...I'm in the process of running a fishless cycle for an African Cichlid 55 gal. tank. My substrate connsists of a mixture of 15 lbs of CaribSeaŽ Aragamax Select Aragonite (From Petsmart) with about 25 lbs of Pool Filter Sand. (mixed throughly with one another before adding to tank) Tank has been set up for 11 days now and the pH is holding between 8.1-8.3 (Very hard to decipher colors in the tube and chart with the API Fresh water Master Kit.
My GH has gone up from (Tap water - 5.0 degrees (drops)) to GH of 9 degrees. But for african Cichlids I'd like it to be higher at least in the 12-15 degree range
My KH in tap water was 4 degrees, and 2 days after tank was set up was at 7 degrees, but yesterday was down to 5 degrees.
My substrate is about 2 to 2.5 inches deep through out the tank, would I be better off adding some more Arganite, another 5 lbs maybe? Even though I dont really want a much deeper sandbed.
I also have crushed coral which Ipurchased but hve yet to use in the filter (Fluval 406) in one of the sections. I have not done this yet, hoping I could get away with the substrate providing enough minerals to raise the hardness. Will this help raise the Hardness? without raising the pH?
Alternatively I could add baking soda maybe? what do you guys suggest?
One side question....which of the hardness test..GH or KH is more important when seeking to raise the water's hardness for hard water fish such as African Cichlids? Fish profiles often tell what the waterhardness preferences are but dont state if thats GH or KH? Should I be concerned with boosting GH or KH? Thanks!!