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Fish suggestions for hard water / high pH

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
For the last two years, I have had african cichlids in my 30 gal tank but I lost them all within a few weeks.

I am pretty sure it was from problems with pollution in the tank (fish got bigger than expected, the addition of an algae eater added a lot of pollution, some places were hard to reach with the siphon and I didn't clean often enough). These problems should all be fixed and I am getting ready to get new fish.

The thing is, the tap water around here is very hard (I don't remember the numbers) and the pH is around 8.0
The african cichlids were doing fine, but I think I would prefer to go with something different... preferably easier.

Can anyone suggest some easy hard water fish?

So far I am thinking maybe platy (especially if I can find some blue ones) or dwarf gourami but I would like other suggestions too.

I want my tank to be under-populated so I will run less risk of running into problems.
post #2 of 10
what about some danios? They're a pretty hardy fish. I know some people cycle their tanks with them. Maybe some rasboras? I don't think I"ll be much help. I had african cichlids for a while and I know what a pain it is to keep them happy and not killing each other. My 55 gallon is currently sitting empty in the living room until I get a job (must get a job!!). I'm planning on trying a planted south american community tank with some angels and tetras when I set it back up, but the job has to come first before I can spend money on anything like that.
post #3 of 10
shelleys ....
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzles View Post
what about some danios? They're a pretty hardy fish. I know some people cycle their tanks with them. Maybe some rasboras? I don't think I"ll be much help. I had african cichlids for a while and I know what a pain it is to keep them happy and not killing each other. My 55 gallon is currently sitting empty in the living room until I get a job (must get a job!!). I'm planning on trying a planted south american community tank with some angels and tetras when I set it back up, but the job has to come first before I can spend money on anything like that.
I think danios and rasboras would prefer a lower pH. Then again, if I get them from local fish stores, they should already be used to the local tap water.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
shelleys ....
I'm not familiar with those, what are they?


I am starting to consider cichlids again. My all time favorite fish is the demasoni cichlid
http://aquariusweb.qc.ca/docs/recher...78&fiche_id=50
My tank isn't big enough for a colony... but I could always get just one. Do you think a single fish would get bored?
post #5 of 10
Shellies are shell dwelling chilids ... usually much smaller but very entertaining
post #6 of 10
pH can easily be fixed with additives from the pet store (they sell pH up and pH down stuff - just like pool stores do for swimming pools and also pH specific - like if you need your pH to be 7.0, you get the pH 7.0 powder)... I just added an apple snail to each of my tanks and they like the hard water to keep their shells strong - they will clean up your tank a bit, but won't make algae disappear - they are really fun to watch though

I know we have hard water but I never knew how hard... right now I have goldfish in one tank and an African Clawed Frog in the other tank (the frog is completely aquatic - does NOT need land at all, but should not be housed with fish... she's really fun to watch and quite hardy)... in the past I've had various tetras and platys and a friend successfully had danios - I've never done anything specific to treat the hardness of my water... I use either chlor out or stress coat to treat the tap water and as needed I add aquarium salt

Oh and I gave up on algae eaters a long time ago - they were messy, never really helped clean up my tank and grew to huge sizes (as did plecos) and I'd have to give them back to a store or find a friend with a larger freshwater tank
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm trying to stay away from additives because they can sometimes do more harm than good by leading to fluctuations in the water chemistry. I know fish do better in less than ideal - but stable - conditions rather than in constant fluctuations.

I look at some more options and I realized that what I would really want is some blue fish My local fish store has some pygmy gourami and they are blue. I could have a whole colony in my tank.

I'll go to the store this weekend and ask for advice there. Hopefully I will come home with some low-light plants and some nice blue fish.
post #8 of 10
A stable but "wrong" pH is always better than an unstable and sometimes "right" pH. A majority of the commonly kept fish in the hobby are captive bred and raised in a wide variety of water conditions and are quite adaptable to differing water parameters as long as they are acclimated slowly.

The more sensitive the species the better it probably is to keep it in water that is as close as it can be in a captive environment as it is in their natural habitat. Chocolate gourami are a good example of this. For some fish it only becomes an issue when attemting breeding, such as with Discus.
post #9 of 10
Essayons is correct, as long as your ph is stable (i.e. doesn't swing from 8 to 6, etc) then you shouldn't have too many problems keeping most fw fish. I'd avoid the ones that like really acidic water (discus, tetras, etc.) but, barbs and danios should be fine in an 8 ph as should most gourami and catfish (i.e. corydoras).

Now, if it was me, I'd go with sharky's suggestion...shellies. I have a 20gl long setup right now with multies they're cool african cichlids that live in discarded snail shells on the tank bottom. Most stay under 3". For someone new to them, I'd suggest either multies or brevis. Multies will form a colony and not "kick folks out" so are easier in a small tank.

Here's a great link that will give you spec. tank setups and species info:
http://www.cichlidrecipe.com/shellweb/

If you went with multies (n. multifasciatus), I'd go with 6 - 8 juvies. If you go with brevis, probably 6...They form small territories.

The shellies are great because they have quite interesting behaviors (mine landscape all the time and bury shells so other fish won't move in next door). They will also readily breed in your tank if the water quality is good.

Mine have lived through rough water conditions before and I think that as long as you do at least a 25% change every month you'll be ok.

That said, I would strongly suggest that you fishless cycle your tank BEFORE getting any fish. You do this by adding ammonia to the tank and allowing a good bacteria colony to grow to eventually consume the ammonia produced by the fish. Fishless cycling tends to take ~ 3-4 weeks and you would need test kits to test for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate. A ph test kit might also be handy.

Check out this aquaria forum for more info on fishless cycling (see the articles section): www.aquaria.info

Art
post #10 of 10
There are many species of Rainbowfish, all are beautiful, but their adult sizes can vary greatly from species to species.
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