Have you thought about removing the broken lighting unit from the existing hood and retrofitting something in it's place? I've done that with two seperate Roma tanks now - I've just added two LED units to the place that originally housed the T8s on one of them last week.
1) I use Salifert as when I started out I tried API and didn't like them. What you plan to keep determines which tests you need to get - for example, if you plan to keep SPS corals then you'll need to test for more than a fish only system.
2) I've got the D-D Refractometer. The instructions are clear and I find it easy to use. I went with this after a lot of recommendations from "Other" generic Marine forum
3) I tend to use a scrubbing pad and pipe cleaner (the type that looks like a cat tail making itself "look big"). I've also got a "scrubber on a stick" for cleaning the tank glass.
CurmudgeonlyOldMan wrote: I wouldn't attempt drilling either unless you have experience drilling glass as the glass can crack quite easily and the drilling can alter stresses within the glass causing it to fail later on.
Agreed - first time I did it solo I was a tiny* bit nervous...
Some people on youtube show off their home made overflows that cost a lot less than the professional ones - but to be honest, I don't think I've yet seen one that looks anywhere near as good. Here's one I picked at random - youtube.com
nathangoudie wrote: Also do both water pumps (pump from tank to ref and from ref back to tank) have to be the same? How many litre/hour would be good?
It's not a good idea to use a pump to get water out of the main tank as it would be very hard to get the flow exactly balanced between the 2 pumps. Also, if one of the pumps failed you'd have water only going one way. You'd probably end up flooding your sump or emptying your tank - wet floor time.
I'd say you are better off drilling the main tank or (if not confident doing that) buying an overflow system (like this overflow box for example). Also, you need to make sure that if you have a power cut, there is enough room in your sump for any water in the pipework (and if you drill, any water above the outlet hole) - if I cut the power in my marine tank, the sump water level rises by about 3 or 4 inches.
In the 4 years I've had my Corydoras sterbai, I've only had 1 egg make it to adulthood. My Apistos long ago worked out what Cory breeding signs look like and follow them around the tank for a snack. As I've not got room for yet another tank, I've never been that worried . The one that made it got sucked in to the filter and hatched in there! Gave me a heck of a shock during my water change to see a tiny little fishie swimming about. Cory babies are so cute!