As the title of this post states, this is about taking the effort out of maintaining certain water parameters. Why? For many hobbyist, chasing such parameters as hardness and pH makes fish keeping a lot of hassle. The easiest solution? Keep the species that work best in the water you have. Whether you’re on municipal water or well water, there are cichlid species that will live and thrive in what you have. In fact, find out before you purchase your fish what water they were bred/kept in.
I’ve posted before that I don’t add any additives to my tanks other than simple water conditioner. I don’t add salts, I don’t add buffers, I don’t add anything other than water and conditioner. However, this isn’t an indictment of those who do. I’m simply suggesting that adding these things can make your fish keeping venture harder than necessary. It takes experience to maintain stable water when you add things to it in order to reach some target water parameter. Consistent, wild fluctuations in those parameters aren’t good for your fish.
Cichlids inhabit waters around the globe, and many of these waters differ greatly in their chemical composition. If you enjoy the challenge of providing the environment that is most similar to the endemic environment from which your cichlids came, fantastic. However, depending on what your source water is like, that may take some effort.
If you’ve read my About me page, you’ll know that I keep African cichlids from the Rift Lakes because my source water is more naturally suited to those environments. There are plenty of African species available in the hobby to choose from without me resorting to altering my water to suit other species. And though I always enjoy a challenge, I generally prefer to spend more time watching my fish and less time worrying about their water.