I have a 55 gallon reef tank that is in the works. It has been up and running for 2 1/2 to 3 months now, and has 56 pounds of cured live rock, and 40 pounds of live sand. I have been doing 15 gallon water changes weekly, and cleaning the Rena XP3 canister filter weekly as well. My ammonia and nitrites always read 0, and my nitrates have been between 5-20 per my API test kit. Unfortunately my tank stand has very limited space under it, and that small space is already occupied by my Rena, so there is no room for a sump, nor a refugium. If the Rena could come out, then a sump would fit, but am not sure if removing the Rena would cause a problem and kill my fish. I have read/heard that HOB
/HOT skimmers are not all that great compared to in-sump skimmers. So I'm not really sure what to do? Will my water changes be enough to keep the water quality high, or is a skimmer a necessity? Right now the tank has two 1" percula clownfish, and a peppermint shrimp.
I've read that the Deltec MCE600 HOB
is decent, but cost over $500, whereas a $300 in-sump skimmer would do a much better job.