new 250 litre, alkaline water - fish suggestions?
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new 250 litre, alkaline water - fish suggestions?

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new 250 litre, alkaline water - fish suggestions?
Old 07-26-2010, 09:52 AM   #1
 
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new 250 litre, alkaline water - fish suggestions?

I went completely crazy at the fish shop today and bought a 250-litre aquarium. I'm going to plant it and move my 5 black neon tetras into it. Other than that, I've no idea what fish I'll get, other than some more cories and some more black neons to make a decent group. I presume I'll have some more options than I've had with my 75-litre and 35-litre (I've got platies, pristella tetras and cories). Any suggestions for hard alkaline water that would get on with my black neons and cories of some sort? The filter is an external canister filter Aqua One Aquis 1200 (still in its box, so I could probably return it if it isn't appropriate) How many more black neons should I get to make a good group? Thanks for any ideas.
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Old 07-26-2010, 11:03 AM   #2
 
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I'm actually a little surprised that the neons are doing well if the water is alkaline. I thought they preferred slightly acidic water. How long have you had them?

I was going to suggest looking into some of the dwarf cichlid species, but I don't know how they would do with neons. (I've never had them, because my tanks are always too acidic, but I've read that some of the shell-dwellers can live with danios and white cloud minnows, so maybe someone with more experience will chime in about whether they can live with neon tetras.)

Another option that might be safer with the fish you already have would be mollies, but they prefer a salted, freshwater gallon, so you might have to do that.
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Old 07-26-2010, 03:57 PM   #3
 
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Do you know your water parameters, that is the hardness (GH and KH) and pH?
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:38 PM   #4
 
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I'm actually a little surprised that the neons are doing well if the water is alkaline. I thought they preferred slightly acidic water. How long have you had them?
A couple of months. They are black neons, not ordinary neons. From what I'd read and was told by the aquarium shop guy who keeps all of his store fish in tap water, they can cope with more alkaline conditions than the normal neons.
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Do you know your water parameters, that is the hardness (GH and KH) and pH?
I've never tested the hardness - the guy at the aquarium shop once remarked when testing my water that it was "hard, as expected". I can buy a test kit and test it though. I'll report back.

The pH was very high when I previously tested it when I set up the tank - it was at the top of the chart which only goes to 7.8 (so I don't know if it was higher than that), I just tested it again and I'd say it was 7.3 (although I find it very difficult to differentiate between the colours on the chart. I might also buy a better test kit this afternoon as well. I have some driftwood in my tank which may have brought it down a bit??
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Old 07-27-2010, 09:35 AM   #5
 
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A couple of months. They are black neons, not ordinary neons. From what I'd read and was told by the aquarium shop guy who keeps all of his store fish in tap water, they can cope with more alkaline conditions than the normal neons.
I've never tested the hardness - the guy at the aquarium shop once remarked when testing my water that it was "hard, as expected". I can buy a test kit and test it though. I'll report back.

The pH was very high when I previously tested it when I set up the tank - it was at the top of the chart which only goes to 7.8 (so I don't know if it was higher than that), I just tested it again and I'd say it was 7.3 (although I find it very difficult to differentiate between the colours on the chart. I might also buy a better test kit this afternoon as well. I have some driftwood in my tank which may have brought it down a bit??
It is useful to have a good pH kit on hand as this is something that should be periodically checked. For hardness, once you know the tap water numbers you may never need a kit unless you intend altering the hardness of ocurse. For hardness I suggest getting the numbers from your water supply people and save the emoney for the kit.

Deciding on suitable fish (the initial question posted) depends upon these numbers.
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Old 07-27-2010, 10:31 AM   #6
 
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I think the kit I have is ok, it's my eyesight that's not so hot.

Thanks for the suggestion - I'd already thought of ringing the Water Corporation and put in a call this afternoon. Their Water Quality guy is going to ring me back. Interestingly, I asked the guys at the shop if they knew the numbers and one of them said that the Water Corporation says that the pH is supposed to be 7 or 7.1. I'll see what they say when I hear from them, because I'm pretty sure it tests higher than that. When the guy at the aquarium shop tested my water, he tested mine and theirs and the pH of both was about 7.6 I think (from memory).
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:07 AM   #7
 
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I think the kit I have is ok, it's my eyesight that's not so hot.

