Ceratinly not trying to be rude, as I am not an expert in any way but......
(quoted from Gregory Skomal, a marine biologist with the Massachussettes Division of Marine Fisheries, from one of my saltwater aquarium books) " Under standard aquarium temps (75-79), the conversion results in the addition of 0.002 to the hydrometer reading. For example, if your hydrometer reading is 1.023 and your water temp is 77, the actual specific gravitiy of your aquarium is 1.025. (that would place mine at 1.022).
Specific gravity should be established in the range of 1.021 and 1.024, but more importantly, it should be maintained at ta specific level within this range. Even minor fluctuations can cause problems for your tank inhabitants."
According to this my levels are just fine. THis is a FO
tank as I live in Hawaii and it is illegal to sell/trade any and all coral and live rock. I do not have live rock, I have dry base rock that I believe is showing signs of becoming live rock.....this is not illegal.
Also according to this book (not saying it's the Holy Grail of SW
books or anything....but just that a marine biologist who is also a hobbyist probably knows what he's talking about), " the undegravel filter has evolved and improvements in this technology make it an excellent choice, particularly for a fish-only aquarium. External power filteres are ideal for fish-only tanks that also have an undergravel filter", (he then goes on to talk about the benefits from using a biowheel which is part of the penguin system and meant to be used by it). I use crushed coral as a sand bed can clog an UGF
unless you use sheets of some sort of mesh that keep the sand above the cc
line. I was unable to find this locally and just opted then for the UGF
as it also helps add oxygen to the system.
Again, I'm not trying to be rude, just simply show why I chose those options on my tank. I agree that a sump is a much better choice and exactly why I am in the process of making one, the power filter came with my tank set up, so it's being utilized until improvements are made. I have no invertabrates in the tank (although we may get some at some time and will raise salinity slowly prior to that point).
Does anyone know why our test readings never showed cycling? Could this be due to the seawater and the bio media that had been previously set up?