Weekly Update – 1/24/2016

By: Kevin | January 24, 2016

Since last update:

  1. Water top offs to account for evaporation.

Measurements have really stabilized. ph ~7.6, Ammonia ~0, Nitrite ~0, Nitrate ~0, and new for this post Phosphates which appear to be off the charts.


The water looks crystal clear. But if you look closely algae is on the rocks and all over my fake plant and the back wall.


Weekly Update – 1/4/2016 – Fluval BioMax

By: Kevin | January 4, 2016

Since last update I’ve done very little by design. I have been trying to do lots of little water changes however I don’t think that has allowed my biological filtration to find its groove. I decided to hold back on the water changes to allow my biological filtration to do its thing.

Since last update:

  1. Added 2 boxes of Fluval BioMax to my 2nd chamber in my Biocube. This brings my total biological filration to stock bioballs and 3 boxes of Fluval BioMax in chamber 2. I believe this is working. My Ammonia has remained the same if not down slightly, Nitrites have jump noticeably, Nitrates have increase slightly.


Added two boxes to increase my biological filtration.
Fluval BioMax
pH ~6.8, Ammonia ~1.0-2.0, Nitrite ~1.0-2.0, Nitrate ~10.0-20.0
The tank has cleared up considerably since last post.

How to prepare SD card for RASPBIAN JESSIE from Mac OS X

By: Kevin | December 28, 2015

I recently purchased a Raspberry Pi 2. I needed to put the OS on the SD card I had gotten. I don’t want to forget how I did this, so I’m writing it down.

  1. Download the OS image from Raspberry Pi site.
  2. Open terminal and go to the file and run: openssl sha1 /path/to/file.zip
  3. Make sure the sha1 matches whats on the download site to confirm file isn’t corrupted.
  4. Open Disk Utility on your Mac and format your SD card, I used FAT32
  5. In terminal, find your SD card by running: diskutil list
  6. Once you know what disk is your SD card unmount all partitions with: sudo diskutil unmount /dev/disk2s1 (Repeat as needed for all partitions)
  7. Unzip the Raspbian file by double clicking it, it should unzip a .img file.
  8. Lastly copy the image to the SD card by running: sudo dd bs=1m if=/path/of/img/file.img of=/dev/desk2 (Whatever disk it is. There is no progress bar so depending on your hardware this can take some time. Be patient.)

Weekly Update – 12/28/2015 – Tank PH Keeps Dropping

By: Kevin | December 28, 2015

Since the last update:

  1. 20% water change – 50/50 Tap and RO water
  2. Vacuumed gravel
  3. Removed 3 large cups of tank water and replaced with RO. RO pH read > 7.5. Hoping this will bump up the pH naturally a little.



pH has dropped significantly ~6.0, Ammonia ~ 1.0-2.0, Nitrite ~0, Nitrate ~5.0-10.0
pH has dropped significantly ~6.0, Ammonia ~ 1.0-2.0, Nitrite ~0, Nitrate ~5.0-10.0



The darker blue the higher pH. A few weeks I ago I did a little pH test and the results were quit different. Tap water pH has always been much higher pH however my RO pH has jumped quit a bit.
pH difference from tank



This picture was taken 12/17/15, RO pH level is much lower (left). Tank water was also much lower than I’d like to see it.



Still not as clear as I’d like.
Still not as clear as I'd like.

Water Test – 12/23/2015

By: Kevin | December 23, 2015

Tested the water again:

  1. PH: steady ~6.5-7.0, Ammonia ~1.0, Nitrite ~0.25-0.50, Nitrate 5.0-10.0





Weekly Update – 12/21/2015

By: Kevin | December 21, 2015

Since last time:

  1. 10% water change RO/Tap split to help keep PH up some
  2. Water clouding again and looking a little slimy on water surface
  3. Ammonia still showing readings and Nitrates show readings for the first time
  4. Added Fluval biological ceramic filtration to my Bioballs and carbon.

IMG_2637A little cloudy

IMG_2638PH ~7.0, Ammonia ~0.50-1.0, Nitrate 0, Nitrate ~5-10

IMG_2640Water looks a little slimy at the top.

Weekly Update – 12/17/2015

By: Kevin | December 17, 2015

Since last post:

  1. 5 of my 6 Cardinal Tetras died!
  2. Tested water and found my PH was way too low! ~ 6.0
  3. 10% water change with tap water to try increase PH naturally
  4. I moved the remaining Goldfish to the a different tank and add 3 White Cloud Tetra’s I had.

PH Test: To compare RO water on left, tank water on right. PH is way to low!


Ammonia Test: RO on left, Ammonia showing on right. (Darker the green, higher the ammonia)

Weekly Update – 12/11/2015

By: Kevin | December 11, 2015

Changes since last post:

  1. 10% water change with RO
  2. Change carbon media
  3. Bought 6 Cardinal Tetras


Weekly Update – 11/23/2015

By: Kevin | November 23, 2015

Since last post:

  1. Water started to cloud
  2. 10% water change with RO
  3. Added turbo start to get bacteria going
  4. Ammonia spiked over 1 ppm
  5. 1 Goldfish died

Weekly Update – 11/19/2015

By: Kevin | November 19, 2015
  1. Did one 10% water change using RO water
  2. Water cleared up
  3. A little old saltwater algae remaining in back right wall




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