I think you're on track. I had this problem when I first got into the hobby a few months ago; go through my post history! Fortunately it was during my cycle and there was no livestock. Problem fixed itself with water changes.
30% on all corals.....i saw some realy nice acans and purp gorgonias. My tank is 2 weeks old, not ready yet but soon it is. The coraltank is invaded whit this shit.....the corals i checked hade some on the fragplugs.
Im pretty sure that i can scrape this small monster off, but if i miss one or two....
Pretty sure that i can bump down the prices more....but is it worth the risk?
I agree these guys will be fine with regular water changes only. It's a bit like a garden, I mean who but the most experience plant keepers add supplements for the perfect soil ph and nutrient levels or whatever? Most people just water! In this analogy it means water changes
edit: I'm actually in a similar situation and my plan is keep on testing (for now doing trace element testing at the LFS for free) until water changes happen to not cut it. I think picking up some salifert alkalinity testing would be a good starting point to monitoring those ~perfect parameters~ and will help get us in the swing of things.
Seconded using a skimmer in the first chamber rather than bioballs. Plus rock is... Less fluid than bioballs and will be more agreeable to place in the chamber with the skimmer as well? Also you can put straight up carbon media in the baffle space; I do this!
1) not sure? Would need picture!
2) nemo can live in smaller tanks and doesn't need an anenome but will love to host in anything wavy! Dory needs 6 feet to swim
3) depends if you are doing invertebrates only or fish as well, starfish can be mean!
4) Alvie's 12 tips, gonis 24
5) it'll need to age a while to be true Gorgonzola we have some wooden barrels here can do that for you
a few of these were googled hardest ones yet
I'd say I'm 80% there with the types of questions people ask! I find myself having to dissuade people from buying angels and triggers a lot, my store carries a great selection of them but most people don't seem to have big, fish only systems but 55 gallon reefs with smattering a of coral. I'm working on providing alternatives to people.
Without live rock as a biofilter, you would need to use bio-media, like bio-balls. However, if you have live rock, go ahead and remove them. You can use this space for reactors and/or a skimmer (as well as your heater and other equipment). My sump has just a single baffle, and it works fine.
So the pump can be turned down as low as 1000 gph, so it should work. However, I've found, on their MP10's, that the wavemaker modes don't function well when the pump is turned all of the way down. I'm not sure whether or not that's also the case with the MP40's.
I remember researching pumps for 1/2" glass before. There were a few to choose from. However, I'm not sure about 3/4" walls.
I say give the skimmer a shot. If it doesn't work the way you want it to, then buy a new on then.
I assume it's drilled. If so, I take it that she doesn't have a sump, and the plumbing goes higher then the water level to avoid water from entering the holes. If that's the case, she could add a sump. It would give her a place for filtration (and other equipment) and would hide the heater. There is nothing wrong with setting up a freshwater tank the same as a saltwater tank.
Also, an automatic top off unit would work for her current setup, as well as if she upgrades to a sump.
If she doesn't want to add any equipment, (and if my above assumptions are correct) there are still a couple of options. The easiest would be to drill holes in the overflow so the water level remains the same in the overflow as the display. The problems being that the water in the overflow is basically stagnant, and there remains a chance of a leak if the plumbing fails.
Or maybe just drop the water level so the water never enters the overflow.
Still another option would be to try to remove the internal overflow and seal the drilled holes. Sealing the holes could be as simple as bulkheads with plumbing higher than the water level (similar to what she may have now). Or she could use end caps on the bulkheads. Or she could use silicone to seal a small plate of glass over the holes. Then the gravel will cover the plate and you wouldn't even realize it was drilled.
Of course she could buy a different tank too.