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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've never really payed attention to water chemistry apart from PH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels.
Recently purchased API's GH and KH test kit to check water hardness. The only thing I add to the water is cichlid lake salt

Tap water
PH 7.4
KH - 4
GH - 7

Tank water
PH 7.4
KH - 4
GH - 11

1. Are these levels OK?
2. Should I add anything else?
3. Should I stop with the salt?
 

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shiftyfox said:
Tank water
PH 7.4
KH - 4
GH - 11
Is this just after or just before your weekly water change? Levels are fine if consistent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Water change was 3 days ago. Just wondered if KH should be higher but guess this would then mess with the Ph..
 

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There are various dynamics that affect pH but it looks like yours is stable, which is the bottom line. I wouldn't mess with anything.
 

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shiftyfox said:
3. Should I stop with the salt?
If you stop with the Cichlid Lake Salt then looks like your GH would go back to 7, which is also fine for most africans. But I'd make the change gradually over a few weeks' water changes.
 

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I would not stop with the salt. 7 might work but 7.4 would work better.
 

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DJRansome said:
I would not stop with the salt. 7 might work but 7.4 would work better.
Cichlid Lake Salt doesn't affect the water's pH.
 

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Fogelhund said:
ken31cay said:
DJRansome said:
I would not stop with the salt. 7 might work but 7.4 would work better.
Cichlid Lake Salt doesn't affect the water's pH.
That really depends on the recipe in question, as many/most do.
If OP is using Seachem Cichlid Lake Salt (my assumption), then it won't affect pH.
 

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Fogelhund said:
Maybe they should just use the buffer recipe on this website then.
Plus one. Also agree that lots of things are labeled cichlid salt and could have sodium bicarbonate as well as other ingredients.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I use a teaspoon of Seachem lake salt and a teaspoon of Epsom salt on each weekly water change.
 

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shiftyfox said:
I use a teaspoon of Seachem lake salt and a teaspoon of Epsom salt on each weekly water change.
You can discontinue as both of these only affect the GH but not the pH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm not trying to increase the Ph, I'm quite happy with a stable 7.4

I just thought adding the salt would introduce some minerals to the tank water
 

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GH of 7 is sufficient. You already have minerals in your water. This is why you test before you add chemicals.

The KH of 4 could be a problem, but if you are saying your pH of 7.4 is 100% stable then see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So what are the likely effects to the fish with low values of both Kh and Ph
In my case a Ph of 7.4 and Kh of 4..?

Does this mean I could have low oxygen levels and higher carbon dioxide levels in the tank..?
 

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shiftyfox said:
So what are the likely effects to the fish with low values of both Kh and Ph
In my case a Ph of 7.4 and Kh of 4..?

Does this mean I could have low oxygen levels and higher carbon dioxide levels in the tank..?
I don't think either of these will be affected much by your tank's pH and KH levels. To ensure high level of dissolved oxygen make sure there is sufficient water surface agitation and water temperature within the fishes' proper range (not too high). For low carbon dioxide keep the tank as clean/clear of fish waste/uneaten food as you can, also maintain the weekly water changes.
 

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shiftyfox said:
I'm not trying to increase the Ph, I'm quite happy with a stable 7.4

I just thought adding the salt would introduce some minerals to the tank water
If your pH remains at 7.4 three days after each water change then it's stable. Since my public water source is r/o water, I use Seachem Cichlid Lake Salt to re-add trace minerals (and increase GH), but most water supplies have all the mineral compounds you need. If you find you do need to add more minerals, then Kent RO Right will also do this and will not increase GH quite as much as Seachem Cichlid Lake Salt does.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks Ken.

Yeah I have a wave maker for surface agitation and use a small air stone too so hopefully there's enough oxygen in the water.
And water changes are done approx every 5 days.
I may stop using the cichlid salt then and Gh will drop back to 7 from 11.
 
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