Im not fully sure on the dimentions of a 30 gal
tank but what I can tell you is there is a calculator at the top of the page on this site that will give you an approximation of how much sand you will need for a specific desired depth. Here is a link for you http://www.aquariumadvice.com/calcs_new.php
I would suggest a 3-4" sand bed, now that does not have to be all LS
. You can get 2" of 'dead' sand and add an inch or two of LS
on top of that. The dead sand will be live in a short time.
With a 3-4" sand bed and 30-45lbs of LR
you wont need that filter. You will have adequite bio filter in your LS
. What you can use the filter for is to provide water flow. Water flow is very important as that helps with oxygen exchange and also keeps your tank void of some of the nasty canyobactera that lives in stagnet areas of the tank.
Using the skimmer during the cycling process is a mater of option. Some will say it will hurt your cycle and others say it will shorten it and yet others say it will lenthen it. I will tell you that when I ran a skimmer I did run it durring my tank cycle.
For a 30 gal
tank you could get a single 96W Power compact 10K bulb and then suplment that with a normal output actinic florecent. The general rule is 3-5W of light per gal
of tank capacity for a reef.
There is a very informative thread here in this site on lighting. It wont tell you what to use but more give you informatoin about different types and help explain why people debate it such.