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Fish I want to keep: Electric Yellow Cichlid (Labidochromis caeruleus), Pseudotropheus demasoni
Water parameters out of the tap: 8.4-8.8 pH, 5 dKH

While my ph seems plenty high (too high?) the KH seems too low from my extremely limited understanding of the water parameters that cichlids need. As I understand it I could add crushed coral sand to raise the KH, but am worried that will also raise my ph.

I really do not want to use chemicals to try to adjust this that or the other thing, as I am pretty sure I will end up being the Dr Kevorkian of the fish world.

So is my water fine and its time to start cycling the aquarium, or do I have some problems I need to solve first around these water parameters?
 

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You can start cycling no matter what. Even if your water hardness does need to be addressed, you can always add crushed coral later and it wouldn't effect the cycle. And I would suggest starting the cycle ASAP, as cycling a larger tank can take a month or 2.
 

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Your water parameters sound just like mine from the tap: high pH, relatively low kH and you'll probably find that your general hardness is OK. Use some type of cichlid substrate made of argonite and it will help a little.

I used a buffer product in my tank when I first started it but I haven't used it in the last year and there hasn't been a problem. Cichlids are hardy fish, they will adjust to just about anything within reason, trust me you don't need to add anything.
 
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