The 55 gallon tank is one of the most trusted introduction tanks to have when transitioning from midsized tanks and into large tanks. While being a favored entry to the large tank collecting part of the hobby, it is also a commendable and reliable tank even for beginners.
Purchasing traditional 55-gallon aquariums or reef tanks can be challenging. But it doesn’t have to be difficult if you understand the key factors. So here’s a quick overview of a few to provide a head start before diving into the review section:
- Placement: 55-gallon aquariums are massive tanks to put inside your home. So it’s ideal to select a good location and consider how wide it is before buying one. If you don’t, it could create a rather precarious situation where you don’t have a large enough surface to accommodate the tank.
- Type: Most 55-gallon tanks will fall into three types: traditional, corner, or hexagon. Learning the measurements for each type is vital so you can easily decide which one best fits your needs.
- Ease of Maintenance: Every 55-gallon tank comes with a different level of necessary maintenance. Therefore, buyers should research and read about each model’s upkeep before making a final decision.
Because of its large size, it can prove easier to clean than the smaller tanks. Its size also allows for creativity with more complex aesthetic themes, with the space being able to provide proper accommodation to design items you might like in the future. So without further ado, here is a list of the best 55 gallon fish tank choices.
Table of Contents
Top-Tier 55 Gallon Fish Tank Reviews 2023
1. Tetra 55 Gallon Aquarium Kit
If you are searching for the best 55 gallon fish tank to house your precious collection of fish, there is no better tank kit for you than the Tetra 55 Gallon Aquarium Kit.
I love so many things about this particular fish tank. First is the classic design. Most of the tanks available in the market these days have a modern look. Not that I’m complaining but I really miss the old design sometimes. The tank included in this kit provides a good throwback to the good old days when the aquarium doesn’t have complicated designs.
The filter’s performance is phenomenal. It can maintain the water’s cleanliness and clarity non-stop. With 330 GPH, I am confident that no amount of particles, harsh chemicals, and unwanted organisms will linger inside the tank and affect the quality of life my fish deserves to have.
Another commendable feature of this 55-gallon tank kit is the LED lighting. It mimics daytime lighting and delivers excellent illumination during nighttime. I can see the fish swimming gracefully inside the tank even at night time.
What I find disappointing about this 55-gallon fish tank kit is the absence of a cover. Even though fish cannot get out of the tank easily, other household pets can still reach inside. I caught my kids’ pet cat reaching out to get one of the goldfish and eat it. So, to prevent this incident from happening again, I placed discarded plywood on top of the tank. Until I find a better replacement, this plywood will protect the fish against our cat.
- Has an excellent LED light
- The tank is sturdy
- Classic design
- Filter works quietly
- Has a remarkable filtration system
- With free fish food, fishnet, heater, and water conditioner
- No cover included
2. SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set
If you are on a strict budget but still dream of expanding your fishkeeping hobby, you certainly need an affordable tank. The SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set will help you realize your dream without straining your wallet in the process.
What I really like about this fantastic tank kit is the material used in making the aquarium. This one is made of acrylic, which means it’s lightweight and more durable than glass. Furthermore, acrylic is very easy to manufacture and assemble. The tank’s surface, on the other hand, is highly comparable to a glass tank. It is clear and scratch-resistant. It also doesn’t turn opaque even after many years of use.
Another interesting feature of this 55-gallon fish tank kit is the use of a light fixture which also serves as a cover. This feature not only supplies a healthy amount of illumination inside the tank but also serves as protection against outside invasion from other household pets.
If there is one thing that I don’t really appreciate about this product, it’s how the water easily gets hot. This is definitely due to the lighting fixture on top of the aquarium. I’m still looking for a way to convert the lighting to LEDs for cooler light.
- The tank is made of acrylic
- Safe for saltwater and freshwater fish
- Has a 24-inch light fixture
- Has a reflector
- The water easily gets hot
3. Starter Fish 55-Gallon Aquarium Tank
Are you looking for a good aquarium kit to start your fishkeeping prospects? This wonderful product called Starter Fish Aquarium Tank will help you achieve your goals this year.
This particular product has so many remarkable features that I know both amateurs and professionals will like. First of which is the tank. Made of durable glass, the aquarium has a classic look. Also, the interior is truly spacious, perfect for housing many fish at the same time. It has a reliable cover that will protect the fish from outside threats and prevent it from escaping the tank.
