When planning coral placements and aquascape, really consider what will happen in the worst case. If you need to get an evil wrasse out thats too smart for traps, how bad would pulling rocks out really be?
Official Entry: There are so many different ways to run a reef tank. One interesting tip bit I saw worded almost exactly the same from a couple different refers with very successful tanks was, 'In my opinion, skimmers strip too much from the water. "
Not an overly popular opinion but one I intend to roll with.
After 25 years being away and with so many advancements in the hobby, the best piece of advice/knowledge i gleaned was to run a fuge or ATS in order to help with many aspects of reef keeping. I started my tank without an ATS and the tank went off the rails but just one week with it in place and the tank started to balance out.
This was my first week harvest, nitrates are close to zero and phosphates are dropping fast.
Simple but so effective!!!
A) use Vibrant to combat nuisance algae. (Have used it successfully against a bryopsis forest, and am now using it against gha.)
B) Cycle your tank slowly. I took a long time to cycle my tank, from ghost feeding, then keeping the lights off, and then finally adding some cheap frags to introduce coralline. In the end the result are worth it. There was no dirty period.
When plumbing a new aquarium draw a diagram of what you’re doing. Run it by another hobbyist. Write a list of parts needed. When at the store, get 4-5 extra pieces for each. You’ll likely use them all.