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bussardnr,

a ph of 8 would be high for wild caught discus but if you have tank bred specimens, they should be use to the ph of the tap water.

Even if they are use to high ph...I would still soften the water. You can use Peat to lower the ph of the water. You could also invest in a R/o unit which will remove minerals etc. from the water.
 

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My tap water:

PH 8.8
GH 10
KH 4

After I pre-treat it:

PH 6.8
GH 7
KH 2

Here's what I do:

I have a 28 gallon plastic container, fill it with the hose with about 25 gallons.

I took a 2 pound plastic Folders coffee container, piped some 1/2" pvc in the bottom and drilled some holes in the lid. Siliconed some plastic mesh over the lid holes.

Pack it with Peat (I get it at Home Depot or Lowes, very cheap).

Hold the lid on with bungie cords.

Water is forced thru with a power head.

Takes about 4 hours to treat the water and get the PH to drop to 6.8.

Good for about 50 gallons. You know its time to repack with Peat when it sinks.

Then treat with Prime. After you treat it with Prime you have to use it within 24 hours.

Once you get it set up it faily easy. My pre-treat container is right next to the tank, so its easy to transfer the water.
 

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There is a pic in this months photo contest called Golden Angel, thats mine.

Honestly, your tap water would work for South Africans but not South Americans.

If you want to keep Discus you need to get the ph down.
 

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Folks around here keep discus in hard tap water with a pH of 8.2 with no problem. For breeding you would need to make it softer and more acidic, though. There are some discus website where you could probably find more info.
 

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i've seen pretty good discus raised in water ph 8.4, gh 25 and kh 18. water was softened to get decent hatches, but the fish raised in that water were fine in it.

i find however that even though fish can be kept in these high ranges, their colours will improve in softer water. but, making soft water is an art, not to be practiced with good discus. get good with some rams, then try growing out larger s/a fish. discus will not do well with their water parms going all over the place.

rick
 
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