The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an interest in aquariums or fish keeping!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.


Aquarium Advice Newbie
Nov 13, 2023
I'm getting back into the hobby after a long hiatus, and I now have a 20 gallon planted freshwater tank, that im trying to breed reticulated hillstream loaches in. But I need some advice on water parameters. I now have well water, so I use re- mineralized distilled water for my tank, but it's getting expensive, so I want to transition to my well water, and it has odd properties. After going through the water softener and iron filter, it has (as measured by api test kits) 0 gh, 17 dkh, and ph of 7.5. I can fix the gh with seachem equilibrium, sames as with the distilled water. And the ph is just right. What I can't seem to find out is if the high kh is a problem for the fish. Everyplace I've looked seems to think that high kh equals high ph, so the subject immediately changes to ways to control ph.

To be clear, what I need to know is if a high kh *by itself* is harmful to fish. The ph is good, and with a kh that high, it would take a whole lot of acid to drop it. Can I go ahead and start replacing evaporated water with my well water? Or will a high kh poison my fish and do I need to get my own ro system?

Thanks in advance for the advice!
The Ph is on the verge of too high as is the Kh. Recommended breeding parameters for most fish is the middle of the acceptable spectrum. So Ph= 7.0 and Kh = 10-12.

Before doing any amending, what are the parameters of your well water? I now have well water that's manly soft with high Ph. In my former home, I had well water that was hard as a rock with PH off the charts almost. :facepalm: So just because it's well water doesn't mean it's good or bad or needs stuff. ;) (y)
Rachel O'Leary raised these guys for years in her 150 Hillstream Tank

Having a matured tank seems to be a key point in their reproduction and success.

Some developments. Tried treating the tap water with seachem acid buffer, and wound up with temporary reductions in KH and ph. IN the meantime, my display tank ph spiked. like you suspected it would, we I went back to distilled water and did a couple medium water changes, but not before the PH spike took out my two mystery snails.

At this point, I'm pretty sure that I'm just going to have cuilligan put in an under-counter RO unit. it'll add $26 a month to my water softner/iron filter bill, but i'll give me a blank slate as far as water parameters, and with winter here, my evaporation problems are about to get a lot worse.

IN other news, I discovered why my Sewellia LIneolata pair wasn't spawning. The male isn't a lineolata- he's an unclassified species that lives in the same region and the same environment as lineolata, formerly classified as Parasewellia , but now designated as "Sewellia SP." or "Sewellia SEW01" In my defense, the female lineolata has spent most of the time clinging to the underside of some hardscape, so I seldom see her dorsal side in any lind of good lighting, and the color scheme is the same for the two species. it's just that the spots on the SEW01 don't merge to create the reticulation patterns you see on the lineolata. Here's a couple photos for comparison


WOW!! A combination of issues. :(
Can't beat a good Culligan filter tho. (y) I worked in wholesale houses that needed multiple Culligan filters to make our tap water good for the imports. ( Here's a hint, make sure you test the water coming out of the filter before each change so you know when the filter needs replacing. :whistle: ) If you can, have a bypass installed so you only use the filtered water for the fish. That can save the life of the filter. (y)

That sucks about the fish not being the same species. :( Time to go to stores and really studying their fish so you get pairs to each of these. (y) The SEW01 almost looks like a pleco that bred with a corydora and created a nicely spotted pattern. ;) :lol: While I am usually partial for striped fish, that SEW01's pattern has caught my eye. :brows: I hope you can find a mate for that one to breed them. (y)(y)
Top Bottom