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Hello
I have a all male cichlid tank with mostly peacocks
And I would like to get my PH/KH/GH levels higher and more stable
At the moment the levels are not stable
I have the following levels
PH between 7.0 and 7.6 changes inbetween
KH between 8 and 15 every time different
GH one time > 21 and after that almost always > 7

My question is; Is this ok for my Malawi Cichlids
And I have bought JBL Aquadur Malawi salt
How to add and wich amount and wich frequency?
Thank you very much in advance for your help
Robert
 

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Welcome to Cichlid-forum!

It is not OK for your pH to swing between 7.0 and 7.6. So you may want to adjust a little just to get your pH stable. Shoot for 7.8 or 8.2 but stable.

I am surprised if your KH is always over 8 that you have fluctuation in the other test results. Could you be adding a different amount of Malawi salt every time? KH=8 should be high enough to keep the other test results stable.

Before making any change, post your test results from your tap water. Let the water rest 24 hours on the counter in a container before testing.

To determine how much, measure one gallon of water into a bucket and add measured portions salt and test until the pH is between 7.8 and 8.2. Then you will know how many teaspoons/gallon to get the pH you want. Assume you will need to convert to grams/liters.

You add Malawi salt gradually to the main tank so increase is limited to 0.2 per day until you reach the goal.

You add Malawi salt (the grams/liter you determined with the bucket) with every water change.

Do not top off with plain water between water changes. Plan on changing 50% weekly and cover the tank to avoid the need to top off.
 

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Hi guys.

In regards to PH levels, is it OK to add aragonite substrate to buffer the PH? My tap water PH is around 7.5-7.7 and with aragonite buffering I've read it could go up to ~8.2. What say you? :)
 

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EQUANT said:
Hi guys.

In regards to PH levels, is it OK to add aragonite substrate to buffer the PH? My tap water PH is around 7.5-7.7 and with aragonite buffering I've read it could go up to ~8.2. What say you? :)
If your pH is stable at 7.5-7.7 I would leave it alone. Malawi cichlids will adapt to that pH level just fine.

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I think I'll do just that. Saw one guy online saying he used the same aragonite substrate I was planning on using and noticed no change in PH, so I'll just use some neutral substrate and leave the PH be @7.5 - 7.7, even tough it will go down just before WC day. Cheers!
 

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As far as water chemistry I look to keep a stable buffer and the following:

pH: 8.2
gH: ~7
kH: ~7
Temp:81
salinity: 10ppt

During water changes, I use Seachem Cichlid Salt at recommended dose of 3/8tsp/5 gallon and Baking Soda at a dose of 1tsp/5 gallon to buffer pH. It is cheaper to use baking soda than using aquarium buffers that pretty much are mostly Sodium Bi-Carb anyway!

When I first started I saw guys emphasizing that the water needed to be really hard. After digging a little deeper, it seems to be that Lake Malawi is moderately hard water (closer to 7dgh), not at the >20 dgh I thought too was best.

In my 55 gallon tank, I do a 27% water change weekly (15 gallons - 3x5 gallon buckets). I also make sure to add water conditioner to the mix. The new water I add is about 2 degrees cooler to simulate rainfall.

My fish are active, breeding, colorful, and seem to be thriving.
 

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Blizowman1 said:
Do you have to add salt to these tanks?
No.

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Lake Malawi is brackish.

From MIT: "Lake Malawi and Lake Tanganika are rift lakes. They formed when tectonic action produced a rift in the ground. Ocean water flowed into the rift and formed a salty lake. Over time rain and runoff diluted the lake down to the low salt content it has today."

Sub-Mariner is right: they will be fine without it. My personal belief is that by keeping it brackish like their natural environment, it helps with their overall health (helps heal fins, disease prevention, etc).
 

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You need to know your tap water. Mine is 7.8 and so I don't need to add "salt". If your tap water is 7.0 you might need to add "salt".
 

