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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
as i begin my journey i have just about decided (nothing is 100%) on African cichlids in particular i am considering Peacocks or Lake Malawi in general... so this brings to mind water quality as some of you know i am leaving saltwater to do this journey and part of the reason is that i do not want to be constantly adding things to the water to make it good. so after some reading i have a rough plan to help buffer my water and want a little feed back on my ideas for this...
the 1st and most crucial step will be to use crushed coral and arragonite as my substrate and have a lit of water movement to assist in keeping things suspended.. my question however comes from the need for suspension... would there be any benefit from running a bag of Crushed Coral in my filtration? at this moment i have not fully determined the filtration method yet. there are numerous possibilities and i have not made a decision yet.. though i lean towards a wet/dry as the tank i am getting is already drilled and i have experience building sumps... but a canister may be the easier option to perform as i want it with higher rates of movement
 

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You have to start with tap water parameters, particularly pH and KH. Test after letting it sit for 24 hours. That'll determine how much, if any, buffering is needed. It'll also help decide if you need substrate buffering, or can just go with what's cheap and easy. Having kept a reef, you probably already know this info.

Also, are you going to hold and pretreat change water, or just fill from the tap?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
i have dechlorinater i use for the tap water but i usually only let it sit for about 30 minutes and mix it every 5 or so to be sure its working good... on initial fill i use the garden hose treat when half full and after its full run power heads for a day before testing for the initial reading of the cycle... then the fun begins of waiting, waiting and if i really want to mix things up i wait a bit more LOL

if memory serves off the tap my water reads 7.7 PH and dKH of about 9 ish.. i want to hit a target of 8-8.3 PH and 10 or 11 dKH having no marine salt in this set up (to me) equates to utilizing the substrate to care for this long tern as well as when building my background i will incorporate some Tufa rock and others .......

i will try to get the name to the dechlorinater and post it as i dont recall the brand at this moment...

(edit: nutrafin Aquaplus is the conditioner)
 

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Your tap isn't bad the way it is, but if you really want to bump values up there are a lot of options open to you. I'd suggest just adding a bit of baking soda during water changes, then you can go with whatever substrate you like and not have to deal with adding anything to your filters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
great to hear!! i was thinking i needed the bumb to support Malawi type fish... but if its good to go then thats one more expense i can cut by gong another rout....
 

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If you've got a KH of 9, your pH is going to be stable as long as you keep up with water changes to replenish buffers. A stable pH that doesn't crash is what's important. Striving for some ideal pH isn't typically worth the trouble. I keep tanganyikans at 7.8-8.0. I add sodium bicarb becasue my tap KH is a bit low at 5. If my tap were 9, I wouldn't bother.
 

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I would second the thinking that going with the PH as is is the way to go. I keep several Malawi, not peacock at this time, and find they love my 7.8-8.0 with lots of buffer. I think you will find keeping them to be much, much more agreeable than salt water. There is no need for overworking the PH, etc. Go simple until there is some sign that the fish don't like what you are doing. Most liklely it will not happen at all and then you are home free. I think you will find your main problems to be what fish to choose and what to do with the fry!!! If not, then is the time to consider changing the water. Enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thats what i was hopping and it sound like a plan.... just to be 100% i set some water out for tonight and i will test it tomorrow to be sure i am accurate and then on to the next phase... i have the filtration almost all planned out and then on to the back ground.. i figure it will be about 1 month or two before it sees water but things are moving right along LOL i am so excited i have to keep reminding myself not to do things half butt backwards .....
 

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Suggestion-- Start the tank and get the cycle started while you are gathering and getting the background together. The hardest part of fishless cycle is the waiting so maybe you could kill two birds with one wait??? :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
i thought so as well but i really want to get all the builds done before the water other wise i get impatient it really is the best way to keep me slow..

here are the water test results.
PH 7.5
dKH 3

this is right off the tap and sitting for 24 hours
considering i am really leaning towards a Lake Malawi tank i think that crushed coral is going to be the substrate of choice in this tank....
 
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