This is probably a new thread, but since it is somewhat related and I'd like your take on this....
I've read your article on the relationships between GH, KH, and pH which I thought was very informative.
So I have a 'fish plan' that I am looking into implementing but my main concern is that the fish I would like to add to the new 55g tank like mostly a neutral/acidic pH and softer water than our tap.
So, first my water conditions ..
Our water source comes from an underground natural aquafier (Irondo-Greece aquafier to be exact). Our water is very clean, but also hard because of the mineral salts that comprise the aquafier.
By default, our water has these params using the tetra easy-strips:
KH - 180-300ppm
pH - 7.8
Because of the hardness, nearly every household here has a water softener which I put into bypass mode when doing water changes.
With the softened water the params are:
KH - 180-300ppm (couldnt really see a huge shift in color here from the tap comparison)
pH - 7.0 (if not a bit lower)
So with that, I would suppose I could gradually do 10%-20% water changes with softened water to get my current fish acclimated to the lower pH and from that point on just use softened water.
The water softener uses the standard pellets (no special treatment pellets) so really the only issue I can see is the amount of sodium that gets switched out from the magnesium and calcium. According to a few articles it seems like the sodium does increase slightly by about 25mg per gallon, which seems low..but I need your opinion on that.
My new goal is to have my existing tetras, or something comparable with about 4 German blue rams and my Rainbow Shark
in a planted 55gallon.
I realize you have reservations on the rainbow, but in the 'shades of grey' aspect of aggressiveness I think he is pretty amiable.