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doosty said:
...When I first started I saw guys emphasizing that the water needed to be really hard. After digging a little deeper, it seems to be that Lake Malawi is moderately hard water (closer to 7dgh), not at the >20 dgh I thought too was best...
Interesting. I've found differing opinions on the gH and kH values, too. Seacham recommends 4-8dgh and kgh, while API recommends 11-22 and this forum guide also recommends high numbers similar to API, so I can see why there's always questions/confusion in this area. My levels are in line with Seacham (4dkH and 8dkH), so I don't know whether to stay put or go higher. Ph out the tap is around 7.2, but the tank is at around 8 - go figure. I've recently placed 3 cups (1/2 cup per 20g) of crushed coral in one of the filter trays (FX6). I'm holding steady for now until I can do more research on this see what the consensus is. I plan to contact API and Seacham to see how they derived their suggestions on this topic and go from there.
 

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Methodical2 said:
doosty said:
...When I first started I saw guys emphasizing that the water needed to be really hard. After digging a little deeper, it seems to be that Lake Malawi is moderately hard water (closer to 7dgh), not at the >20 dgh I thought too was best...
Interesting. I've found differing opinions on the gH and kH values, too. Seacham recommends 4-8dgh and kgh, while API recommends 11-22 and this forum guide also recommends high numbers similar to API, so I can see why there's always questions/confusion in this area. My levels are in line with Seacham (4dkH and 8dkH), so I don't know whether to stay put or go higher. Ph out the tap is around 7.2, but the tank is at around 8 - go figure. I've recently placed 3 cups (1/2 cup per 20g) of crushed coral in one of the filter trays (FX6). I'm holding steady for now until I can do more research on this see what the consensus is. I plan to contact API and Seacham to see how they derived their suggestions on this topic and go from there.
Correction: The tap water is around 7.4 as well as the tank a few hours after doing a 50% water change, but days later it rises slightly. I don't know what's causing the rise in pH as I only have pool filter sand and lava rocks in the tank. I'm going to test again the next few days to see what it settles on. Any idea what could be going on?
 

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Take a sample of your tap water in a clean glass container, leave it exposed to air for 24 hours and then test GH, KH and pH again. Post the results.
 

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Deeda said:
Take a sample of your tap water in a clean glass container, leave it exposed to air for 24 hours and then test GH, KH and pH again. Post the results.
I've already done this test.

gH - 8
kh - 4
pH - around 7.4

I just tested the pH and it's up from the number above; the low pH test range shows dark blue or 7.6 and the high seems to be around 7.8 to 8, but it's kind of hard to really nail it down because the color is not an exact match to those numbers. This is why I would like to find a reliable digital pH meter to nail down the exact reading.
 

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Methodical2 said:
Deeda said:
Take a sample of your tap water in a clean glass container, leave it exposed to air for 24 hours and then test GH, KH and pH again. Post the results.
I've already done this test.

gH - 8
kh - 4
pH - around 7.4

I just tested the pH and it's up from the number above; the low pH test range shows dark blue or 7.6 and the high seems to be around 7.8 to 8, but it's kind of hard to really nail it down because the color is not an exact match to those numbers. This is why I would like to find a reliable digital pH meter to nail down the exact reading.
Update: Did some more research and found some information on why pH rises after filling tank with fresh water. Basically, the article pointed out that many things may affect the true pH levels coming out of the tap, such as carbon dioxides gets trapped in pipes and once this C02 "gases out" of the water the pH returns to it's true value. This is what I am seeing when I test my tap water before and after 24+ hours; it reads lower straight out the tap, but after 24 hrs (C02 release), the pH reading rises and stabilizes - no changes when tested 48 hrs later. I notice this phenomenon every time I do a 50% water change; pH is lower right after the change, but hours later it rises back to the appropriate range and stabilizes.

So, I am much more comfortable with my pH levels now that I know what's happening.
 
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