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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, I'm new to this forum, although i'm not a complete aquarium noob, I'm still no expert. I come seeking your guidance !
I have read many topics similar to me, but they never exactly adress my situation, so I figured I'd ask.

I'm beginning to stock my 55 Gallons with all male Malawi (haps+aulo) species. I currently have 5 in the tank and will be adding more by the end of month.

Like many other hobbyist in rural region, I have a ground water that is connected to my water softener ( Using Sodium Chloride). Before you jump on me, I know, not ideal, but its what I've got to work with ! After making a whole bunch of test, here are my water parameters.

From the tap (through water softener)
Ph=7.4 @7.6
Gh=40 ppm
Kh=70 ppm

Water softener bypass
Ph=7.4 @7.6
Gh=100 ppm
Kh=70 ppm

Currently in the tank (Cichlid salt 1tsp + 6 caps of Seachem Replenish (Gh booster)+Seachem Safe 1/2 cap every water change)
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Kh =90 ppm/5 degrees
Gh= 220 ppm/12.3 degrees

Although I feel like my current numbers aren't horrible, I'm not sure if i'm too low, specifically on Ph/Kh. I feel like I'm already using many chemicals and just putting limestone into the tank probably would'nt increase my Kh/Ph numbers by that much. I have thought about bypassing the softener, but It would mean i'd have to manually heat each individual buckets of water change ! That seems extremely time consuming.

What would you recommend ?
 

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Your water is fine for african cichlids. Your hardness and kh even after the softener are actually quite high. Your ph could be higher but lower ph is better in many ways anyhow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply Cyphro.

Am I mistaken in thinking that replacing my current Cichlid salt with reef salt in the same minimal quantities would yeld a small Kh and Ph increase ?
 

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marine salt is mostly sodium. You don't need to add any marine OR cichlid salt.

your water is very hard even after the softener.

Since you don't really need 8+ ph, and ph fluctation is bad, I would add nothing at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just to clarify,
Gh=40 ppm =2.25°D
Kh=70 ppm = 3.93°D

If I'm not mistaken, that's slightly hard, at best ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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