Finally got home this afternoon. Things look okay. Nothing dead, that I could find anyway in that jungle.
Water test today showed total hardness at 120ppm, pH of 6.5. The CO2 reactor's powerhead has been off since last night. This means that it is functioning as a co2 bell. Also, I removed the sponge, since it the water seemed to be stagnant in the gravel vac chamber.
I guess everything is okay. I am a little worried about the amount of CO2 in the water, but I will watch and see.