Aquarium Setup • Should I buffer

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Should I buffer

Postby AV8TOR » Wed Jan 01, 2020 10:57 am

The have a established 75 gallon mbuna tank and fish are now beginning to breed. My tap water after 24 hours is pH 8.0, GH 9 and KH 5-6. I have buffered to raise the KH to 10 but now curious if it’s really necessary. SeaChem reports lower levels than most at 4-8. What would you folks do? I do 50% 5-7 day water changes.
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Re: Should I buffer

Postby ken31cay » Wed Jan 01, 2020 11:22 am

It really depends on your unique tank dynamics. Did you monitor pH before you started using the buffer and if so what fluctuations did you encounter?

My tap water is ~ pH 6.5 KH 0 and GH 0, and I buffer to KH 9 pH 8.1 but before this my pH was extremely unstable and would rise at first then usually drop, or sometimes rise depending on tank bioload, feeding, water changes, tank maintenance.

Your water does have some buffering capacity. If you haven't already you could gradually transition back to straight tap then monitor pH every 12 hours for a couple weeks to see what fluctuations occur.
450gal Frontosa (blue Zaire Moba) & haps
180gal school of Red Rainbowfish
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Re: Should I buffer

Postby AV8TOR » Wed Jan 01, 2020 11:37 am

I test at least twice a week. Before I started adding buffer my tank would range between 7.8 and 8.0. Never saw it below 7.8. After using buffer pegged at 8.0. I forgot to add that I do have a bag of crushed coral in one of my filters (Eheim 2215 about 1-3/4” deep)
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Re: Should I buffer

Postby DJRansome » Wed Jan 01, 2020 12:07 pm

Because your KH is over 4 you might be able to skip the buffering. Try it. Fluctuation between 7.8 and 8.0 is acceptable at the time of a water chanage...I would not want it to be any more.

I don't know what this means "SeaChem reports lower levels than most at 4-8."
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Should I buffer

Postby ken31cay » Wed Jan 01, 2020 12:16 pm

I assume your tap pH is 7.8, IME upward changes in pH have less negative effect on fish than pH drops. If your fish weren't affected by the pH change then you should be good to go.

When I kept Discus they were sensitive to miniscule changes in pH, I had to go so far as to let my new water sit overnight in brute containers for my water changes the following day otherwise they were lethargic and their colors were faded, and more prone to illness. So it also depends on which fish you are keeping.
450gal Frontosa (blue Zaire Moba) & haps
180gal school of Red Rainbowfish
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Re: Should I buffer

Postby AV8TOR » Wed Jan 01, 2020 12:51 pm

DJRansome wrote:
I don't know what this means "SeaChem reports lower levels than most at 4-8."

Look at the second post here
https://www.seachem.com/support/forums/ ... i-cichlids
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Re: Should I buffer

Postby DJRansome » Wed Jan 01, 2020 3:21 pm

So your levels are both above 4. I think it will work without the added chemicals.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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