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kstots 09-01-2012 08:39 PM

Unique Water Parameters, What Fish?
With my cycle hopefully coming to an end soon I am thinking about stocking my tank. I have been using API Quick Start and have also purchased some Tetra Safe Start if I wasn't getting a Nitrite or Nitrate reading soon. I am currently on cycle day 26. Immediately before this post was the first time I had gotten any Nitrate reading at all, and I have never gotten a Nitrite reading. So I am hoping for my cycle to complete soon.

My tank is a 20 gallon tank with LED day/night lighting. I have decorated it with a hollow log, a rock structure that has 3 holes in it, and a mound of river rock. I have also added multiple plastic plants to make it fairly dense along the back as well as a 10" long air stone. I have a BioWheel Penguin 150 filter.

With the help of the community members on this forum I have figured out that I have very unique water parameters (See Below). These are all based on API Liquid tests.

pH - 8.2
KH - 411.7 (23 drops for change)
GH - 17.9 (1 drop for change)

My other readings are:

Nitrate - 0-5 ppm (color is darker than yellow, but not quite as dark as the 1st orange on the card)
Nitrite - 0 ppm
Ammonia - .25 ppm (It's been there for nearly a week with 1 25% water change and 1 10% water change and flake food feedings daily).

Currently I have one Molly that may not make it. I think he may have swim bladder disease for which I treated tonight with peas and epsom salt. I know it is highly unlikely that he will make it, so for now I am not going to consider him when stocking my tank.

When I first started my tank I was considering 1-2 Dwarf Guaramis, 5-6 schooling fish (either tetras or long finned zebra danios), 2-3 cory's to clean the bottom, and bamboo shrimp. I was also going to leave in the Mollys if they survived.

Considering the water parameters, I am now not sure what to do. I really like fish that are colorful and don't hide too much. I like to see the activity in my tank. I would really love a cichlid tank, but I don't have the place to put a larger tank at this point. I don't really want to try to adjust the pH so much because it will be tough considering the KH, but I am willing to try to increase the GH by using Epsom Salts. Any ideas or direction would be appreciated.

nicolaas 09-02-2012 05:12 AM


Gouramis, tetras and danios need softer water and a lower ph.

You could keep the mollys.

You could also get convict cichlids a male and a female, they will breed and you will have lots of fun.

The tank is to small for more aggressive cichlids.

smit3183 09-02-2012 07:43 AM

My parameters are similar, my ph is actually 8.4 . I have some albino cories, cherry barbs,platys, mollys, zebra danios and bloodfin tetras and they adjusted just fine. Have had most for nearly a year. It stressed me out when I realized my parameters, but after reseaching I think ph levels are one of the more overrated things that you must follow. Now yes some fish must have very specific parameters but for most part alot of fish can adjust. Just make sure to acclimate them right.

kstots 09-02-2012 08:20 AM

After a little more looking around after my post last night, I have added a pair of Rams or Electric Yellow Cichlids to my list of possibilities. What do you think?

Quantum 09-02-2012 08:29 AM

GH and KH are not usually as far apart as that, is that out of the tap? do you have a water softener?

fishkid 09-02-2012 09:23 AM

Rams definitely aren't suited for your water; they need softer water.

kstots 09-02-2012 12:52 PM

Those are truly my parameters straight from my tap with no softener. I tested both my tank water and tap water with API liquid tests. I have discussed this at length in a previous post. My problems lie in that fish usually like soft/acidic water or hard/basic water. I unfortunately have soft/basic water, so I am unsure as to what kind of fish to get.

gorangers0525 09-03-2012 11:16 AM


Originally Posted by kstots (Post 1224237)
After a little more looking around after my post last night, I have added a pair of Rams or Electric Yellow Cichlids to my list of possibilities. What do you think?

Wayy to small for those cichlids. Maybe you can try shell dwellers? I know your ph is right for them but I forgot what hardness they prefer.

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