I really don't understand about the pods, macroalgae
Macroalgae competes with nuisance microalgae for nutrients and provides scavenging herbivores with a good food supply. I like to think of pods
as being the large base of the aquarium food chain. They provide a good food source for larger critters and perform a basic cleaning function.
I've never had a HOB
fuge before but I'm sure you'll find people who'll argue for and against them. If nothing else, It will provide a little more water volume and a place to put your macros and mud. What size tank are you doing this with?
...and good luck with the new SW
experiment. I've found that it's a whole new level of aquarium nerdiness.