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Any ideas? I have been struggling to keep my pH levels up, when I first went into african cichlids nearly 12 months ago I was told around the high 7's was a good place to be. I achieved that for ages until recently. I now am getting readings around the 6.6-6.8. Evaporation in my tank is around 7 to 8 litres per day (my tank is 720 L) Filtration is 2x aquaclear 500 and 1 unistar 300- 3L. Everyweek I

change around 150 litres of water, then add the correct amount of rift lake salts and chlorine neut: I change the carbons in the a/q alt every month and clean the sponges out in tank water at the same time. Water temp has been a constant 26 for the past month, however before that it was up to 30, ( I live in Nth Qld ).

I have been adding coral rubble ( shop bought ), and that always did the trick,...........up until now cheers.......

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Guest Gutty

Remove the wood for starters, i find a small peice doesn't really make alot of difference, but alot or a little it does lower the PH.



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First of all, remove the drift wood, thats only going to make your job harder.

Im not sure what brand of rift lake salts you are using, but they will most likely only affect the genral hardness of your water which is totally unrelated to PH. What you want to do is raise the carbonate hardness of the water which will help maintain a high PH for an extended period of time. There ware various ways to do this:

You could buy a commercially available KH buffer which will add various carbonates to the water and help keep the KH and PH at desired levels. I guess the downside of this is that you have to keep buying the KH buffers which can be quite expensive over time, expecially if you have to maintain more than one tank.

I cheaper alternative is to raise your KH and PH with Sodium Bocarbonate, otherwise known as Baking Soda. This will get you a PH of around 7.8 for about 4 - 5 days and after that the PH will start to drop in the absence of sufficient carbonates in the water to maintain the water's buffering capacity. If you do weekly water changes, you can often maintain a PH of 7.8 if you continuously top up the levels of Sodium Bicarbonate when you put fresh water into the tank.

If you dont want to rely on water changes to keep the PH high, you can increase the water's buffering capacity by using cheaper ways of adding carbonates into the water. This can be done by, adding crushed coral or crushed shells into your cannister filter, using limestone gravel or grushed coral gravel, adding crushed shells to your gravel, using limestone rocks in the tank, or adding calcium carbonate to the water - basically you want to put things in the water that will slowly release cabonates and keep the PH buffered at the desired level. It is still a good idea to use Sodium Bicarbonate whenever you do a water chage - maybe about 1 heaped teaspood per 10 litres (thats just a rough estimate).

Hope this helped!

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