How Important is GH and KH for Africans?

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Harry Tolen

Cichlid Fan
Aug 17, 2000
Union, WA, USA
dcallen: what kind of "Africans" are you keeping, anway? Knowing that would help us make more specific recommendations, and you can see from the stats posted above that the different Rift Lakes have significantly different parameters.

I would not wait to check your tapwater before deciding what to do, by the way. Test the water from the tank. Tetra makes a test kit that includes tests for GH, KH, pH, ammonia, and nitrites, availale from the on-line retailers for about $15, that will do quite nicely.

Once you get those results, please post them here.

Incidentally, I would continue to add the buffers and Cichlid salts you have been using; as long as you are only dosing for the volume of water you replace during changes, you will not create a significant problem. Your pH being at 8.0 is an indication that you are not having a problem; that is a good number for Malawi and actually too low for Tanganyikans.

I should mention two other things: if you are adding only Cichlid salts, you are not significantly buffering the water. For that you need to use the separate buffering product. And sea salt is not a good thing to add to Rift Lake tanks, as their water does not naturally contain high amounts of sodium chloride.


The Spurs: World Champs again!
May 6, 2003
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Thanks for the advice. I will take some readings and post them to this thread. As far as fish go I have male Peacocks and one male Yellow Lab in the tank at the moment. I have 8 fish total in the 70 gallon tank.