If you want to do reef , best to avoid any mechanical filtration and use skimmer and LR
for filtration , filters can quickly turn into nitrate factories , where as a skimmer will simply remove the waste from you DT preventing it from creating nitrates, I have a coral life 65g HOB
skimmer , and a fluvol 206 canister that runs chemi pure and a phosphate media ( no sponges what so ever ) I use to have a nitrate problem with a 20% weekly WC
, since I switched to this it's been 3 weeks with no WC
and nitrates still at 0. As for a HOB
refuge, with all the LR
u have u should be able to keep a mandarin eventually.
Hope this helps