07-13-2010, 12:04 PM
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On the water, numbers like 114-118 will likely be ppm (parts per million). This equates to "soft" water, about 6 to 7 dGH. This is very good. I would expect the carbonate hardness to not be greater, so the pH in the tank will slowly lower through the bioloogical processes. A pH above 7 is basic (alkaline), below 7 is acidic. With the hardness you have your pH should lower to below 7 once the tank is established. The normal biological actions in an aquarium with fish and plants tend to acidify the water, and the hardness acts as a buffer to prevent rapid changes but the less buffering (lower hardness) the more it will shift though slowly. A regular partial water change of 30-40% weekly would not raise it much and assist in keeping it buffered.
Some real wood (bought in the fish store) would help to lower the pH, and that fits any of the forest fish we keep in such environments. And plants. And make sure there are no calcareous rocks or gravel in the tank, as that works the opposite to raise hardness and pH.
On the tetras, I have had these two species but many many years ago. Glowlights are often overlooked because in store tanks that are sparse they wash out and do not show their true colours; they don't look like much. But placed in a planted tank with subdued lighting (very important, these fish are forest fish that occur in dimly-lit waters with dark substrates) they soon develop their beautiful coluration. The orangeish horizontal "neon" line is brilliant, and the lovely shades of yellow, white, black and orange in the fins shimmer as the fish swims among the plants and wood. Similar applies to the Flame Tetra.