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jenricae 01-20-2010 05:42 PM

30g Tank - fish suggestions?
Looking for stocking suggestions for a new 30g bowfront tank. Well filtered through an XP1 (rated for 50g) canister filter. I plan on putting in plants.

So far all that is in there are driftwood and some slate.

Water from the tap:

PH = 5.5
(I couldn't believe it was so low but i checked it on multiple days. I'm new to Vancouver so i guess it has something to do with being close to the ocean? Or maybe it has to do with the fact that it's rain season. I'm used to Toronto's water which is about 8.)

KH = 25-30ppm (2 dKH)

Love having fish with character/personality


jenricae 01-20-2010 06:37 PM

You know, i think i'm going to do that water test again... this time let it sit for a few days...

Byron 01-21-2010 02:49 PM

Welcome to the forum. And especially as you are in Vancouver; I'm in this area, Pitt Meadows specifically.

Greater Vancouver's water comes from three reservoirs in the Coastal Mountains in North Vancouver. It is very soft, close to zero degrees GH and KH, and direct from the reservoirs quite acidic. This is caused by its source, it comes from rain and snow melt and runs over organic matter, not mineralized rock. The Water Board treats it to raise the pH, they've been doing this since 2001 as a result of complaints from many residents about the acidic water eating through pipes and appliances. I was told what they add to raise it, and I've forgotten because it has no bearing on the hardness and doesn't harm the fish at all. Depending where you live in the region, the pH can vary; my tap water is 6.8-7.0 constantly, but as there is no carbonate hardness, in an established aquarium the pH will fall. I keep my tanks at 6.0. I'm intrigued by your hardness reading, it has always been < 1 dGH and < 1dKH for me. I'd be interested in knowing where in the area you live.

Anyway, with our water, your best choice in fish would be the soft and acidic water fish from South America, SE Asia or West Central Africa. Aquarists in many parts of NA with hard water would almost die for water like ours, so you have lots of choices. Livebearers do not fare well in our water, unless you are prepared to adjust the chemistry to provide some mineral and basic pH; even more so for African rift lake cichlids. It is possible, but unless you have a particular desire for these fish, it will be less effort to provide excellent water conditions for the soft acidic water fish. And as you mention plants, they do tremendously well in this water.

You may want to check out my Aquarium photos for some ideas. I don't like suggesting specific fish to others because I think your aquarium should have what you want in it, not what I like particularly. But if you have any specific questions on the above or my fish, I'll do my best to answer.


jenricae 01-21-2010 11:59 PM

Thanks for your message re: Vancouver water. I did another reading of the PH and got 5.5. This time my GH reading was like yours. I'm located in East Van.

hmmm, looks like i'll have to get familiar with soft water fishes.

jeaninel 01-22-2010 12:28 AM

German Blue Rams would be a good fit. But do some research and pick what fish you like that will be compatible with soft, acidic water. Lots of nice choices.

jenricae 01-22-2010 06:45 AM

any good websites that profile soft water fishes?

Angel079 01-22-2010 09:38 AM

I'd also suggest something like Blue Ram, various Tetras, Gourami's, Cory Cats, Dwarf Rasbora, Norman's Lampeye, Albino, Rosy or Tiger Barbs (my latest add is Albion's see here

When I first moved from hard water to soft here (almost identical para's then you have) I thought as well "oh no now what fish can I have" but after a while of research I find there's more fish that suit soft water then hard.

You can find quite some profiles right here on the forum:

Byron 01-22-2010 06:25 PM


Originally Posted by jenricae (Post 310573)
any good websites that profile soft water fishes?

Almost any South American, SE Asian or West Central African fish are soft acidic water fish. You can never exhaust the possibilities. This includes all the tetras, other characins (hatchets, pencilfish), most catfish, rasbora, danios, gourami, loaches, betta, dwarf cichlids... endless.


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