South American Cichlids • How do you guys do it? Raise Kh while keeping Ph at neutral?

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How do you guys do it? Raise Kh while keeping Ph at neutral?

Postby easywolf31 » Wed May 17, 2017 7:18 am

Hey all, I came by here in case you guys might have some answers to this problem. I'm keeping Red Jewel cichlids and Green Texas and planning on getting a Green Terror as well. How do you guys liwer the Ph while highering the Kh? Say you want to keep the Ph between 6.5-6.9 and the KH around 5. How can you lower the Ph without lowering the Kh. My washroom tap water comes out with a ph of 8.2 and Kh of 2.

I added some bogwood, just added more peat, almond leaves and ph has dropped to a steady 7.1-7.3 but kh down to 2. Hmmm.
145G C. Mobas, J. Marlieris, N. Leleupi
135G Blue Dolphins, C. Kigomas, P. Polleni, J. Marksmithi
75G Green Terrors
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55G Tanganyika & Malawi Growouts
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Re: How do you guys do it? Raise Kh while keeping Ph at neut

Postby Iggy Newcastle » Thu May 18, 2017 7:13 am

Texas cichlids are from Central America. Those waters can be harder than the Rift Lakes. Jewel cichlids available are tank raised, and can handle a wide range of water parameters.

I can't answer your question, really. But you should add baking soda to bring your kH to a stable point of about 5-7. Whatever you're doing for your Tangs should be done for this tank.
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Re: How do you guys do it? Raise Kh while keeping Ph at neut

Postby CeeJay » Thu May 18, 2017 9:16 am

My water is very hard with gh & kh almost off the scale. I have soft water tanks so for me the only way to get soft water is to use RO water. I mix it with 10 to 20% hard water to get the kh up to were I want it and then use a buffer to get the ph around 6.8 to 7.0. I use a holding tank so I can get it just the way I like it before I use it. There are products out there that raise kh so there other ways to do it but it may mess with your ph.
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Re: How do you guys do it? Raise Kh while keeping Ph at neut

Postby easywolf31 » Mon May 22, 2017 11:44 pm

Iggy Newcastle wrote:Texas cichlids are from Central America. Those waters can be harder than the Rift Lakes. Jewel cichlids available are tank raised, and can handle a wide range of water parameters.

I can't answer your question, really. But you should add baking soda to bring your kH to a stable point of about 5-7. Whatever you're doing for your Tangs should be done for this tank.


Hey guys, thanks for the advice, I added 4 teaspoons of baking soda to a 75 Gallon and it raised my KH from 2 to about 5.5. It raised my PH too though, by perhaps about .3-.4?

I'm curious as to where it will drop too in 48 hours.

What KH & PH level would you suggest I bring it for an Aquarium housing a Green Terror, as I just got one this weekend. If you can tell me the KH, PH & GH level of the riers they come from in Peru & Ecuador I'd appreciate it.

On a side note, I see sites mentionning Green Texas cichlids KH level is recommended at 10-14? Is that for real? When you said hard water, did you mean the GH level? Thanks.
145G C. Mobas, J. Marlieris, N. Leleupi
135G Blue Dolphins, C. Kigomas, P. Polleni, J. Marksmithi
75G Green Terrors
60G Peacocks & Haps
60G Brichardis
55G Tanganyika & Malawi Growouts
55G Cubans & Green Texas
45G Electric Blue Jack Dempseys
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Re: How do you guys do it? Raise Kh while keeping Ph at neut

Postby rjracinginc » Sat May 27, 2017 9:05 pm

I just had a water test completed today. My water is perfect except the PH was neutral. I was told that for Texas Cichlids, you want the PH to be 8.2. Hope that information is correct because I just mixed up the stuff to increase the level to that point.
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Re: How do you guys do it? Raise Kh while keeping Ph at neut

Postby easywolf31 » Sun May 28, 2017 6:34 pm

rjracinginc wrote:I just had a water test completed today. My water is perfect except the PH was neutral. I was told that for Texas Cichlids, you want the PH to be 8.2. Hope that information is correct because I just mixed up the stuff to increase the level to that point.


