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Old 04-24-2009, 10:14 AM   #1
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ph / gh / kh

i have a malawi cichlid tank. my tap water is soft and has a low ph. i've been experimenting with a diy buffer recipe (baking soda, epsom salt and non-iodized table salt). my gh is good now (16) but by the time i added enough baking soda to get my ph up to (8.4), it made my kh (27). from what i've read, that's WAY too high. is it bad for the fish? if so, how can i lower the kh without bringing the ph back down too?
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Old 04-25-2009, 07:48 AM   #2
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i dont know anything about malawis but i just did a quick search and it says that ph should be between 7.8 and 8.4. so i guess you could lower your ph a bit. if you already have fish in there you should adjust the ph kind of gradually
what size tank do you have?
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Old 04-25-2009, 12:45 PM   #3
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Not related to your question, but table salt does not affect any of the parameters you're trying to control here. You should probably change up the GH boster too. Epsom salt does raise both hardness and pH, but I think fish that need hard water are going to have a need for calcium, and right now your GH is nearly all magnesium. I'm not completely sure that matters, but I would definitely research it a little. You can get calcium carbonate cheaply online, and it will raise GH/KH/pH all together, so you could have less sodium sulfate in the final mixture.

I should note that I know nothing whatsoever about Malawi cichlids, but I do know about chemistry. If you want these fish to have salty water in addition to hard and alkaline, your mix is fine, but generally for freshwater fish I'd go a little lighter on the salt.
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