Best 50 – 55 Gallon Aquarium Kits & Fish Tanks
A 50-55-gallon aquarium kit is perfect for hobbyists who intend to maintain a reef tank with various types of schooling fish.
If you are keen on keeping cichlids, you will find that most large cichlid fish will thrive in a tank of 50 gallons and over.
These large fish tanks are also a good for other large-sized fish like Tigerfish, Goldfish, and Arowanas. In a 50 gallon aquarium you can create a large and beautiful aquascape too.
We have rounded up several 50 – 55-gallon kits to consider when buying a large tank, and they include:
1. Tetra 55 Gallon Aquarium Kit
This large tank is accompanied by all the essentials you require for successful fishkeeping, including Stick on a digital thermometer, 200W theater, two plant multipacks and a boxwood plant, 6-inch fishnet, and a WPF 60 Filter. Also included in the kit is a 24-inch Tetra hinged hood.
The kit also has LED lights that resemble natural lighting so that you get a clear and illuminated view of the entire tank.
It weighs 79 lb by itself, while with water it can weigh up to 521 lb. If you are concerned about the tank’s support, you can get the Majesty Stand, which also provides storage for supplies.
The kit also comes with Tetra food and AquaSafe to help you get started with fish keeping. You will have to buy the gravel and pebbles separately as they are not part of the package.
Overall, this kit will provide sufficient space to have a variety of fish, and it is also easy to install and Setup.
2. Aqua Culture Aquarium 55 Gallon Starter Kit
This kit is perfect if are looking to brighten up your home by including a touch of nature. Its low-profile hood will provide a natural daylight shimmer by utilizing LED lighting to mimic natural sunlight.
The Tetra internal filter included in the kit delivers strong but silent filtration to ensure your fish are healthy at all times, and the water is crystal clear. If you need to change the filter cartridges, you can use the integrated cutouts instead of retracting the hood. The cutouts will also facilitate easy feeding.
The package comes with samples of Tetra food and water, and you also get enrollment in TetraCare, which has free advice to encourage success in fish rearing.
The kit does not include a heater, stand, thermometer, or gravel and decor.
3. Full Acrylic 360 Cylinder Aquarium Kit
This 55-gallon tank is incredibly sturdy as it is made of strong acrylics. It also stands out because of the canopy and a custom stand that come with the package. There is an inbuilt feeding tube so that you do have to retrieve the canopy when feeding the fish.
While most tanks come in rectangular or square shapes, this specific tank opts for a cylindrical shape. The 360 view of your fish as they swirl around will, therefore, be exciting and breathtaking. The brushed stainless-steel finish also adds to the aesthetic of the tank.
The kit has an included air pump, bio ball, and filtration system.
4. Aquatic Fundamentals 55 Gallon Aquarium Kit with Stand
This aquarium comes with a durable stand whose powder finish is excellent for extra moisture resistance. You only need to wipe it clean and not worry about water splashing on the coating. The design is quite unique, with open shelves on either side and in the middle. You can store your aquarium equipment and access them at any time. You can also add home décor or photos on the shelves and spruce up your living space.
The stand will be easy to assemble, and you can do it with just a head screwdriver. It makes use of metal-to-metal locking cams to link the various components for extra durability and security. The steel legs provide stability for the stand, although they are not adjustable.
This kit will appeal to those who want a distinctive look for their decor.
5. SCA 50 Gallon Starfire Glass Aquarium Kit
This kit includes a rimless tank constructed of Starfire glass. The great part of this tank is that it will require little maintenance since Starfire glass is both strong and resistant to external elements. The package comes with a sump, drain pipe, and return pipe, which are useful in keeping the tank clean and well-maintained. ‘
The cabinet that comes with the tank has a dual door such that it will be easy to regulate the flow of water. You only need to slate the water to start a cycle since the cabinet is designed as an auto mechanic system.
The kit is constructed for saltwater application, although the manufacturer can remove the skimmer and sump and give you a better price if you intend to use it for freshwater.
6. SeaClear System II Acrylic Aquarium
This kit’s tank is an acrylic setup with smooth rounded corners for safety and appeal. It is made from the clearest material available, and it is 17 times stronger while being less than half the weight of a similarly-sized aquarium.
You can get it either in black or cobalt blue, and it can be used for saltwater and freshwater environments. The package will function straight out of the box, thanks to the filtration system fitted at the back of the aquarium and the 350 gph submersible pump.
The filter is equipped with chambers that accommodate biological, chemical, and mechanical filter media in addition to space for a heater. It comes with a complete hood, and a 24-inch fluorescent fixture, although you will have to get a bulb separately.
Your tank will benefit from excellent circulation, thanks to the specially-molded Turbulence Manifold.
Aquarium Equipment for 50-55 Gallon Fish Tank
If the aquarium cannot be purchased in a kit, you will need to buy the following items separately:
Aquarium Heater: Eheim Jager Aquarium Heater
Constant water temperature is vital for the comfort of fish in an aquarium, which is why this thermometer is precisely regulated. You get the best technology in this super-modern electronic thermal device, which is fit for both saltwater and freshwater habitats.
