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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in an area in KY where the water is very hard, straight from the tap. It's about 280ppm. I have some limestone rocks in my aquarium that bump it up even more. And on top of that, I have been topping my tank off every few days due to evaporation. I have no cover on the tank, which might be an issue. My water right now is around 500 ppm, using my tds meter. How high can it go without affecting my africans?
 

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What type of Africans do you have and what type of hardness are you referring to carbonate (KH) or general (GH)?

Regardless, if you're not doing regular weter changes and just topping off for evaporation, the accumulation of organic wastes (nitrates) are probably of more concern.
 

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Would like to know this also. I have VERY hard water also, and so far the fish do not seem to be bothered by it all. Just would like to know if the water can be too hard for them. I have the stock in signature, but as far as all Malawi's go, can it even be too hard?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, sorry...I have a malawi mix. And I'm referring to gh.

I've only had the tank for a few weeks, and been topping off. I definitely plan on doing regular water changes, am just topping off as needed (to keep my back mount filter from splashing too much, and keep residue from building up around the top edges of my tank). But, I do know that the topping off will cause some extra salt buildup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
...just checking my profile update...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
...sorry, just checking my signature update...
 

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After doing some more research I have read some articles that say you should get the water to a ph of about 8.2 or so and AS HARD AS YOU CAN GET IT. So I think that we should be ok. My GH is way high, like over 50 degrees of hardness. They had also stated that alot of Mbuna's are raised in Florida ponds that are practically "liquid rock" due to the limestone down there and they thrive in it.
 

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While that may be true, it is not the best idea to top off the tank without doing water changes and increasing TDS too, too high. As Prov said.

And...you have some big fish in a 20G tank.

So I would do water changes instead of topping off the tank whenever the water gets a little low.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah...I started off small with my tank. I had a traumatic experience a few years ago. A 120 gallon tank, full of grown cichlids exploded due to a hairline fracture in the bottom of the tank. Very strange. Flooded my house, and killed all my fish. It took a wet/dry vac, a dehumidifier, a couple of space heaters, and three oscillating fans 2 weeks straight to dry it up.

I've had this tank a little over two weeks now. Just did a small water change last night. Used 2 gallons of store bought RO water, it helped bring my pH down from 8.8 to 8.5 and my hardness down from 500 ppm to 440. The fish seem to like it.
 
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