Do I need crushed coral?


Im about to set up an mbuna tank (saulosi cichlids in particular) and needing advice on Ph as this is my first time keeping cichlids. I do not know where my hardness sits, however my tap water ph comes out at 8.8 and then stabilizes in my tanks at 8.2 Do I need to add crushed coral when setting up the tank or will my tap water cover cover their needs?


Off the start it looks good, I would pick up a KH / GH liquid test kit just to be sure.


Yeah, check your KH and GH, but with a pH that high, your water is probably pretty hard. Your Saulosi's should be happy


Although it is likely that your water is hard, depending upon where you live, that might not be the case. I once lived in eastern Virginia where the water was pumped from a deep aquifer. The water was very soft, yet alkaline due to a high level of bicarbonates, an unusual combination.

Get a GH/KH test kit to measure your water hardness. You could also purchase an inexpensive TDS (total dissolved solids meter). Using the GH test kit, anything over about 18 dGH would be considered hard water. That is somewhere over 300 ppm on the TDS meter.

Where I live the tap water is extremely hard with a dGH ranging from 22-28 and 400-500 ppm TDS. That would be great for Mbunas, but not so good for most other fish. Thus, I use RO water and adjust my dGH to about 7-8 which is more suitable for many community fish, but unsuitable for African Rift Lake cichlids.

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