Live sand is pretty pointless. Live rock is rock that has been in an established tank thus it will have many beneficial bacteria and hitchhikers to jump start your system which is why many people will setup up with 10-25% live rock and the rest base/lace rock
Live sand is just sand that has beneficial bacteria but a lot of companies that sell "live sand" package it and store it in ways that the bacteria can't survive so you are just paying extra for nothing.
so live rock is just rock that will sit in the substrate? i saw one for sell called refrugium ruble which to me sounds like it should be in a refrugium but im assuming it could also work in a regular tank correct?
Protein skimmers aren't needed on tanks less the 40 gallons imo if you keep up with weekly maintenance. To start your cycle you will want you substrate, all your rock (base and live), along with your filtration system and pumps.
Yep. Not the best but it works. With enough experience and understanding of water chemistry you can run nano reefs filterless. There are a ton of ways to keep a SW tank and no one way is the right way.