View Full Version : Need help!

05-11-2018, 01:38 AM

I recently bought a new tank, 46 gallon bowfront. As in new, I mean new to me, I did buy it used. It basically came with everything needed to have it run plus more. It also came with african cichlid mix as the substrate. My tap is 7.6 and with the substrate the Ph is a 8.0. The tank does have juvenile convicts in it. (2) That is all that is in it. I do plan to give them to a pal with a bigger tank. So, I hope to stock the tank with angelfish. My question is would the high Ph make the angels uncomfortable? Considering they naturally live in low Ph/soft water. Iím not sure what my hardness is but iím wondering if the substrate would be fine with them. I also do plan on making it planted. I have a 20 with several stem plants. Would this substrate be fine to grow plants in it? Iíve never grown in sand, iím not sure if the high Ph would limit the plants I can choose? Would adding driftwood to leech tannins help with lowering the hardness or would that be too much fluctuations when I do water changes? Would 4 angels and a BN pleco do fine in the tank?


05-11-2018, 02:38 AM
what is the ph of your tap water after sitting in a cup for 24 hours?

Agent S
05-11-2018, 03:06 PM
I wouldn't, just because african cichlid substrate is made to make the water hard and alkaline, and south american fish like softer, more acidic water. I would just keep african cichlids in the tank, in my opinion it also looks more natural

05-11-2018, 07:11 PM
Find out what your tap water pH is after sitting in a bucket for 24 hours. This will tell you if your tap water is already hard or on the softer side. You could also get a kh/gh test.

If your water is on the soft side, angelfish and BN pleco would suit well. But I would change the substrate after rehoming the convicts and before you get the angelfish to something inert like pool filter sand or a plant substate. I might only keep a pair of angels though, maximum 4 adults. 3 adults don't usually work to well if a pair forms. 3 of one sex might work. You'd be best to start out with 6 juvenile angels, and depending on what you want to keep, rehome the ones that don't work once they mature and you can sex them easier.

If your tap water is hard as it is, a better option for you would be to keep hardwater cichlids like African cichlids and Lake tanganyika rock dwellers. You could keep the substate you have already and not worry about altering water hardness that way. DW added to an alkaline buffering substrate is counter productive. It wouldn't lower your pH enough, they cancel eachother out. You would need already soft water to see a difference in pH. Kh holds the pH stable, the lower the kh, the quicker and harder it can drop since the scale is logarithmic.

05-12-2018, 06:39 AM
Hi everyone,

Thanks for the reply.

I’m not sure what my Ph runs at after I let it sit. I’ll let you know once I test it. Should I condition the water as well?

When you say max 4 adults, Would the pleco be out the picture?
I didn’t want to change out the substrate but i’ll be buying eco-complete and mixing it with regular gravel.

Agent S
05-13-2018, 03:03 AM
I donít usually like to change the ph with chemicals, it doesnít feel natural. For my South American cichlids tank, I filter the water with peat, because my water is hard and alkaline. Iíve never used eco-earth in an aquarium, but iíve heard that it can make the water cloudy with digging species. Plecos can dig up the substrate, so iím not sure about how that will go. I thing the pleco could work size wise, but iím not the expert on angelfish

05-13-2018, 02:47 PM
When you say max 4 adults, Would the pleco be out the picture
My opinion, if you have enough filtration, 4 adult angelfish and a pleco would be my absolute max. I'd also have these four grow up together as I mentioned. One pair gives you lots of leeway, but a well-filtered, well-established planted aquarium with enough territory may be able to accommodate 4 standard angelfish and a pleco. I had that exact same tank with a group of juvies and also a breeding pair. Sometimes you can get an overly aggressive angel, that would be the one out of a group to get rehomed. You can't really plan ahead with cichlids, you can set up a tank to suit that particular cichlid, but you can never know with them for certainty and I've had to change things up more than once to accommodate my angelfish. I just go with the flow, try my best to set up an appropriate tank for them, if I notice an issue, I either move fish or change up territory. It doesn't even have to be a big change lol, I've settled things down before by hanging a big old leafy fake plant upside down hahaha.

Let me know if you still have questions about this.

05-14-2018, 08:26 PM
Bryangee So will you be removing the African cichlid substrate? (If your tap water is soft) Or mixing in inert gravel and Eco to the A.cichlid substrate? If you go with angelfish, I really would remove the buffering substrate and use DW and/or filter with peat. I have no experience with hard water, but apparently p.scalare angelfish are very adaptable. The African cichlid substrate will buffer the water to about 8.3 though, and if you can have the pH lower, it's much better. Better to start out right rather than changing it down the rd. I have gravel in my own tanks, the fish are fine, my angels and BN plecos. But if I were to revamp my tanks, I will use pool filter sand with a bit of gravel sprinkled on top for color and texture. It's much cheaper than gravel as well, but requires some good rinsing.....

05-14-2018, 08:43 PM
Yes, I’ll be removing the Cichlid substrate. I believe my water is moderately hard, since I live in california. What I might end up doing is buying eco-complete to place in the corner of the tank to have an island feel to the tank. They don’t sell pool filter sand in any hardware stores i’ve looked in. Home depot, Lowe’s and i’ve even checked my local pool sales store. It’s for a sale online at Lowe’s I believe but there’s a freight free of like $30 but the bag’s price is $8, I’ll pass. Most likely I’ll purchase a 20 pound bag of sand from petco and just add a small layer around the eco or maybe some play sand.

The cichlid substrate raises the Ph to 8.0 the highest from what I have read on my liquid kit. I’m not really sure what species of angels they are but if the ones you mentipns are the most common then it might be them.