Another outstanding feature of this tank kit is the filter. It works quietly and has three filtration stages: mechanical, chemical, and biological. With this filter, I am sure that the water will remain clean and clear at all times.
The freebies included in the package are also something that I commend. The fish food is excellent for keeping the fish thriving inside the tank. Also, the stick-on thermometer informs me if the water is getting too warm or too cold for the fish. During winter, I can rely on the heater to keep the water suitable. Finally, using the free fishnet, I can easily remove any standing dirt or particles that the filter cannot handle.
What I don’t like about this product is the absence of good LED lighting. This means that even though the tank has top-rated fish and aquatic decoration, guests won’t be able to see it at night time. I just wish that I had a spare LED light to illuminate the contents of this tank.
- Durable tank
- Heater included
- Water conditioner included
- Fishnet included
- Stick-on computerized thermometer included
- No LED lighting
4. SeaClear System II Acrylic Aquarium
If you are looking for a spacious tank to house your aquatic pets, the top-tier tank that can provide you what you need is SeaClear System II Acrylic Aquarium.
This tank kit has so many adorable features. One of which is the tank. It is made of acrylic, which means it is sturdier and more lightweight compared to traditional glass tanks. I really enjoy using this tank because I can easily lift it during maintenance sessions.
The filter is another outstanding feature of this tank kit. It is energy-efficient and most of all works quietly. With 420 GPH, this filter can really maintain the water’s cleanliness and crystal-clear quality at all times. Even though the filter is not as powerful as other filters in the market, it can still deliver a good performance.
Although it is a little disappointing, I guess I can say that the 24’’ fluorescent lighting fixture can be considered a positive feature. I’m leaning towards LED lights since they are brighter, more energy-efficient, and do not produce heat. But after reading the reviews from satisfied customers, I have learned that the lighting feature is also energy-efficient.
What really grinds my gears is the fact that once the surface of this acrylic tank gets a scratch, it won’t ever go away. I have accidentally scratched the front side of this tank with my keys and the sight really bothers me. Anyone can see it even from a distance.
- The tank is made of acrylic
- Comes with light hood for 24’’ energy-efficient fluorescent light bulb
- Filter works perfectly
- Deep scratches become permanent
What To Look For When Buying A 55 Gallon Fish Tank
A lot can be done with the 55-gallon fish tank, and with that premise, it is no surprise that the 55-gallon fish tank is well known in our hobby. If you are researching what to look for when buying a 55-gallon fish tank, then you have started at the right place. Through years of tank collecting, I have a few pointers to look over for your next tank buy!
The Proper Placement
The 55-gallon fish tank is a large tank. Not just large in size, but also in tank classification. Since it is big and will be quite heavy (with or without water), you would probably have to commit to just one location for its placement. Taking into consideration the practicality, think of how the spot’s light and temperature will affect your fish tank. Also, since the 55-gallon fish tank is quite heavy, you would have to consider its weight and the support the tank stand or the holder will provide.
Although these factors may seem trivial, it is important to look into it.
The other factor when considering the tank’s placement is the aesthetic value. As it is known, a well-kept fish tank can provide the owner (and the owner’s friends!) with freshly vivid scenery. It can work as a stress reliever, an icebreaker, and aesthetic addition to a room, among others! And so when looking for a proper spot, remember this factor.
Before buying the tank, plan ahead for its placement as it would be a commitment.
The Right Dimensions
Since the 55-gallon fish tank is quite popular, there are a number of variations in the market that are suitable for you. Given that one of the most known issues when it comes to tank collecting is the space, the variations for the 55-gallon tank can prove to be a lifesaver for some.
There are three common 55-gallon fish tanks that hobbyists are quite familiar with.
- First, there is the 55-gallon rectangular fish tank.
Probably the most known among the three, this is the ‘traditional’ variation as it is known by many. Its square shape is mostly utilized for the large space it provides that allows for a set design leaning toward the horizontal orientation.
- The second variation is the 55-gallon corner tank.
With typical dimensions of 40 x, 39 x 54 inches, the 55-gallon corner tank resembles an old television that is set in a corner. The shape of the tank’s back allows for a fit placement on a corner, and the curved front part gives a smoother finish for the whole tank while also providing unique visuals on what is inside. If you want to liven up a room’s corner without sacrificing much space, then opt for the 55-gallon corner fish tank.
