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Ph Buffer Problem In South American Cichlid Tank….

Home Forums Fresh and Brackish Water Fishes Ph Buffer Problem In South American Cichlid Tank….

This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Bluedave 9 years, 2 months ago.

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #299923

    FishCatMan
    Participant

    Long time listener, first time caller…

    so.. I have a 55 ga tank that I am preparing to have some rams and apistos in. I go the tank, established with 3 big cichlids that were fighing so I game then away and an preparing to start a new community. Right now I have some plattys, guppies and a few cardinal tetra, many plants.
    I believe my tank has appropriate bacteria because my readings are

    Ammonia 0-0.25
    Nitrite 0
    Nitrate 20

    OK my problem is water pH and hardness.

    I live in the ohio river valley and the tap water is very hard (400+ppm) lots of ca++, the alkalinity is ~120, and the pH is 7.2.

    so I would like softer, more acidic water for my dwarf cichlids coming soon, so I have been working on water chemistry.

    originally my tank
    pH 6.8
    alkilinity 80ppm
    total hardness ~400

    I am glad the pH is on the low side (however I have no real good reason why)
    but I wanted to decrease the gH, and possible increase the kH

    so I did a 20% water change, which I thought would give me more kH,
    I also go a “softener pillow” and put in the filter

    today, by gH came down to 120, but alkalinity dropped to 0!! and pH dropped to 6.4

    QUESTION- how do I gert my gH to be down. without dropping my alkalinity to 0??
    I understand this is difficult to do especially with my tap water,
    should I add pH up buffer stuff? or do more frequent water changes?

    #311553

    dunc
    Keymaster

    Hi there

    #311559

    Matt
    Keymaster

    Hey FCM, personally I’d avoid those pH up or down products and try more natural methods as Dunc suggested. Unless you’re planning on stocking wild fish you might actually find some of the commoner dwarves like cacatuoides will do ok in your water as it is though.

    #311577

    FishCatMan
    Participant

    thanks guys, I have not tried any of the natural things, I will look into that, no too excited about having brown water though

    #311590

    mickthefish
    Participant

    try oak leaves they don’t put much tannin in the water plus your apistos will love it.

    mick

    #311873

    Bluedave
    Participant

    The problem with all the natural remedies is that they will lower your KH but not neccesarily your GH by much. Peat, bogwood and oak leaves are all brilliant at softening water but will affect your KH without dramatically reducing your very high GH.

    I use RO water on my tanks and ‘buffer’ this with a KH booster and a GH booster to give KH 4 and GH 5. Now i’m not advocating that you go for RO but that would solve your problems.

    I think you will struggle to get the GH down to a level your happy with without dropping your KH to nothing because of the disparity between the two (as you’ve seen with your pillow softener).

    One way would be to use the pillow softener on the water your using for the water change not the water in the tank (which is the reason your KH had dropped right down, not the water change) this would then bring the KH and GH down in the tank in a controlled way.

    Alternatively, look for tank bred fish in your local area who will be OK in your water parameters – no mucking about with water chemistry then – which can lead to problems if your not sure about it.

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