I think a poll would be interesting (although I don't know how to set one up). There is definitely more than one successful way to set up a SW
tank. My caution with filters was primarily for the reason that they are nitrate factories, which can be a problem in a reef tank if they are not cleaned frequently. Personally I used a skimmer, LR
and powerheads on my 30g reef with good success. I know of similar sized tanks with sumps and refugia that also are doing quite well. IMO
for a "newbie" to SW
, getting into overflows, sumps and refugia might be a little overwhelming, hence the suggestion for the skimmer(filter)/LR
/PH route. You can always change things down the road once you get a handle on how everything works.