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Discussion Starter · #1 ·



Alright, I've got cichlids!!
Now despite me wanting mbuna's I didn't have much choice on them even though I was willing to travel 2 hours to find some. But I did come home with cichlids. The fish store help me pick them out. Forgive my spelling.

5x Flame Tail Zebra
1x Albino Zebra
2x Yellow Lab
1x Pleco
1x Psuedo Elongatus
2x Yello Fimi Boreliyi
1x Hap Electra
1x Juli Malerie
1x Hybrid (Mystery Cichlid :))

I know the pleco is not a cichlid.
I also know that one of them is not from lake Malawi, it was in a tank with other Malawi's though and he was doing fine.

I added crushed coral to my filter to keep the ph high (it usually gradually drops)

My water is cloudy right now. I figure it is from the crushed coral. I tested a day after I put these babyes in and all my numbers are in the good. No Ammonia :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My pH has been getting low, so I replaced my substrate with about 80 lbs of pool sand and 40 pounds of live cichlid sand.

I had a fish die. The albino I believe. The rest seem to be doing quiet well!! YAY.

Ihave some more drift wood ordered and should be on its way already.
Here are some more pictures.



 

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Hello....the driftwood is whats causing your ph to lower.

Tekjunky
 

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I agree, if your pH is sinking, it's probably the wood. Wood lowers pH and limestone brings it up. What exactly is you pH, by the way?

The Buffalo Head (Steatocranus casuarius) is a cool fish, but I wouldn't put it in a tank with mbuna. It's a riverine fish that's used to soft, acidic water, while the mbuna prefer alkaline, hard water. The Buffalo Head is probably tough enough to adjust to that, but it's also a comparatively peaceful, slow-moving fish. I'd be afraid the hyperactive mbuna would drive it nuts!

Nice looking tank!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My ph out of the tap is 7.8-8.

It sank all the way to 7.4.

It sits at 7.4 once it gets there.

I have added the cichlid substrate that should help maintain the pH. Also I was sold some seachem t-lake buffer.

I put two caps of this in my 125 gallons and checked it several hours later and my pH is up to 8.4.

I was not expecting two caps to have that drastic of an effect.

Glad the fish don't seem to be having a problem with the increase. I couldn't believe it jumped that much.
 

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Try getting some water out of the tap and letting it sit for a day then testing the pH.

pH will naturally lower in some waters - regardless of driftwood.

Driftwood's - especially malaysian driftwood (what you have in the tank) will release tannins into the water. Which in turn lowers the pH - but in a tank that large with one peice of driftwood I don't see it lowering the pH that drastically.

If that is the case you may want to look into a substrate by Eco Complete that is designed for African Cichlids, it will help to neutralize the effects of the tannins. But at this point it might be more trouble then it's worth to trade out the substrates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
DirtyBlackSocks said:
Try getting some water out of the tap and letting it sit for a day then testing the pH.

pH will naturally lower in some waters - regardless of driftwood.

Driftwood's - especially malaysian driftwood (what you have in the tank) will release tannins into the water. Which in turn lowers the pH - but in a tank that large with one peice of driftwood I don't see it lowering the pH that drastically.

If that is the case you may want to look into a substrate by Eco Complete that is designed for African Cichlids, it will help to neutralize the effects of the tannins. But at this point it might be more trouble then it's worth to trade out the substrates.
I have two bags of that substrate in there now. I would have more but the LFS only had two bags.
 

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I'm assuming your tank is new/not completely cycled. If that is the case I wouldn't add any new or expensive fish for about a month or two until it has cycled completely. Or you could get some Bio Spira for an instant cycle.

One thing to keep in mind when playing with your ph is if you are causing your ph to rise and fall that will stress your fish out more than if you can maintain a stable ph.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
MidNightCowBoy said:
I'm assuming your tank is new/not completely cycled. If that is the case I wouldn't add any new or expensive fish for about a month or two until it has cycled completely. Or you could get some Bio Spira for an instant cycle.

One thing to keep in mind when playing with your ph is if you are causing your ph to rise and fall that will stress your fish out more than if you can maintain a stable ph.
This tank was cycled with cheaper freshwater fish. Then was turned to cichlids. Tank is completely cycled.
 

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I would ditch the rest of the buffer, maintain the pH at 7.4, and keep up with regular water changes. If your pH is at 7.4 or 8.4 is of no consequence to your fish. As long as the water quality is top notch, they will be happy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Alright, I haven't used the buffer since that first time.

I have however started add Seachem "Reef Builder"
I have been using about a third of the dose it suggest a week. My pH seems to have stabilized at around 7.8. I will continue to add this with water changes and weekly until it gets to 8.3 (says it will stabilize at that on the package). I no longer have pH shifts so rapidly.

Thanks for all the help!
 
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