Ph for mbuna

coltoncichlid
Member
Hello everyone! I am new to this forum and have found a lot of great information about cichlids in general. I currently have a 36 gallon bowfront aquarium with 1 venustus, 1 cobalt zebra, 1 yellow lab, 1 yellow tail acei, and 1 red tail black shark. I recently bought a 75 gallon marineland aquarium that i want to transfer the fish i have into the 75 gallon. My only issue is that my ph in the 36 gallon is around 7.2 which i know is on the lower end for mbuna but they seem to be doing well. When i get the new fish and put them in the 75 gallon, should i try to raise the ph and if so will that effect the 5 fish that i have already? My tap water is around 6.4. Ive read that a steady ph is better than a changing ph. I just dont want the 5 fish i have to die, especially the shark. My girlfriend picked out the shark and she would be very upset if he died. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 
A201
Member
Mbuna in general do well in water w/PH of 7.8 - 8.3.
Build a substantial limestone hardscape in the new 75 gal tank.
Your acidic tap, should quickly dissolve tiny particles of the limestone, which should naturally bump the PH within the above parameters.
Instead of big 50% weekly water change, do 2x 15% weekly water changes. That should prevent big shifts in PH. Your Shark should be just fine.
Here's an example of a limestone hardscape. Most rockyards or landscape companies sell limestone & its usually cheap.

20210303_092021.jpg
 
richiep
Member
I have mine at 7.8 which is the lower end but doing well and can't stop them breeding
 
  • Thread Starter
coltoncichlid
Member
A201 said:
Mbuna in general do well in water w/PH of 7.8 - 8.3.
Build a substantial limestone hardscape in the new 75 gal tank.
Your acidic tap, should quickly dissolve tiny particles of the limestone, which should naturally bump the PH within the above parameters.
Instead of big 50% weekly water change, do 2x 15% weekly water changes. That should prevent big shifts in PH. Your Shark should be just fine.
Here's an example of a limestone hardscape. Most rockyards or landscape companies sell limestone & its usually cheap.

20210303_092021.jpg
T
A201 said:
Mbuna in general do well in water w/PH of 7.8 - 8.3.
Build a substantial limestone hardscape in the new 75 gal tank.
Your acidic tap, should quickly dissolve tiny particles of the limestone, which should naturally bump the PH within the above parameters.
Instead of big 50% weekly water change, do 2x 15% weekly water changes. That should prevent big shifts in PH. Your Shark should be just fine.
Here's an example of a limestone hardscape. Most rockyards or landscape companies sell limestone & its usually cheap.

20210303_092021.jpg
Thank you for the information. So the fish I have now should be fine when I transfer them? I also had an exasperstus cichlid and another cichlid I didnt know the species of that died. You think it was the ph?
 
A201
Member
The Exasperatus is a Mbuna species. There's no sure way to determine what caused the deaths of the two Cichlids. Water Chemistry, aggression or disease are all possibilities.
 
  • Thread Starter
coltoncichlid
Member
A201 said:
The Exasperatus is a Mbuna species. There's no sure way to determine what caused the deaths of the two Cichlids. Water Chemistry, aggression or disease are all possibilities.
The unknown species was not right from the get go. I think he might have been a peacock but not entirely sure. He was not eating much and hiding a lot. The exsaperatus lasted about a month and a half until his demise. Another question is substrate. Should i buy the african cichlid specific sand substrate?
 
Broggy
Member
mine are at 7.6 and they used to be at 7.2 even then they were thriving. you could look up Malawi buffer by Seachem and see if that's what you want
 
  • Thread Starter
coltoncichlid
Member
A201 said:
Mbuna in general do well in water w/PH of 7.8 - 8.3.
Build a substantial limestone hardscape in the new 75 gal tank.
Your acidic tap, should quickly dissolve tiny particles of the limestone, which should naturally bump the PH within the above parameters.
Instead of big 50% weekly water change, do 2x 15% weekly water changes. That should prevent big shifts in PH. Your Shark should be just fine.
Here's an example of a limestone hardscape. Most rockyards or landscape companies sell limestone & its usually cheap.

20210303_092021.jpg
Should I put the new ones and the ones i have in at the same time? I just want to do everything right to avoid any problems. And should I put all limestone in the tank or mix it with a different rock? I dont want the ph to be too high for the fish i already have. Thanks for the help. It seems like you know your mbuna.
 
Dechi
Member
PH works on a logarithmic scale, so the fish wouldn’t survive a rapid change from a 7.2 PH to 8.0 or so.