7.5 is better for Texas
145G C. Mobas, J. Marlieris, N. Leleupi
135G Blue Dolphins, C. Kigomas, P. Polleni, J. Marksmithi
75G Green Terrors
60G Peacocks & Haps
60G Brichardis
55G Tanganyika & Malawi Growouts
55G Cubans & Green Texas
45G Electric Blue Jack Dempseys
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Re: How do you guys do it? Raise Kh while keeping Ph at neut

Postby Iggy Newcastle » Sun May 28, 2017 10:19 pm

The cichlids of North and Central America generally come from hard waters. The fish you're likely to get are tank raised, so don't focus on exact levels. For the Texas, as long as your pH is stable and over 7 you should be fine.

From cichlidae.com concerning Rivulatus, an observation made-

pH about 7; 3°KH; at most 1°dGH
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Re: How do you guys do it? Raise Kh while keeping Ph at neut

Postby easywolf31 » Tue May 30, 2017 2:21 pm

Iggy Newcastle wrote:Texas cichlids are from Central America. Those waters can be harder than the Rift Lakes. Jewel cichlids available are tank raised, and can handle a wide range of water parameters.

The cichlids of North and Central America generally come from hard waters.

From cichlidae.com concerning Rivulatus, an observation made-

pH about 7; 3°KH; at most 1°dGH


Thanks for that info!

So I gave up and bought Acid buffer and Alkaline buffer. I don't use RO but would like to lower my steady pH in my 75 gallon Red Jewel tank (w/1-2 plants) from 7.3-7.7 to 6.8-6.9 and higher my Kh from 3 to 5. Can someone tell me a way to calculate a dosage here? I am also using peat and driftwood but it just tickles the pH. Thanks and hopefully this won't add much to the needed TDS amount of 20-50/ppm.

As for the Red Texas and (Mix Green Texas) I've read they come from a very Alkaline & hard water area of the lower Rio Grande river. So I will not be bothering with the pH but would like to really higher the Kh from 3 to 8-10 and Gh from 5 to about 10. Total TDS here is about 600ppm, nearing the Tanganyika setups I have!

And lastly, for the Green Terror I have, I read from very reliable River Geology books that the Peruvian & Ecuadorian rivers they come from averaged for 5 years with a pH of 7.5-8.5 but with a TDS of 100-200? How is that possible? I won't be messing with the pH here. It's weird that the American Cichlid Salt I bought says the amount needed is double that of the Central American dosage, but from what I've read it should be the opposite, I don't understand that either.
145G C. Mobas, J. Marlieris, N. Leleupi
135G Blue Dolphins, C. Kigomas, P. Polleni, J. Marksmithi
75G Green Terrors
60G Peacocks & Haps
60G Brichardis
55G Tanganyika & Malawi Growouts
55G Cubans & Green Texas
45G Electric Blue Jack Dempseys
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Re: How do you guys do it? Raise Kh while keeping Ph at neut

Postby Iggy Newcastle » Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:45 pm

Calculating a dosage can be done by testing on a certain known volume like a 5 gallon bucket or a 10 gallon tank. But for the Jewels I wouldn't bother with the water much. Maybe raise the kH with baking soda, but that's it.

For the Texas- what do you do to buffer the Tangs? Epsom will bring up the gH.

I don't understand those instructions either. I would say that a lot of sources online or YouTube do not know what the waters from Mexico/Central America are really like. They often get lumped in with South America. Same with Malawi. Sometimes called 'liquid rock.' Just not the case. In the end, hitting these exact numbers concerning water quality is not vital, especially for fish you're finding in a local pet store.
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Re: How do you guys do it? Raise Kh while keeping Ph at neut

Postby easywolf31 » Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:46 am

Iggy Newcastle wrote:Calculating a dosage can be done by testing on a certain known volume like a 5 gallon bucket or a 10 gallon tank. But for the Jewels I wouldn't bother with the water much. Maybe raise the kH with baking soda, but that's it.

For the Texas- what do you do to buffer the Tangs? Epsom will bring up the gH.

I don't understand those instructions either. I would say that a lot of sources online or YouTube do not know what the waters from Mexico/Central America are really like. They often get lumped in with South America. Same with Malawi. Sometimes called 'liquid rock.' Just not the case. In the end, hitting these exact numbers concerning water quality is not vital, especially for fish you're finding in a local pet store.


Hi Iggy! Thanks for the info, that's exactly what I started doing, you're right.

For the Red Jewels I see the pH Dropping in the 6.9-7.1 zone and the Kh is always in the 2-4 zone, 2 (When or if I add Acid Buffer), so just a little Baking Soda is more than enough, about 2 tsp's for the 75 gallon tank.

