Cichlids require specific water parameters to be happy and healthy. These water parameters depend on where your specific cichlids come from. You can currently acquire cichlids from Africa which come from Lake Tanganyika, Lake Malawi, and Lake Victoria.
These lakes are part of the East African Rift valley where Lake Victoria is the second largest freshwater lake (regards to surface area) and Lake Tanganyika is the worlds second largest in volume as well as the second deepest. These lakes, along with Lake Malawi have specific water parameters regarding pH, Lake Victoria has a pH around 7.0 to 8.6, Lake Malawi has a pH around 7.4 to 8.6 and Lake Tanganyika has a pH around 7.8 to 9.0. These pHs hare considerably high compared to the average freshwater aquarium and will make keeping aquarium plants very difficult.
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