Speaking of a budget; things will be different between the systems, for sure. Because I work in the industry I get deals on things and have access to a lot of hardware from previous product testing systems so any comparisons on cost will pretty much be invalidated.
There will be an eventual reef log over at RC when the time comes. My first priority is getting the planted up and going before it gets too cold here to ship plants. Once it's up and running I can start thinking about plans for the reef.
I understand this is a discussion forum and all that. Because of where I work I don't want to get into a discussion of the whys, wherefores, and opinions of supplements and substrates for two reasons. 1- I'm no longer in a situation where I can freely discuss the pros and cons of different options without a) pissing off my employer and b) being seen as using this venue as a means of shilling a product line (I'm most definitely NOT!); and 2- this is still my hobby and I want to be here sharing my hobby experiences with other hobbyists in a friendly and relaxed environment. Having to explain my reasons and justify them every other post isn't what I consider relaxing or fun.
So here goes (hopefully) one last time. Yeah, I work for Brightwell Aquatics and yes, I get all our products for free. It's very cost effective for me to use them so that's the route I'm going to take. Due to the nature of my job I need to be intimately familiar with our products and using them in my personal systems is the best way for me to accomplish that. End note.
Now, let's continue talking about our favorite subject...planted aquariums!