KMS 120 gal

I have been maintaining a 40 breeder donated by @tankguy at Katherine Michiels school in the mission sf for several years.
I recently set up Geneva’s old 120 gal, and hopefully the students will be updating this journal to keep track of our progress. It’s currently cycling with rocks that had been dry (thanks @fishdoctor) and adding some live sand, a heater, and a circulation pump today.
The tank was setup as a peninsula with no sump and had two hang on back skimmers at Geneva’s. I considered drilling the tank and using a sump, but decided to keep it simple and set it up again like it used to be.
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It’s going to be a mixed reef. I plan on using two ai sol blue fixtures, just need to rig up a light holder. No rush on that tho since it’s still just cycling.
Are the kids excited? Or is it still too early since there nothing to see

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Very excited for the most part. I’m doing talks and activities/lessons every Tuesday morning so we’ve had a lot of fun talking about what’s hapennibf and what’s to come. They are currently learning about the evolution of fish.
This week and next week will explore the nitrogen cycle with an ammonia test kit, and do some rock scaping with reef safe cement. I am planning to try out the nyos stuff as it sounds easier to mix and sets more quickly.
I put in live sand today to jumpstart the bacterial population. I don’t think there was too much dead matter in the rock so should be ready soon.
I also installed a 500 watt aqua top titanium heater and 2600 gph powerhead.


Supporting Member
Hey, I had one of those aquaMaxx skimmers on my old tank. I like your keep it simple approach for it.
Tested ammonia with the kids today. Was at 1.0. Was hoping the love sand would have processed it all by now, although I don’t know how high it was to start with. Assuming not much has been processed yet as I didn’t see any nitrates. I turned up the water to 79 from 76 in hopes that it will help speed the cycle along.
The kids were disappointed as they were hoping for no ammonia and putting the first fish in, but they are learning an importantly lesson. Good things in reefs don’t happen fast.
They shook it off pretty quick and We started cementing the rocks together using the nyos reef cement. It took a couple tries to get the ratio of water to cement right, but once I figured it out I really liked how quick it set. Would be nice to be able to mix up a little more at a time, but it’s nice having it dry quickly for being able to do larger structures quickly.
I was impressed that the kindergartners were able to answer my question about where the bacteria live. In the sand and on the holes in the rocks. They didn’t quite get the what is the food for the bacteria part, but there was a good guess of molecules!
how new was all the stuff that you put in it? If it was extremely barren rock and sand the 1.0 might still be the upswing ammonia, in which case it probably won't get much higher unfortunately such a low concentration means the bacteria that takes care of that will come out more slowly due to lack of "food"
Yeah if it had actual rotting/dead stuff in it (i.e. not bleached like what I did) it should spike ammonia fairly quickly. Almost guaranteed that 1.0 is the down swing.


You have kids.
It would be no end of fun to let them add some ammonia the all-natural way.


Supporting Member
Might need a please do not tap on glass sign for the kids

Dory is sensitive to glass poking.

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