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Ok I will get 50lbs of key largo. Yes, I have a very thin sand bed for now. I think I would be happy with an inch sand bed. Would the goby( yellow watchman and pistol shrimp) survive in that depth of sand?
I will get that and maybe get 15-25 more lbs of rock when it is all established. I think a trio of peppermint shrimp would look good. Chances are I will not add the orange cardinal, but I will leave the urchin in my plan. I am dropping out the cardinal, because water quality should stay more stable yes? If not I will add a fire fish.
I don't see fish load as having a lot to do with water quality, especially in smaller aquariums. Before some one thinks I'm crazy let me explain. Generally in a marine tank the behavior of the fish will limit the number of fish long before you would even approach the limits of the filtration. So, if you want to eliminate the cardinal because you prefer other fish, then fine, but I don't think it will really impact water quality either way.
However, if you are handy they are not complicated to build. Of course, protein skimmers are also pretty simple to build.
If you add an algae scrubber I would encourage you to run both a skimmer and scrubber. Perhaps this will give you some motivation to do just that:
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