General Aquaria Discussion • Water change/ buffer question

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Water change/ buffer question

Postby Cich-ness » Sun Apr 19, 2015 10:22 am

Hi Everyone, I have been keeping Malawi and tanganyikan cichlids for about ten years now, and I've always used a buffer consisting of baking soda, Epsom salts and a small amount of kosher salt. I've always mixed the buffer in bins prior to adding to the tank because I am worried about swings in the chemistry by adding water directly to the tank and adding the buffer to the tank as well. Of course this adds a significant amount of time to each water change, as I do this process for all of them. Any input on whether this is overkill or if I am doing the right thing by being cautious. Thanks in advance.
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Re: Water change/ buffer question

Postby DJRansome » Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:39 am

What is your pH and KH from the tap?
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Re: Water change/ buffer question

Postby Cich-ness » Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:43 am

7.6 and only 3 drops kh.
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Re: Water change/ buffer question

Postby Cich-ness » Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:56 am

My question is more about if there is a need to buffer the water to change separately or if it's safe to add the water directly to the tank and add the buffer to the tank as well, instead of premixing the buffer and water before adding.
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Re: Water change/ buffer question

Postby Cich-ness » Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:59 am

It buffers to 8.2 max, due to the buffering capacity of the baking soda, I stay away from the seachem buffers because they use soda ash to raise pH further and it's not as stable.
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Re: Water change/ buffer question

Postby GTZ » Sun Apr 19, 2015 1:41 pm

I suppose the only way to know is to test your water after attempting an 'all in one go' method. Maybe drain into a 5 gallon bucket from your tank, remove 50% or whatever your regular change percentage is, then add fresh water and buffer and test for pH and KH to see if there are any large swings.
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Re: Water change/ buffer question

Postby DJRansome » Sun Apr 19, 2015 2:16 pm

I'd back off over time and raise the pH and KH just slightly from your tap. pH=7.8 and KH=4 or 5 would be good. Minimize the difference between your tap and your tank.

I'd also mix the additives in a 5G bucket and pour it in at the same time as the refill hose. You can do that during the refill and eliminate all extra time.
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Re: Water change/ buffer question

Postby Cich-ness » Sun Apr 19, 2015 2:40 pm

Thanks for the responses guys! I have the amount of buffer pretty much dialed in, I'm primarily concerned with how to add it without effecting the chemistry and fish negatively.
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