Hello everyone. This build/project thing is going to be for a 55 gallon Lake Malawi Mbuna biotype, species-only tank of Pseudotropheus saulosi. erv: I'm posting it here in General Freshwater because I'll probably need some really basic help along the way. On Friday I went to go buy a $50 dollar 50 gallon aquarium, and ended up getting a 55 instead. Sweet. It came with a 48” F40T10 Daylight bulb, a Tetra Whisper 200w heater, and an Aqua-Tech 30-60 filter. Got it home, and on Saturday I cleaned it out with some warm water and a rag. Not perfect, but I got out the piles of cigarette ashes (Weirdest thing I’ve found in a tank). Then I filled up the tank with about 10 gallons of water, because I was worried about the bottom seals. The tank has black silicone haphazardly spread all over the outside seams, and I’m still trying to figure out why. Will most likely scrape it off soon. Later today I’m going to one of the big hardware stores to pick up some sand and some egg crate, then I’m going to go pick up some other aquarium supplies nearby. Regardless, here are my plans: Lighting: I’m just keeping what I have. It’s a 40w bulb, and I doubt I’ll need more. It’s really bright and very white. Substrate: Hopefully pool filter sand, but maybe some type of play sand. I don't need any buffering for my well water. Décor: Rocks. Lots. I live on a lake (or a giant mudding area since they drained the lake for Winter), and I have some of Tennessee’s finest rocks at my disposal. I’ll just boil them, cool them, silicone them together, then plop them on the egg crate. Plants: Um, none probably. I might add a few Java Fern for a splash of color, but otherwise no. Heater: I’m going to buy another heater (200w or 300w) and use both in the sump.... Filtration: Now we’ve gotten to the fun part. I’m going to do a DIY sump-wet/dry-overflow-filter thing. I’ve been reading articles for days, and all of my mental compasses are pointing in that direction. I have lots of the parts needed for most of the plans I’ve seen online, and this is a cheaper alternative to buying a canister filter. I can get the whole system for less than $35 and have more power behind it. (Well that, and I bloody hate canisters. I had one once, and I about threw it against the wall.)I’m also going to use the Aqua-Tech filter on the tank itself since it has a long uptake spout that will reach almost to the bottom. Within the next week I plan to have the substrate and decor finished, and hopefully begin cycling the tank while only running the HOB filter. I figure that I can get most of the beneficial bacteria growing while I'm designing and working on the sump-wet/dry-overflow-filter thing. I know you can't give these things a due date, but I'm hoping to have everything finished (including settling in the fish) by mid-March. I'm just getting back into this hobby after a long hiatus, so I'll probably make mistakes and need lots of suggestions, but I hope you enjoy watching this all come together. I'm really coming to love Pseudotropheus saulosi, and I want to show how beautiful by giving them the best environment I can.