Yeah, live sand is nothing but a waste of money, use your sand and just get a few cups of live sand from your LFS
or a buddy if ya wanna speed up the process.
The only negative about the ebay RODI
unit, is you'll prob wanna upgrade the sediment filters sooner than later. That will save the life of the RO
membrane which is probably the reason why Carey has a drop in her GPH
. I'd get new filters from bulkreefsupply and while at it get a refillable DI
cartridge and resin. That should cost ya about $35 so you can budget it in 6 months or so!
meter is really a must though, should be about $25