Good fish for high pH
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Old 10-05-2009, 02:30 PM   #1
morf2540
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Good fish for high pH


HI, I am setting up my first tank, and my tap water is pretty high, about 7.8. It doesn't sound like there are any good options for lowering it permanently, and I am discouraged that I will be greatly limited in the variety of fish I can keep. Does anyone have experience with similar water pH, and the types of fish that work well? What are some good fish that like this condition (besides swordtails and platies.....) Thanks very much!
Marc
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Old 10-05-2009, 03:17 PM   #2
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African Cichlids like hard water, but of course will only work with their conspecifics because they are very aggressive. Central American cichlids (convicts, firemouths) can also tolerate it very well.

On the peaceful side, mollies can even adjust to brackish water, puffers, monodactilus.

Fish that donīt care about ph (will adjust to varying conditions) include danios (various types), barbs, gouramis, paradise fish, etc.

You can lower your ph via driftwood and peat moss, itīs not that difficult!
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:04 PM   #3
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Hi Marc,

I have pH 8.0 tap myself and as blackandyellow suggested, there are good choices for fish depending on your goals. If you haven't already gotten too far along with the set up and are willing to spend a little money, ADA Aquasoil has strong buffering capability. In my 90 gallon the pH drops to 7.4 - the tank has been set up for about three months with weekly 50% water changes. Pretty long lasting buffer! When I add CO2, this takes the pH down to 6.8. This gets you a nice environment to grow most plants in too.

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Old 10-05-2009, 05:19 PM   #4
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Most rainbowfish will also do fine in harder water, particularly the Melanotaenia genus.

Basically, you just need to give up on the tried and true South American or Southeast Asian biotopes.
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:43 PM   #5
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I have Bolivian rams, glowlight tetras, cories and otocinclus in my tank. My pH is near 8 from the tap.

Most fish really don't care too much about hard water. I routinely hear stories about discus breeders breeding in high pH water.

If your fish are tank bred, then most likely they will be ok. I can imagine a wild caught fish that lived most of its life in low pH water being forced to transition to high pH water might be uncomfortable.

Charlie
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Old 10-05-2009, 09:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by telephasic View Post
Basically, you just need to give up on the tried and true South American or Southeast Asian biotopes.
Disagree, my tap water is in the 8.3 pH range and I have kept South American dwarf apistos, cardinals, ottos, and corys for years without problems. The problems I had were in thinking that I had to mess with my water chemistry to keep these fish. I made a mess of my tank using the various Seachem buffers to adjust my pH. Best decision I ever made was to leave the water chemistry alone. Aquasoil will buffer the water quite a bit but the effect wears off as the substrate ages. The only long term safe way I have found to soften my water is to use RO but I got sick of making and lugging around buckets of water and now am back to using tap. You may have difficulty getting "soft water" apistos to breed in harder water but otherwise they adapt and are fine. There are very few species of fish that are so sensitive that they require a specific pH to keep them but there will be some species that will not breed without specific conditions.

One thing to check if you haven't already is to get a tap water sample and let it sit out for a day or so before testing it. Many times the pH drops, the water treatment plants sometimes use additives to buffer the water once the sample de-gasses the buffers no longer affect the pH.
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Old 10-05-2009, 09:56 PM   #7
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How about those water softening pillows? Do those work?
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Old 10-06-2009, 02:17 AM   #8
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this week i'm going to get a journal going so you can see.. however i have angelfish, hatchet fish, bolivian rams, and emerald eye rasboras living very happily for nearly a year now in water with a ph of 7.6, kh of 18 ~ 20 and gh of 14. (basically all of wisconsin). if you get your fish locally, chances are they will be fine as they will already be acclimated to local water conditions. most lfs dont take any special care to make water params "natural" to specific fish.
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Old 10-06-2009, 04:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcovelli View Post
this week i'm going to get a journal going so you can see.. however i have angelfish, hatchet fish, bolivian rams, and emerald eye rasboras living very happily for nearly a year now in water with a ph of 7.6, kh of 18 ~ 20 and gh of 14. (basically all of wisconsin). if you get your fish locally, chances are they will be fine as they will already be acclimated to local water conditions. most lfs dont take any special care to make water params "natural" to specific fish.
Thatīs true, lFSs donīt do anything to adjust parameters anyway. Without messing with the chemistry you can lower your ph to 7.5 - 7.0 with just driftwood / peat moss and in neutral water you can keep pretty much any fish except for brackish water ones...
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Old 10-06-2009, 09:09 PM   #10
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To the OP, what size tank is this you're going to set up?
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Old 10-06-2009, 09:26 PM   #11
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PH isn't usually an issue. Check your water's GH and TDS. That's more important to what fish you can keep.
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Old 10-07-2009, 03:04 PM   #12
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It's always "best practice" to keep fish in water parameters as close to what they were raised in as possible, but it's also very possible to adapt fish (SLOWLY) to other water parameters. Some fish are more adaptable than others.

My South American tank runs 7.6-7.8 pH, kH is off the charts, but my Pristella tetras and Rams would spawn on a regular basis. I'm not sure that any of the eggs would survive (even if they weren't eaten), though, due to the water parameters.

Keeping fish and breeding fish are 2 different goals. If your goal is to breed soft water fish, then I'd encourage you to get an RO unit.

If you goal is just to keep fish, then try getting fish that are already or can be adapted to harder water. As mentioned before, if you can obtain locally bred fish, that is always ideal, as they may already be adapted to your water parameters (check with the breeder).

Kribs are another option that I don't think have been mentioned yet.
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