Sandstone in the aquarium?

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matsp
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Postby matsp » Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:08 pm

Should be fine.

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cichlidman
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Postby cichlidman » Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:22 pm

Hi yes sand stone has no buffering ability like the more popular ocean rock used in malawi tanks. But sandstone does look better. If you nave an external filter you can put some crushed coral in to buffer the water, makes good bio media too.

Dave Godfrey
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Postby Dave Godfrey » Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:26 pm

You should be fine in terms of avoiding introducing metals, but I'd still do the old vinegar test, as some sandstones can be quite calcareous.

I don't know anything about Malawi Cichlids, and their preferred GH or KH I'm afraid, so if it does have the potential to affect your GH and KH, I wouldn't be able to say if its a problem for them.
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cichlidman
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Postby cichlidman » Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:15 pm

The water in a malawi tank has to be hard and mineral rich ph above 8. You can do this using a freshwater buffer or some people use bicarbonate soda to harden your water, how much you have to use depends on how hard your tap water is to begin with, but calcerous rock like ocean rock and crushed coral substrate help to buffer the water naturally and minimises the amount of chemical buffer that you need to use.

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cichlidman
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Postby cichlidman » Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:20 pm

You also need to over stock these fish to avoid potentially fatal territorial disputes so mega filtration is neccessary especially as ammonia is really toxic at such high ph.

Dave Godfrey
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Postby Dave Godfrey » Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:32 pm

You're looking for bubbling or fizzing when you do the vinegar test. The acetic acid in the vinegar will be reacting with the calcium carbonate in the rock, producing carbon dioxide gas.
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blackghost
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Postby blackghost » Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:49 am

You don't need the vinegar test for a Malawi set up. You do need high KH and GH, and a pH between about 7.5 and 8.5. Bicarb, coral gravel etc will increase KH but not GH, so you will also need a GH buffer.... or preferably a ready made Malawi buffer.
Last edited by blackghost on Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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