Clear-For-Life 55 Gallon Rectangle UniQuarium Fish Tank – Review


The Clear-for-Life 55 gallon rectangle UniQuarium is not technically a kit, but it includes much of what you need to begin your aquarium project. It offers a taller view by using different dimensions from most 55 gallon tanks, hence the rectangle designation.

Clear-For-Life 55 Gallon Rectangle UniQuarium Statistics

Capacity55 Gallons
Dimensions36" Wide x 18" Length x 20" High
Type of HabitatAquatic
ShapeRectangle
MaterialAcrylic
WarrantyLifetime Limited
What's included?Pre-drilled tank
Price$$$$ - Premium Quality tank, Reef and Plant Ready.
SupplierPetSmart. Click here to check availability.

This is another option for large capacity acrylic, which allows more light through than glass and further insulates your water. Not having to worry as much about dropping it is a nice bonus as well. The manufacturer includes a lifetime warranty against leaking – something that is never seen when it comes to glass tank options.

The aquarium itself is included, along with a custom fit hood that can be easily wired using a number of different lighting options to suit your intended species of fish. It comes with a built in filtration system, so you won’t have to worry about covering that base. Simply select your lighting, heating, and pump setup and you’re ready to get started.

55 Gallon UniQuarium filteration system

With the brightness offered from acrylic and the large front-facing viewing area, this tank is an ideal choice for housing brightly colored fish. It offers a better view than most other tanks, so exotic colorations and patterns will come to life when housed in this aquarium.

The pedestal base comes attached to the bottom of the tank, so you’ll be all set to mount it on the stand of your choice with ease. As far as large non-kit aquariums go, this is one of the easier options for someone who wants minimal hassle. If you would like further details or to check availability click here.


MarineLand BioWheel 55 Gallon Fish Tank – Review & Spec


The Marineland BioWheel LED aquarium kit is an all in one package designed to quickly get you up and running with either a freshwater or saltwater setup. At 55 gallons, this is a tank that doesn’t require a ton of room. It’s 48” wide, 13” long and 18.5” high, so it will fit most homes or apartments with ease.

Marineland BioWheel 55 Gallon Aquarium Statistics

Capacity55 Gallons
Dimensions48" Wide x 13" Long x 20" High
Type of HabitatAquatic
ShapeRectangle
MaterialGlass
WarrantyLimited
What's included?Day and Night Led lighting, hoods, 200w heater, Penguin 350 filteration &Filter cartridge.
Price$ - Very Good Value.
SupplierAvailable to purchase from PetSmart

The use of LED lights is a different approach that saves both energy and maintenance costs over the long run. LEDs last much longer than other types of bulbs, so you won’t have to worry about bulb changes.

This is a full kit containing everything you need short of the actual fish. It even includes water conditioner and fish food. Just unbox and setup, add your water, and wait 24 hours for the temperature to regulate and for the conditioner to do its job. After that, you’re ready to add fish.

Included in the box is the aquarium itself, the hood with integrated LED lighting, a powerful Penguin 150 BioWheel filter, and the electrical adapter to power this equipment. Water climate is controlled by an integrated heater with a visible thermometer so you can manually confirm the conditions.

Due to its convenient size, this tank doesn’t necessarily require the use of a full stand. It can be supported by a sturdy table or other piece of furniture. To help ensure your experience is a success, they include a one year warranty (which also covers the lights – something rare in a non-LED setup).

Available to purchase online from PetSmart


Saltwater vs. Freshwater 75 Gallon Fish Tanks


One important consideration for a large fish tank is whether it will be a saltwater or freshwater setup. Both offer unique advantages and disadvantages, so the end choice must be left up to you. In that spirit, this guide will aim to simply provide information, rather than to sway you in one direction.

