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Hey everyone!

My name is Deborah and I am the science teacher at the Klahre House!  I wanted to introduce myself, share some pics of the new tank, and ask some questions, so.... here she is:

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We got all the rock in and placed and are happy with the layout- also updated the "do not touch" sign for those teenage boys- haha.  There are some tiny feather duster worms who hitchhiked in on Jim's live rock that the students are really excited about- they have been searching every inch of the rock for any additional life hanging about.  It's so amazing how the tiniest thing like a minuscule feather duster worm could captivate them- I can't wait until we have corals!

Things seem to be going pretty well, the ammonia level is sitting at about 3ppm and so we are patiently waiting for the bacteria to do its thing.  Some brown algae has started to grow, which I know is to be expected.

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I got some tubing to fit the canister filter, I just need to pick up some aquarium suction cups to attach the hoses to the back of the glass and I will fire that thing up and see how it goes!

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A few questions I have:

The water temperature is a bit warm- around 80.5 degrees- should I adjust the heater a bit to get it closer to 77?

How much water evaporates off your tank each day?  To get to my water level marking on the tank, I have been adding a gallon of distilled water a day.  As soon as the RODI is working, I will use that.  Do you all usually just keep a big bucket of RODI water on hand for daily top offs?

Despite adding a gallon of fresh water each day, the specific gravity is lower than 1.025, it is around 1.022.  Should I top off with salt water to try to get the numbers a bit higher?

One quick question for @Gumby- when you were here on Saturday the air intake control valve for the protein skimmer was twisting fine.  I went to fiddle around with it, and when I try to twist the value, it won't budge.  Could it be jammed with salt or something and that is why it is stuck closed?

That's it for now on the questions, but I know there will be more! 😁

Thank you so much to everyone who has put in their time and effort to make this tank a reality for our class!  Thanks to @Flashy Fins and @Gumby for prepping things and coming out to set us up on Saturday, and to all the behind-the-scenes volunteers who have helped put this tank together.  My students will not only benefit from the educational side of the aquarium-  but also it will be very therapeutic and relaxing as well because most of them have experienced significant abuse and trauma in their lives.  Tanks for Teachers is an amazing program- thank you all for contributing!

 

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Welcome Deborah!  Great to have another tank in the classroom and excited to see how it progresses.  Love that you are already on here giving updates and asking questions as it helps the community stay engaged in the project and offers a chance to tap the vast experience we have here.

As for questions...

Temp - I tend to shoot for 76-77 for a few reasons but largely to provide some buffer for circumstances that might drive up the ambient temp in the tank.  If you are starting slightly lower, you have more time to catch and fix problems before you start killing things.  Just my personal preference.

Yes - most of us keep a supply of RODI on hand for top up but will occasionally use some salt if we want to (slowly) bring up the SG setpoint.  I think one of the eventual "upgrades" you might consider is some sort of auto-topoff setup which helps keep the water level (and hence SG) stable.  This is a bit of a challenge without a sump but we might be able to come up with a solution at some point.  Others with auto-topoff setups will directly plumb their RO/DI system in so there is an endless, on-demand supply of water.  This has it's challenges and dangers however and typically isn't done without some automation control and failsafes built in (long term ideas).

I would not say 1.022 is a problem per se but I think most folk are probably running closer to 1.025.

Good luck and welcome on board!  Would love to stop in some time to see the tank when up in Hood River.

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That looks great for just being set up a few days ago! Nice job on the rockwork.

The guys being fascinated by the feather dusters is exactly the kind of thing we love to hear! Definitely shows they’ll be interested in caring for the corals and taking pride in the tank. Can’t wait to see how it progresses!

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Hi Deborah. Tank and rock work look great! I left the protein skimmer on but shut off the air flow until your tank cycles. It takes a lot of effort but if you turn the valve counter clockwise it will loosen. It is new so it is very tight. Cherany and I will see you 3 or 4 weeks with the fittings for the RO unit. If your tank is ready by then I can bring some corals with me.

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