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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have recipes that they use to replicate the different salts found in Malwi, Tanganyika, and Victoria?

Doran
 

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Charlutz said:
I just use a variation of the rift lake buffer recipe in the forum library. 3 parts epsom, 3 parts baking soda and 1 part instant ocean or whatever marine salt is on sale. Keeps my ph, gh and kh where they need to be.
Charlutz,

Thank you. But I am hoping people have different recipe for different lakes. Which does your represent best?

Doran
 

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livebearium said:
Charlutz,

Thank you. But I am hoping people have different recipe for different lakes. Which does your represent best?

Doran
I keep Tanganyikans, but the proportions of the mix depend on your base water quality plus any buffers in your tank. What works for me or anyone else won't necessarily work for you. I experimented over 3 months or so recording ph, gh and kh levels in a log with every weekly water change til I found what worked. I wanted a mix that would get me to 8.4 at least in ph with gh and kh levels in the mid to high teens. I noticed strong color changes in my fish, especially the cyprichromis once I got the hardness to those levels. If you are more concerned with accurately matching the lakes (it's debateable if this is necessary, but many do it) then you might be better off buying one of the commercial buffers designed to match the three lakes. I think Seachem sells them, among others. If you are more inclined to adjust your ph, kh and gh levels, you have to create your own mix of ingredients. It's not a set recipe for everybody.
 

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livebearium said:
Does anyone have recipes that they use to replicate the different salts found in Malwi, Tanganyika, and Victoria?

Doran
I have an old book that includes a chapter with water analyses for the rift lakes. The biggie is that all of these lakes have a higher level of iodine than typical fresh waters. The level in Tanganyika is very high. Adding a reef iodine product to your rift lake tanks is very important since it depletes from the aquarium quickly due to biological activity. Following the dosing directions for a reef tank will be very safe and yet adequate for even Tanganyikan cichlids. It is amazing what a difference this makes in fry growth and development, and in the behaviors of adult fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
For purposes of this thread, lets assume we are starting with RO or DI water, with little to no impurities.

Thanks McDaphnia, thats exactly the kind of information I am looking for. Anyone got any info on Victorian (the lake and area, not the era) waters?

Doran
 

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just 1 (for someone maybe stupid) question.

Im planning to make my own buffer, allready got the soda bicarbona, epsom salt and tropic marine pro reef sea salt.

I really wouldnt like to make a new mixture every week when i partially change my water, can i put them all together in the propper amount offcourse, and then add some water to dissolve them, so i can then put same amounts of it in liquid form in the aquarium?
 

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I've found it more convenient to keep them in a sealed bucket. I don't know how many tanks you have or how much buffer you will use, but I use 3 cups a week of the buffer for my 2 tanks (250g total). I'd need at least 5g of water to keep it dissolved, if not more, just for one week. That doesn't seem very efficient to me. I note that the mixture does cake readily even though I store it in an airtight bucket, which means I need to stir it before use.
 

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Charlutz said:
I've found it more convenient to keep them in a sealed bucket. I don't know how many tanks you have or how much buffer you will use, but I use 3 cups a week of the buffer for my 2 tanks (250g total). I'd need at least 5g of water to keep it dissolved, if not more, just for one week. That doesn't seem very efficient to me. I note that the mixture does cake readily even though I store it in an airtight bucket, which means I need to stir it before use.
If you can find a source of water such as a well or spring that already matches the characteristics of the rift lakes. Most of the rift lake fish, especially the cichlids are very adaptable but the critical factor is iodine, which is not well addressed inthese formulas here. It is used up rapicly inthe aquarium and needs to be replenished, while some of the other minerals here would only need to be replenished for what is removed during water changes. Kind of gives you an idea of how biologically active they are compared to minerals that get used and used up by life in the water.
 

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hmm, i have a 330 liter mbuna, that about 80 gal. I allready noticed that you need a lot of water to dissolve it.

I have very soft tap water (about 6.5, and the kH <6°) and i think that the fish werent colouring up propertly, as they do now. I am also adding a malawi tonic, and i am not using regullar salt but sea salt, wich has more that 70 minerals, and one of them also is Iodine.

So you say its okey, if you mix all 3 ingridients in the dry state, and dissove them when you use them?
 

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ssam said:
So you say its okey, if you mix all 3 ingridients in the dry state, and dissove them when you use them?
Yup. I just dump them into the sump or put them under the fill hose during water changes. One time I added too much to my 40g and the fish flashed a bit, but they otherwise ignore it.
 

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Gerry Binczik said:
... the critical factor is iodine...
McD, can you suggest a source on that subject for further reading? It's not that I doubt you, but just that I want to learn more.
The Cichlid Fishes of the Great Lakes of Africa, Fryer & Iles

articles by R. S. A. Beauchamp

I firsthand noticed a great improvement in raising cichlids from Lake Tanganyika after using the reef iodine supplements per personal communication with Jim Langhammer. There was also internet discussion some time ago of wasting away of cichlid fry and "big head" syndrome where the fry stop growing except for the head region, then stop eating and die --- goiter-like symptoms suggesting an iodine deficiency. This is also useful for some livebearing fish which also tend to be from regions where iodine is naturally available.
 

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As i sayed before, Iodine umongst more that 70 other minerals and basic elements is in most reef salts ? Thats why im using the special reef salt, and the improvement in the fish is awesome with this buffer. The colour up much more, and the black spots (wich i had a problem with) are almost gone on the fish!!
Also they have a greater appetite i think. Grazing on algee much more...
 

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ssam said:
As i sayed before, Iodine umongst more that 70 other minerals and basic elements is in most reef salts ? Thats why im using the special reef salt, and the improvement in the fish is awesome with this buffer. The colour up much more, and the black spots (wich i had a problem with) are almost gone on the fish!!
Also they have a greater appetite i think. Grazing on algee much more...
As a rule, reef salts, as opposed to marine salts for fish, have more calcium in them. Marine salts that claim high numbers of trace elements as another rule include all the contaminants from their recipe ingredients. These may but probably won't be in proportion to the amount of that element found in real sea water. Calcium is used by growing corals but won't be used up by fish in a marine reef only tank. Salts and minerals do not evaporate, so unless they are being absorbed by a life process, they will build up in the water with every bit of evaporation.
 

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That is true yes...

The problem is, that i've never seen that its possible here to get reef salts?:) (i'm from Slovenia, Europe)
 

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So in short is it better to use Marine Salt or Reef Salt or just goto the Groc. Store and buy Sea Salt?
Also is it better to not use them at every water change to prevent build up?
 
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