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The good thing about the salt is its ability to buffer the pH at a level the cichlids like and there is naturally salt where they come from. Also, certain salts will help with the hardness they prefer as well. I agree with p45, the importance is overrated, especially salts said to be exactly like the lakes. Just use marine salt.
 

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i used it with my cichlids, in general for africans they say use 1 tablespoon for every 5-10 gallons

to anwer everyone else, salt is a good addition to african cichlid water due to that in their natual habitat there is some salt in the water and it also prevents many diseases thriving.
 
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