Preparing for Sulawesi Cardinal Tank
I'm looking to get some Sulawesi cardinals in the near future, and I want to make sure I have my bases covered before I attempt to keep them. I have a 55 gallon with fluorite in it that has been used for a few months with goldfish and plants in it to build algae and maintain the cycle.
My water parameters out of the tap are ph 7.4, kh 8, gh 12, nitrate 0. I plan on using RO water and adding the necessary ingredients to bring it in line with what cardinals need. I've read different reports but from what I understand, cardinals need 8-8.2 ph, temp 82+, kh 6-8, gh ? , TDS anywhere from 200-400 depending on the source.
Temperature I can control. GH I can add via Bee Mineral GH+. I use this to increase my tiger tank from RO to gh 6, TDS 120. I figure I can add some baking soda to increase kH. I have some aquarium ferts, including MgSO4 which I think I could use to increase TDS if necessary.
So how do I maintain pH? Can I add a thin layer of aragonite sand on top of my base? Will that buffer it enough? I've read that using coral jumps your TDS up to around 300, I can't tell if this is ok or not. And where do I get coral?
Hopefully you guys can help me out. Keep on shrimpin on.