My tank was definitely fully cycled. I was adding 2ppm ammonia daily and it would be 0 in 12 hours. Which is why I felt like getting a whole bunch of fish would be fine as long as we monitor the water closely. Esp since we don’t have a quarantine tank at the moment.
We kept it going an extra week to sort out the ph. It just wouldn’t stay put and the corals (I added 1/4 cup in a media bag in the filter) is the only thing that seemed to stop ph from dropping.
Can't agree more that it was a cycled tank with those numbers. But you want
the pH low if keeping neons is the end goal. I keep 5 0 dKH tanks currently and don't even measure pH in them at this point. It's going to be yellow off the scale and that's where it needs to be.
I’m happy with it being in the 6.8-7 range bc that means it won’t go loopy during water changes. And from everything I read it’s pretty good for the neons.
By all means they will live in and adapt to harder water than their native waters. But they will never breed at 4ish dKH and 7.0, at least that I've ever tried or heard. My ultimate tell as to whether fish are truly thriving is if they spawn. Not even that I want to spawn most species or will raise their fry, but if they aren't doing the basics like eating and spawning, something is off from ideal. I've yet to lose a fish to loopy pH swings and rarely even test for it.
Although now I’m concerned about the other stuff in the water.
What are you concerned about?
We do also have 6 cories in there and are planning to add a few Otos and eventually an undecided upon center piece fish and ~7 ph range seems to suit most these fish.
Both will positively thrive at 0 dKH, I've kept scores of both in these conditions.
But I think we definitely need to wait until the batch of these tetras settle.
I would definitely do that.
Yeeeesh. I didn’t realize I’d have to get a masters degree in chemistry when my husband suggested we get a fish tank lol
Honestly, using your straight tap I don't think you'd have to. Don't get scared by internet reports about pH swings being deadly. KH is the life blood of African rift lake species, but you are keeping things that live in acidic conditions that have pH swings from 4.0 to 6.0 with seasons and rainfall.
But I am really enjoying learning, although am experiencing PTSD from recent fish loss.
Back in the day, my red cap oranda just was a super cool fish all the time for many years and I didn’t even know that one should be testing any water lol
It was a simpler time but back then I DID give up on neons. I’m like DETERMINED to make them work now. It really seems that our natural water here should suit them quite well.
Your water absolutely should if not buffered to be more alkaline. I wouldn't change a thing, other than perhaps buffer it the opposite way of crushed coral. I wish you luck and am rooting for you and these neons!
Edit to answer the ninja post. 20 years ago I'd have said that cardinals are far more sensitive than neons, but that does not seem to be the case anymore. Especially tank raised cardinals are on average, sturdier fish. I would not add some until you see what direction these are going though. Just too big of odds that what is ailing the goose would ail a gander.