07-04-2007, 09:17 PM
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The substrate tht I use in my cichlid tanks is crushed coral or some other sustrate that would tend to keep the pH to the high side(7.0-8.6) depending upon the fish. If the lfs sells fish that are bred by local breeders, I use a gravel that is neutral, usually red or black flint or a blend thereof. If the fish are wild caught, or delivered from their suppliers, I will choose a substrate that is more compatible with the area they came from. This also applies to F1's. Many African cichlids do prefer a higher pH. I also filter over a high alkaline substance, like crushed coral to help maintain a higher pH.