One other thing to note, although it is a bit off topic, is that most corals will do better in a system that has a fish or two. The corals feed on the fishes waste.
I agree with NaH20 as far as the canister filters and the placement of the skimmer. A sump is not a necessity. It does make a great place to put equipment such as heaters, skimmers, ect... It also adds some water volume to the system which is always beneficial.
Placing the skimmer in the fuge isn't a good idea IMO
. One, you may skim out some of the organisms you are trying to cultivate in the fuge. Two, you want the "dirty" water going into the fuge so the macro and other critters can make use of the nutrients in it. Three, you want your skimmer to have a good supply of water from the surface of the main tank. If you have a sump, the overflow takes care of this. If you use one of the HOB
skimmers, you will get a considerable increase in skimmer performance by adding a surface skimmer box on the skimmer intake.
The ideal place for a fuge is above the main tank so you can pump water up to it and have it drain back into the main tank. Often, this isn't possible though. You mentioned a drip system...how do you plan to set this up?
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