It has a shatterproof glass construction and is fully immersible. The heater is free of pollutants, can withstand extreme temperature fluctuations, and is resistant to biological and chemical pollutants. Its glass jacket also expands the heating surface to facilitate even heat distribution.
You can use the TruTemp Dial to adjust the temperature from 18 °C to 34 °C. The readjustment ring comes in handy when you want to recalibrate the heater to an exact temperature. The heater’s control accuracy is +/-0.5 °C.
When it comes to safety control, the heater is equipped with “running dry” protection. It will shut off once retrieved from the water and will start functioning again upon return. This feature will prevent the heater from getting damaged.
The on/off indicator light will eliminate guessing since you can ascertain heater function without getting your hands wet.
The heater is accompanied by a mounting bracket and suction cups for usability. The bracket easily clips around the heater’s glass tube, and it can be placed at any point along the glass area.
The massive temperature range of this heater is quite impressive when compared to other aquarium heaters in the market. It is especially fit for anyone who wants their fish tank heated to unusually warm or cold temperatures.
Aquarium Filter: Aqueon Canister Filter, 55-100 Gallons
This canister comes preloaded with mechanical, chemical, and biological media to get rid of waste from aquarium water effectively. Its 3-stage filtration process is designed with a lot of media space.
The initial stage involves a sponge, instead of filter floss or a filter sheet. You will save costs because you can easily clean the sponge rather than throwing it away. Two biological media chambers provide extra bioload capacity, and they fit the included Coarse Foam, Bio Balls, Carbon, and Bio-Ceramic Rings.
The canister is equipped with quick disconnect valves, which are adjustable for flow control and easy cleaning. You get several outlet options, where you can either use the water director, spray bar, or link it to the included water polishing unit. The water polishing unit is fitted at the back of the tank, and it makes maintenance quick and easy. The mechanical filtration packs can also be used to clean water.
The pros of this filter include ample media space and valves for easy cleaning. You will, however, only get a 12-month warranty.
Aquarium Hood: Aqueon LED Background Hood
The Aqueon LED Background Hood is designed with precision so that it snuggly fits on the inside lip of the aquarium hood. Not only will the hood look great, but it will also reduce the evaporation of the tank’s water.
A full-length feeding door is positioned across the hood’s entire length, and there are rear breakout sections for correct fit with aquarium accessories. Every section is spacious so that you have options for a heater, filters, and other equipment.
The two LED lighting slots come with plug-n-play design to let you change lamps quickly and easily. You will get one Day White Lamp, although you can purchase other Aqueon lamp options including Max Blue, Beauty Box, and Colormax. There is an in-built moon glow accent light that will give your aquarium a stunning glow in low-light conditions. A convenient switch gives you the options of LED lights only, all lights on/off, or moon glow accent only. The physical light switch is usable with timers.
The pros of this product include its large feeding lid, the beautiful flickering light effect in the tank, and its compatibility with many tanks. The LEDs are however too dim for plants.
Aquarium Stand: Aquatic Fundamentals Stand for 50 – 65 Gallon Aquariums
This durable stand is perfect for displaying your aquarium. It is ideal for 50 or 65-gallon rectangular tanks. The stand features a contemporary design that will blend with the décor of any home. It is constructed with dense fiberboard with a melamine laminate finish. The top of the stand will support every section of your aquarium, while most of the other stands only support the corners.
The front area of the stand is concealed, and you can store other fishkeeping essentials, including pumps and filters. The center panel door makes it easy to access the stored accessories. The back of the stand is mostly open, except for one support brace.
The stand has metal to metal cam locks so it will be easy to set it up. The assembly instructions are additionally easy.
How to Setup a 50-55 Gallon Fish Tank?
The next step after purchasing a kit is set up your aquarium, and you can follow the steps below:
Identify a location for the aquarium and stand
Choosing a suitable spot is vital for the health of your aquatic pets. A suitable place will be where the amount of light does not get excessive, and the temperature remains relatively consistent. A lot of light will facilitate excessive algae growth and make maintenance difficult. You can choose an interior wall that is far from bright sunlight.
Ensure there is at least 5 inches between the wall to accommodate the filter.
Do not place the tank under a vent, as dust will collect in your tank. The vent will also make it hard to maintain constant water temperature.
The tank location should be close to an outlet to make maintenance easier.
Install the Filter
The kind of filter you have will inform the installation method you use.
Put the filter plate in the tank for under-gravel filters and ensure that the lift tubes are fitted. The tubes are mostly designed to fit the tallest tanks, so you may cut them to fit your aquarium. The tubes should be cut such that the tops will be below the surface of the water once the tank is filled. Attach the pump airlines into the appropriate lift tubes.
If you have an external power filter, install it at the tank’s back in a setting where the outflow will evenly spread the water.
Add the Gravel
Your tank should have around two to three inches of gravel at the bottom to keep the aquarium healthy. You can source for cheap gravel from pet stores.
