55 Gallon Fish Tank Hood 48 Inch

Setting up a new fish tank can be an exciting yet daunting experience, especially when choosing the right equipment. For those looking to get a 55 gallon aquarium with a 48-inch hood, this comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know, from tank dimensions to lighting options, filtration systems, and more. We’ll also provide tips on choosing the best setup for your needs and budget. Read on for the ultimate advice on finding and maintaining the perfect 48 inch hood for your 55 gallon tank!

Understanding 55 Gallon Tank Dimensions

The first step to finding the right hood is understanding the dimensions of a standard 55 gallon aquarium. These tanks come in a few common footprints:

  • 48″ x 13″ x 21″ – This is the standard 55 gallon size, with a length of 4 feet. This is the most common footprint for this tank size.
  • 36″ x 18″ x 21″ – A 55 gallon tank with a 3 foot length rather than 4 feet. The width is wider.
  • 48″ x 12″ x 21″ – A 4 foot long tank that’s narrower front to back.
  • 52″ x 12″ x 21″ – A 4 foot tank with an extra 4 inches of length.

Knowing the length of your tank is key for finding a properly fitting hood. The 48 inch option will fit any of the footprints above except for the rare 52 inch long tanks. Always measure your tank when shopping for a hood rather than using generic sizing. Manufacturing defects can cause slight variations.

What To Look For In a 55 Gallon Hood

Once you know your tank’s dimensions, you can shop for the perfect hood. Here are the key features and options to consider:

Size – Match the hood length to your tank’s length for proper fit. Standard 55 gallon tanks will need 48 inch hoods.

Lighting – Most hoods have built-in lighting, from low wattage LEDs to full spectrum fluorescent bulbs. Consider your plants’ and fish’s lighting needs.

Filtration – Some hoods feature spaces to install hang-on-back filters or canister intakes/outputs. Others are just a glass top.

Accessibility – Hinged opening glass panels or full open hoods allow easy access for tank maintenance.

Materials – Glass or acrylic? Hoods come in many material types. Acrylic withstands moisture better over time.

Budget – Hoods range from $50 – $300+ depending on size, lights, and accessories. Determine how much you can spend.

Popular Brand Name Choices

Once you determine your must-have features, popular brand name choices to consider include:

Marineland Perfecto Glass Canopy – Hinged glass top with space for hang-on filter. Basic and affordable.

Aqueon Versa-Top Hinged Glass Aquarium Top – Available in black or oak frames to match stands.

Coralife Lunar Aqualight Hinged Aquarium Light – Sliding door design with bright LEDs and moonlights.

Tetra LED Aquarium Hood – Low profile hood with energy efficient LED lights.

Fluval Aquasky LED Light – Sleek Bluetooth-compatible LED light with custom lighting effects.

Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED Plus – Advanced full spectrum LED lighting with wireless remote.

How to Choose the Perfect Hood

With so many options to pick from, here are some tips on selecting the ideal hood for your 55 gallon aquarium:

Assess your budget – How much are you able to spend? Hoods range from economical to high-end.

Consider your fish and plants – Do you need strong lighting for live plants? Or a low wattage hood for a FOWLR tank?

Measure dimensions – Will a 48 inch hood properly fit your 55 gallon tank’s length? Double check.

Check filter compatibility – If using a HOB filter, ensure the hood accommodates this.

Weigh aesthetics – Do you prefer a rimless open top or a canopy style hood? This is purely personal preference.

Read reviews – Check feedback from other customers on brands you’re considering before purchasing.

Allow maintenance access – Hinged panels or full open hoods simplify cleaning and feeding.

Where to Find the Best Deals

Once you’ve decided on the perfect 55 gallon tank hood for your setup, it’s time to score a great deal! Here are some tips for saving money:

Shop online – Retailer sites like Amazon, Petco, PetSmart, and Chewy will have the widest selections and competitive pricing.

Check auction sites – eBay and other similar auction sites allow bidding on used hoods in good condition.

Join loyalty programs – Sign up for retailer rewards programs to earn discounts or cash back.

Look for sales – Holidays like July 4th and Labor Day are prime equipment sales and promotions.

Price match policies – Use price matching guarantees from retailers like Petco and PetSmart.

Buy bundle packages – Purchasing a tank, stand, hood and lights together often comes at a package discount.

Consider DIY options – If you’re handy, you can build a custom hood exactly to your tank’s specifications.

Helpful Accessories for 55 Gallon Tanks

Once you have the perfect 48 inch hood picked out, complete your 55 gallon aquarium setup with these useful accessories:

Canister filter – For large tanks, canister filters offer the most filtration capacity for crystal clear water.

Substrate – Choose substrate depth and type based on your tank inhabitants and live plants’ needs.

Heater – Select a heater appropriately sized for 55 gallons to maintain stable water temperatures.

Thermometer – Crucial for monitoring aquarium and ambient temperature. Digital options allow calibrating to the degree.

LED lighting – Energy efficient LEDs are ideal for planted tanks. Choose full spectrum or marine options.

Powerheads – Strategically placed powerheads prevent dead spots and ensure proper water circulation.

Decorations – Driftwood, rocks, artificial plants and hides provide ample places for fish to explore and take cover.

Aquarium stand – Sturdy stands that fit 55 gallon tanks allow safe display.

Choosing Fish and Compatible Tankmates

Once your 55 gallon setup is fully prepped with the perfect 48 inch hood and accessories, it’s time to select compatible fish and invertebrates to populate the aquarium. Here are some popular stocking ideas:

Large Community Tank – Medium sized tetra species, pearl gouramis, albino bristlenose plecos, cory catfish and a dwarf gourami centerpiece fish.

