Use sand not crushed coral especially in a system mainly for fish. CC
traps a fair amount of detritus and is lousy with phophate. Besides, a decent 1Â½-2" sandbed using a good oolitic aragonite will help with denitrification. The HOB
filter with the biowheel is a good option if you don't add live rock. Since there will be little baterial surface area without the LR
, you'll need a decent place for nitrification.
If you do opt for the LR
(even dry base rock) you won't need the biowheel or HOB
for that matter unless you have no area's to run carbon. I see no reason not to add the LR
, it is head and shoulders above any equipment you could use in terms of effective biofiltration. What the LFS
told you in terms of algae concerns is complete nonsense though. All tanks go through an algae phase no matter how it's set up. It's part and parcel with the cycle. As long as the NO
bulbs are changed regularly, they should do just fine. Unless you intend on keeping coral, they will at least maintain some coralline (mainly green) but I wouldn't expect too much growth or pink.
As far as the skimmer, the Seaclone is absolute junk. It needs far too many mods to get it working efficiently. For that tank size I would suggest either a BakPak II (I use one on my 27 gal
) or a Aqua C Remora with Maxijet 1200.
Don't use a UGF
for a marine tank, they are not long term friendly. You will still need to be sure your flow is upwards of 10x the volume of the tank to keep detritus from accumulating too much and aid in keeping pH in the upper regions. 2x Maxijet 900's would be good, placed near the surface for aeration. The HOB
and skimmer will cycle water downwards and the two powerheads will cycle the top areas of the water keeping a good overall flow.