09-10-2012, 05:35 PM
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Do you have your carbonate hardness (KH) results? That is the buffering capacity of your water and will indicate how easy it is going to soften your water through means such as peat.
If you have a fairly low - moderate carbonate hardness, you would have more success with gradually lowering your pH by running a stocking full of peat moss in your filter. Things such as lots of wood and IAL are also going to help. However, if you have a high KH it is going to be a lot more difficult to bring your pH down.
With that said, you could try and just get some generic aquarium strain gardneri. They tend to be pretty tough, and will probably do fine in moderately hard water, you just might not be able to get them to breed.
Another flashy fish that does well in harder water is celebes rainbowfish. Not sure if anyone has recommended them yet, but they are quite a stunning fish in person.