Selecting a heater for your 55 gallon tank is pretty straight forward. You’ll need something with at least 200-250 Watts.

Here are some popular fish tank heaters for a 55 gallon tank;

Air Pumps For A 55 Gallon Fish Tank

First off you don’t need a pump in any aquarium as long as the surface area is large enough and the water is sufficiently disturbed.

However, if you’re using sponge filters or undergravel filters then a pump will be needed to create the suction force.

Air pumps are also a great way to create a current (Cichlids love this) that your fish can swim against. I also prevents dead spots occurring where toxins can build.

Pumps can also add a dramatic effect to your aquarium with bubbles and other pneumatic decorations.

Here are a few pumps that would be suited for use in a 55 gallon aquarium;

Accessories For A 55 Gallon Fish Tank

And of course it’s always fun to add a little “flair” to your tank, just make sure you have at least 37 pieces of flair!

Here are some awesome decorations and backgrounds;

I hope with the above guide you now have enough information available to set up a 55 gallon tank that you can be proud of.

Happy Tankin!

By | 2018-02-14T20:11:30+00:00 July 4th, 2016|Fish Tanks, Start Setting Up Your Aquarium The Right Way|Comments Off on 55 Gallon Fish Tank Setup: How To Set Up A 55 Gallon Aquarium

About the Author:

Jack Dempsey has over 20 years of experience with freshwater aquariums, his goal is to help beginners avoid the biggest mistakes when getting started. If you find something helpful please share it on your favourite social network. If you need help with anything send Jack a question.