I've just moved, and am preparing to set up a new 90 gallon tank. I'm hoping to get fish & plants that will do well in this area, with minimal water treatment. I don't want to be madly adjusting values every time I do a water change. I've tested the water (treated first for chlorine, then tested w/Aquarium Pharmaceuticals kit) and am concerned about the large difference between general and carbonate hardness:
KH (Carbonate) = 8-9
DH (General) = 0-1
Ph = 8.4 - 8.6
I'm not willing to go with a deionizer to decrease the Kh. Will I still be able to grow plants at this KH and pH? (I've always loved a well-planted aquarium, and usually have luck with plants. I've had aquariums for years, but never lived anywhere with this high a pH.)
While I have dreams of discus, I'm not (at this time) wanting to do the extensive water changes they require. Although at setup (and for about 6 months thereafter) I'll do frequent partial water changes, once it's well established I'd hope for once monthly 10-20% changes.
The aquarium will have an undergravel filter and a hanging (bio-wheel) filter. Eventually I'd like to get a cannister filter to go underneath, but these filters came with the tank.
Will the standard tropical fish & plants do well in these parameters? Would I be better off increasing the pH and dH to go with African cichlids?
I'd appreciate your suggestions.