It isn't hard, just looks like it is and people get overwhelmed easy. It is mostly because of the plumbing. I was the same way when I started. In my 55 I have a Mag 5 return pump...I think...and a CPR overflow with an aqualifter to ensure that I don't loose siphon. I have lost siphon twice, once when an aqualifter burnt out from a power surge and again when it got clogged up from an algae bloom. Was a 2 second fix the second time.
I've also ended up with more problems from the flex tubing. The PVC
is the best and I learned after I did it an even easier. Measure twice, cut once. Slop on the primer and glue, insert into fitting and give a quarter twist. That is all it really is.
I learned the expensive way how easy it is to make a sump. I originally bought one, but when I upgraded tanks I decided to build one out of a 20 gal
long. It ended up costing me 56 dollars to make the sump. I ended up buying the 20 long from petco, 4 cut to fit pieces of glass from Lowes, and an 8 dollar clip on work light for the fuge section.