Sorry,I can't resist joining in.
Bottom line,if you want a reef aquarium and to have 0 ammonia ,nitrites,and nitrates after cycling you need to have.
1.At least one and a half to two lbs. of live rock and some type of mechanical filtration such as filter floss and also a media bag with carbon in it.
of 15 percent every two weeks.
3.A Refugium if you want.I don't run one in my sump.
Live rock has beneficial bacteria at all different levels through the rock.You can start off with mainly base rock and just a few lbs of live rock.The critters you receive on the live rock are mainly beneficial and the others can easily be taken care of.
It doesn't take long for the base rock to become live and start growing Coraline if you have the proper lighting and keep your calc and alk
and mag levels right.
Below is a picture of my present tank when started with mainly base rock and one of it a couple months later.
This works for me with the least amount of maintenance.