- The third variation of the 55-gallon fish tank is the hexagon tank.
The 55-gallon hexagon tank stands at 25 x 29 x 24 inches and is probably the most unique among the three in terms of placement. With its quirky and eye-catching shape, the 55-gallon tank can prove to be versatile and flexible in terms of place. It can stand proudly in a hall, in a corner, on a side, near a shelf; it would look great anywhere! It is the right option for you if you wish to utilize its tall design for your aesthetic tastes.
Since the 55-gallon tank is available in multiple variations, it can be helpful for those who are facing space issues or just plain looking for a different challenge for their next tank.
The Right Equipment
As the tank gets bigger, it somehow becomes more difficult to find an all-in set that is available in-store. What this basically means is that while the small tanks can usually be bought as a part of a whole set-up kit, the same could not be said for most 55-gallon fish tanks. With the larger tanks, you would have to find and put together the set by finding individual equipment. So what is the basic equipment that you might need for a 55-gallon fish tank?
LID – A tight lid is an owner’s friend. Aside from the apparent reason of keeping the fish from jumping out, it also provides a roof for the tank, keeping it clean and uncontaminated.
AQUARIUM STAND – The 55-gallon fish tank is quite heavy. Empty, it might weigh somewhere between 70 to 78 lbs, depending on the make. When filled with water, fish, equipment and other stuff, it may weigh upwards of 630 lbs. Because of this weight, it needs a sturdy stand that can safely hold its weight. Finding an aquarium stand made for the 55-gallon fish tank can provide proper safety and security for both the owner and the little fishies.
HEATER – The use of a heater depends on the temperature of your location. Mostly it is used in freshwater or saltwater tanks that are in an area where the temperature might be fickle, or just plain cold.
LIGHTING – Lighting might seem trivial at first, but it is actually an integral part of the tank. Since different fishes react differently to light, be it due to their natural habitat, biology, or just behavior, it is important to use proper lighting depending on the stock of fish you have.
FILTER – Probably the most important of all the tank equipment, the filter is the owner’s best friend when it comes to keeping the tank clean and non-toxic for the fish. Find a filter that can support a 55-gallon tank in order to create an excellent environment for your pets.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a 55-gallon fish tank weigh?
55-gallon fish tanks are massive pieces of equipment to have in your home. You can expect them to weigh anywhere from 600 to 700 pounds. Of course, it’ll depend on what lies inside the tank, such as rocks or other accessories.
For instance, my 55-gallon fish tank and stand combo weighs close to 750 pounds. It’s an all-in-one saltwater tank with several interior accessories and plants. Due to this, the weight ends up exceeding the average range.
How much is a 55-gallon fish tank?
55-gallon aquariums aren’t available for a cheap price. Depending on features and accessories, these tanks will usually fall between $200 and $700. So buyers must put aside a sizable amount of money if they want one.
The cheapest one I’ve found for sale near me was a 55-inch model available at $220. I decided not to get it because the quality was a little suspicious. Honestly, you’re better off spending a little extra to buy a more durable option from a brand like Aqueon or Top Fin.
You could also choose a model off our list, such as Tetra 55 Gallon Aquarium Kit. It’ll have no problem being a suitable fit for your fish or aquascape needs.
How often should I do a water change in a 55-gallon tank?
Most experts agree changing out 25% of tank water biweekly is a good guideline. After all, this process won’t harm the built-up beneficial bacteria while still ensuring the tank is clean. It’s one of the more practical ideas to maintain a suitable and comfortable environment for your fish.
For instance, this routine has kept my 55-gallon rimless aquarium in good condition for years. I haven’t had a single problem with water quality or other issues since following this guideline.
How long should a 55-gallon tank sit before adding fish?
55-gallon tanks require a bit of preparation before being ready for fish. I’d suggest setting up all the components and running it without fish for 6 to 8 weeks. This timetable will provide more than enough time to build up the necessary environment for sustaining your aquatic friends.
How many fish can I fit in a 55-gallon tank?
Most people follow the one-inch-per-gallon rule when deciding how many fish are in their tanks. So if you have a 55-gallon tank with a lid, it can handle 55 inches of fish. But this guideline isn’t the only thing to consider.
