Back from vacation and tank is looking great. Daphnia population exploded while I was away and cleared most of the greenwater which is great for visibility but not so great for the daphnia population which is probably going to crash if I don't get more quick or add yeast I guess. I got some ASTAXANTHIN powder to make greenwater as @auban
suggested but the quantity is pretty small and I'm not 100% sure it's going to work. Might just add it to the tank and see what happens. Might also reach out to the person who sold me my scuds, which came in greenwater, and see if they can sell me just greenwater. If anyone has greenwater they'd like to donate I'd appreciate it. Happy to pay for shipping.
Thinking of setting up an auto top up with a plastic bin filled with greenwater to keep the daphnia going and to combat evaporation which seems to be an issue with this heated tank. I've never set up an auto top up so if anyone could point me in the right direction that would be great. I have no running water in the space but there's power and a space to put a bin below (behind) or above the tank.
Added some filter media to the outside of the power head just to disperse the suction of the inlet a bit so as not to suck in too many organisms. Added some java moss to the refugium although it wasn't looking too good by the time I got it in the tank. I'm going to add a light to the back of the tank for the plants in the refugium. The refugium screen really cuts the light down.
The culture jars crashed as expected. They really stank when I cleaned them. Set up another one with just gravel and tank water for Moina and some Daphnia Magna just as insurance. Probably need to add yeast or spirulina to that pretty soon. Hoping the other organisms like the blackworms will reproduce enough in the refugium that another back up culture will be unnecessary. Right now everything seems happy. Worms are all over the substrate. I see copepods zipping by, scuds are happy, seed shrimp are multiplying. So far everything I've put in the tank seems ok with the exception of a few of the plants.
Cherries arrive this week and I think the tank is ready for them. The numbers have been rock solid for 3 weeks and the crushed coral I added brought the PH up to 6.8 which is right where I want it. I've added fish food to the tank a few times in the hopes that it will help ensure cycling has occurred. The snails certainly make a lot of waste so from a bio load perspective I'm hoping the RCS will be fine.
Here's the latest pictures and some videos that really show the daphnia. it kind of amazes me that this tank is only 3 weeks old.