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Multifasciatus at 7.4 Ph?


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Is a ph of 7.4 for a neolamprologus multifasciatus tank bad? Nothing to worry about?

I'm starting a shell tank and have a bunch of texts holey rock in it and some Carib Sea Florida Crushed Coral. The Ph has stabilized around 7.4. 

The tank is a 40 breeder with about 20 lbs of holey rock and inert sand. I have maybe a pound of the florida coral in a medium-sized box filter, bubbling water through that. 

I was hoping the Florida coral would buffer to around 8 since it has aragonite, but so far I'm sitting at 7.4. I was also under the assumption the the holey rock would have the same effect. 

My tap water is pretty acidic, has KH lower than 1, and stabilizes at around 6.6 - 6.8 if unbuffered.

Any advice? Just roll with 7.4? Do the coral and rock take longer to buffer than I am anticipating?

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While Multies are pretty hearty compared to other Tanganyikans, they do like a high ph (7.8 - 9.0). You can probably keep them alive in 7.4, but they probably won't breed in those conditions. 

If you're looking at just keeping a few with other Tanganyikans and not trying to breed them, you can probably roll with what you have.  If you're trying to setup a Multi tank and get fry, I'd keep trying to raise the ph closer to 8 at least.


My substrate is 100% Aragonite sand. I tried regular sand with buffers like coral, but it was never enough to get the ph near 8. Swapped out with Aragonite and it is 8.2 consistently now.

Once I had them in the higher ph, they started breeding and the fry would survive. Before that, I almost never saw fry. And when I did, it would be only 1 or 2 and they would die soon after.

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25 minutes ago, tolstoy21 said:

Ed, Thanks for the reply.

I was under the impression (and hoping) that Texas holey rock would be enough to buffer the Ph to 8.

I do want to get a colony going from an initial six multis i have coming soon, so I think I'll just mix some aragonite sand into the existing inert sand.

I have not seen the holey rock cause a big enough jump in ph and switched to lava rock and Aragonite. Lava rock has tons of surface area for beneficial bacteria and weighs less than holey rock and Aragonite seems to be the best for increasing the ph. 

Congrats on your new shellies, definitely one of my favorite tanks. 

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