OP. If you want to run the tank without a HOB
filter, this is what you should be doing.
Instead of the 8 pounds of rock you want to use, shoot for 15-20. That way it will make up for the biological media.
Use two Koralia 420s. This way your detritus won't settle, since you won't have a filter to pick it up.
Some info on HOBS.
Carbon is an extremely common media.. So the comment about nobody using it made no rational sense. It is most commonly used in reactors, but many people run it in HOBs. It lasts for long periods of time, reduces tank odors, and makes your water clear as heck.
In your HOB
, it's a good idea to run filter floss. This will catch any pieces floating in your water. Simple poly filter from Walmart will do the job. A big bag is relatively cheap at $5. You just put a piece in and change it every 2-3 days.
Phosguard is a "rechargeable" phosphate reducing media from Seachem. It's commonly used in tanks where a GFO
reactor is not applicable. It's lifespan varies on how much work it must do. The higher flow area it is in, the more efficient it will be.
Chemipure is a mixture of carbon GFO
and some special stuff. There are 3 different types available at the moment. Chemipure, Chemipure ELITE, and Chemipure Blue.
Chemipure is the original, and does its job well. Basically combines GFO
and carbon. Chemipure ELITE is a little more advanced. It works faster, and is more common to find. Chemipure Blue was released a few months ago.. I've never used it so I can't tell you much.
Any of the Chemipures last around 6 weeks.
If you don't want a HOB
, it may be beneficial to look at a sump. It's basically an external tank where equipment is stored. The extra water volume will make the system more stable. It also gives you space to run a refugium. A Refugium is a breeding zone for pods
, and a place to grow macro algae. Macro algae can help nutrient export.
Without the HOB
, I'd also recommend doing water changes more frequently. Maybe 2-3 gallons 2x a week.
The problem with your research is that your finding varying opinions on the Internet and they're getting to you.
Always research any purchase before you buy it, and never ever stop researching.