I'm a newbie to the hobby, and this is my first post, so let me say Hi.
I have an Oceanic Biocube, 29 gallon, with about 35 lbs of live rock. It's been operating for about 5 weeks and has completely cycled. Ammonia & nitrites are 0, and nitrates are 10. I'm trying to establish a reef community, and have some soft corals, a clownfish, a wrasse, and a fromia star, and of course a cleaning crew. I've read that nitrates in reefs should be maintained less than 5ppm. By doing moderate (10 - 20%) water changes, I don't see how I'll keep nitrates < 5ppm.
I spoke to my LFS (the same people who told me I didn't need a protein skimmer) and he suggested I remove the bioballs in the middle filter section, and replace with crushed, live rock. I'm a little leary about changing the design of a "complete" system after only 5 weeks of operation.
Any thoughts on effective nitrate control? Is 5 ppm a hard limit for reef tanks?