02-09-2014, 08:05 AM
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As a general rule of thumb, fish that prefer soft water can be adapted (SLOWLY) to hard water. Fish that prefer hard water can almost never be adapted to soft water. The reason for this is that there are certain minerals and trace elements in the water that fish need to utilize to survive. Fish that live in softer water utilize these minerals with very little left in the water. The harder the water is, the more of these minerals and elements there are. Therefor, when you put a soft water fish in harder water, they use what they need and there are simply more minerals left in the water. When you try to do the reverse, however, and put a hard water fish in soft water, there aren't enough minerals for it to sustain life properly and it will likely perish. As long as you get the fish locally (should have similar water to you already) or acclimate VERY slowly, you should be fine keeping a softer water fish in hard water. Keep in mind, there are some fish that just won't tolerate it but a vast majority of fish will. I keep Neon Tetras in my water which has a pH of 8.4 and a KH/GH of 14-16. I hope that helps!