Your jelly friends are in danger, that’s what!
Let me start by saying this video and post were inspired by a real customer of ours, and the tank pictured is his real system. He was doing everything right to cycle his tank before he ordered his jellies, but for some reason the bacteria just weren’t doing what they were supposed to and his tank’s ammonia levels wouldn’t go down.
As we can see in the video, his tank was not quite level on its stand, and that was forcing the water to trickle unevenly over one side of the drip tray and bypass the other side. While that might not sound like such a big deal, it’s actually a recipe for disaster.
When your tank is leaning to one side, most of the water will obviously tend to flow that way, which means that all of your system water is flowing through only a very small part of your filter media. So not only will that water not be filtered properly, but the bacteria on the dry side of the filter media won’t be able to survive well enough to cycle your system and keep it healthy. Beyond that, keeping your tank on uneven surfaces can create uneven flow from the spray bars, cause a full sump to overflow and create troublesome air bubbles.
So what happens if you notice your tank isn’t quite level? Don’t panic! Just do what this customer did: wedge something underneath the low side of your system and adjust it until the drip tray gets proper flow! A simple fix like this can be the difference between a healthy system and toxic water, so keep an eye out!