09-15-2008, 11:41 PM
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Hard alkaline water is right up the alley of African Rift Lake cichlids. I would suggest looking at fish by which lake they come from, choosing which lake you like most, then selecting a stocking list for the particular species. Many of them are fairly inexpensive if you buy them young, and they're hardy fish provided you give them hard, alkaline water, enough rocks to hide and stock the tank correctly. As for filtration, since you'd be heavily stocking the tank you'd want to add adequate filtration. Filters can always be added to a tank.
Brackish tank just means that you've got brackish water. This just means it has a moderate amount of salt in it. You'd need marine mix and a good hydrometer for a brackish tank. Also, the plants you could keep would be a much shorter list than freshwater, and there are generally fewer brackish fish out there than freshwater. The only fundamental difference, though, is the salt content of the water.