So I’m not sure if I mentioned this but a few weeks ago I put a chromis in the tank and the poor little guy died. I did some investigating and found out that it was due to my pH being super low. Apparently when you use SOME types of dry rock, it can drop your pH way down until it becomes fully alive (3-6 months). Since then I started dosing some SeaChem pH buffer, and it’s brought my pH up to acceptable levels (high 7’s low 8’s), the ammonia started to go up then down, diatoms started showing up, and the tank started to cycle the way it should have. I’m still using the SeaChem Stability, and my ammonia has dropped to 0 along with my nitrites and nitrates. After that, I ended up picking up a little hermit crab and let him roam around the tank. After he lived 3-4 days, I went to pick up another Chromis, as well as a clean-up crew (4 conchs, 10 nasarius snails, a sand sifting star, and 10 red legged hermit crabs).
I was getting mad at my DIY ATO (though it was of NO fault of the ATO I learned), so I picked up a Reef Keeper Lite by Digital Aquatics. It’s a cool little unit that has about a billion functions that I’m not even going to attempt to outline here. I’m currently using it to control my fan, my pumps, my skimmer, and my pH dosing system. I’ll probably expand it a bit here in the coming months to handle everything else like my lights, my ATO, and my return pump.
I also tweaked my Tunze 9002 Protein Skimmer. Apparently it’s common to have them come from the factory poorly assembled, so I took mine apart, realigned the ventury and the output, and got it put back together and now it’s making much better bubbles and is a lot quieter.
I’m currently having a bit of an issue with microbubbles, but I’ll get them figured out. I think that somehow they’re making it into the last chamber of my sump and getting pumped back into my tank. I’m going to be putting some rubble rock in the first chamber and hopefully that’ll weed out some of them from even getting into the system.
Here are some updated pictures.