Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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NBT 12-20-2007 10:32 AM

Ok, I live in Florida and our water here is pretty hard. I have a water softener on the house, and wondered if I should bypass the softened water, and use hard tap...furtherore if it is stated to be "better" to use softened water...what "goal" should I hit upon using a test kit to sample the water before filling the aquarium? KH should be no lower than 4dH?
Or just fill it 50/50..then treat the water accordingly?

herefishy 12-20-2007 10:52 AM

That all depends upon the type of fish you intend to keep and their requirements. If are intending to keep Rift Lake cichlids from Africa, hard water is the call. Riverine cichlids, most South American cichlids, tetras, barbs, rasboras and such prefer softer, acidic water. While, still, some fish prefer water that is neutral.

Many use reverse osmosis (RO) or de-ionized (DI) water and add the elements to bring water chemistry to the needed levels.

NBT 12-20-2007 10:56 AM

Honestly I am leaning to Congo Tetras, a few Angelfish, Pleo or Cory's...and call it good.... I have not researched (beyond compatability) of the fish listed above water "requirement's", and how they would interact. I may need to adjust the type of fish accordingly...based off a community of Congo's.

herefishy 12-20-2007 11:11 AM

Check out this link. It may be of help.

mgamer20o0 12-20-2007 12:25 PM

i live in so cali with hard water.... my angels and cories do fine. plecos are a wide range of fish but the ones i have are also fine. its up to you i would pick one and go with it. most fish adapt just fine.

MattD 12-20-2007 12:26 PM

Your Cories may not be all right, they need soft water, ph 6.0 - 6.5

You could utilize a natural method of controlling pH. Stock your tank with lots of driftwood, it will help drop the pH. Using RO water will also help.

Good luck! :D

mgamer20o0 12-20-2007 12:29 PM

i have ph 7.5 and hard water... i dont remember off hand... all of them are alive.... and they been that way for a long time.....

NBT 12-20-2007 02:29 PM


Originally Posted by herefishy
Check out this link. It may be of help.

Thanks everyone for the can get exhausted reading all the information related to PH, Temps, Cycling, Live Plants vs. Synthetic, CO2, Filtration...unreal.... but better to be informed.

Thanks for the link...also a good read and pic on the Cory's (Fish of the month).

Falina 12-20-2007 06:53 PM

I find that the vast majority of fish, as long as they are tank-bred, wild fish are much more delicate, are very adaptable to changes in ph. Just make sure you acclimate them before you add them and I don't anticipate any problems. If you are particularly worried then research different fish that you know like a specific ph and stock your tank around them. I don't think it will be necessary however.

NBT 12-23-2007 07:24 PM

Ok... substrate is down and the tank is filled without incident... initial water testing as follows...

PH = 7.6
Ammonia 2.0
Nitrite 0- ppm
Nitrate 0- ppm

Now what besides reducing the ammonia? And letting this thing run for a few day's... it is relatively clear... then see what I got once she settles down a bit.
I have the Emperor 400 Running, and an airstone to keep things moving.

I used the following substrates...
40 # Eco
20# Sand
75# Natural Gravel

TIA for any advice :D

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