55 gall Starter Tank- Need advice on equip.


Reefing newb
I just got a 55 gallon tank from petsupermarket that is a beginner kit. I have never done salt and have been browsing for advice until i came to this forum which looks like the best of the three i ran into. Long story short i have no pre existing knowledge but am not interested in freshwater so just straight advice no persausion please.

It came with a Penguin 350 Power filter
Two Right size C Filter cartridges
24" Flourescent full hoods and lamps no wattage info
200 watt heater
Dimensions are 48" by 13" by 20"

I want to do a live rock fish setup not too full of rock however maybe 35 - 45 lbs
I wasnt too crazy about aneome or coral as it looks very intensive and im prob not ready for that.

So what to do... do i need a protien skimmer?, how bout a sump?
More lighting? Reverse Osmosis deionization? What is Zeolite Chemical filtration?
Is my penguin 350 filter worthless( read some interesting things saying so)
I obviously need a vacumm and a siphon
Any other advice for set up is great...
I have no clue about fish but it looks like invertabres are off limits if want a fish live rock set up or is that inaccurate?
Hello and Welcome!

I would ditch the filter and either make an algae scrubber or buy a protein skimmer. The Reef octopus brand is the best for that price range. The filter is probably going to give you more issues that its worth. It will need constant cleaning to remain a help instead of a hindrance to your system.

That light is just fine for a fish only, live rock (FOWLR) system. And its really easy to start with a FOWLR system and upgrade later on to a reef system. And if you can keep inverts depends on the fish you put in there, some will eat them, other will leave them alone. Also there is a database on this website, as well as Saltwater Fish: Marine Aquarium Fish for Saltwater Aquariums that can give you of ideas on fish and their needs.

Remember you have a small tank, and you need to be careful not to overstock your fish. In a 55 gal tank you are limited to at most 5 small fish. We see more problems with people tanks on here because of over stocking than you want to know.

Also, i think you are going to want more rock than that because that is where all your filtration is going to come from. Also it wont be overflowing with rock, you will still have lots of open room. If you do have less rock, then you have to keep less fish as well. Also you dont have to buy all live rock, you can buy mostly dry rock (macro rock are great) and then just a few pounds of live. Saves you lots of money and the rest of your rock will be live in no time!

Here also is a great article for your to read. It will answer lots of questions and help you get started on the best path forward!


Goood luck! Its going to be awesome
Little_fish and her links have you covered!
Welcome to the site and to the hobby!
We love questions, so keep 'em coming!
Hello and welcome! My first saltwater tank was one of those 55-gallon kits from Walmart. It's a good size to start with! Hannah has you covered.

You don't need a sump, but they definitely help. You will need different lights if you plan on keeping corals or other photosynthetic animals (anemones, clams).

You don't need a vacuum -- most of us just let our clean up crew (nassarius snails) take care of the sand bed.

Do you have any other questions?