Types of Freshwater and Saltwater Tanks

When deciding exactly what you’re wanting from your fish tank setup, it’s important to keep in mind that “freshwater” and “saltwater” are just parent terms – there are several different categories of each water type.  It makes sense to choose your fish tank based on the exact sub-type you’re after, rather than limiting yourself to a specific category without giving further consideration to the end setup you desire.

This isn’t a comprehensive list, but some of the more popular sub-types of each tank include:

Freshwater:

  • Tropical tanks
  • Coldwater tanks
  • Brackish tanks
  • Predator tanks

Saltwater:

  • Fish-only tanks
  • FOWLR (Fish Only With Live Rock) tanks
  • Reef tanks

Each of these types presents its own aesthetic advantages, along with unique setup costs and maintenance requirements.

Considering Fish Types

Of course, the most important difference between freshwater and saltwater is the type of fish your tank can support. Very few creatures are able to survive in both types of water, so your choices will be limited depending on the type of fish you wish to keep.

When shopping for fish, you’ll quickly notice a price difference between the two categories. Saltwater fish tend to be substantially more expensive than their freshwater cousins. However, these fish can be much more exotic in terms of both rarity and appearance, with saltwater fish typically boasting vibrant, unique colors.

The more popular freshwater fish are Goldfish, Betta fish, Tetras, Gouramis, and the Chichild. On the other side of the spectrum, salt water tank owners will usually opt for Clownfish, Butterflyfish, Blennies, or Dottyback fish. There are many other options besides these common choices, of course, and there are additional choices that are much more rare and exotic than these options – especially when it comes to saltwater fish.

Maintenance

Any fish tank is going to require a degree of maintenance, especially when the large 75 gallon setups are your goal. As a rule of thumb, saltwater tanks are going to require more work and closer attention to detail when making chemical adjustments. With that said, the results can be well worth the small amount of additional upkeep needed to maintain a saltwater tank.

As the name implies, a saltwater tank will require you adding the ideal amount of salt to achieve a healthy salinity for your fish. However, salt in this ratio doesn’t simply dissolve, so you’ll have to stir it continuously until the salt is fully dissolved.

This presents the largest degree of effort when you first setup and fill your tank, but it will also require some extra work each time you do a partial flush or top off the water level. For convenience purposes, most saltwater tank owners keep a batch of salt water mixed up for topping off the levels on the fly.

You can buy premixed salt water, but the cost is much higher than simply mixing it yourself. Measuring might work initially, but as the water evaporates and leaves salt behind, you won’t be able to maintain the ideal salinity without some additional tools – namely a hydrometer. Using a hydrometer will allow you to accurately gauge the water salinity at any given point in time.

Both types of tank will require additional chemical maintenance, such as additives to remove chlorine and other chemicals from any tap water that’s added to the tank.

Coral

One fairly obvious advantage to a saltwater tank is the ability to sustain coral. Having your own reef can provide something interesting to watch grow and develop in addition to your fish. If that’s of importance to you, then the obvious choice is a saltwater tank.

The presence of coral itself presents another host of challenges, including further maintenance of ideal lighting, diet sources, and water conditions – all of which coral needs in order to thrive.

Equipment Differences

In line with the theme of increased complexity for a saltwater setup, it’s no surprise that the equipment demands can also be more complex. In addition to a hydrometer to measure salinity, you’ll need to keep test kits to maintain ideal levels of alkalinity and calcium. Saltwater fish tanks will also usually need power heads, a sump system, and a protein skimmer to keep the water ideal.

Making the Decision

To summarize all of these points, saltwater fish tanks can provide a beautiful aquarium experience home to more exotic specimen than a freshwater tank could support. With extended possibilities, like coral reefs, you’ll have plenty of room to grow and adapt. On the downside, the initial equipment cost and increased expense of the actual fish make this suitable for those on a higher budget.

Only you can decide which option is right for you. If you’re willing to spend a bit more money and effort, a saltwater setup can provide years of enjoyment. If you’re wanting a more basic setup that suits a lower budget, then a freshwater tank might be the right call.