Glass Catfish with Rainbow shark's PH?
I'm thinking of getting some Glass Catfish to combine with my Rainbow shark in a 55g tank. My default water parameters are OK except for the ph being about 7.8. I've read that the glass cats like a much more acidic or neutral environment, but I'm nervous about shifting the ph around on the shark. What do you guys do in cases like this? Do you go for it and try to reduce the ph...Do you try and see if the cats can stand the higher ph..Or do you say forget it because they are too far down the ph spectrum to mix?
If you managed to safely lower the hardness and pH, and provided this was not too extreme (acidic), the two fish would both be OK as far as parameters. I would be more concerned over compatibility. The Rainbow is quite active, and the Glass are the opposite and rather shy and retiring. Both species are in our profiles, click on the shaded name in your original post to see the respective profile.
I don't know your level of understanding with respect to hardness/pH but it is sometimes not easy to adjust these. I mention hardness and pH together because the pH is mainly determined by the hardness and trying to adjust pH without lowering the hardness will not work. You can read more here:
Yeah, I do get that the hardness and PH are not mutually exclusive of each other, and we have rather hard water to start with so I'm just thinking this may be a bad idea.
As far as the compatibility goes, I thought maybe if the rainbow was a bottom dweller, and the cats a mid range that they would be O.K. as long as I provided hiding spaces. The rainbow gets along (as long as there isnt a food fight) with black skirts and guppies that graze the tank substrate.
All in all, I think I'm a bit too new and I don't want to harm any fish in my learning process. It's funny, when you first start you just think of the fish that interest you by look/behaviour etc. But there is so much else to it :-)
Thanks for the help and advice
This is probably a new thread, but since it is somewhat related and I'd like your take on this....
I've read your article on the relationships between GH, KH, and pH which I thought was very informative.
So I have a 'fish plan' that I am looking into implementing but my main concern is that the fish I would like to add to the new 55g tank like mostly a neutral/acidic pH and softer water than our tap.
So, first my water conditions ..
Our water source comes from an underground natural aquafier (Irondo-Greece aquafier to be exact). Our water is very clean, but also hard because of the mineral salts that comprise the aquafier.
By default, our water has these params using the tetra easy-strips:
KH - 180-300ppm
pH - 7.8
Because of the hardness, nearly every household here has a water softener which I put into bypass mode when doing water changes.
With the softened water the params are:
KH - 180-300ppm (couldnt really see a huge shift in color here from the tap comparison)
pH - 7.0 (if not a bit lower)
So with that, I would suppose I could gradually do 10%-20% water changes with softened water to get my current fish acclimated to the lower pH and from that point on just use softened water.
The water softener uses the standard pellets (no special treatment pellets) so really the only issue I can see is the amount of sodium that gets switched out from the magnesium and calcium. According to a few articles it seems like the sodium does increase slightly by about 25mg per gallon, which seems low..but I need your opinion on that.
My new goal is to have my existing tetras, or something comparable with about 4 German blue rams and my rainbow shark in a planted 55gallon.
I realize you have reservations on the rainbow, but in the 'shades of grey' aspect of aggressiveness I think he is pretty amiable.
The shark will limit substrate fish, but might leave the upper fish alone. I would be concerned about the cichlids though, they like to stay near the substrate and feed from it, which the shark may not appreciate. This is one of those cases where it may work or may not, depending upon the individual fish "personality." Myself, I would never risk it.
On the softener, the issue is that salts are added to remove the minerals and the salts are as bad or worse for the soft water fish. Many soft water fish have a high sensitivity to prolonged salts of any type. It depends upon the particular softener and how it softens, and I've no direct experience with these.
Boiling water will remove calcium and magnesium; not sure if the salts would be removed too. But boiling the initial water might be preferable to get the tank going. Just a thought.
General Hardness is basically determined by the minerals calcium and magnesium; GH is sometimes referred to as “permanent hardness” because it cannot be removed from water by boiling as can KH.
Which is why I thought that boiling was not an option?
Diluting the hard water with some form of pure water is the best method.
good luck , keep us posted :):):)
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