New to tropical fishkeeping. Advice on stocking a 125litre tank in a hard water area - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-31-2013, 07:36 AM Thread Starter
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New to tropical fishkeeping. Advice on stocking a 125litre tank in a hard water area

Hi I've recently bought a 125litre fish tank, I have pretty much finished the fish less cycle but I'm having trouble finding fish that would thrive in my hard water and I don't want to mess about with ro at the moment as I'm very new to all this. If anyone could give me some stocking suggestions I would be very very greatful!

These are my tank and water specifics,
ammonia - 0ppm
nitrite - 0ppm
nitrate - 40ppm (what is the best way to drop this?)
in tank - 7.8
straight out of tap - 7.8

Tank measurements: width 80cm, height 40cm
as its a wave shape tank the depth differs, narrowest is 30cm and the widest part is 37cm.

I checked on my local water providers website and this is what it says

The water in your area is hard.

To help set your domestic appliances, the water hardness in different units is:
257 mg/l :Calcium Carbonate
102.8 mg/l :Calcium
17.887 C :Degrees Clark
25.7 F :Degrees French
14.598 dH :Degrees German
2.57 mmol/l :MillimolesPrint

Any advice would be welcome.
Thank you
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-31-2013, 10:24 AM
thekoimaiden's Avatar
Hey Dan! Welcome to the hobby and the forum! Some people see hard water as a curse, but it's not really that bad. There are more than a handful of neat fish that live in hardwater.

The common choices would be african cichlids and livebearers like guppies, platies, and swordtails. Livebearers are pretty hardy little things, but if you don't want them to reproduce get all males. Personally endler's are my favorite kind of livebearer. Some of the hardier corydoras like the bronze cory will also manage in your hard water.

Some of the less common choices would be Inle loaches, Asian rummynose barb, and dwarf emerald rasbora. All of these fish are actually found together in the wild in Lake Inle, a rather hard lake in Myanmar. Another little beauty that requires hard water is the Celebes rainbowfish. There are probably others, but I haven't researched them extensively because I have soft water.

About reducing your high nitrates. It won't be easy. The best way in my opinion is to have a heavily planted tank. Any fish will enjoy it as well as it makes the tank look like a flooded jungle. Hornwort is a plant that thrives in hard water and is a very fast grower. Fast growers remove nutrients like the nitrate from the water fastest. Other plants that thrive in hard water are vallisneria and swords.


Sitting by the koi pond

writings on fish and fishkeeping

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post #3 of 4 Old 09-01-2013, 01:53 AM
As I said in another thread... I have 7.8 very hard water from my citys tap.. causes calium build ups on the faucets and shower heads... I have run 2 tanks for 10+ years in this water... my 30 long gallon and 27g hexagon.. I have fish ranging from Platys to Neon tetra's to Dwarf Guaramis to Celebes rainbows and Neon dwarf rainbows.. I use nerite snails and gold barbs..

I haven't had an issue with any fish honestly... I have had angles and red trail sharks and ghost knife fish as well... My 27g hex I have a large piece of driftwood in the tank it keeps my PH around 7.0.. even doing a 25-30% water change my PH is always around 7.0.. using 7.8 tap water and changing 25% of your 7.0 water doesn't raise PH enough to do anything at all to your fish... My other tank doesn't have driftwood and its ph is 7.6 and I still have no problems using all the fish I listed above..
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post #4 of 4 Old 09-01-2013, 08:38 AM
JDM's Avatar
I have 23dGH water and keep emerald catfish, cherry barbs, snails, cherry shrimp. Pepper cories too. With lots of plants the hardness tends to lower over time.

The best way to lower the nitrates is through water changes, alternately some floating plants do a decent job of using it as well, duckweed is my favourite for that but many don't like it's proliferation, which is why it is so good at nitrate consumption.


Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
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