Glad you're taking the plunge!
There's many methods of starting and keeping a reef system that's it's still overwhelming to me let alone people starting up. Looks like Murf is doing the Berlin method where the system relies on live rock for filtration and uses a protein skimmer to remove waste. However his rock looks like it's not live, and he said he had no filtration. Maybe he can get away with it for now, but when he has fish and inverts giving off waste, water changes will be the only way of removing waste.
I haven't looked into it, but feel free to explore.
Berlin method of filtration - Aquarium Advice
This is how I recommend starting up your tank:
You said you have a fluval canister. How much is it rated for? People have had success with it, but it can build up nitrates, causing you to clean it often. Many people go with sumps for protein skimmers, heaters, refugiums, and/or any other equipment. If it's not too late, I'd sell the fluval and do a DIY sump so you can have a skimmer in the sump instead of a HOB
. If that's not possible, definitely recommend a HOB
Lots of people recommend taotronics/other LEDs on ebay that are cheap and grow pretty much anything. Look into that if you'd like
If you have a budget, a way to save money is to go with dry rock and dry sand (as in not live). This is the way I went since I didn't want to pay double or more for rock that had been sitting in some filtered water for a while. It takes longer to get all the creatures you'd find on LR
, but I do have many hitchikers that came from the rock my coral was on. Or get some LR
and seed the dry rock.
Test kits and hydrometer/refractometer(more accurate) are essential.
Those are the main points I think. Just wanted to throw some info out there and hope some sticks
. Research is key and trusting in the right sources is very important. Don't take everyone's word for being true. Not even mine!