Cichlid Lake Salt

  • Replicates the environment of African Cichlids
  • Contains proper amounts of calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium
  • Affects hardness only, not alkalinity or pH


Cichlid Lake Salt™ is a chemically sound blend of salts designed to replicate the natural environment of Rift Lake African Cichlids. It contains all physiologically essential elements such as magnesium, calcium, sodium, potassium, and includes trace components such as iron, aluminum, and iodide.

Although the major Rift Lakes contain basically the same mineral salts, they do so in greatly differing concentrations. Cichlid Lake Salt™ is formulated so that dosages vary depending on the lake of origin and need only be added when setting up an aquarium or with water changes. Many competing products are little more than combinations of Epsom salt and bicarbonate of soda. This will not provide a complete replication of the mineral salts that are contained in the lakes of Africa, in particular calcium and potassium. Seachem’s Tanganyika Buffer™ (pH 9.0–9.4) and Malawi/Victoria Buffer™ (pH 7.8–8.4) should be used to adjust carbonate hardness and pH.


All doses given for 40 L (10 US gallons).

  • Tanganyika: Use 11 g (1.5 teaspoons).
  • Malawi: Use 5.5 g (3/4 teaspoon).
  • Victoria: Use 3.6 g (1/2 teaspoon).

Dosages are based on DI or RO water; for other water, measure hardness (GH) first, then add according to need. For reference, the Tanganyika dose raises dGH by 8.8 units. The Malawi dose raises dGH by 4.4 units. The Victoria dose raises dGH by 3 units.

We recommend the following GH ranges:

  • Tanganyika: 3–5.5 meq/L (8–14 dGH)
  • Malawi: 1.5–3meq/L (4–8 dGH)
  • Victoria: 1–2 meq/L (3–6 dGH)

TIPS: Use when setting up an aquarium and when making water changes. To add salt to an established tank, base dose on water being changed. Do not use salt when simply replacing evaporated water. It is best to dissolve the salt in freshwater before use.

CAUTION: Causes serious eye irritation. Keep out of reach of children. Avoid contact with skin. May cause skin burns. Wear suitable gloves

Guaranteed Analysis

Amounts per 1 gram
Calcium (min) 3.24%
Calcium (max) 3.50%
Magnesium (min) 11.83%
Potassium (min) 10.08%
Sodium (min) 3.53%
Sodium (max) 3.75%
Aluminum (min) 0.90 mg
Iodine (min) 0.02 mg
Iron (min) 0.20 mg
Selenium (min) 0.00002 mg
Zinc (min) 0.007 mg

Ingredients: magnesium chloride, calcium chloride, potassium sulfate, sodium chloride, aluminum sulfate, iron sulfate, potassium iodide


250 g, 500 g, 1 kg, 4 kg

A: The directions are designed for use with DI or RO water. If you are using untreated water as your source water, this will, depending on how hard the water is, influence the final parameters. When both Cichlid Lake Salt and Malawi/Victoria Buffer are used as directed in relatively pure water, the water parameters will approach very closely the parameters of the native lakes. If other sources of minerals are present, such as untreated source water or a dissolving substrate (e.g. aragonite), then the conditions of the lakes will not be duplicated as closely, since there is/are unpredictable variable/s. While a pH of 8.6 is a bit higher than targeted by these products, I expect the pH will likely settle down to something closer to 8.2 – 8.3, even if other sources of minerals are present.

A: Conventional hydrometers are skewed to measure salinity in sea water. Sea water is denser than the African rift lakes that you speak of. It may not be an accurate measure for the fact if you use other companies "rift lake salt" products, these products may be heavily influenced by sodium chloride. This heavy influence of sodium chloride will not replicate the lakes environment.

Our Cichlid Lake Salt has a relatively low chloride content, unlike other products, which is more conducive to replicating the natural environment of the rift lakes. Instead of using a hydrometer to measure total dissolved salts, I would be more concerned with GH (general hardness which is more specifically measured as calcium and magnesium), especially if using our Cichlid Lake Salt. GH test kits are inexpensive and can be found at most aquarium stores.

A: Our Cichlid Lake Salt is a blend of mineral salts designed to help replicate the mineral conditions of the lakes in east Africa from where these Cichlids are native. This product will impact/build GH (general or mineral hardness) where needed. Once this product is used to create a GH value, the minerals are generally not consumed as fast as they can be replenished using this product with regular partial water exchanges. If your GH value has dropped from 16º to 10º in a matter of a few weeks as you have stated, there are a couple of possible explanations for this occurrence. 1) These minerals are actually getting consumed by the vertebrate and invertebrate life in your aquarium (fish, plants, etc.) at phenomenal rate, or 2) These minerals are being precipitated out of solution. This is possible if there is excessive phosphate or an excessive KH value present in the aquarium, possibly through use of phosphate based products, phosphate that may exist in the well water, or if your well water has an existing KH value (I am assuming this is not the case given that your well water has a pH of 6.5). This is a more likely explanation. To replenish these minerals, you can use Cichlid Lake Salt as needed to build GH. I would also discontinue use of any phosphate based products and use a phosphate remover like our PhosNet to cut down any phosphate that may be in your source water. An excessive KH (carbonate hardness) value will also precipitate some of these minerals out of solution similar to excessive phosphate being present in your system and precipitating out certain minerals. If this is the case, you can perform partial water exchanges to dilute your existing KH value.

A: Cichlid Trace and Cichlid Lake Salt will have the same type of minerals as these are the minerals known to be beneficial for Cichlids due to the fact that these are the exact minerals found in their natural environment, the African Rift lakes. That being said, the concentrations of these minerals are vastly different between the two products. Cichlid Lake Salt has much higher volume of these minerals. Cichlid Trace has the same minerals, but in trace levels. You can use both, Cichlid Lake Salt will be used to initially set mineral levels or it can be used when performing water changes to add minerals to the replacement water, and Cichlid Trace can be used a few times a week between water changes to provide a steady stream of nutrients that the fish will take in through their gills.

A: Cichlid Lake Salt does not contain buffers, so it will impact GH not pH. The only product in the cichlid line that will impact your pH will be Malawi/Victoria Buffer or Tanganyika Buffer.

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask us a new question.

0276 Cichlid Lake Salt 250 g
0273 Cichlid Lake Salt 500 g
0277 Cichlid Lake Salt 1 kg
0279 Cichlid Lake Salt 4 kg