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Title says it all. For those of you that aren't "blessed" with having 7.8+ ph, extra hard water right out of your tap, and so you have to use a buffer of some kind, what's the best/easiest way for you to do your water changes?

Currently, my ph from the tap is 7.4, kh and gh both around 7 degrees. I'm following the basic buffer recipe and adding about 1 tsp each of baking soda, epsom salt, and instant ocean salt mix (I also have reef tanks) to a 5 gallon bucket of tap water and then adding that to the tank. I'm on a well, so no dechlorinator is needed, and I mix the water to temp before adding to the bucket. I'm about to move from doing 5 gallon water changes on the 20 gallon tanks to a ~12 gallon change on the 55 and I'd like to know if there's an easier way, or should I just buy a cheap submersible pond pump and get another couple buckets?
 

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You are doing it right. Get the cheap pond submersible pump with a length of vinyl hose, and purchase a larger reservoir. A Rubbermaid, 20 gallon trash can ought to do the trick pretty nicely. :)
 

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If you have wild fish, you are on right track, with just using a larger vessel.

If you have tank raised fish, they are much more tolerant of "non ideal" water conditions and IME consistency is more important than textbook perfect parameters. I have larger tanks, and use hoses for water changes, going directly into the tank. I do add epsom salt to my 180 gal, but that gets thrown into the sump and starts circulating after everything is restarted. I do 50% changes, and don't care for the extra hassle etc. of a storage vessel and pump directly into tank. I turn the water on, get the temp close by feel (back of hand) and add all the dechlor up front and let the tank fill. Occasionally I get distracted and add the dechlor late, but can't say any issues have been caused by this.

Your parameters are not terrible for tangs, but certainly not textbook either. Again, with wild fish, the vessel approach and doctoring your water may be necessary.
 

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7.4 is a fine ph for cichlids. If you want to buffer a bit do it this way: fill a 5 gal and mix in all the buffer for the whole water change. Mix it with a spoon or a power head. Then put it in the tank as you are using a python (or hose) to fill the rest. It will mix just fine in the tank.

so if you are changing 25 gal of water, puta 5x concentration in a 5 gal bucket to dissolve and put the other 20 gallons of water straight in the tank.
 

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My tap water is 6.6pH, KH & GH are both 0. If I had your parameters I wouldn't change a thing. Unless they were wild caught, as Nodima said, and I wanted to breed.
 

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I have two colonies of WC Kitumba Frontosa one group in a 125 gallon and another in a 220 gallon. I live in the USA in the Midwest; with my tap water being hard with high alkalinity and mineral content. I test water weekly and change when nitrate levels exceed 25 ppm. I use a Sicce Ultra Zero pump, and my Python hose to remove water and fill water. I treat the water with Prime and add Tanganyikan buffer as prescribed. After water changes my tanks test out a less then 10 ppm Nitrate, 250 ppm GH, 250 ppm KH, and 8.4 PH. If you have big tanks buy a submersible pump, it was the best thing I have purchased in the last few years. Water changes are so much quicker.
 
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