Search for suitable fish / plants based on water parameters? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-13-2013, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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Search for suitable fish / plants based on water parameters?

I am in the early stages of planning and preparing for a new 125 gallon aquarium. I have not kept fish for almost 20 years, so I am going slow.

I have recently tested my tap water to determine what the parameters are. I live in an area that is known for having hard water, or so I am told.

Now that I know what my water parameters are, I was wondering if there is some way or website that I can enter my water parameters into and have it make suggestions as to fish and/or plants that would be suitable.

My water is: 7.5pH, 322ppm GH, and 322ppm KH. So, it does seem that my tap water is hard. I am hoping to have a planted aquarium, and had ideas of having cardinals, danios, etc in it.

So I suppose I'll investigate a water DI filter system for my water in the aquarium.

Does anyone have any ideas of ways of searching for fishes / plants that would be good fits for given water parameters?

Thank you for any suggestions that can be provided.

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post #2 of 6 Old 06-14-2013, 08:50 AM
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Hello and welcome to the forum.

If you need fish profiles then you have come to the right place! Along the top of the screen there are options going horizontally, select the fish profile one and start to search. There is detailed imformation there for a vast selection of species, all contain the main water perameters, feeding habbits and environment.

What i suggest is to select which ones you would like to have based on your perameters and make a list on here, other members will then add there own knowledge and you will end up with a happy happy aquarium!

Also it is a requirement( not really a requirement we just love watching them evolve!) that you keep us all updated with the progress o your new setup with plenty of pics!

Again werlcome to the forum!!! Everyone is always happy to help

Fish will brighten your day even when the world tries to darken it
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-14-2013, 11:14 AM
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If your water GH is 322ppm, that is close to 18 dGH which is very hard. There are some fish that would be fine with what you have. Aside from rift lake cichlids [now I know why Chicago is so well known for cichlid enthusiasts], livebearers would be fine. Some of the Atherinids (rainbowfish) too. And there are some cyprinids and a few characins that would work. You could have a lovely planted stream tank with any of these fish.

Soft water fish like cardinals will have real difficulty, as you know. RO (reverse osmosis) water is one option. You can mix some type of "pure" water with the tap.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-16-2013, 10:02 AM
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I have harder water even than that and went looking for fish... it really comes down to reading ALL of the profiles to see what will work, jot them all down and decide from there... no short cut. Although the profiles here list the water parameters at the bottom so it's just a matter of goi ng right to the bottom to check them out quickly.

I also decided to not go the distilled or RO route as it is easier to maintain when I can just use tap water. Unless you have your heart stuck on a particular fish that needs lower GH, best to choose to fit what you have.

There are very few plants that will have a hard time in harder water, but there are some. I've tried about 30 and light has been the only real factor in a few cases and I cut out a few varieties due to personal preference. I'm at about twenty now.

The other parameter to keep in mind is the temperature. Many bottom dwellers are cool water fish and don't mix as well with the tropicals so it's harder to find what may work.. Emerald catfish are a decent hard water cat, higher temperature than most as well. Pepper Cory are a close second and may be more outgoing.


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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post #5 of 6 Old 06-16-2013, 12:31 PM
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Hello and welcome to the forum

I find myself wishing I had an empty 125 to stock. Sigh........

I'd def. take a look at those cichlids. So colorful and feisty! I also have a soft spot for my Rainbows so would give you a nudge in that direction too. Have fun reading the profiles and check back in when you have it narrowed down a bit. Good luck!

Animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers.
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-16-2013, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the help. I was just hoping there was some feature somewhere that would allow me to search for fish based on certain water parameters as opposed to viewing all the profiles. Not that I don't want to read the profiles, I was just hoping there was some tool that would allow me to quickly filter out fish that are not suitable. This would help me then to start reading up on the fish that would be suitable.

I guess I'll be reading profiles though! No problem, keeps me out of trouble.

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