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stock direction

Wed Apr 29, 2020 1:48 pm

putting together a 20 gal long. want planted . have city water but very hard (api test off scale on Directions) from tap. tap range ph was 7.6 on reg test and high ph test was at 7.8. have lots of African cichlid exp. first planted attempt. tninking south american's , will they fit the goal? thanks al

Re: stock direction

Wed Apr 29, 2020 2:36 pm

South Americans prefer softer, acidic water. Central Americans like hard, alkaline water but can't think of any to recommend for a 20 gallon long. Possibly, tank or farm raised Bolivian Rams from water that is similar to yours would work out for you. I believe most of the fish farms in Florida have harder, alkaline water but not sure if they soften it for any species other than Discus or German Rams.

Re: stock direction

Wed Apr 29, 2020 3:07 pm

I also have a 55 sitting here that I can use, but who will be well adjusted in my water conditions. Everyone advises not chasing ph, which makes alot of sense. or is there is an easy way to either soften the water or change other parameters? thanks

Re: stock direction

Wed Apr 29, 2020 3:28 pm

There are definitely ways to soften water and lower pH but I have never tried. I think most fish are good in water that is moderately soft to moderately hard with a pH of 6.5 - 7.5. Unfortunately, your water seems to be very hard and alkaline. Filtering through peat moss will lower the hardness and pH. I don't have any experience using it so not sure what it entails exactly. If it's as simple as putting it in your filter and replacing it monthly, maybe that would be worth it for you. As driftwood decomposes, it will also lower the pH and soften the water. Hopefully, others who have done this will chime in. If you would rather not have to worry about your water parameters, you could go with a Firemouth. A single specimen with a group of sword tails would work in the 55 for sure. Or if you don't care about keeping fish from the same region together there are many different varieties of Australian rainbows that would work as well.

Re: stock direction

Wed Apr 29, 2020 6:44 pm

It is easier to increase pH than decrease it. If your fish truly require a lower pH I agree with not chasing it, but then you may need to choose fish for whom the lower pH is not essential.

You may be surprised if you research each fish that not that many require the very low pH parameters.

Why SA? There are fish that could do well in a planted tank that does not require an extremely low pH.

Re: stock direction

Mon May 04, 2020 11:39 am

I've kept angelfish in pH 8, Missouri River delta water. They bred several times. However, I advise keeping them in the 55, not the 20. Did well with all of my plants.
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