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Discussion Starter #1
I live in Indiana where our water is basically rock. My pH is 8.2. I'm currently cycling a 29 gal with 3 small live plants and 5 Red Eye Tetras. I got the tetras without considering the pH.

Looking ahead, I would like to add Corys after the tank has cycled but read that they can be persnickety about parameters.

What fish can tolerate high pH? I would prefer not to add chemicals to bring the pH down and rather find fish that can tolerate it.
 

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Adding fish best suited to the water you have is the best way to go! You could look into the Livebearers - Mollies, Platy, Guppies, Endler's. . . it sounds like your water might work very well with some of the Rift Valley cichlids. My water is sooooooft, so I won't be of much help to you here, hopefully someone will be by soon with more experience in this! Good luck with your setup!
 

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What is your water hardness, pH aside, you may have posted this elsewhere but is can't recall.

Pepper corys are good up to 15dGH, can't recall the pH offhand. Emerld catfish are good up to 20dGH and they are basically corys, but not quite.

Jeff
 

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What is your water hardness, pH aside, you may have posted this elsewhere but is can't recall.
I am having trouble finding that out. I wasn't able to find it online for my municipality. I have OLD tests for it - API used to include GH and KH tests in their Master Kit - but no instructions on how to do the tests.
 

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They are a drop count. Add one drop and the water turns one colour then keep adding one drop at a time until it changes again. I'm on my phone so I won't look for it but you can find the instructions online. I can't imagine that an old test will be too far off in results.

Jeff
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They are a drop count. Add one drop and the water turns one colour then keep adding one drop at a time until it changes again. I'm on my phone so I won't look for it but you can find the instructions online. I can't imagine that an old test will be too far off in results.

Jeff
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I was able to find instructions on another fish forum. Apparently you have to email API and a couple of folks said they hadn't had success with that and someone within the forum was able to produce instructions.

So I did the tests.

KH = 9
GH = inconclusive. I stopped adding drops at 45 and it still hadn't changed from orange to blue! So I figure either the test is defective b/c it's old, or my water is really hard. The instructions do not include any kind of "scale" so I don't know if 45+ is a possible reading. As I mentioned above, I know we have very hard water here.

So what do you think? To refresh your memory, my pH is 8.2 and I am looking for suitable fish to go with my Red Eye Tetras in my 29 gal. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
African Cichlids
I had posted in a different thread before starting the tank about African cichlids in a community tank and got somewhat contradictory responses ...I just want to verify you saw the part about Red Eyes in there too. :-?
 

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I was able to find instructions on another fish forum. Apparently you have to email API and a couple of folks said they hadn't had success with that and someone within the forum was able to produce instructions.

So I did the tests.

KH = 9
GH = inconclusive. I stopped adding drops at 45 and it still hadn't changed from orange to blue! So I figure either the test is defective b/c it's old, or my water is really hard. The instructions do not include any kind of "scale" so I don't know if 45+ is a possible reading. As I mentioned above, I know we have very hard water here.

So what do you think? To refresh your memory, my pH is 8.2 and I am looking for suitable fish to go with my Red Eye Tetras in my 29 gal. Thank you.
Had I realized you were having trouble I would have posted a link sooner. Here is the API manual and chart download page.

Downloads; Pump and filter Instructions, Test Kit charts

The scale is just a matter of 1 drop = 1 degree of hardness but I doubt that yours is actually 45+. So far I haven't seen anyone post higher than mine, 23dGh. If your KH is around 9 there's a good chance that the GH is somewhere between 10 and 15dGH given that your are on municipal water. Try the test again to see what is up and maybe have the LFS test it. If you are only asking them to verify it to prove your test is decrepit they likely won't charge you for it.

I can't help much with the fish compat as I don't know cichlids.

Jeff.
 

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Your fish wouldn't be compatible with African Rift Lake cichlids. Neither are actually good for your water hardness. Most tetras do well in the slightly soft / slightly hard range and appreciate a slightly aciid to slightly basic PH. The rift lake cichlids come from an area that has a high PH; however, the water really isn't very hard. As has been mentioned before, live bearers could be a good match for your water. There are ways to bring down the hardness of your water that don't involve chemicals (rain water, distilled water, etc).

My experience has been that water companies are happy to provide the info you need via email or a phone call. The reports available online really don't provide clear specs for an aquarium keeper.
 

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I agree with what everyone else has said here with one exception, the water hardness is good for African Cichlids except the tank size is not.

African Cichlids do well in a minimum 55g tank and in groups of 1 male to several females depending on the species.

I cannot comment on compatibility with Red eye Tetra as I know nothing about them, however, you may possibly consider Shell Dwellers cichlids, such as Neolamprologus. The tank size those is a bit of an issue as any cichlid even the milder ones are slightly more aggressive than tetra. Possible tank mates may be tiger barbs, other tetras as they like to shoal together.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Your fish wouldn't be compatible with African Rift Lake cichlids. Neither are actually good for your water hardness. Most tetras do well in the slightly soft / slightly hard range and appreciate a slightly aciid to slightly basic PH.
Thanks for your suggestions. I am disappointed to hear that the Red Eyes aren't well-suited to hard water but I will hope for the best. This is taken from the FP:

Care Level: Very Easy. Will tolerate a wide range of water parameters including pH, temperature and hardness. Can tolerate higher nitrate levels than other fish and is hardy enough to withstand the cycling process.

My hesitation with livebearers is I don't like the livebearing part! In the past we went through many "batches" of fry and none ever survived. I tried the in-tank basket, I tried separating them in a little fry tank, but they always died.

Then I told myself I was going to let nature take its course if it happened again, but then I would end up separating them because I couldn't stand for them to get eaten.
 

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I too live in Indiana and shared your concerns when I started. I have goldfish, pleco, a powder blue gourami and tetras and have had no problem with the hardness. I am just starting to get into salt water and now I am greatful for the basic pH. Good luck.
 
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