Going 50/50 is not cutting a corner by any means. It's a prudent thing to do-it does not effect the quality/ diversity of life just takes alittle more time for the coralline/hitchhikers to cover/inhabit it. Coralline spreads very quickly tank conditions permitting. Many people do this, I'll never buy LR
again b/c of the 55lbs I have already. Also, everytime you add a coral frag
attached to a piece of LR
you add even more diversity to your tank b/c of hitchhikers. NOT considered cutting corners by any means!! IMO
is a bit over rated at this time in the hobby. Cutting corners, as you've realized, is a recipe for disaster concerning reefs. Take the $$$ you'll save and invest it in livestock!