Okay here's a WEIRD one. I took a water sample and my old hydrometer to LFS
and had them tested. Like I mentioned before, my hydromter wouldn't even register (float the needle). A sample of MY water in their hydromter tested okay, about 1.022. A sample of THEIR water in MY hydromter tested okay. But MY water in MY hydromter wouldn't read. I tossed it and bought a new $15 SeaTest hydromter. As an engineer, I can't stand an unreliable instrument. 8)
They also went ahead and tested the rest of my water. The tests indicate the cycle has started although I clearly told the guy I hadn't added ANY organic matter. Hmmm...........
As of this afternoon, the water had started to clarify a bit. At least I could see the sand on the bottom. I stuck a big plastic spoon in and stirred the sand. Immediately a white chalky cloud floated up. I'm thinking I should have thoroughly washed the sand and old crushed coral. I'm convinced the cloudiness is just particulate that will settle out and get filtered.
I also stopped by a local grocery store and bought some pure fresh shrimp for about a dollar. I have 6 or 7 big shrimp in there. It may be too much. I'll keep an eye on it for a day or two.
I will add live sand and some cured live rock. Probably order online. I have to research that a bit.
Back to the cloudiness problem. I have an old an Diatom D1 (I think) and a bag of old diatom powder from 10 years ago. I was thinking of hooking it up to help filter out my cloudy particulate. As I recall the old Diatom made the water crystal clear. Any thoughts on this???