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  • Tanganyika Buffer KH question

    Hi there,

    I've set up a Lake Tanganyika tank for some Neolamprologus multifasciatus. I initially used tap water to start the tank but want to slowly switch to RODI water buffered with Seachem Tanganyika Buffer and Seachem Cichlid Salts, to match their wild conditions as closely as possible. I will do this gradually as I do my normal weekly water changes.

    To this end, I have a 10L jerry can of RODI water to which I've added the salts and buffer, according to instructions (2.75g of salts and 1.25 g of buffer). I've left it for 24 hours with an airstone running inside. This produced a GH of 10 and a pH of ~9 (measured using liquid test and pH pen).

    However, the KH of this water is 4, which seems rather low to me. Should I add more buffer or will this also raise the pH?

    Any tips greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Chris

  • #2
    kH seems to be marginally low to keep the pH from dropping too much. Nevertheless, you can always add some sodium bicarbonate to the RO water to increase it a bit. Overtime, Nitrification and fish waste will bring your pH down. You could probably focus on the kH later when your tank fully cycles so that your pH isn't too high to begin with.

    Your gH will react with acids, too, so don't worry too much. Ideally, to breed cichlids (as I have in my outdoor man-made ponds), you'll want your kH to be between 12 and 17.
    Last edited by LabTest57; 07-25-2020, 00:14.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the info! I guess this is my point, I expected the buffer to raise the KH to cichlid levels so that a high pH of 9 can be maintained. I'll see how it goes, the KH in the tank at the moment is fairly high anyway.

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      • #4
        Actually, I forgot that Nitrification consumes quite a bit of kH as well.
        https://drive.google.com/file/d/16k3...w?usp=drivesdk
        (can't upload full-sized screenshots on here for some weird reason)
        I think you should raise it to at least 8 to avoid random pH swings during cycling. I remember one of my cichlid tanks having this issue at a dKH of 5. Although, my GH was on the low side.
        Last edited by LabTest57; 07-25-2020, 14:59.

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        • #5
          I should say that this is just RO water with the buffer and salts added, it's not yet been added to the tank, so there's no reason for the KH to have been degraded. I am just trying to ensure my RO water is properly mineralised and buffered.

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          • #6
            Hello Chris,

            I use Cichlid Lake Salt and Tanganyika Buffer (26 grams per 52 gallons) in our Tanganyika system here. May I please have the lot number on the bottom back of the label of your Tanganyika Buffer?

            Thank you,
            PE

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Tech Support PE View Post
              Hello Chris,

              I use Cichlid Lake Salt and Tanganyika Buffer (26 grams per 52 gallons) in our Tanganyika system here. May I please have the lot number on the bottom back of the label of your Tanganyika Buffer?

              Thank you,
              PE
              Sure, it's 91602 (this is the black printed number on the bottom, assume that's right?).

              Cheers,

              Chris

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              • #8
                Just checking, any advice? Is this a normal level of KH to get from this buffer? Thanks!

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                • #9
                  Hello Chris,

                  I just tested the jar of Tanganyika Buffer I use for our tank here and got a dKH of 7 using 0.2 grams in 1 liter of our lab's RO/DI (the really good stuff!). That's a little bit of an overdose; technically I should have used 0.125 grams per 1 Liter, but I don't have free access to the analytical scale. Please keep in mind that as the baseline KH of tanks across the country and around the world are all unique, it's better to make a blend that won't raise KH too strongly as that can lead to overdosing. This means, as we state on the label, it may take multiple doses to increase KH enough in your tank to achieve the pH you want. Once you've figured out the exact amount of the product you need for your unique situation, write it down somewhere safe and use that dose each time you do a water change.

                  Also, have you considered using Onyx and Onyx sand in your tank? onyx.php. It's one of the best substrates I've encountered for high pH fish and has a nice charcoal grey color that really shows the fish off well. Since our Tanganyika system is one of our owners' and is filled with high end wild caught fish, you can bet I'm only using the best!

                  Kind regards,
                  PE

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Tech Support PE View Post
                    Hello Chris,

                    I just tested the jar of Tanganyika Buffer I use for our tank here and got a dKH of 7 using 0.2 grams in 1 liter of our lab's RO/DI (the really good stuff!). That's a little bit of an overdose; technically I should have used 0.125 grams per 1 Liter, but I don't have free access to the analytical scale. Please keep in mind that as the baseline KH of tanks across the country and around the world are all unique, it's better to make a blend that won't raise KH too strongly as that can lead to overdosing. This means, as we state on the label, it may take multiple doses to increase KH enough in your tank to achieve the pH you want. Once you've figured out the exact amount of the product you need for your unique situation, write it down somewhere safe and use that dose each time you do a water change.

                    Also, have you considered using Onyx and Onyx sand in your tank? onyx.php. It's one of the best substrates I've encountered for high pH fish and has a nice charcoal grey color that really shows the fish off well. Since our Tanganyika system is one of our owners' and is filled with high end wild caught fish, you can bet I'm only using the best!

                    Kind regards,
                    PE
                    Okay, thanks a lot. Strange that my KH was so low then. I'll have to test again, maybe my test was off!

                    I am keeping tiny shell dweller so they need very fine crush coral sand to dig in, bu the Onyx does look nice!

                    Cheers,

                    Chris

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                    • #11
                      Hello Chris,

                      We also make a sand sized version of Onyx that would work very well for your shellies.

                      Regards,
                      PE

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