Ok....I'll chime in on some of these:
1. Black Baffle is your overflow. The white pipes in the bag are your supply and return stems and they will lead to your piping below the tank.
2. The overflow (we call them sumps) are basically ways to hide your ugly equipment and to increase total volume of water for stability. I am the worst person to ask about this because i have a sump that has a larger capacity than my main tank, is in a different room and massive...search for sump on the site and you will get all kinds of ideas. The DIY section probably has a lot of pix.
3. The sump pumps up to the tank, the overflow returns water by gravity. One pump.
4. I haven't bought a skimmer in 5 years and use a Nautilus TE skimmer with good results.
5. I own an AQUA FX Barracuda RO
and I use it to fill my auto-top off and to make water for water changes. Had it 4 years and love it.
6. If you want to limit yourself to shrooms
, zoos and some softies, I have a 4x65w Power Compact with moonlite, but looking back, I wish I would have gone metal halide and been limitless.
7. Live rock is all the filter you need, maybe run some reef carbon periodically to shine the water nice in a media bag.
8. You'll need powerheads to keep the red slime algae away. I use Maxi-Jet 1200s, 800s and 400s. Buy them at www.bigalsonline.com
which is pretty cheap.
9. I run 2 200W heaters as a redundance measure in case one fails (hopefully not in the on position)
10. I test NO2
, PH, PO4
, and Alkalinity as far as regular tests, people prefer different brands. The one thing you CANNOT live without is a good, reliable refractometer. Don't go with the cheap swing arms, mine was off a lot.
11. Live sand and live rock will be your first purchase, and the live rock will get your cycle started.
12. Lots of diagrams around the site, can't point to one specifically.
Other people's turn...back to the football game.