Thanks for the suggestion - I'd already thought of ringing the Water Corporation and put in a call this afternoon. Their Water Quality guy is going to ring me back. Interestingly, I asked the guys at the shop if they knew the numbers and one of them said that the Water Corporation says that the pH is supposed to be 7 or 7.1. I'll see what they say when I hear from them, because I'm pretty sure it tests higher than that. When the guy at the aquarium shop tested my water, he tested mine and theirs and the pH of both was about 7.6 I think (from memory).
It would be good to compare pH then. But make sure you get the hardness, both GH and KH if possible, and the numbers. These are closely conected to pH, and it is possible to alter pH naturally but the GH and KH will tell you/us how "easy" or "difficult" that will be.
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Old 07-28-2010, 05:14 AM   #8
 
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Ok. I spoke to the water quality officer. He said that the (average?) pH over a 2 year period is between 6.9 and 7.7, His recent testing was 7.5.

The water hardness over a 2 year period is between 120 and 165 ppm or mg/L. He didn't know what gH or kH were. He told me that the water hardness figure above was for CaCO3 (subscript 3, I don't know how to type them on this computer).

Is this of any use?
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:51 PM   #9
 
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Ok. I spoke to the water quality officer. He said that the (average?) pH over a 2 year period is between 6.9 and 7.7, His recent testing was 7.5.

The water hardness over a 2 year period is between 120 and 165 ppm or mg/L. He didn't know what gH or kH were. He told me that the water hardness figure above was for CaCO3 (subscript 3, I don't know how to type them on this computer).

Is this of any use?
Yes, perfect. CaCO3 is the periodic element indicator for calcium carbonate (KH), which is exactly what we want to know. So a hardness of 120-165 ppm which is approximately equal to 6-9 dGH/KH is soft to medium hard water. Quite perfect actually. It will have some hardness but not enough to prevent you keeping soft water fish.

The pH in a stable aquarium will slowly lower as the biological processes work. The hardness of the source water determines how much this will occur, and how fast. The softer the water, the more it will acidify because the hardness i st he buffering agent and the less hardness, the less buffering.

In your case, regular partial water changes weekly of 50% should work fine to maintain a fairly stable pH. The fluctuating pH of the tap water should not pose a problem either, as the tank will tend to lower (I would estimate it will go down around pH 6 on its own) and a water change with water around 7 or slightly above will raise the tank a bit but not enough to cause problems. And weekly water changes will keep this balanced over time. Much the same in my aquaria.

This opens up almost limitless possibilities for fish in a 250 litre (approx 66 gallon) aquarium. Any of the fish in our profiles with water parameters reading soft to moderately hard, acidic to slightly basic will work. Avoid livebearers as the acidic softer water will not suite them long-term.

Byron.
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Old 07-28-2010, 08:10 PM   #10
 
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Thanks, Byron.

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In your case, regular partial water changes weekly of 50% should work fine to maintain a fairly stable pH.
That's a lot of water... We have water restrictions. Maybe not such a great idea getting the new tank, after all.
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as the tank will tend to lower (I would estimate it will go down around pH 6 on its own)
It hasn't seemed to have dropped that much on one of my existing tanks at least. I'll test the other one and see what's going on there.

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This opens up almost limitless possibilities for fish in a 250 litre (approx 66 gallon) aquarium.
It's good that I've got options, but it makes it harder when you can choose from so many fish. I'd like to have lots of different things, but the tank is still only so big.

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Any of the fish in our profiles with water parameters reading soft to moderately hard, acidic to slightly basic will work.
I should be able to get silvertip tetras then. I liked the look of them before.

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Avoid livebearers as the acidic softer water will not suite them long-term.
That's a shame. I love my platies.

I find it very confusing. A guy at the shop has mentioned that the water is hard. Even the other day when I was looking at buying the test kit, he said that the test would read high. They should know, they are testing all the time.... Well, it's a good thing if the water isn't as alkaline as I thought, because it opens more options as to what fish I can get. Now I just need to find out which ones will get on together and how many I can fit.
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