For the Green Texas, I've read they live in waters with about 7.9-8.2PH, 10-14 Kh and sometimes their waters reach 20+ GH, probably around 10-14 most of the time though. I got a lot of the info from reliable sources like here and Cichlidae.

But back to American Cichlid Salt, Seachem says it raises only the hardness. I added a full dose in the 60 gallon tank and it didn't raise the GH much. I will try again today. The first day it went from 6.5 Gh to 7, than I added more and it went to 7 again lol. I am trying to raise the Gh in the Green-Red Texas aquarium to 10. If I add Epsom Salt, which works better, the only thing that bothers me is it's made of Magnesium Sulfate. The North-Central American rivers, etc are made up of much more calcium than magnesium unlike the Tanganyikan water. Do you think I can try adding/finding Calcium Sulfate instead, mixed with 20-30% epsom salt. Say a mixture of 70/30% Calcium Sulfate/Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salt). Is there a type of salt we can buy that is 100% Calcium Sulfate? I noticed only some form of Gypsum Calcium Sulfate..

And coming back to the Green Terror waters, I did some research and found they live in 7.5-8.7 pH type of waters in Northern Peru/Southern Ecuador. What would that mean for Kh and Gh? They say the TDS in that area is around 100-200ppm.

I know I wrote and babbled a lot lol, but any info you can give me really helps. Thanks again.
145G C. Mobas, J. Marlieris, N. Leleupi
135G Blue Dolphins, C. Kigomas, P. Polleni, J. Marksmithi
75G Green Terrors
60G Peacocks & Haps
60G Brichardis
55G Tanganyika & Malawi Growouts
55G Cubans & Green Texas
45G Electric Blue Jack Dempseys
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Re: How do you guys do it? Raise Kh while keeping Ph at neut

Postby BC in SK » Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:44 pm

easywolf31 wrote:And coming back to the Green Terror waters, I did some research and found they live in 7.5-8.7 pH type of waters in Northern Peru/Southern Ecuador. What would that mean for Kh and Gh? They say the TDS in that area is around 100-200ppm.

This is the correct info:
Iggy Newcastle wrote:pH about 7; 3°KH; at most 1°dGH

It is based on numerous ACTUAL measurements taken by ichthyologists in Andinoacara rivulatus habitat. Bear in mind there is lot's of confusion and mis-information because there is more then one species that goes by the name of green terror. Andinoacara stalbergi comes from a completely different habitat....alkaline, very hard and sometimes brackish. But this is a rare species in the hobby that you are unlikely to encounter and can easily be distinguished from the common green terror by it's reverse scale pattern.


easywolf31 wrote:
So I gave up and bought Acid buffer and Alkaline buffer. I don't use RO but would like to lower my steady pH in my 75 gallon Red Jewel tank (w/1-2 plants) from 7.3-7.7 to 6.8-6.9 and higher my Kh from 3 to 5. Can someone tell me a way to calculate a dosage here? I am also using peat and driftwood but it just tickles the pH. Thanks and hopefully this won't add much to the needed TDS amount of 20-50/ppm.

I think you are really going down the wrong track here. Especially for hardy aquarium strains. First of all, we don't know the original collection point of jewel cichlids .....so despite what ever recommendations you may read, I don't think we even have the foggiest idea what the actual water parameters they originate from. Secondly, they have been in captivity for well over 1/2 a century now and it's very questionable whether it would even matter now or not. That they would actually somehow do better in softer more acidic water.....I don't buy it one bit.
Keep in mind stability is most important. If you screw around with water parameters and it changes every water change....then that is not stability! :lol: Of course these are hardy species that will probably do OK, even despite what you do to them.
If your KH is very low....then maybe add a little baking soda and call it a day.
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Re: How do you guys do it? Raise Kh while keeping Ph at neut

Postby easywolf31 » Sun Jun 11, 2017 1:31 pm

BC in SK wrote:
easywolf31 wrote:This is the correct info:
Iggy Newcastle wrote:pH about 7; 3°KH; at most 1°dGH

It is based on numerous ACTUAL measurements taken by ichthyologists in Andinoacara rivulatus habitat. Bear in mind there is lot's of confusion and mis-information because there is more then one species that goes by the name of green terror. Andinoacara stalbergi comes from a completely different habitat....alkaline, very hard and sometimes brackish. But this is a rare species in the hobby that you are unlikely to encounter and can easily be distinguished from the common green terror by it's reverse scale pattern.

