Adding the Water (again)
If you have waited your 24 hours and everything is running fine, then shut down all your equipment. (If you have plugged them all into the switched power strip you bought, it is as easy as flipping one switch.) Now use your plastic tubing and 5-gallon buckets to drain the tank back down. We want to replace the tap water with some deionized (DI) water from the Tap Water Purifier (TWP) so as not to introduce any unwanted elements in the water.
Hook up your TWP and begin the slooooow process of making your DI water. I always set it up in the tub, so if there is an accident, it goes down the drain and not on the floor. The TWP will make about 5 gallons an hour, so plan on an all day thing.
When the tank is full again, return all of your equipment to the ON position and place the cover on the tank. Wait overnight for the temperature to stabilize at the desired 78° F., adjusting as necessary.
Add the Salt
Now with everything working, we can turn this into a saltwater tank. With the water at 78° F, we want to achieve a specific gravity of 1.0240. Most commercial salt mixes will require about 18 cups of mix for this amount of water. Add something just shy of that amount, cover the tank with the tank top and wait 24 hours for the salt to be completely dissolved.
Using your hydrometer, test you specific gravity and compare it to our goal of 1.0240. If you are too low, add a little salt and wait 4 hours and test again. If you are too high, remove some of the salt solution, and replace it with DI water. Wait 30 minutes and test again.
It is a good idea to test and adjust pH to achieve a level of 8.2-8.4. Most commercial salt mixes will stabilize around this level so adjustment is not usually necessary.
With fully functioning equipment, temperature, specific gravity, and pH stabilized, it is time to take the next step; adding rock and sand.
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