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My first action would be to double check test results. Test kits are not very accurate, especially when older. And the nitrate test is notorious for being difficult. 10ppm of nitrate is not ideal, but still won't be a problem for most fish. I might put in an automatic drip water change system to keep it at 10ppm at all times. That will probably be better than having it alternate between 0 and 20ppp from waterchange to waterchange.

Phosphate is not something cichlid keepers usually worry about. It's not harmful to fish but can only create algae problems. I'd rather deal with the algae, for example by adding snails or some algae eating fish, rather than targeting phosphate.

RO water is expensive, and bringing it back up to Rift Lake conditions is just a hassle. I would go to great length to avoid that.
 
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