I finally finished the mixing station, about two weeks ago. Now that things are moving faster, I need to get more consistent about updating this thread. I’m super-excited about how efficient this system is.
I did a cardboard profile of my tank, to give myself a space to mess with aquascaping. After soooo much deliberation, I went with reef saver dry rock, and I will add biodiversity from Indo-pacific. I did have to change the scape a bit, once it was in the tank.
I’ve been waiting for this moment since February! Finally got the tank wet, last night. It settled fairly quickly. Tonight I will add some Dr. Tim’s One and Only, and Ammonium Chloride, to kickstart my cycle.
Pretty cool story from yesterday. My daughter sent me a text at work that the tank was beeping. I had her look at the numbers on the temperature controller, and determined that it was the auto top-off beeping to notify of filling. When I got home, we went over both components so that she understood what the different sounds and visual cues communicate. Super proud of her for being observant, and thinking to let me know. The tank has really just started, and it has already given us some great time together.
Tonight, I dosed Dr. Tim’s Ammonium Chloride in an amount that should have resulted in concentration of 2ppm. That either did not work, or the test kit is suspect. I went with API, just for these initial tests, because the arguments for using the cheaper kit made sense to me. The fact that I am skeptical of the results makes me think I should just go ahead and get another brand, now. Additional note, the bottle of test solution #2 is crusty, which makes me wonder if it had been compromised.
I also made some adjustments to both the flow rate and directions of my powerheads. I’m sure that I will need additional adjustments, once I start adding coral, but right now I was getting too much splash down the sides of the tank.
Tonight will be the usual testing, and I’d like to do some cleanup from the previous splashing/setting up/adjusting of the tank.
Ammonia still tested over 4ppm, which is a bummer. Good news is, the test is definitely lighter than it was, last night. I’m definitely going to order a different test kit, and go from there. I also did some general cleanup, including both the inside and outside of the glass. May as well get in the routine, now, and it really was looking a little rough.
My salinity has been dropping, very slowly. I did a very thorough check, and I do not believe I have any leaks. I believe that my issue was coming from the water level in my overflow being too low. Falling water was creating excess splash, leaving salt high on the wall of the overflow. I raised the level of water in the overflow, which of course caused my ATO to pump in a gallon of freshwater, dropping my salinity. Better to have this issue, now, and get it all tuned up, prior to livestock. I believe the issue will be fixed in a few days.
The good news is that ammonia has dropped to 2.0 ppm. I have a Red Sea test kit coming on Monday. I will continue to test ammonia, but will not touch anything else, this weekend.
Took a trip up to Lancaster, PA, and grabbed this 20G and stand that I’ll be using as a quarantine tank. Need to move some things around, in the man cave, to make some space! Too much sports memorabilia. I started thinking that I could get this set up, and start quarantining a fish or two, so they would be ready once the display tank is set. But, I haven’t rushed to this point, and I’m not going to start. My salinity has held steady for 3 days, so I believe that issue is fixed. Ammonia was down to .25ppm. I’m going to wait for the new test kits, tomorrow, before dosing back up to 2ppm. I feel like things are right where they should be.