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Old 03-22-2005, 07:21 PM   #1
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community fish for high pH and hard water

If you have read some of my posts you will know that I have hard water that has a high pH(pH=7.8 ). It seems that a lot of fish don't like that, especially rams. I've had a really hard time trying to keep blue or gold rams and they never survive my QT tanks. I'm depressed about it because I like them alot. I did see some adult rams the other day in a pet store for $8.99 each and I asked the owber to test the water, she did and it was pH 7.8. I became encouraged by this but I can't bring myself to see any more of those fish die in my QT, so I haven't purchased them. I keep checking my N levels and they seem fine. My clown and Yo Yo loaches do well, as do my dwarf gouramis and black ruby barbs. I want another fish to put in my community that can tolerate hard, high pH water. I do not want to try to modify the water chemistry. So, if anyone knows of a good community fish, that is not a bottom dweller, that can tolerate hard water and high pH, I'd like to know.
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Old 03-22-2005, 07:22 PM   #2
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Didn't mean for the cool smiley to show up. That is supposed to be 7.8.
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Old 03-22-2005, 09:14 PM   #3
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sounds just like my water. love the rams too but never wanted to bring them home as I was told they are really sensitive to the water.
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Old 03-23-2005, 12:26 AM   #4
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Well when I had a lot of limestone (up to 8.0 pH) my harlequin rasboras, tiger barbs, & ottos all did fine. Most folks say it is more a matter of not pH fluctuations. A lot of fish are pretty tolerant of higher pH even if they won't breed in it. Have you thought about rainbows? A lot of them do fine with high pH & they are supposed to be great community fish. I haven't gotten any yet but my tank is in transition to take them. I have even heard of folks using them to cycle though so at least some species must be pretty tough.
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Old 03-23-2005, 08:23 AM   #5
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rainbows

I have read about rainbows but thet get a little bigger than I like. I already have clown loaches and I've got to figure out what to do with them when they get bigger. I'm planning on getting a 75 gallon tank some day (after my wife gets over the newness and aggravation of the current tanks). Anyway, I had an epiphany last night and remembered about mollies, swords, amd platys. I'm gonna start looking at them. I just hate dealing with the babies.
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Old 03-23-2005, 09:46 AM   #6
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Any livebearer will do great in hard water, and you can get all one gender if you want to avoid proliferation. Also, I must agree that 7.8 pH is not that bad, and it is not a measure of hardness. For that we need to know your GH/KH.

There are some smaller rainbows like praecox (dwarf neon) that don't get as large and full-bodied as the boesemanis, and they are lovely.

I too have had trouble with rams but I tend to think this is more a product of overbreeding and generalized delicate stock that are available to me here in this part of the country. If you have not tried them, consider Bolivian rams, as they are much hardier, and I don't think they would mind your water at all, provided they are acclimated to it.
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Old 03-23-2005, 09:54 AM   #7
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Thanks. I'll check into the praecox rainbow. What do they look like? The lfs has some Bolivian rams but they are too big for my liking.
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Old 03-23-2005, 12:18 PM   #8
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Here is a nice pic of them courtesy of The Tropical Tank UK:


They are usually about 2" long, and turquoise blue with yellow or reddish fins.
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Old 03-23-2005, 01:23 PM   #9
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Dwarf Neon (Praecox) rainbows are very attractive fish. Schoolers, a nice group would be 2-3 males and 4-6 females, depending on the size of your tank. Males have the red fins, females the yellow, so they are very easy to sex. Bodies are incredibly iridescent (that picture just barely does them justice), and the males will "flare" at each other as well as flare for the females to attract their attention--it is really beautiful.

The only warning I would give about them is that all rainbowfish tend to be susceptible to columnaris, especially the "mouth fungus" variety. So if you get them from a pet store, take a very, very, VERY careful look at the mouth area and make sure there is no signs of anything white & fluffy looking, no signs of any sort of lesions near the mouth, etc.

I made the mistake of not checking closely and ended up with a school of 5 of them, all of which had full-blown columnaris within a week of me getting them home. Despite my best efforts, none survived.

Another species of rainbowfish you might consider, either in addition to the praecox or instead of them (again, depending upon your tank size) is the Threadfin Rainbowfish (Iriatherina werneri). Like the dwarf neons, threadfins only get to about 2" (some sites say only 1.5") at full adult length. I have seen them in person--one lfs near me sells them--and they are quite spectacular. Nice picture of one of them can be seen here.
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Old 03-23-2005, 02:06 PM   #10
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Praecox

Is 2" the max size of the Praecox? Are they abundant in the lfs across the US?
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