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If you want glass lily pipes, i'm a fan of the generic ebay ones. Be warned, they are delicate. Warm up your tubing in some very hot water before trying to slide the tubing over the glass... thats about it. If you want something far more durable and just as nice looking,(IMO) check out Fishman9809's thread, he makes custom acrylic lily pipes that are pretty awesome.
As for the magnum filter, I've heard good things about them from most people, and $50 is a bargain. took a quick peek at Marineland's site, and per the manual i found there, your filter uses 3/4" tubing, or 20mm.
 

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...So i stopped by my LFS to make sure he didnt have any venders that he could order lily pipes from. Unfortunatly I left a little disappointed. Not only had he never heard of them, after i showed him a set online he thought they would impossible to keep clean. He thought I would have to clean them ATLEAST once a week. I had assumed reg maintenance and figured i could get away with cleaning them once a month or even just when i clean my canister.

So...

How much maintenance is really required to keep this things looking nice???
I agree with jmhart, the guy doesn't know what he's talking about.

I've used a glass lily and acrylic inflow for almost a year, and they still look great... think I've cleaned them twice. Now, if you want them brand-new ADA photo shoot sparkly, then MAYBE once a week cleaning is necessary, but I don't buy it.

As for how to clean them - I take the entire line, with lily pipe attached, off at the canister. I pull a bottle brush through until clean, and use a stiff toothbrush for the lily outflow and intake slits. As far as maintenance goes, pretty simple.
 

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That filter has gotten some decent reviews on here, but be aware that the actual flow is going to be about 50% of what it's rated at. Many filter companies post gph readings under optimal conditions with the filters empty, so real world results are far less. Still sounds like a bargain though.

Are you injecting CO2? 4x54 T5HO is alot of light. I'd really recommend going with the 2x54w. Ignore most of the crap you've read about watts per gallon, you can grow any thing you'd like with 2x54w, co2 and ferts.
 

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take a look at this, and this.

Too much light with not enough CO2 is a very common mistake, one I made myself. I'd advise getting the 2x54w, and sock the rest away for a pressurized co2 setup. DIY is going to be difficult to maintain a good ppm of CO2 in a 55g.
 

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I went super-budget on my first regulator, and regretted it the entire time I owned it. I bought a Milwaukee MA957 regulator on clearance, and while they worked fine for some people, mine and many others had some serious flaws. The needle valves on these tend to wander(turn themselves down throughout the day). As I can't really hang out by the tank all day, this sucked.
I finally bit the bullet and bought a regulator from Green Leaf Aquariums. I got the Choice model, which is low-end as far as the GLA stuff goes, but still pretty nice. Since I set it up this summer, the needle valves haven't moved at all. Put it on a timer, and that was it as far as any maintenance/interaction goes. It really shows in the tanks, I have no algae, and tons of happy plants and fish. The almost-universal opinion of Green Leaf is great products with great service. If you don't know what you're doing, you can call the owner and he will walk you through the setup.

There is also the option of building your own regulator, which is supposed to be cheaper with similar/higher quality, if you know what you're doing. I don't know much about it, but there are tons of threads about it in the DIY section here.

Best price I've found on a CO2 tank is here. Buy it empty, get it filled locally at a welding supply/fire extinguisher supply store.

run the co2 through your filter, or a cheap powerhead, or a knock-off glass diffuser off ebay.

That's about all you need.



As for bulbs... the common advice is to stick in the 6000-10000k range. 3000k is orange, 6000k is yellowish, and 10000k is blue-white. Actinic is a far-blue spectrum. Some people like the blue color, personally i think it looks weird.
I've found that starting out with a 10000/6000k combo is pretty close to true color rendition (natural sunlight). You can always swap one or the other out once you have them and decide which you prefer.
Remember, 90% of light selection is what looks good to you. technically, plants would be happiest with red/blue lights, but that would look pretty nasty to us.
 
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