About a month ago I was given a tank full of African Cichlids. It just happened that I was in the process of cycling a 40 gallon tank and the poor fish needed a home. Owner died and nobody knew the fish were in the house, no heat, food or water changes. Not to mention extremely overcrowded. (I did not take them all) They are all obviously very hardy fish to have survived. My problem is that I have been researching all of the fish I was given to make sure all of their needs were being met but had trouble determining the species of 3 fish who were obviously not Cichlids. I have finally found out that they are Congo Tetras. They are beautiful and peaceful fish. The problem is that according to what I have read, these fish prefer a PH of 6.5 and soft water and my tank has been set up with crushed coral to raise the PH and my PH is between 7.5 and 8.0. My water is hard water. My question is...Is it cruel to keep these fish knowing that they would be healthier in a tank of soft water with a lower PH or do you think they may have adjusted to these conditions. I have no room or money to set up another tank. I do have a tropical tank with the correct PH but it is only ten gallons and these fish are rather large, so that won't work.
I was thinking about asking my LFS to take them in. It's ashame because I really love them and all of the fish get along fine. No aggression issues at all.
Any advice would be appreciated.
First of welcome!
That sure is a tough one right there.
They need are a pH 6-7.5 and hardness 3-18.....so the 7.5 you have in the tank would be the upper level really. What degree does your hardness test for???
In my personal opinion here: If you could manage the tank to be stable at 7.5 and let's say a hardness round 10'ish, honestly I'd keep them. Yes you can talk to your LFS, but I assume in general your region has harder water, so what would happen, obviously your LFS would wanna sell them for $ so realistically they care slim to non where they go to, even if they were to wind up in a 5g with water so hard that it borderlines on liquid concrete. I'm not saying this will happen if you give them to the LFS but chances are great that it will.
Now you say you have a large tank nicely set up for all rescue fish with at least a pH that's workable and the hardness to test. Therefore IMO they're much closer to a perfect happy (and so with healthy) lil fish world then they may be elsewhere. Yes your pH is the upper limit there, but I really think its workable. And who knows maybe one day you'll move, have room to set up a Tetra tank yaddy ya....
Sounds like good advice. My KH is 180
My GH is 150.
I use bottled water in my smaller tank so the water is softer for those little guys but it really would be difficult and expensive to do that in the larger tank.
You are right though they could end up in worse conditions if I gave them to my LFS. Good point. Even though the store I prefer is 10 miles away I really don't know what their KH is. My PH is high because of the crushed coral but they do seem happy.
I would never have chosen to put these fish is a Cichlid tank but here they are. Their fins are beautiful I do love to watch them.
Thanks for the help
So in degrees that KH10 GH8 and like you said in your OP the pH is bouncing between 7.5-8, so if there's anything you see you can do there to keep it at 7.5 that'll be ideal.
Your reading are higher then my super soft water here yes, but its also nothing rock solid coming out of yur tap, so you're in a very good position there!
I think they're very beautiful too, I been researching them myself and will possible get some - That's if I can get them in my neck of the woods here anyway lol
So yes, def after all this, my vote goes for keeping them where they are now :-)
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