Originally Posted by benjamin2134
i was just wondering if anyone would be able to tell me what my; GH, KH, PH and Nitrate should be to have any tropical fish i would like as me and my family are unsure?
Would be much appreciated if you are able to tell me! and if you need to know how much my tank holds its 150l... Would be very grateful if you could get back to me ASAP thanks!
First off, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum. Nice to have you with us.
The GH and pH of your water should match the preferred range for the specific fish species in the tank. Each species of fish has what we call a preferred range in water parameters (GH, pH and temperature are included), and the species has evolved to live best within this range. So the first thing is to find out is the GH and pH of your source water, presumably tap water. It is easier to select fish that prefer what you have than it is to adjust the water chemistry. I won't go into all the problems in doing this.
You can find out the GH from your water supply people; many now have websites with water data, and it should include GH (general hardness) or sometimes other mineral numbers that will tell us the same thing. You also should find out the KH which is carbonate hardness or Alkalinity; while the KH does not affect fish or plants in any way, it does work to "buffer" the pH, keeping it stable, or more accurately, preventing it from fluctuating. So it is good to know the KH.
The pH you might get from the water people too. But pH is something that should be measured regularly in an aquarium, as it can fluctuate and be an indicator of trouble. API make a reliable pH test kit. And buying their Master Combo kit, which includes pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, is a good investment when setting up a fish tank.
Nitrate should always be as low as possible. Most will say below 20ppm. Live plants will help with this. Nitrate can occur in tap water, so once you have the test kit you should test your tap water for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate; any one or more of these can be present. If nitrate is not, then the only source will be fro the biological processes in the aquarium, and these we control with regular weekly partial water changes and live plants, plus not overstocking with fish.
We have fish profiles, second tab fro the left in the blue bar across the top of the page. Most regularly-seen fish are included, and the water parameter range for each species is given. Once we know the GH, KH and pH of your water, we may be able to point you to certain groups of fish as the best. Generally, medium hard or harder water is excellent for livebearers, while soft or very soft water suits most other fish. But this is very general; knowing the numbers will help.