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I am about to do a new tank with African cichlids
I want to go with a nice colored sand for substrate
After doing a little research I came across
CaribSea Eco-Complete Cichlid Sand, now my question is
If I use this sand, will it buffer the water to 8.2 pH
Or do I have to use crushed Coral still to buffer the pH to 8.0-8.2pph? Also if anyone has any suggestions of a colored sand
That offers "benefits" please let me know
 

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Welcome to Cichlid-forum!!

I don't find the "benefits" of various substrates live up to the marketing and there are disadvantages as well.

Colored substrates have become less popular and if available may be gravel sized...which has disadvantages for African cichlids.

When new to the hobby I bought aragonite and it has never raised my pH. Subsequent purchases of substrate have been 100% pool filter sand. It is clean, it is affordable, it looks natural and it has a good grain size that works with the Python.

What is the pH of your tap water? Chances are you don't need to add chemicals other than dechlorinator.
 

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If I'm correct, the Bronx has kind of hard, close to neutral pH tap water, right? Idk for sure though. Test your tap water. Out here in MO, the tap water is very hard and has a high pH, so I use inert substrates and rocks. If I did use the buffering stuff, it probably would not have too much of an effect on the water. It would just be another expense. My advice to you is don't try to chase water parameters, other than nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, and maybe phosphate. Most of the country has decent tap water. Anyways, if you plan to purchase your fish locally, I would assume that the water parameters in their tank are similar to the parameters in your tank. Even if the fish you purchase were not raised in similar parameters to your tank, it wouldn't matter too much as most African cichlids are very hardy and adaptable. I would only worry if your tap water has a pH less than 7.
 

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I use very fine crushed coral for my substrate and works great. Fish can sift through it and doesn't get sucked up the python when cleaning.
Also buffers my water from 6.6 to 7.4
 
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