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Ben Broadfoot

Beginner question about water prep

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Hi aceforums,

   I'm considering African cichlids for my next aquarium but have a few details to work out beforehand. If anyone could help with these questions I'd greatly appreciate it.

My tapwater, after it's aged/aerated is at 8.0pH and 2KH. I'm yet to measure GH. Is there a standard way to prepare water for your tank each water change? e.g. tap into  tub, add in X product to increase KH/GH/pH, add in dechlorinator, heat it up, then pump it into the tank. If so, what is the X product?

I have a tub that's slightly larger than my tank for water changes.

Edited by Ben Broadfoot

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Pre conditioning water is easiest done in a drum depending on the amount of water you require, what size tank do you have,

these can be 80lt or 200 lt sizes make sure that previous contents were foodstuff so there is no residual chemicals that could

cause problems if leached from the plastic

Buy a cheap pump and some hose, a tap near the outlet nozzle is handy for shutting off the water supply

if you don't have an assistant or the power point is too far away

Dechlorinators are personal choice but I prefer Seachem Safe powder version of Prime

With 8.0 pH I would just look at buffering the hardness there are many on the market Seachem, Aqua-pics, API, Aquasonic, Continum

personally I believe a conditioning salt mix better than just a kH buffer as it also supplies trace elements

Keeping the kH (carbonate levels) up helps stabilise the water parameters

Use an airstone and/or the pump to circulate the water and mix the buffer and dechlorinator in the drum

Depending on water temp, time of year and where the drum is situated will determine if you use a heater or just add boiling water from

the kettle to get the temp right, a couple of degree drop isn't normally going to worry the fish and you will only be doing 30% water change normally

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I do 50% water changes weekly in a 6x2x2. I just add a hose straight to the tank with the same temperature water. First I turn off the filters, add Safe, turn water on, slowly add 80grams of bi-carb soda for my KH & pH, slowly add 50grams Aquasonic Rift Lake conditioner for my GH. Been doing this for years with good success  

My pH is 8.1, KH is 12, GH is 10 and it stays there till my next water change. 

Note the bi-carb and rift conditioner is mixed separately in a 1 litre container first. 

You can use Seachem Malawi buffer for you ph/KH and Seachem lake salt for your GH if your budget allows. 

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Thanks for these replies. The products you listed were particularly helpful.


I've got a ~300 litre tank 5x1.5x1.5 and found a 300l drum for storing drinking water at bunnings, perfect :)

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