I am specifically looking for suggestions of plant and fish species suitable for very hard water and medium light. I'm not a fish newbie, per se, but I have never been overly serious in the aquariums I keep. Of course my tanks are healthy and well-maintained (I'm a biologist that works in a fish lab), but I have never done much above and beyond that. My tank is well-established because, even as I have moved to increasing tank sizes over the years, I always transfer part of the substrate and filter media to new tanks and alter little else until I am positive all levels are "go." I recently (3-4 months ago) moved my aquarium community into a 29 gal
tank from a 20 long. I changed out most of the substrate from a sand/eco-complete mixture to a mostly flourite mixture (some old substrate was transferred to move bacteria as was the biofilter). I'm running an internal 40 gal
filter. Plants: I have a dwarf lilly, some grass (Echinodorus sp. ?), and a Crispus (recently turned into two) which have been growing (maybe just surviving) for three years. They look healthy, although their growth is slow. Fish: Currently just some guppies (little natural ones from the lab I work in) and a two female mollies (black and creamsicle). I figured out that my stock light was way to wimpy to get serious about plants, so I ordered a compact flourescent 65 Watt because I'm hoping to amp up light without have to start CO2
fertilization. I have done a lot of reading and seen lots of different conflicting opinions about plants and fish that do well in medium light and very hard water (GH
> 350; KH
= 225; pH = 7.5).
What I request from the experts on here:
(1) I would love to hear your suggestions on easy, but attractive plant species that might grow well under my conditions. I would especially like some taller ones to fill out the back (NOT Hydrilla - it is invasive in a local protected water system and I get annoyed every time I see it).
(2) The stock answer I always find for good community fish that do well in hard water is "Poeciliids". Honestly, I look at Poeciliids all day at work and, while they are cool, would love to look at something else when I get home. What are some of your suggestions for hard water fish that would do well in a community setting in my tank? (Keep in mind, the guppies can always go back to my lab and wouldn't be missed.)
Thank you all for your help ahead of time!