It is vital that you wash your chosen gravel. The tank’s water will clear faster if there is less dust in it. Most beginners forego this step resulting in their tank being cloudy once they get their aquarium running.
You can use a hose with high pressure to spray the substrate directly in a bucket. Wash it by moving your hands in a circular motion. When the gravel settles at the bottom, remove the dirty water. Repeat four to five times and check if the water gets clearer. It is not unusual for some substrates to still cloud the water even after washing several times. Silty and fine substrates will naturally settle in the tank over time. Refrain from using soap as it is harmful to fish.
Slope the gravel upward toward the tank’s back. Spread the gravel in an even layer across the entire surface of the filter. Add a bit at a time since it can scratch the walls if poured in too fast.
Add Plants and Decorations
If you intend to keep a planted tank, add the plants at this stage as it is best to avoid adding any kinds of stress to the aquarium once the fish are in. Plants will even contribute to the health of the fish.
Ensure that any decorations you add are designed for aquariums. For plants, submerge the roots in the gravel, and leave the stems and leaves above water. You can add decorations like driftwood or rock, but they should be thoroughly cleaned.
Fill Up the Aquarium
Once the plants are in, the next step involves adding water. You can add little water to start so that you can spot any leaks. Fill the tank to just under its rim, and leave a gap of 1 inch.
You can use a de-chlorinator after filling the aquarium because chloramines and chlorine can fill up over time. Choose a high de-chlorinator to preserve the aquatic life in your tank.
Start the Filter and Add the Heater
Add water to the reservoir’s filter, and turn it on. You should see the water circulate after several minutes. Water should begin moving vertically in the lift tubes if you have an under-gravel filter. You can check the temperature after an hour or two to ensure that it is still in the desired range and that the water is circulating appropriately.
Your heater will attach to the inside of the tank via suction cups. Position it close or at the mouth of the filter discharging water to ensure that the water is evenly heated.
Most of the thermostats on the heaters in the market will come already set at a temperature range of 70 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Plugin the heater and set up your thermometer. Only turn it on with the tank entirely filled in with water.
You can get the fully-submersible heaters as they are easy to use, and one which has an adjustable thermostat.
Source for an appropriate for your aquarium, and place it above or on the tank with the timer set for not more than 8 hours every day.
Cycle the Aquarium
Cycling your aquarium will facilitate the build-up of denitrifying bacteria.
You can either opt for fishless cycling process or use fish.
In the case of a fishless cycle, biological waste is added manually while the water level is monitored. Once you Setup your aquarium, add a sprinkling of fish flakes and wait for several days as the flakes start to decay and release waste products. Test the water for ammonia after some days. The recommended level is three parts per million (ppm). Add more flakes if the water does not have enough ammonia.
Beneficial bacteria will soon start to grow in the tank, and they will reduce the ammonia concentration. Add more flakes whenever the level of ammonia falls below the recommended level.
Begin by testing nitrites after a week by using a commercial test kit. The presence of nitrites will signal the start of the cycle, and you can continue adding ammonia.
The final step of the cycle will involve the conversion of nitrites to nitrates, where the latter is not harmful to fish. You can then add the fish slowly as nitrite and ammonia levels fall to zero.
If you decide to use fish, populate your tank with hardy fish like X-ray Tetras, Zebra Danios, White Clouds, and most guppies. These species will produce waste and survive the initial high concentrations of toxins as the beneficial bacteria grow. Ensure you do not overfeed the fish, as it is not recommended to have left-over food in the water. Use test kits to track the toxin levels.
The cycling process can stretch for two to eight weeks. When the ammonia and nitrite concentrations at 0ppm, you can source for expensive or exotic fish. If the ammonia concentrations have not dropped in the eight weeks, the problem may lie in overfeeding, ineffective filtration, and overpopulation.
Maintaining the Aquarium
Your tank should not be overcrowded, and you should not overfeed your fish. Water changes are also important to preserve the quality of the water in the tank.
You can change 10 to 15% of the water once every week, and clean inside and outside of the glass. If your fish produce substantial amounts of waste products, you can change half of the water. Use a hydro-vacuum every time you change the water.
Regular testing of the aquarium’s water is also recommended. Check for pH, KH, nitrites, and nitrates.
The aquarium filter should also be maintained monthly, although more frequent filter cleanings are required for a densely-populated tank.
Stocking Ideas for 50-55 Gallon Aquarium
Aquarium tanks of 50 to 55 gallons can hold a range of fish species including dwarf cichlids, tetras, guppies, mollies, corydoras, angelfish, platies, swordtails, gouramis, and german rams.
50-55-gallon tanks are quite popular with fishkeeping enthusiasts since you can maintain a wide variety of aquatic species. Purchasing a kit will make it easy to get started on the hobby, as you will get the needed equipment in a single package.
The highlighted kits are some of the best in the market. Depending on the kit you get, you may need to acquire additional accessories, including a stand, heater, filter, and hood.