06-29-2011, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by valachase
We currently have platys, a betta, some cory cats,black and white skirt tetras, zebra and pearl danios and we were thinking of getting a school of harlequin rasboras. (not all these fish are in the same tank :) but all use the same tap water.
Our PH reads around 7.6- 7.8 ish
We are in the Peace region (Fort St John) the lovely area of the province that is cut off from the world due to floods lol
Platy (and any other livebearers you might get in future) will be right at home in your tap water. No issues there.
The other fish although technically soft water fish are being commercially tank-raised and thus adapted to more basic water than would be wild caught fish. If you check the fish profiles on this site you will notice the ranges for water parameters are into the basic/medium hard. So I wouldn't be in a hurry to worry. However, lowering the hardness and pH a bit wouldn't hurt. So that brings me back to the initial question that I can now better respond to having ascertained the facts.
You can dilute the tap water with "pure" water such as distilled or RO (reverse osmosis) water that you can buy. Where you live, rainwater would likely be a less expensive option, unless you have industrial pollution nearby [thinking of oil or natural gas in that region, but more of a refinery or similar facility]. Mixing half and half will reduce hardness by half. Rainwater might go further, as it will be naturally slightly acidic. This would be onerous for me, with 7 tanks and some large ones at that; but with fewer and smaller tanks, it is an option.
If you do decide to try this, remember the platy needs straight tap water to be at its best, so its tank should be left alone. In soft slightly acidic water, livebearers do not do well long-term.