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First ever marine tank from the start - 72 x 24 x 30



So tank has been full for a couple of weeks. I added 10 kg of live rock rubble to the sump and left it over Christmas (been about two weeks). Got my Salifert test kits yesterday and current readings are:

Salinity 1.026
pH 8.1
kH 7.7
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 5

and so it begins!


So this weekend I finally added the lights (2 IT2080 Pros), re-jigged the plumbing, and turned on the skimmer. And here it is:



Not the finest photos in the world but you get the idea. No algae in the main tank yet because it wasn't lit until yesterday, but the sump is full of diatoms.


Well I think it's cycled, certainly no ammonia or nitrite there. I was planning to order a few snails to get me started next week and build slowly from there.


Can anyone explain why my kH seems so low? The salt says it should be about 10.5 but I'm getting a reading of 7.7. Bearing in mind there's no corals or fish, or much in the way of life in the tank at all yet, what's using up the kH?

Should I adjust it manually with bicarbonate?