If you want to increase your PH to 8.0 or 8.2, you will need to do it very slowly, over many weeks. I use Seachem Malawi salt to raise my GH to about 300 ppm and Seachem Malawi buffer to raise my KH and PH to 8.2.

You can also use aragonite sand as a substrate or in your filter to help buffer and raise PH. I (and many people) use Caribsea Aragonite special grade sand.
 
  • Thread Starter
coltoncichlid
Member
Dechi said:
PH works on a logarithmic scale, so the fish wouldn’t survive a rapid change from a 7.2 PH to 8.0 or so.

If you want to increase your PH to 8.0 or 8.2, you will need to do it very slowly, over many weeks. I use Seachem Malawi salt to raise my GH to about 300 ppm and Seachem Malawi buffer to raise my KH and PH to 8.2.

You can also use aragonite sand as a substrate or in your filter to help buffer and raise PH. I (and many people) use Caribsea Aragonite special grade sand.
Gotchya. So doing an all limestone hardscape wouldnt raise it that much? The fish i am getting from my local fish store are in about 7.2 to 7.4 ph, around the same as the tank i have now. I probably want to match that when i put them all in the new 75 gallon right?
 
Dechi
Member
coltoncichlid said:
So doing an all limestone hardscape wouldnt raise it that much? The fish i am getting from my local fish store are in about 7.2 to 7.4 ph, around the same as the tank i have now. I probably want to match that when i put them all in the new 75 gallon right?
I was told using aragonite would raise my PH from 7.0 to about 7.5 but I don’t know since I use the Seachem buffer. Maybe the limestone is similar but I wouldn’t expect a drastic change.

You don’t have to match the PH of the store, especially if it’s not ideal. That is why we do drip acclimation, so the fish can slowly get used to a different PH, other water parameters and temperature.
 
A201
Member
My African tank has over 200 lbs. of limestone hardscape. The PH stays locked ar 8.2.
 
  • Thread Starter
coltoncichlid
Member
A201 said:
My African tank has over 200 lbs. of limestone hardscape. The PH stays locked ar 8.2.
Ok cool. I obviously dont want the ph that high when i put them in right because thats quite a drastic change. And what about stocking options? i will probably get rid of my venustus, since he is not an mbuna. I believe i have 1 cobalt zebra, 1 yellow lab, 1 yellow tail acei, and the shark. Should i stick with those 3 species of mbuna or can i get away with more species?
 
A201
Member
A healthy male Venustus would eventually outgrow a 75 gal. tank, so good idea to rehome.
Zebra Mbuna, in general, can be very aggressive & dominate an entire tank. The Cobalt Blue isn't quite as bad as the Red Zebra.
Yellow Tail Aceis look good in a group & are one of the few Mbuna that will occassionlly school. Males grow surprisingly large, six - seven inches.
Yellow Labs are fine, but don't expect the males to be particularly peaceful as often advertised.
Instead of the Zebras, you might look at Hongi, Trewassae or Rusties. I've kept all the above listed Mbuna.
 
  • Thread Starter
coltoncichlid
Member
A201 said:
A healthy male Venustus would eventually outgrow a 75 gal. tank, so good idea to rehome.
Zebra Mbuna, in general, can be very aggressive & dominate an entire tank. The Cobalt Blue isn't quite as bad as the Red Zebra.
Yellow Tail Aceis look good in a group & are one of the few Mbuna that will occassionlly school. Males grow surprisingly large, six - seven inches.
Yellow Labs are fine, but don't expect the males to be particularly peaceful as often advertised.
Instead of the Zebras, you might look at Hongi, Trewassae or Rusties. I've kept all the above listed Mbuna.
Yea the cobalt zebra i have is a bully to my yellow tail acei. Might give him away along with my venustus. I like the Hongis, trewassae, and rusties. You think i would be ok to mix all of those with my yellow lab and acei. And how many in my 75 gallon. Ive heard around 25 total fish.
 
A201
Member
I think all three of those species would work. The Hongi & Trewassae look very similar, but are relatively laid back as compared to other Mbuna.
 
Islandvic
Member
pH in the Aquarium:


Water hardnes:




Also, youhave a lot of options with a 75g. I have. 55g with mainly all male mnuba with a couple of peacocks.

Here some to consider:

Jalo Reef Afra
Green Mbweca Afra
Lions Cove Afra
Red Top Hongi
Yellow Top Mbamba
Orange Cobue Afra
Maingano
Yellow Tail Acai
Gold Zebra Metriaclima
Labidochromis Perlmutt
Alibino Red Top Zebra
Tropheops Chilumba
Saulosi


Consider paying a little more and get males over thr cheaper unsexed cichlids.
 

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