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Very Hard Water
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Joined: 13 Jan 2011

PostPosted: 2011.01.13(Thu)11:14    Post subject: Very Hard Water Reply with quote

I recently moved and now have a well. I got my water tested and the water is very hard, like 8.4 pH . I'm not sure if I want to set the tank back up (29Gallon Freshwater) if it's going to be a constant struggle to maintain the chemistry balance and possibly watch fish die over it. I know I can use pH down chemicals and a softenor pillow (with each water change, right?). What else can I do other than just get a water softener for the whole water system (which is in the plans for when we can afford it) ??

Any thoughts?

Are there fish that like water of that pH? I have a friend watching my small Gold Severum since I broke the tank down when I moved....but I don't think he could handle the water right?

Thanks! Let me know if you need more info.
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Joined: 18 Apr 2007

PostPosted: 2011.01.13(Thu)11:44    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are fish that prefer that pH but your Severum is not one of them.

I suggest you look at and a few of the other Tanganyikan cichlids.

They are not difficult if you are careful with the set up and choose wisely.
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Joined: 16 Feb 2010
Location: Memphis, TN

PostPosted: 2011.01.13(Thu)14:11    Post subject: Reply with quote

Driftwood naturally softens water but unless it is a massive piece it won't drop it that much.
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Joined: 13 Jan 2011

PostPosted: 2011.01.13(Thu)20:45    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the tip. Good to hear that I can house some fish in water as hard as mine right now - that's really good news ! How do you recommend I cycle the new tank- I've typically used hardy tetras to cycle but I don't think that's the recommended way around here is it?
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Joined: 17 Jul 2009
Location: Saint John, NB, Canada

PostPosted: 2011.01.13(Thu)21:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would cycle the tank by throwing about a half-dozen frozen shrimp (the culinary variety, not amano!) in a nylon and sinking it in the tank. There's a great article on fishless cycling here.
_________________ - now with 100% more fish.
Solving the Problem from the Inside - Proud Pet-Store Fishkeeper
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Joined: 18 Apr 2007
Location: canada, eh

PostPosted: 2011.01.22(Sat)20:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had the same issue with pH when I moved to my farm - water tests safe to drink but has lots of iron in it (if you let water stand it gets rusty fairly quick) and I don't know the exact pH - I bought a regular pH test and it was off the scale at the high end. My 5 year old black skirt tetras and 1 surving 5 year old lemon tetra seem to enjoy it though (3 years on this water) and my koi angelfish is about 1.5 years old and seems to thrive - has gotten quite large and very eye catching. I have a filter at each end of the tank so there is tons of water movement so water stays crystal clear. The only other fish I tried out here were chinese algae eaters - they did well too - just got big and old and finally passed.
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Joined: 16 Mar 2009

PostPosted: 2011.02.26(Sat)19:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

Supporting what was said above, I too live in an area where the pH scale is off the chart, although, as long as a fish is acclimated to the high pH most species shouldn't have a problem adjusting to any pH kept at a consistent level. I keep angel fish, cardinal and rummynose tetras in my water and they survive in it. That said they're still a lot of cool fish that thrive in hard water such as the african cichlids, though I don't know how many you could fit into a 29 gallon.
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Joined: 18 Aug 2010
Location: Saint Paul, MN

PostPosted: 2011.02.27(Sun)10:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know that Discus won't work for this tank, but just to make a point.
I'm in MN and we have a person who does discus breeding in pH 7.9.
Discus are usually soft water fish but these guys do just fine and are beautiful to look at.

I agree that most fish can do fine in a higher pH, there are only a select few that won't.
Please, oh Please can someone help me!?

My fish mugged me and stole my wallet!
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