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I'm an avid saltwater tank person. New to this forum. I've had my cichlid tank for 2 years. Mostly African cichlids. Love them. They are huge in my 55 gallon tank. I'm curious to know, since I make my own RODI for my salt, can I use it for my cichlid tank? Or is there not enough minerals and stuff in it for cichlids? Thanks for the help.
 

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Not enough minerals...if you took them out you would just have to put the minerals back.
 

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If anything most water can use more minerals when it comes to cichlids. It would just be a very expensive form of dechlorination.
 

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I find the waste water is perfect for African rift lake cichlids. It has more minerals in it but not by a huge percentage. The waste water has been filtered of contaminants and chlorine by the carbon stage, so it is safe to use with fish that come from mineralized waters.
 

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My public water comes from an RO facility, which was great when I kept Discus, but bad for Africans. Per every 80 gallons of new water I have to add:

2 tablespoons Seachem Cichlid Lake Salt
4 cups espsom salt (magnesium sulphate)
10 tablespoons baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
 

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would it be useful for an ATO? So long as you have a good buffering substrate and are doing water changes with something you've dosed to the right pH/KH?
 

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Or is that my saltwater roots showing? It just occurred to me that I don't know if cichlid setups use top-off systems. LOL I have read that the hardness diminishes over time because the minerals "settle out" but I wasn't sure what the consequences were for buildup of minerals/salts in ... what, the substrate?
 

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RO water does not have the salts/minerals African Rift Lake cichlids need, so no matter why it is added to the tank, it needs to be reconstituted to replace the salts/minerals first.
 

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So a slightly nerdier explanation, for those who want it. I just went and read the excellent GH, KH and pH for the Advanced Aquarist and Practical Water Chemistry articles in the library to refresh my understanding. All of the parameters that we worry about, pH, GH, and KH are either consumed or precipitate out of the water column naturally over time. pH and GH are consumed in neutralizing the nitrate (nitric acid) that is the end result of our biofilter's nitrogen cycle. KH precipitates out of solution over time, maybe due to reacting with hydroxyl? I'm not completely clear on that bit. Anyway, the net result is that (unlike a salt water tank where salt goes in and never comes out) cichlid tanks need to be topped off with cichlid-ready water. So, no RODI. :D
 

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Not so much topped off...but change the water weekly and refill to the top. Your evaporation should not be so bad that you need to top off. Avoid topping off without also removing water.
 

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That makes good sense, and is one big difference between cichlid and saltwater tanks. :)
 
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