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Discussion Starter #1
Going to build up my new 120gl this weekend and to fill it with the best water as my tap water down here isn't the best.

What is the best water to use? This tank is leaning to be cichlid driven accented with African Biotope - so semi aggressive/aggressive.

I have lace rock coming, 2 existing African driftwood plus a larger centerpiece driftwood, will have hearty plants etc.

Is it RO? Distilled Drinking water?

I'm photographng the build so it should be posted by next week as well.

One other question - will my Denison Barbs be ok with cichlids?

thx,
Cheffish
 
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I do not know if anyone I know of has had any luck keeping plants in a tank with cichlids either but then I do not know everyone who has tried. Good luck.

Rose
 

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RO water without a doubt. I broke down and bought a RO unit a few years ago after using tap water forever, and it was the best single thing I've ever done for my tanks. Buy one. You won't be disappointed.
 

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If your aim is to keep African cichlids, you are going to be trying for water with high solids content and a high pH. You will not get that with any kind of bottled water nor with an RO or an RO/DI. If you start with tap water, you will have some of the mineral content to start with and can build from there.
 

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I hear that RO water is the best. I was researching it the other day.

Reverse osmosis is basically a water purification process. Water is forced through a super tiny membrane. The membrane removes 90%-99% of tap water impurities. (which is really good in your case.) Basically, it makes your water free of minerals and other contaminents that can build up in your tank.

As far as water quality goes, pH might be your biggest problem if your using RO. What type of substrate are you planning on using? Also, I have a friend that tried a planted african cichlid tank. It didnt do so well. They kept eating the plants and some tried to pull them up entirely.

Be sure to update us on ur tank! Post pictures! :)


The result is water that is free of minerals and other contaminants.
 

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The result of RO is almost pure, mineral free water. You need to check your tap water and find out how hard it is and what the pH is. Once you know that, you will know if it is appropriate for the fish that you want to keep. Water with a reputation for being terrible drinking water is often water that is high in mineral content and is hard with a high pH. Does this sound familiar? Water for African rift lake cichlids is high in mineral content and quite hard with a high pH. If I had very hard very high pH water, my choices of fish to avoid having any real trouble would be either South American livebearers or African rift lake cichlids. Save the RO for angels, neons and similar fish that need low solids, low pH water.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
update- will post the entire build when it's done. I have lots of the same hearty plants arriving tomorrow from aquariumplants.com.

New 120gl
Painted back of tank - stone fleck (blackish/gray)
Lace rock in (damn I need more)
African mined rock due in tomorrow (need to boil first)
2 African driftwood pieces (from my old tank)
Eco-Complete - 100#
Black gravel
Fluval FX5

Fish go in Friday - All African Cichlids

P.S. - Eco-Water is coming in tomorrow to give us a quote on a home RO system - wife was jealous I was using it on feeeeesh.*#3

RO or Tap? I know we have hard water and high ph - I've tried lowering it in my 80gl and it was next to impossible even with two pieces of driftwood...

RO OR TAP? What say ye?
 
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