Originally Posted by Christople
So if I did get shellies and raise the GH and in turn the pH would I need to buy buffers to be sure water changes don't stress out the fish? How much have you guys paid for shellies because they are 10 bucks a pop for the normal strain. and if they are juvies that 60 bucks... more than the tank and sand combined.
In my view, you would not need buffers if you use aragonite sand or cichlid substrate.
You could just do smaller water changes say 20 percent, this would result in next to no stress at water change time for the majority of the water would still be of proper hardness.
Can't help you with regards to prices on shellies. It's all about what you are willing to pay for fishes you want.
I have a couple of fishes that I coughed up 50 dollars a piece for(plecos). Could have got them cheaper online but shipping cost's would have made them the same price I paid at local fish store.
Prices for these fish are why I suggested in previous post to get water right before purchasing.I also paid considerably more for Discus I have cared for in the past but they are what I wanted, I saved for them.
Back when I kept livebearer's, (my water is medium hard) they seldom lived longer than a few weeks,months.I then decided on placing approx a half cup of crushed coral per 20 gal in a mesh bag and placing this in the filter compartment.The coral had to be cleaned under hot tapwater or replaced each month for it became covered with silt,mulm,dirt,bacteria ,and became less effective as per test result's.
Were it me,, and these were the fish I was set on, I would spend the money on cichlid substrate that would be more effective long term at keeping water parameter's suitable for the shellies.There are a few of these substrates available.
Remember,, aquariums are little more than glass boxes of water that we throw money into.