Ok. I was going with some research from what seems to be very reliable research done over the course of some years into the Tumbes River in Peru and what people had ACTUALLY measured there. I didn't exactly pull the information out of my butt lol. Here is a quote from this book:
https://books.google.ca/books?id=CT4nAQ ... tds&f=true

I subsrcibed to the cichlidae website afterwards and saw that info too pH 7, KH 3, GH 1...so I guess that's the correct info than..
.

easywolf31 wrote:
So I gave up and bought Acid buffer and Alkaline buffer. I don't use RO but would like to lower my steady pH in my 75 gallon Red Jewel tank (w/1-2 plants) from 7.3-7.7 to 6.8-6.9 and higher my Kh from 3 to 5. Can someone tell me a way to calculate a dosage here? I am also using peat and driftwood but it just tickles the pH. Thanks and hopefully this won't add much to the needed TDS amount of 20-50/ppm.

I think you are really going down the wrong track here. Especially for hardy aquarium strains. First of all, we don't know the original collection point of jewel cichlids .....so despite what ever recommendations you may read, I don't think we even have the foggiest idea what the actual water parameters they originate from. Secondly, they have been in captivity for well over 1/2 a century now and it's very questionable whether it would even matter now or not. That they would actually somehow do better in softer more acidic water.....I don't buy it one bit.
Keep in mind stability is most important. If you screw around with water parameters and it changes every water change....then that is not stability! :lol: Of course these are hardy species that will probably do OK, even despite what you do to them.
If your KH is very low....then maybe add a little baking soda and call it a day.


You know that's exactly what I decided a few days ago. Drop a few tsps of Baking Soda and call it a day. Especially after realizing my Red Jewels were actually just a well selected bred species of Hemichromis Guttatus and not Lifalili. The Cichlidae website shows it and I even went as far as asking the Hemechromis expert Anton Lamboj, which he confirmed too as Gutatus. Those can do well in 6-8 pH..

Now do you have a way of lowering GH, for my Green Terror tank, I'm about to buy an API pillow softener..anyone ever used one?

Thanks
145G C. Mobas, J. Marlieris, N. Leleupi
135G Blue Dolphins, C. Kigomas, P. Polleni, J. Marksmithi
75G Green Terrors
60G Peacocks & Haps
60G Brichardis
55G Tanganyika & Malawi Growouts
55G Cubans & Green Texas
45G Electric Blue Jack Dempseys
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Re: How do you guys do it? Raise Kh while keeping Ph at neut

Postby BC in SK » Sun Jun 11, 2017 2:17 pm

easywolf31 wrote:
Ok. I was going with some research from what seems to be very reliable research done over the course of some years into the Tumbes River in Peru and what people had ACTUALLY measured there. I didn't exactly pull the information out of my butt lol. Here is a quote from this book:
https://books.google.ca/books?id=CT4nAQ ... tds&f=true

Fair enough. Green terror has a large enough range that it is quite conceivable that you could find alternate water parameters some where with in it's range. From what I understand, the Tumbes river would be the very most Southern range of Andinoacara rivulatus. Higher pH. TDS that is still not very hard, though probably higher values then the KH 3 and at most dGH 1 listed at cichladae.com from other areas with in it's habitat.
easywolf31 wrote:Now do you have a way of lowering GH, for my Green Terror tank, I'm about to buy an API pillow softener..anyone ever used one?

Another way to lower GH would be to use a certain amount of RO or distilled water.
But really, I've never heard of anyone going to the trouble for aquarium strain GT, nor do I really believe there would be any real benefit for the fish.
They are most typically kept in tap water. If there was great benefit in keeping the fish in low calcium/magnesium water.......then you might expect people in different cities to have much different success keeping this fish in regular tap water. And I really don't think that is the case for such a hardy, common fish.
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Re: How do you guys do it? Raise Kh while keeping Ph at neut

Postby easywolf31 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:59 am

Just trying to give them the best possible conditions. :P
145G C. Mobas, J. Marlieris, N. Leleupi
135G Blue Dolphins, C. Kigomas, P. Polleni, J. Marksmithi
75G Green Terrors
60G Peacocks & Haps
60G Brichardis
55G Tanganyika & Malawi Growouts
55G Cubans & Green Texas
45G Electric Blue Jack Dempseys
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