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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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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 don´t 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, it´s not that difficult!
 

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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.

Bill
 

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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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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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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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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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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.
That´s true, lFSs don´t 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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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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Growing spirulina require very high pH, Nitrogen, CO2 and water movement. Can anyone recommend "edible" fish that can live on spirulina in very high pH water? The fish can produce Nitrogen, CO2 and water movement naturally. We can eat the fish as well.
 

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Ive kept all types of fish and very healthy ones at that, all at my tap water parameters, which is between 7.8 and 8.2. This includes. Just about any fish possible at lfs, including rams, angels, pea puffers etc. I stand by the rule that keeping water amd parameters stable is more important than tinkering with levels to re create natural habitats. Most fish dont come from their natural waters anymore. They are bred for generations in captivity, therefore, where their breed comes from in the wild , makes little difference. Just my opinion.

Sent from my SM-N910T using Tapatalk
 

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I tend to keep fishes that will do well with the water I have from the tap.
Some fishes will adapt to wide range of water chemistry some ,not so much.
could be difference between fishes that survive for a few week's,month's,and fishes that thrive for many year's or at least much longer than they would in the wild where predation by larger species often limit's the fishes lifespan.
Soft water species in my experience will alway's do better in soft water than hard ,and vice versa for hard water species.

I can for example wear shoes that are too small for my feet ,but I am much more comfortable in shoes that fit properly.
 

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I've been told that pygmy cories should have acidic - basic water. However, I have 2 right now that are perfectly fine. I think it's best to acclimate them extremely slowly to give them the best chance possible and if possible, purchase from a local breeder because they will be adapted to local waters.
 

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I've been told that pygmy cories should have acidic - basic water. However, I have 2 right now that are perfectly fine.
You should get a few more cories they will be more comfortable in a larger group.

To the op I agree to try and keep fish that match your water but some fish have a wide range they are comfortable in. I use driftwood and indian almond leaf in all my tanks.
Just do some research on fish you like. I know pristella tetra can be kept in ph 6-8. Some sources even say 5.8- 8.5.
 

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Ricky Lam, start a new thread. Adding on a different subject to a thread that is already 6 years old is a bit odd.

werk, whoever said a fish needs "acidic-basic" water does not know what they are talking about. Water is one or the other, not both.
 

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There is so much info here that I am very frustrated with right now.

First off I hate the notion that because a fish was raised in harder water than they should have been it is ok to keep them in it. Mother nature took decades upon decades upon decades to adapt soft water fish to soft water. It blows my mind that people think because we have kept them in hard water for 10-20 years breeding them that suddenly these fish are now happy in it. I just don't believe it's true, and while they may have adapted slightly, tank bred or not they should be kept in their required parameters.

Secondly I hate the idea of if you're not going to breed them than sure just keep em in any old parameters you can muster. if their eggs can not even hatch in the water, than what do you think is happening to your fish?

let's pretend I had a child, and I chose to keep this child in a small dirty room, filled with second hand smoke and empty beer bottles. The kid would live sure, but jesus how screwed up and sickly would he be?

OP you are doing the right thing by looking for fish suitable to your tap conditions. Please please disregard all this other crap.

For the record, low ph fish aren't really low ph fish we just call them that. What they really are are fish that require soft water, meaning low TDS GH and KH.
 

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There is so much info here that I am very frustrated with right now.

First off I hate the notion that because a fish was raised in harder water than they should have been it is ok to keep them in it. Mother nature took decades upon decades upon decades to adapt soft water fish to soft water. It blows my mind that people think because we have kept them in hard water for 10-20 years breeding them that suddenly these fish are now happy in it. I just don't believe it's true, and while they may have adapted slightly, tank bred or not they should be kept in their required parameters.

Secondly I hate the idea of if you're not going to breed them than sure just keep em in any old parameters you can muster. if their eggs can not even hatch in the water, than what do you think is happening to your fish?

let's pretend I had a child, and I chose to keep this child in a small dirty room, filled with second hand smoke and empty beer bottles. The kid would live sure, but jesus how screwed up and sickly would he be?

OP you are doing the right thing by looking for fish suitable to your tap conditions. Please please disregard all this other crap.

For the record, low ph fish aren't really low ph fish we just call them that. What they really are are fish that require soft water, meaning low TDS GH and KH.

+one^ How refreshing.
 
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