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Hi,

Im interested in setting up an african tank in a 55 gal to keep Maylandia lombardoi.

Living in San Francisco, CA we have unusual tap water. the Ph is high (above 9.0 but drops to about 8.3 after being aged for a day or two) and also very soft water (56 ppm or 3.4 dGH)

Will water this soft work out in the long run? what problems might i run into? Or will i need to plan on boosting the water hardness to keep these fish successfully?

thanks so much,

Sam
 

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Hi Sam and Welcome to C-F!!

Have you measured the KH or alkalinity of your tap water? If not, you can buy the kit separate.
 

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This is an excerpt from the GH & KH test instructions just as a reference.

What the Test Results Mean
Use the table below to create the ideal water hardness levels for your aquarium fish. When keeping a community aquarium with a variety of tropical fish, adjust the GH and KH to 3 - 6º (50-100 ppm).

GH & KH Range Aquarium Life
0º - 3º Discus, Arowana, Elephantnose,
(0-50 ppm) Neons, Cardinals, Live Plants

3º - 6º Most tropical fish including Angelfish,
(50-100 ppm) Cichlids, Tetras, Botia, Live Plants

6º - 11º Most tropical fish including
(100-200 ppm) Swordtails, Guppies, Mollies, Goldfish

8º - 12º Marine fish and invertebrates
(140-200 ppm)

11º - 22º Rift Lake Cichlids, Goldfish,
(200-400 ppm) Brackish Water Fish

I think the usual recommendation is to maintain a GH & KH of at least 4 degrees hardness but I'll let someone else verify. What you don't want is to see swings in either parameter and also in pH. There are some good articles in the Library under Chemistry if you are interested in some reading.

I will add that stable parameters are important. You could use the buffer recipe in the articles but I would wait until you get some better responses from experienced members. I would avoid using pre-packaged aquarium products to alter your chemistry as they are more expensive.
 

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Sam Francisco said:
its between 3 and 4 drops of an api kh test kit solution.
Yes, that's what I meant by drops. I didn't know what 60ppm meant as far as dKH
A k.h of 3-4 is pretty low. K.H is far more important than G.H (not something I have ever measured) as it prevents the p.h from bouncing up and down.
I used to add baking soda to my tanks to raise the K.H but stopped after realising that nobody else in my area was doing it and were able to keep and spawn rare africans without any issues. My K.H was 6-7 if I remember correctly.
 

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As an aside I would not keep lombardoi in a 55G. If you want lombardoi, I would think in terms of a 75G that has a footprint of 48x18, or even a larger tank. They are very aggressive.
 
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