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sump questions


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Hi all again I have some sump questions..but first some details..

I have just finished building my new sump for my 8x2x2. it is 73lx55wx56h, so a tad under 200l capacity, if full.

water flows into a refugium, which when cold will also hold the heaters ~23l then flows into the filter 1060sq cm of filter foam/dacron/fine foam, them down into the biomedia area...

from here out through baffles containing a large piece of filter foam about 10cm thick 53cm long and 10cm wide to the pumpand back to the tank.

1. would it be advantageous to add some media to the refugium, was thinking scoria, or calcium carbonate for buffering?

2. for biomedia hmmmm. WHAT? bioballs seem to be the best but are pretty $$steep$$, I have 20liters dry and 10 liters wet to fill. gutterguard not real keen on.. (See end note) also i have read that i need something that will provide both anaerobic and aerobic bacteria for adequate nitrite/nitrate conversion, and that nitrite factories can result if the balance is not correct.....(or am i getting it all ballsed up,and does this only apply to marine setups)

3. post biochamber was thinking again of buffering, what works best, crushed shell, calcium carbonate, large chunks of coral, or shells etc I know its pretty much the same stuff but still??

Ok about gutter guard, Because it is just a series of fine rods~1mm round i dont think that it has a flat area large enough to hold a biofilm, i could be rong but... i have use gutter guard in my large canister for 1 year now and after just doing its secound big clean out it still looks pretty clean, not even slightly slimy, i realise it will house bacteria but it just seems to be more air than bio area and in my opinion not real effective at supporting a decent biofilm....oppinions?

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