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I use Seachem Cichlid Lake Salt to replace essential minerals since my water source is r/o water. It also increases GH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Is it enough, when doing a water change, to add the cichlid salt?

Sorry, that's badly phrased. Can you use cichlid salt by itself to buffer new water going in, or is it more of an extra?

I have seen it written that it raises the GH, but it never says how much.

Thank you for your time Ken
 

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First test your tap water. I have never had to use anything at all and that is MUCH easier.

Then if I have to use something for some reason (acclimating a new fish) I use baking soda from the kitchen.

ken31cay may have r/o water because he lives in the islands...that is unusual.
 

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Seachem Cichlid Salt has no buffering capability. To increase KH you can use Seachem Tanganyika Buffer, and there are other similar products available. I use common baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to increase KH/pH of my water due to the lower cost and it does the same thing as the more expensive products.

If you're looking to increase the pH/KH/GH of your water then I suggest you start with the article in the CF library: https://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/buffer_recipe.php

Ingrediants I use in my buffer solution:
baking soda to increase KH/pH.
epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) to increase GH.
Cichlid Lake Salt (in place of marine salt) for essential minerals since my water is r/o.

I tested each ingredient in a set amount of my water (ex/ five gallons) and when I knew the amount needed to bring my water to the parameters I wanted pH 8.2, KH 8, GH 12, then I multiplied the ingredients' amounts to the amount of water I change in my tanks.

Hope this helps.
 

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DJRansome said:
First test your tap water. I have never had to use anything at all and that is MUCH easier.
Agreed, most water sources already have some buffering capacity and hardness. Better for your fish if you don't need to modify your water since stable water parameters is key and more important than trying to match some other parameters.

ken31cay may have r/o water because he lives in the islands...that is unusual.
My water source is a desalination plant which uses reverse osmosis on seawater.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks guys.

My tap water is 6.8 pH, KH is 6. GH is 7.

I was originally hoping that I could just buffer the tank using crushed coral, but it sounds like I would be giving my fish a big shock every water change. And my water is a bit too soft to just leave alone if I go this route.
So it looks like I will be needing to adjust my buckets. Very good to know.

One last question: when you use baking soda and Epsom salts, are there any other... side effects is not the right word.. build-ups to be aware of?

I saw on one thread, a person talking about baking soda adding too much sodium to the water. Was he talking from experience or his but?
 

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Cichlid salts = sodium. Commercial mixes use sodium bicarbonate a.k.a baking soda.

Your KH and GH are good, meaning that your pH should not fluctuate. Just nudge up the pH to 7.8 or so.
 

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On your water I would only use baking soda to increase the pH to ~7.8 like DJRansome said. I bring mine to pH 8.2 since my Frontosa are wild caught and they are more comfortable now than when I had the pH lower.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes, sodium and sodium and sodium... but I dont need to worry about ever hitting too much sodium?

That is very good news on the hardness!
 

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You don't measure it or think about it that way. You don't want your GH or KH to be so high that the fish can no longer swim through the water. Shoot for GH and KH less than 12.
 
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