How Important is GH and KH for Africans?

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jimbo

Just love those creatures
May 12, 2003
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Do you know your tap-water parameters, PH KH and GH?
Not straight from the tap but after 24 hours sitting in a bucket with an air-stone (and air-pump of course) in it.
 

dcallen

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May 6, 2003
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Jimbo,

Nope. I have not checked this as yet, I guess I need to buy a cheap pump and airstone and put the water to the test. It would be good to know what my natural water parameters are. Would the water need to be dechlorinated etc. before the test?


Thanks...
 

Faramir

The twit from over the pond.
Nov 20, 1998
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After 24 hours in the bucket it would be dechlorinated.
 

dcallen

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May 6, 2003
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Thanks guys. I'll check with my water department and find out how they treat the water, then I'll run the test.
 

Tiger15

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Jan 20, 1999
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Here are the parameters for the three lakes I compiled from several sources:

Victoria 2-8KH 7.1-9.0pH 98-145cond
Malawi 6-8KH 7.7-8.6pH 6-10GH 210-235Cond
Tang 16-19KH 8.6-9.2pH 11-17GH 606-620Cond

As for me, I don't add salt or buffer, only rely on dolomite substrate to raise the hardness. I do very large water change, about 75%, every two weeks and the steady water parameters are around 12 GH, 4-5 KH, 7.4 pH and 230 conductivity. So my tank parameters are pretty much in line with Lake Malawi except for lower pH. I used to add salt and found my fish scratched a lot after water change and I stopped doing it altogether. Many people don't realize that by adding buffer salt they end up raising GH and KH to adnormally high range even though the pH is closer to the lake range. It is debatable on whehter pH matching or hardness matching is more important.

Also, some cichlid experts suspect that the fine from crushed coral will irrigate the gills and cause scratching. I found that crushed coral is too hard to maintain because they are too light and get finer with time so that it get siphoned off easily. I have replaced crushed coral with dolomite gravel years ago and along with stopping to add salt, my fish have stopped scratching . I suspect that adding salt can lead to parameters swing that can cause more irritation than benefit.
 

dcallen

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May 6, 2003
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Thanks for the detailed info Tiger15. I don't know exactly what the KH and GH is at right now, but I do know that the last time I checked them, I remember them being really high, with the pH being around 8.0. I believe you are correct in that by my adding the Cichlid buffer it has raised the GH and KH to levels that are really too high. I think I'll skip adding it to my next water change and then see what the GH and KH readings are at, hopefully they will be decreased a bit.


Thanks again...
 
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