Originally Posted by Gregcoyote
Everyone has an opinion. Some are better than others. The LFS
and books tend to be the same way. Just keep participating and you'll figure it all out. In this hobby there are often more than one technique that can have similar outcomes.
Yup, just learn the basic biological principles involved and apply your own logic and common sense.
The point about leaching phosphate from the rock I overlooked, but as far as the rest goes, if the phosphates are OK, just throw everything into the tank and let it do it's thang, man.
you are approaching it with far too much trepidation and apprehension.
Don't let all these differing opinions turn your head in a tizzy.
After about 40 years, the basics are always the same, the opinions about the "proper" and "right" way of doing things changes with the seasons, why I say become familiar with the biological process' involved and apply rational logic to the situation.
When the hobby gets to the point that you have to worry about minor fluctuations and how many micrograms of food a day you can feed, then it becomes work and not much fun, at least IMHO
remember the guy who has had a reef running for over forty years with NO new fangled gizmos and gadgets and he cleaned his filter bed every 25 years, and he uses an UNDERGRAVEL FILTER!!!!!
OMG!! what is wrong with that man!!??
My point being, relax, it doesn't need to be as stressful and precarious as some members here make it out to be. (watch out for the arrogance)
Enjoy it and don't fret so much over such trivial things and you will enjoy the hobby much more for much longer.