General African Cichlid Discussion • Stable vs Ideal PH KH GH

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Stable vs Ideal PH KH GH

Postby Fishworks2015 » Fri Jun 18, 2021 7:45 am

Hi All,

My Ph is 8.1, Kh 4 degrees, GH 4 degrees, out of tap water.
I measured again 24 hours later with aeration, results were the same.
I worry about my GH level and am confused by the different info from different sites.
Malawi Mayhems states that Gh should be 4-6 degrees, Cichlid guide says 7 degrees, Live Aquaria says 12-20 degrees.

Then also, I've tested for Calcium and Magnesium in my water.
Calcium measured 1.6ppm as pure ions. Magnesium measured 7.43ppm as pure ions.

For keeping a show tank, is it suffice to have stable but non-extreme water conditions rather than ideal?
Ofcourse, I do plan on regular water changes to keep it clean and replace trace elements.
I really dont think I should alter water parameters if my fish will simply adapt.
All this info about adding things to water is quite complicated.

Will I be okay with my tap parameters? or should I use a GH booster like Calcium Chloride or Magnesium Sulfate?
I think its just my GH thats the issue here.
I dont think Calcium in the water column is an issue since the fish food I plan to use has Calcium.
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Re: Stable vs Ideal PH KH GH

Postby DJRansome » Fri Jun 18, 2021 9:57 am

I would try it for a while with your parameters. If the KH=4 can keep your pH stable, then go with it. Keeping your pH stable is key.

If your pH fluctuates, I would add a little baking soda to bump the KH up a notch for stability.
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Re: Stable vs Ideal PH KH GH

Postby Fishworks2015 » Fri Jun 18, 2021 10:08 am

DJRansome wrote:I would try it for a while with your parameters. If the KH=4 can keep your pH stable, then go with it. Keeping your pH stable is key.

If your pH fluctuates, I would add a little baking soda to bump the KH up a notch for stability.


Thank You :thumb:
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Re: Stable vs Ideal PH KH GH

Postby sir_keith » Fri Jun 18, 2021 3:08 pm

DJRansome wrote:I would try it for a while with your parameters. If the KH=4 can keep your pH stable, then go with it. Keeping your pH stable is key.

If your pH fluctuates, I would add a little baking soda to bump the KH up a notch for stability.


I agree. Mostly. As stated, keeping the pH stable is the key.

However, adding 'a little' sodium bicarbonate is at best a hit-or-miss, stopgap measure to stabilize the pH. A better solution is to add a buffer that will maintain the bicarbonate ion concentration at appropriate levels over the long-term. One such buffer is crushed coral, which you can incorporate into your substrate. That should be easy for you to come by. Good luck. :thumb:
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Re: Stable vs Ideal PH KH GH

Postby Smeagol » Tue Jun 22, 2021 11:36 am

There's a lot of conflicting info out there about GH, KH, and pH. For example, many internet sources recommend very high GH (9 to 18 dGH) for Malawi cichlids. But in fact, the actual GH of Lake Malawi is in the 3 to 6 dGH range! Seachem recommends 4 to 8 dGH for Malawi cichlids.

See this thread for more details: https://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/vie ... 4&t=454609
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