I believe you have the tightener device installed correctly if I am understanding you. There is only 1 rod, the threaded one. It hooks to a part that slips on to the back of the tensioner, and the rod should be on the engine block side of the tensioner. The rod is left-hand thread. The long nut on top of the threaded rod slips through the bracket with the odd-shaped hole in it. The nut and rod are slipped up through the hole, you can't install the rod through the hole then thread the nut onto the rod from on top of this bracket, the wide part of the nut has to be below the bracket, not on top of it.
When the nut is turned clockwise it tightens the tensioner, the rod is going down towards the tensioner, not pulling up on the rod.