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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The following are the fish I'm planning for my 34 gallon heavily planted tank... I don't want to make a mistake and add sensitive fish first. I'd rather add the most sensitive last. Which fish should I add first? Which should go last?

Fundulopanchax gardneri pair

Aphyosemion australe pair

Nothobranchius rachovii pair

Pygmy cories (Small school, about 8)

German Gold Ram pair

Celestial pearl danios (a group, maybe 4)

School of cardinal tetras (maybe 10+/-)
 

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Carpe Diem
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The smallest / least aggressive go in first, the largest / most aggressive go in last.

Btw, CPDs like it cooler, GBRs like it hotter.

v3
 

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On a side note, nothos need hard, alkaline water with salt in it to avoid being struck with velvet, so it might not be a good idea to keep them with rams and cardinal tetras (neither of whom would appreciate such conditions).
 

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I have successfully kept and bred rams (as well as gardenis and australes) in hard, very alkaline water - but not cardinals. Neons have been fine, but cardinals would never last more than a few months. My one attempt at a pair of nothos ended within 24 hours, so pretty sure that was the fish I got or the acclimation, not the water itself. I haven't kept cpd's to know enough about their likes to know if the temps will be an issue (although I completely trust anything OVT says), but do know the rams and killies prefer it a little on the warmer side.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sorry for being stupid but what is alkaline water? High alkalinity levels? Would a saltwater alkalinity test kit work? I'm not sure if I still have it or a calcium test kit, but I might...

How does one reduce/raise alkalinity? I guess I won't get nothos. /me cry
 

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CPD's average temp would be 72. You can always jump it up a few numbers. Mines are living it up at 76 in my 50 gallon. If you get wild caught CPD's then temperature might matter but if tank bred. Then they are already adapted to a wide variety of water conditions and temperature. This also goes for any tank bred fish. Throw out the description of the wild ones.
 

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Sorry for being stupid but what is alkaline water? High alkalinity levels? Would a saltwater alkalinity test kit work? I'm not sure if I still have it or a calcium test kit, but I might...

How does one reduce/raise alkalinity? I guess I won't get nothos. /me cry
For hardness, you'd look at kh and gh, and that's a test kit you can get at pretty much any pet store. API makes it (same people that make the widely used test kits for ammonia, nitrates, etc.).

Alkalinity is referring to PH. CPD's, cardinals, and rams generally like acidic water (ph < 7) whereas others (like livebearers, most killies, etc.) prefer more alkaline water (ph > 7). My ph runs 8.2-8.3 (VERY alkaline) and while the gh is middle of the road at 8, my kh is through the roof (18). I say all that to say that I definitely have fish that prefer softer, more acidic water living and breeding and doing well in my somewhat extreme conditions - which is testament to the fact that MOST fish can adapt to varying conditions as long as they are stable. The further removed you can get from the wild caught generation, the more adaptable they are in my experience.
 

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To make the water right for hard water fish here is how I do it:

1) Set the GH where the fish want it. For my Lake Tanganyika tank I aim for about 10 German degrees of hardness, using Seachem Equilibrium.
2) Make the KH equal to the GH using baking soda. Potassium bicarbonate works, too.

When the KH is maintained like that then the pH will be in the right range for the fish.

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For my brackish water tank I use the salt and mineral blend that is made for marine tanks, but at a lot lower amount. I was maintaining a specific gravity of 1.004.

Link to more info about Nothos:
http://www.fishbase.org/summary/Nothobranchius-rachovii.html
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So I got my 4 Fundulopanchax gardneri 'Innidere' today and I love them. I want to keep nothobranchius with them.

My pH is 6.0 (possibly a tiny bit below actually, showed up yellower than the 6.0 on the test card)... Temperature is about 80F consistently without a heater. IDK about the alkalinity but I have a super fancy $40 test kit for alkalinity. Hardness I'm not sure about but I could add salt for nothos.

Do you think I could keep nothos with my gardneri and maybe some aphyosemion?
 
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