Acceptable GH and KH levels for mixed Mbuna tank

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skrrt_157

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Original poster
Jun 27, 2018
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Hi, this is my first post on MFK. I have had freshwater tanks for many years, but this is my first time keeping African cichlids. I am currently in the process of setting my tank up and am using eco complete cichlid sand as my substrate. Out of the tap my Ph is 8.3, my Gh is 7, and my Kh is 6. After treating the water in a 5gal bucket with Seachem Malawi/Victoria Buffer and Cichlid salt the readings are: Ph 8.2 Gh 9 Kh 10. I keep reading conflicting posts about water parameters for mbuna and don't know if I should stick to my tap water or use the buffer and salt, esp because I am using the eco complete, which has aragonite. Any help would be appreciated.
-Thanks!
 

dudley

Eheim User
Feb 9, 2005
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Medina, Ohio
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Dee
Based on your tap water results, I would just stay with the tap water and not use any buffers to alter the water chemistry.

Having said that, what I suggest is to take a sample of your tap water in a clean glass container and let it set out 24 hours undisturbed. Take your pH, GH and KH readings again and post the results. If they haven't changed from your immediate tap water readings, you are golden.
 

skrrt_157

Registered Member
Original poster
Jun 27, 2018
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I found some water that I had left in a glass from a couple days ago and the readings are as follows: Kh:4 Gh:6-7 Ph:7.8
Based on these results, what should I do?
 

dudley

Eheim User
Feb 9, 2005
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Medina, Ohio
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The major downsides to using buffers is that the aquarium branded ones can get expensive and you have to 'fiddle' with your tap water when doing water changes.

If you are looking at the Lake Malawi water parameters often found in books and online, don't try to mimic them for your tank. You may not have to adjust your tank water parameters to provide good conditions for your fish IF your parameters remain stable AND you do regular water changes to replenish minerals.

IF you want to adjust your water parameters cheaper, you can use household baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to raise the pH and KH AND use Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) to raise the GH.

The usual recommendation is to experiment in a 5G bucket of tap water that has been dechlorinated. The amounts of baking soda or Epsom salt needed will vary based on your tap water parameters.
 
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