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Old 10-28-2011, 02:33 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Hholly View Post
It's very small, river rock looking stuff, natural color. I put some in a dish with vinegar and nothing happened. So maybe it it just the water. Does high pH and hardness make it hard for fish to breathe?
I'm not sure. I'd take the Top Fin out if you can. Your PH is fine at 7.8. The 8.3 would be OK too as long as it's stable but larger water change could be a bit tricky due to the difference in PH from the tank. I'm not a PH expert though. Maybe Eco23 will find his way here and reply; or you could send him a private message and see what he thinks.
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Old 10-28-2011, 04:39 PM   #22
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Thanks. You all are so helpful! Here's my plan of action. As I cycle the tank and do water changes, if the pH drops significantly, I'll remove all substrate and replace it with something better. If it remains stable I'll leave it as is.
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Old 10-28-2011, 04:48 PM   #23
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Hholly you have my sympathy! I have an established tank, and use my softened well water (without softening it would clog up everything with minerals). out of the tap it is 7-7.4. however in the tank for some unknown reason it typically rises to 8.0+. up til now my fish have been perfectly fine in this pH (angels, guppies & pleco in big tank; tiger barbs and dwarf guorami in small). it depends on what fish you want to stock with I guess.
I've complicated my life by added 2 discus . so pH becomes more critical & I'm trying to figure it out.

have you tested the softened water? why were told not to use it?
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:23 PM   #24
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I was going to try gouramis, plecos, and danios to start. I had read a few sources that said not to use softened water because you are just trading calcium for sodium, and for some reason that's bad. I know also that my softener doesn't always function well so the water would vary in hardness and pH, depending on what stage the softener is at. I think. I'm honestly not certain of anything.
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:33 PM   #25
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I'm honestly not certain of anything.
neither am I LOL!
imho those fish should be fine - and you have a plan .
I myself will just keep trading sodium for calcium, just because I can't deal with horrific mineral buildup that my unsoftened water causes.

fwiw so long as your pH is constant, it'll be ok. good luck!
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:38 PM   #26
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Thanks, it's good to know!
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Old 11-04-2011, 04:06 PM   #27
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Yay! I have nitrites and nitrates!!! I'm so excited!
Just had to let that out.
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