You’ll also have to account for your fish’s temperament. For instance, a fish with a reputation for fighting won’t do well in an enclosure with others. So it wouldn’t make sense to consider adding another fish into the tank. If you aren’t sure, I’d recommend researching the species and checking with your breeder.
Another thing to consider is the accessories or plants inside the tank. After all, these items decrease the available swimming space. So your 55-gallon tank won’t have room for 55 inches of fish. Instead, it may be 45 inches or even 30 inches, depending on the overall decoration and equipment inside the enclosure.
What are the most trusted 55-gallon fish tank brands?
Reliable 55-gallon tanks are hard to find, mainly because their large size requires durable materials and reliable warranties. As such, there are only a handful of trusted brands for this size of aquarium, all of which we have featured above. These are:
- Aqua Culture
- Starfire Aquariums
How big is a 50/55 gallon tank?
As hobbyists transition from midsized tanks and into the realm of large tanks, most of them confuse the 50-gallon tank and the 55-gallon tank. It is understandable, however, since the size difference might seem trivial to the casual lookers. However, this mere difference in size affects the whole space, and in turn the number of fish you can stock in the tank.
The typical 50-gallon tank usually stands 36 x 18 x 19 in inches. It is mostly used to create a harmonious and colorful community tank, with the opportunity the size allows for. It is typically in a long tank shape.
With the 55-gallon tank, matters are quite different. There are a number of variations for the 55-gallon fish tank, with the rectangular tank being the first. It stands at 48 x 13 x 20 and is used mostly to create themes and designs that are top-tier utilized in the horizontal orientation. The 50-gallon corner tank is the second well-known variation, which is at 40 x 39 x 54. The unique shape of its back end makes it fit easily with a corner, while the curved front end provides stunning visuals from inside the tank.
How to Setup and Use
Like in any other tank, the process of setting up the 55-gallon fish tank involves enough patience and carefulness. Since every step will be integral for the safety of your fish (and invertebrates, live plants, etc.), no step should be taken lightly.
WASHING – Wash everything, from the tank equipment, the substrate, and the tank itself. Assuming it was stored in the shop for a time, it is only wise to clean it up first.
PREP THE WATER – Treat the water with a dechlorinator to remove unwanted chemicals, and let it sit for a couple of days.
PRIMING – Fill the tank with your choice of substrate and start designing it. After prepping the water needed, put half on the tank and prime the equipment.
DESIGNING – As you finish testing out the equipment, place the finishing touches on the tank’s design.
FILLING THE TANK – Let it sit for a couple of weeks, in order to dissolve the unwanted chemicals completely and prepare it for the fish.
STOCKING – Stocking is when you place the fish inside the tank. Start by letting the bag of the fish in the tank water, and little by little, add a little of the tank water to the bag until the fish has acclimatized.
How To Care And Clean?
With a large tank like the 55 gallon fish tank, there is not much to worry about when it comes to cleaning. This is as long as you have a reliable filter working for your tank.
The filter is the owner’s best friend when it comes to cleaning up, and it should be able to support the different kinds of filtrations.
Mechanical Filtration – Your filter sucks tank water through a tube, and as it does this debris and floaters are caught in the filter’s media. As the water passes through different media, the wastes are collected in the filter media. The finer the media, the more waste it catches.
Biological Filtration – With biological filtration, you utilize the friendly bacteria inside the tank. These friendly bacteria build colonies in various spaces of the tank, and what they do is mainly break down the different debris in the tank. As they feed on this debris, they also clean your tank!
Chemical Filtration – This occurs when you add tank-friendly chemicals to the aquarium in order to treat the water and improve its quality, removing toxins and unwanted chemicals for a better environment for your fish. This can also be done by getting a chemical media for your tank filter.
Aside from cleaning the filters of your tanks, you can also help out by clearing the build-up that might appear on the aquarium walls and floor.
Where to buy?
50-gallon tanks are pretty bulky, which is why many local pet stores don’t usually stock up on these tanks. You’ll be lucky to find one at Walmart, Home Depot, PetSmart and PetCo. If you want a sure-buy though, I would recommend buying from Amazon.com.
If you’re coming from mid-sized aquariums and then venturing into full-time large fish tanks, choosing the best 55 gallon fish tank can be intimidating. But having this big of a tank is a wonder to behold, whether at home or at the office. So don’t let fear get in the way of owning large tanks with beautiful full-sized fish! Choose any from my top list above and you’ll be confident you own one of the most suitable.