(i think my blog might turn into a reference section more than a blog.. go w/ it)
On this trhead, a really good question came up:
This got me thinking about it a bit more. Over the years I've found the below "equation" to work pretty good for me:
1" of livestock (fish, coral, inverts, anything living) per 1gal actual system water.
There are special situations where the 1" is too small (aggressive fish, or fish that need more space.. just add an inch or two. Also, you should calculate on known max size of your livestock, not current).
coraline counts too! (i add it all up and divide by 2).
This also assumes the old addage lbs liverock/sand to working gals.
I know I know, too "engineer-ish," but think about it... 230 system gals. add up all your coral (yes, gsp counts), then add up your fish, shrimp, snails, crabs.
In "skimmer land" :
115"(50%) to 188"(75%),this is a "light load."
188"(75%) - 230"(100%) this is average
230"(100%) - 375"(150%) this is average-high range
375"+(150%) heavy load.
This also gives you a calculated "capacity" percentage, if you need it.
obviously... i'll update this as time goes on and w/ some feedback!