I do not have anywhere to put the water but good explanation and is a reef octopus HOB protein skimmers good? Aquamaxx is sold out every here in Australia and will copepods die in the algae reacter? I have done slot of research and there's the YouTube's who say canisters are fine then the forum people who suggest sumps (Not everyone) so would a fx4 be sufficient?If I were you and I was doing all HOB I would make sure I Pick what it is that most important to me.
So for me that would be:
1. Clean water (good skimmer)
2. Clear water ( canister filter w/ carbon or chemi pure)
3. Algae control (algae reactor)
Get a good canister filter and put a Aqua UV sterilizer on the return. One end hooks up to the canister filter, the other hangs over the tank and actually acts as a return pipe. I’d also run the best hob skimmer you can get like a Deltec or Aquamaxx. If this was me I’d make an algae reactor for like $100 and just run it into the tank.
You can get an EShopps sump that would fit in your stand (it’s the EShopps nano sump, even has a refugium). I’d then run a decent skimmer like a small aquamaxx that would fit perfectly. Id run the Fuge that’s built in so you wouldn’t need the algae reactor. From there I’d Remove water and fish and drill it on the sides. Just do it. You will be so happy you did. It’s so easy. Once you see how easy it is you won’t hesitate to drill your return.
Again I am setting up my first FOWLR so don’t take my explanation as gospel. But I’ve done a ton of research and have Lots of fresh water experience.
Others will chime in I’m sure. Just remember to have fun while doing this and don’t get frustrated. There’s many different ways to skin a cat