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I've got a 75 gallon aquarium I'll be converting from an African Cichlid tank to a tetra, gourami type set up with live plants.

The current tank has a little more than 200 lbs. of rock and I'll be removing a decent portion of that. Keeping the nice larger rocks and adding a little wood.

I have an fx6, and 2 emperor pro 450 filters the new ones. I've also got 2 heaters. I know that's a lot of moving water for either of the new species I've picked so I probably have to turn the flow down and position rocks strategically.

I've got about an inch of sand in the tank and I'll be mixing in a bag or 2 of black and red substrate for planting.

I live around Chicago, I'm on well water not city. We have a water softener that I have been pushing the bypass and draining the hot water tank, letting it fill and reheat, then matching temps during water changes via a python. I'm wondering if I can use the softened water though. I the unsoftened water was good for the African cichlid's.
 

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Hello Big...

Soft water is more acidic. The plants will like that water. Most fish you get at the local pet store will adapt to local water supplies. A pH of 6.5 to 8.5 is fine as long as the pH is steady. You just need to remove and replace half the tank water weekly. This will remove the pollutants from the fish waste and maintain good mineral and oxygen levels for the fish.

Have fun!

M
 

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Imo you should throw the big rocks out and get in some nice pieces of driftwood with the combination of medium/small rocks if you're going for a planted tank. That way you can add moss which will look amazing and there's more space for bunch of other plants. Soft water is a great choice if you can keep it constant as both tetras and gournamis are native to blackwater. Just don't chase the numbers, fish prefer something that's constant.
Good luck! You should post some pictures when you set it up!
 
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