New to Reef Aquariums and I'd like some advice

theMeat

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Hi and welcome to the site and hobby. For me bigger is better and try to go without water changes. Have a huge refugium, and well sized skimmer that takes care of nitrate and phosphate levels. Love the separate sump and “system” of it all. There’s many ways to control nutrients to reduce or eliminate need for water changes needed to control nutrient levels these days. Although trace elements need to be managed if corals is your thing. With that said and my many decades and various tank size would say if a 20 gal is what you’re doing would simple fo water changes and forget sump, skimmer, algae scrubber or whatever to control nutrients, and set up an ro unit and do a water change a week instead of messing with skimmers, algae scrubber once a week. Have a nice quiet , clean, good smelling tank.
An all in one system is good in this regard. You also don’t need to add a skimmer to it. Also a fan of glass tank over acrylic, so not many, if any that I know of all on one that comes glass.
The issue with a standard 20 gal or whatever tank is that in fresh water proteins and crap sinks, in salt it floats so best to surface skim to filter, ie a hang on overflow or drill the tank for overflow that goes down to sump. A canister filter on saltwater tank is not ideal but many reefers have nice tanks with em
 
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Geo007

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Hello "theMeat", thanks for your response.

As I said in my opening statement, the retirement complex that I live in has in their lease that we are not to have more than a 10 gal aquarium, though I think I can get away with a 20 gal tank. With that said, I figure on doing a 10% - 20% water changes every one to two weeks. Also, I don't plan on having a sump or refugium, just a simple aquarium.

I've made up my mind on having some live rock with live sand to start out my tank a little quicker, but I need some advice on a few fish to pick out for a community tank and a few corals. Some people have shown me some spectacular reef aquariums, but I can't go as big as they were.

What I really need advice on is the type of filter and brands of skimmer, fishes, corals, cleaning crews and how many (snails, crabs, shrimp), pumps, etc.
 

theMeat

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Would use all live sand and a few live rock along with dry rock.
Far as fish or corals not sure what look or personalities or relationships you’re going for. Personally would go for a symbiotic relationship. Like shrimp and goby, or clown and anemone.
Tunze is a good option for you on a tank that won’t otherwise have surface skimming. As well is in tank design as compared to hang on back. A skimmer will overflow at some point. Skimmate has a special stench I’m not sure you’re familiar with yet. With a hob it will flood onto floor. If you have carpet that would be really bad and I’d probably want to move out after a few skimmate overflows
 
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