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Ok, so I'll start from the top here. I've been following the Reefing hobby for a long time now, and was planning on setting up a system for next year at school. I pretty much just wanted to see if i could maintain an easy softie/clownfish/cardinalfish situation, and sell the fish and corals back at the end of my school-year. I was starting to have big cost worries, however, and was approaching the point on giving up on reefing for 2 years (until grad) when someone up above (or down below) sent me a message. This message said: "Free". A 38 gallon tank (36x12x18) with stand (needs spray-paint), an old Marineland C360 cannister filter (with biopellets and bioballs, still covered in algae, inside), a red-sea Prizm (not working, impeller broken), 2 heaters (both working apparently (weird)), and a very cheap powerhead for mixing salt. The tank also came with a bucket of dry-algae covered rock that's actually kind of pleasing to look at, but won't be used (no time to cure rock, and this guy had some real algae problems, clearly). I didn't have a chance to ask about any of this, as it was on a lawn behind a piece of plywood with "free" written on it in day-glo spray paint. It appears to me that I've now got some options. The C360 is not working, and I've been fiddling with it all day. From what I can see, these canisters frequently leak, and i think the root of my problems is a leak coming from the priming button on the top of the unit. I've cleaned everything with vinegar, removed all the bio-balls and pellets from the system, tightened all the tubes- nothing. The system kind of gargles- hums for a few seconds, gargles slowly and then faster, hums, repeat. I suspect that air is being pulled through the primer that leaks water when starting a siphon. Do I care? I understand that the canister solution is a majorly out of style one. That being said, I see myself running it more like a carbon/gfo reactor, with a bit of floss in another tray, and chemi-pure or something like it in another tray. Is this goofy? Keep in mind that I'm on a tight budget. That being said, I want my system to be future proof. and I understand that 40$ to fix something like this now is 40$ on the street in 6 months when I find the cash to drill my tank and get a sump up and running. Any chance that cementing the priming button closer and using something like a turkey-baster to start the system is a worthwhile endeavor? Same question for the Prizm, it seems to me that the impeller for the system is struggling, it spits out tiny bubbles rarely, but seems to sputter and choke often. A new impeller is 25$ or so, am I wasting money here? How considerable is the difference between no skimmer, Prizm, and 100$ skimmer? This tank won't even start cycling for a few more weeks, is it worth holding off and looking for a deal? Is it possible that the Impeller is working and i have no idea how to prime it? (I'm filling the whole assembly about halfway with water and plugging it, seems straightforward to me). What does a failed/failing pump sound like? There's considerable salt creep/green rust on some of the plugs, is this potentially causing some of my problems? Finally, the tank is missing it's middle support, one that's supposed to run the 12inches across the tank at it's center. When full, the tank seems fine, maybe slightly bowed. How big a DIY fix is this? Is it necessary? I have other questions about my cycle and lighting, but I can hold off on these for now.