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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just like the title states, I used pool filter sand as a substrate that I picked up from a local pool place and my pH is about 7.2 right now, has been stable for some time. I was looking to possibly raise the pH a bit, would crushed coral in mesh bags in my filters get me up to 8.0? I have a AC70 and AC50, the tank is a 46g.
 
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no not really. its never worked for me.. use seachem malawi buffer its like $17 for 2.2 lbs of it if you get it online.. in the store they see you comin and bang you on the price... or theres a recipe on here somewhere to make your own... which i think is 1 tsp of baking soda per 5 gallons of water... but seachem malawi buffer is 1tsp per 10 gallons... idk i jus that and the tang buffer for my african tanks respectively
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's what I figured, but it didn't hurt to ask. What are your thoughts on mixing the crushed coral with my pfs substrate, a 50/50 combination? It may not look as pretty, but I'm trying to avoid having to use chemical buffers.
 
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i asked the same thing when i switched to pfs cuz i had puka shell in my gravel (which didnt really do anything) and the response i got was theres no crushed coral or puka shell in the rift lakes... so why add it... you are better off jus using straight pfs.. they like to sift it and eat it and spit it out... i think that crushed coral or anything else might get in the way of that... its really easy to use the chemicals... i jus add them into the water i add for water changes.. its really not that difficult... and that way you dont have to worry about sudden shifts in ph or gh or kh... the seachem buffer works real well.. and its cheap enough online.. i have 4 african tanks and i havent gotten thru a bottle of it yet... fromw hat i hear.. you dont even have to buffer your water to a high ph for africans as long as its steady... all of the lfs except one around here have their ph at 7 jus like for everything else they sell... from what i hear its more important to have the ph stable than for it to be high... if they get used to 7.2 like you have... then they will be fine.... i wouldnt suddenly throw any fish from a high ph to a lower ph or vice versa i use the drip method or the adding a cup every 5 min method whenever i get a fish ffrom one of those stores and i havent had a problem yet...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am trying to go with a Tanganyikan tank, everything at the lfs for tanganiykan's is tank raised so I may just leave my pH where it is. I am having stocking issues as well lol.
 
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well what i hear is that africans and tangs more so than malawi although its true too for malawi, look their best color when in higher ph... that they dont show their optimal colors in the low ph...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'll look into seachem buffer then. Hopefully I can get my tang stock in order.
 
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i have a friend who loves tangs so i jus buy mine from him.. he always gets new ones and gets bored of the ones he has so i had a whole tankful right to start... im actually plotting on how i can fit a bigger tank in my apartment cuz i got 8 foai kachese and they get big way too big for my 55... what tangs were u thinkin about going with? i got a jumbo cyp species... a micro cyp species... bottom sand sifters and then some featherfins... theres alot of diff ones to chose from but they are also alot more pricey than malawi... i have way too many malawi too lol so an extra tank would always help
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I just want a variety of shapes. I have a pair of alto's and juli's. I like those but I have to get rid of one of the juli's since it is getting picked on by the other. I also picked up three N. brichardi without knowing enough about them, so I'll be exchanging them for something else. I just want a lower aggression tank, mbuna's were a bit much for me lol.
 
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go with some cyps and some xenos... xenos look really cool when they color up and arent real aggressive same thing with most of the cyps
 

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I would use baking soda as described in the water chemistry article in the library. Same main ingredient as in most of the commercial buffers. Epsom salt is good if you need buffering too.
 

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Baking soda is used as a buffer for swimming pools and will work to raise the pH and buffer the water. However, the fish will probably do fine in the pH you have and it might be easier to maintain stable conditions without playing water chemist.
 

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You can try mixing sands designed to buffer, like Aragamax.

I'd ignore the advice about not using crushed coral because there's none in the lake. There are no HOB filters either.

Test your level of 'buffers' with a KH test kit. You shouldn't consider pH alone, as it goes hand in hand with KH, sometimes called alkalinity or buffers. Your pH may be ok at the moment, but natural processes consume and lower KH, and if it gets too low, pH can crash. I'd not make any decision about needing buffers based on pH test results alone, you can't. If you don't want to add chemicals, then try the crushed coral or sands that buffer while testing KH regularly to see if it has the needed effect. I tested Aragamax sand with distilled water and was surprised by the dramatic effect it had. I used to think that it didin't make much difference.

See this article in the forum library for more info => Practical Water Chemistry

Xeno's, paracyps, calvus or comps. Keep one of the brichardi, singles do ok. You can keep the single juli also. Brevis are another possibility.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well I'll try throwing a bag for crushed coral in both my filters and see if anything changes. I suppose it can't do much harm.

I exchanged the julis and 2 brichardi. My current stock list: 5 loaches, 4 altos, 1 brichardi, and the 4 brevis (should be here tomorrow). Hopefully I don't have to many issues.

I already made space for the brevis on one side of the tank, I just need to pick up some shells.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I put a substantial amount of the crushed coral into my hob's and my pH is now around 7.5, not ideal but better. More importantly my pH appears to be more stable. I will continue monitoring my pH to see if it remains stable over the course of the next few weeks.
 

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More importantly my pH appears to be more stable. I will continue monitoring my pH to see if it remains stable over the course of the next few weeks.
Test your KH and you'll know. If KH is rising to 6-8 or so, that'll stabilize pH.
 
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