African Cichlid water parameters should be kept at the following alkaline ranges:
Malawi species: 7.4 – 8.6
Tanganyika species: 7.8 – 9.0
Victoria species: 7.2 – 8
Cichlids are sensitive to pH changes. Therefore, avoid changes in pH greater than .3 units per day.
Proper African Cichlid water parameters will make them appear vibrant in aquariums with a general hardness ranging from 160 – 320 ppm (parts per million) or 9° – 18° DH . GH levels naturally drop over time because minerals do not stay suspended in water very long therefore regular partial water changes are best.
Carbonate hardness is an important Cichlid water parameter, also known as “buffering capacity” or “total alkalinity,” Without adequate buffering, the pH in your aquarium will eventually drop because the end result of the nitrogen cycle is nitrate (nitric-acid), which slowly builds up between water changes. However, with sufficient buffering the pH remains stable. KH for Africans should be kept in the range of 180 – 240 ppm, or 10° – 14° DH.