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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking at replacing my 40 gallon planted tank and putting some saulosi in there.

I'm looking at a ratio of 1m to 4f , with plenty of rock and hiding places to stop aggression.

i've recently tested my tap water,
pH - 7.2-7.3
Kh - 3
gH -5

I know these fish like a dH of 7-30 from what i've read online but i'm unsure of how to tie the kH and gH in with this valve.

The pH is also low, i'm reading they need a pH of around 7.4-8.4. I know there is different ways of raising this, either through crushed coral or certain substrates and limestone. I've also read that bicarbonate of soda increases the pH and kH also.

I want to try and make the pH as stable as possible and try aim for around a midground pH , around 7.8-8.0.

i'm just needing some help and advice on how people keep there pH stable if they have lower end tap water and also how the kH and gH play a part and to get this right.

also what substrate do people use? i want to try and use a black substrate (Tahitian moon.) i feel this will make there colours pop a bit more.

I'm looking at putting crushed coral in my filter as i'm not a huge fan of limestone rocks on how they look. I know this is trial and error but wondering if there is a rule of how much to put in per gallon etc.

thank you.
 

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Try leaving a sample of your tap water in a clean glass container overnight and see if the pH, KH or GH change.

I'm not sure about the black sand making fish colors pop, a lot of members choose pool filter sand as it's usually cheap though the colors can range from white to tan depending on the brand.
 

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A 36" tank is small for Malawi, saulosi can work but you might end up with only one colored male.

Tahitian Moon is too fine. Some colors may pop and some fish may go sooty over black.

There is no guideline on the amount of crushed coral. For some of us starting with a higher pH it does not work at all. As Deeda suggests, test after 24 hours and go from there. I would try one tray (if you have 3 trays) filled with the coral.

I don't see too many people with low pH and KH and GH like yours...so no real established practice on how people cope. Do you have a water softener?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
DJRansome said:
A 36" tank is small for Malawi, saulosi can work but you might end up with only one colored male.

Tahitian Moon is too fine. Some colors may pop and some fish may go sooty over black.

There is no guideline on the amount of crushed coral. For some of us starting with a higher pH it does not work at all. As Deeda suggests, test after 24 hours and go from there. I would try one tray (if you have 3 trays) filled with the coral.

I don't see too many people with low pH and KH and GH like yours...so no real established practice on how people cope. Do you have a water softener?
I don't mind just 1 coloured male i love the look of the females how they are a bright yellow/orange colour which i'm happy with.

The other option was to get a substrate that would buffer the water and perhaps add baking soda to help with the kH + pH. I'm from Scotland, we tend to have soft water .
 

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The idea that rocks or substrate or filter media can change pH is mostly myth.

See what your test result is after 24 hours. If necessary I would use baking soda.
 
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