Just wanted to add some personal experiences to this thread since you are looking to run a tank very similar to one of my current tanks. This, of course, is in no way meant to detract from some of the excellent advice already posted here.
I have a 125 gallon FO
tank that has been running very sucessfully for almost 4 years. No LR
, just fish. I had one problem with it when we had a 20 hour black out this past summer (lost 2 hennis, a sailfin, and a harlequin tusk - 4 others managed to survive). Currently the tank is stocked with a Lion, Naso Tang, Sailfin Tang, Maroon Clown, Hifin Snapper, majestic angle. The fish in this tank are mighty happy - always out in the open, always full colors, always looking for food
For most of the last 4 years the tank only used a $65 Rainbow Lifegard Fluidized Bed filter. I did a tremendous amount of research on the fluidized bed approach (even consulted with marine biologists at several local public aquariums including New York Aquarium and Norwalk Aquarium). I had to do this research because the LFS
owners were telling me I neeeded BioBalls and trickle and that the FB filter would not be adequate. I took the risk and I have been surprised - the FB300 is an amazing product. I have since added 3 OceanClear canisters for backup and to get rid of my Sump (was DIY
sump and a big pain in the neck). The FB300 is still running. It uses a simple rio600 pump and the only thing I dislike about it is that it can be a little tricky to start. It provides unparralled Biological filteration if you want a truely FO
So Bottom line - pleanty of decorative coral to provide territory and hiding, FB filter for Biologic filteration, a UV
for parasite/algae control and a micron bag for mechnical filteration and this tank was good to go for about 3 years. Really simple, very effective. BTW
added an FB300 to one of his problem strings of tanks cuz he was so surprised with my experiences. He's very happy he did, despite his initial stuborness against their use.
Well, if your curious about any concerns or specifics about this approach, please let me know, otherwise - good luck.
Again - only my experience with a FO