Semi-Aggressive Tank – Convict cichlids, firemouth cichlids, giant danios, silver dollars and pictus catfish.

African Cichlids – Yellow labs, acei, rusty cichlids and zebra cichlids make colorful tankmates.

Rainbowfish – Boesmani, turquoise and prawncracker rainbowfish provide striking colors. Bottom dwellers like khuli loaches complement them.

Giant Freshwater Tank – Oscar fish, silver arowana, black ghost knifefish and roseline sharks bring big personality.

Planted Discus Tank – Discus prefer planted tanks with schools of small tetras and lots of driftwood.

FOWLR Reef Tank – Damselfish, clownfish, blennies, gobies and shrimps can be kept without live coral.

Goldfish – Fancy varieties like orandas, black moors and ranchus thrive with adequate filtration.

Be sure to research compatibility, behaviors and proper group sizing when stocking. Never impulse buy!

Caring for a 55 Gallon Aquarium

Once set up and stocked, a 55 gallon tank requires proper maintenance for healthy fish and crystal clear water. Here are some top care tips:

  • Perform 25% weekly water changes using a gravel vacuum to remove waste. Never deep clean all at once!
  • Test water parameters like ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, pH and hardness weekly. Make adjustments as needed.
  • Clean filter media monthly in old tank water rather than tap water to preserve beneficial bacteria.
  • Wipe down glass with algae scrubbers or magnet cleaners and trim plants to keep the tank looking its best.
  • Feed a varied, high quality diet in small amounts 2-3 times daily. Remove uneaten food after a few minutes.
  • Quarantine new fish 2-4 weeks to prevent introducing pathogens. Observe for signs of sickness.
  • Check water temperature daily and adjust heaters to maintain the proper temperature for your fish species.
  • Perform partial water changes anytime ammonia or nitrites are detected to keep levels in check.
  • Avoid overstocking and overfeeding, two major factors in fish disease outbreaks and water quality issues.

Properly setting up, stocking and maintaining a 55 gallon aquarium with a 48 inch hood will help ensure a thriving aquatic environment for years.

Potential Issues and Solutions for 55 Gallon Tanks

Even well-maintained 55 gallon aquariums can sometimes run into problems. Quickly identifying and troubleshooting issues is crucial for your tank’s health.

Common Problems:

Cloudy Water – Caused by bacterial blooms, overfeeding, or high nitrates. Perform water changes, cut back on feeding, and clean the filter to clear it up.

Algae Overgrowth – Often a result of too much light. Reduce lighting duration to 6-8 hours daily, manually remove algae, and use algae-eating fish like plecos.

Ammonia/Nitrite Spikes – Typically occur when tanks are newly established or if overstocked. Use a bacterial supplement and frequently change water until the biological filter matures.

Equipment Malfunctions – Issues like heater failures, leaks or filter stoppages. Have back-up equipment available and repair or replace faulty gear.

Aggressive Behavior – Territorial fish like cichlids may show heightened aggression. Rearrange decor, increase tank size or separate fish if needed.

Ich Outbreaks – Caused by the parasite Ichthyophthirius multifiliis. Treat with proper ich medications and raise tank temperature to speed life cycle.

Fin Nipping – Habits like fin nipping spread quickly. Use distractions like mirrors or target fish with long-finned tankmates.

Dropsy – Caused by kidney failure and fluid retention. Unfortunately, it is difficult to cure once symptoms appear. Improve water quality and feed antibacterial foods.

Preventative Care Tips:

  • Quarantine new fish for 2-4 weeks before adding to the main tank
  • Avoid overfeeding and overstocking, which strains water quality
  • Adhere to a strict tank maintenance schedule each week
  • Learn to recognize early signs of sickness and troubleshoot promptly
  • Provide enrichment like decor, snacks and ample swimming room
  • Reduce stress by keeping water parameters, temperature, and lighting consistent
  • Choose hardy species suitable for community life for beginner-friendly tanks

By promptly recognizing and addressing any issues with your 55 gallon aquarium, you can get problems under control before they escalate and threaten your fish. Patience and persistence pay off!

Aquascaping a 55 Gallon Tank

A vital part of setting up an eye-catching 55 gallon aquarium is aquascaping – artistically arranging hardscapes and plants. Follow these tips for creating a stunning aquascape:

  • Draw inspiration from nature, like iwagumi rock formations, forest floors, riverbanks or tropical seascapes.
  • Follow the rule of thirds, positioning focal points off-center. Use the golden ratio for pleasing dimensions.
  • Use larger, sloping rocks to provide structure and contours. Group in odd numbers for asymmetry.
  • Choose plants with differing heights, growth rates and sizes to add depth and variety.
  • Direct the viewer’s eye through the tank using decorative elements, light positioning and clearly defined paths.
  • Depending on plant types, layer substrate with nutrient-rich plant soil capped by fine gravel or coarse sand.
  • Use hardscape materials like spiderwood, ohko stone, redmoor or manzanita to provide texture and interest.
  • Aquascape before adding water, planting heavy root feeders first. Allow 1-2 weeks to monitor water parameters.
  • Add algae eaters like nerite snails and otocinclus catfish to help keep plant leaves pristine.

Taking the time to aquascape your 55 gallon tank thoughtfully makes the viewing experience more enjoyable while providing your fish with a enriched, stimulating environment. Let your creativity run wild!


Setting up the perfect 55 gallon aquarium complete with a 48 inch tank hood may seem daunting for new hobbyists. Following this guide covering tank dimensions, hood types, accessories, fish stocking, maintenance and aquascaping tips, you’ll be well-prepared to create a thriving underwater world. Do your research, select quality equipment and decor, and implement conscientious care practices. Your fish will thrive for years in a properly set up 55 gallon home. Enjoy this rewarding hobby!