View Full Version : Tetras in Hard water?
01-19-2007, 01:30 PM
Are Tetras sensitive to hard water? I have never been able to keep them and I think this is why. I have never had any luck with Rams either.
My other question is...Is there anyway other then a RO system and Peat to soften water? I am looking for a way to soften the water I am adding to my 10g, so I can add tetras in a few months. If there is no way to do it, I'll just get Danios or something else.
01-19-2007, 01:35 PM
yes. tetras are very sensitive to hard water conditions and rams are even more sensitive. you could get a tap water filter but, you have to keep replacing the filter cartridge after every use. that could be very costly, as the filter cartridges are about 15.00 a pop.
01-19-2007, 04:41 PM
Thanks, I think it's cheaper to pass on them. It's a shame because they are so pretty.
01-19-2007, 04:46 PM
Abbeys Mom......I got 9 Black Skirts nearly a year ago and never had one even get ill and these guys cycled 3 tanks for me. Of course I did water changes as needed to keep them alive.
I've got neons, rosies, black skirts and hi-finned whites and the only ones I've lost is 3 neons. The black skirts are definately my favorite of all and I have to disagree with Jeff on this one issue. (The first time too) lol
I notice my other tetra's hang closer to the bottom of the tank but the black skirts are right in there in the middle having a ball all day long.
My water is pH is 7.6 and hard water.
01-19-2007, 04:50 PM
i have to disagree with you too hobbs. this is a first for me too! lol
01-19-2007, 04:54 PM
Good. Let's get in a big fight!
01-19-2007, 04:58 PM
Good. Let's get in a big fight!
you know i'll win! lol
01-19-2007, 05:00 PM
Flowers, candy, soft music might make me change my mind however.
01-19-2007, 05:06 PM
what about beer?
01-19-2007, 07:38 PM
what about beer?
That made me laugh
01-19-2007, 07:40 PM
good. that's the idea!
01-19-2007, 08:05 PM
Well it worked. lol
01-20-2007, 03:21 AM
Well, Abbeys_Mom....I also have tetras in hard water....and these poor buggers lived thru me trying to soften with RO, only to watch it rise again and again. I finally gave up, threw my hands in the air and said "what will be will be". I don't believe I have lost a tetra yet....I have 2 dyed white skirts (didn't know how they got that nice pink color when we bought them) 4 neon tetras, 5 glolites and 3 gold tetras with a lone rummynose in the mix. Chances are if they have been bred anywhere that the local water was hard, they have been bred in hard water. I can see specialty breeders doing what was necessary to soften and properly keep their water....but the mass breeders who ship hundreds of fish each week to places like petsuppliesplus, petsmart etc....doubt it. I say if you want to try it....go for it. Ask the ph of the stores water so you know if you need to acclimate esp slowly or not. My ph from tap is 8.0-8.2.
01-20-2007, 12:29 PM
I don't think tetras are too sensitive to hard water. I don't know what your water parameters are but I know they can definately be kept in water that is moderately hard and as long as your ph isn't too high and the water isn't overly hard you should be right (I kept them in water moderately hard in my last place). I keep rams in water with a ph between 6.8 - 7.2 but soft, soft, soft. KH 1 GH 3 and my tetras love that. They show better colour too, grow quite big and have even spawned in it. I do not use RO (try that on a water meter lol) or DI, no co2 and have never used ph down stuff either. I have tap water with KH 3 GH 5 and ph 7.6 and the only things added to soften my water is a blackwater extract product and 2 pieces of driftwood. Driftwood tannins alone in my tapwater seemed to agree with my neons. Depending on just how hard your tap water is I would give it a go with just a few bits of driftwood :o)
01-20-2007, 01:22 PM
If I upgrade my tank (I have an empty 27 tall) I will think about getting some to try it. They are only a dollar each at my LFS, and I think it worth $6 to know :)
01-23-2007, 05:32 PM
Here are my white skirts and as you will see, not white at all but pink as all get out. I searched them out on the web thinking they were dyed but see pictures of them that are very pink. The dye also goes away after a short time and you can see how pink mine still are. So, whether they are actually dyed or taken to this color I have no idea.
Here's a pic from the web on them and they are quite pink here, too. I would hate it if I bought painted fish!!!!! I sure hope not but it could very well be.
01-23-2007, 05:38 PM
Here's a pic of my Black Shirts that I've had for a year in hard water with a pH of 7.6. As you can see, their fins are still very black and they are very happy. I love the Rasbora's with them! They are so cool and active.
The tetra's will lose their color when first added to the tank (stress) but within minutes will be skoaling and darken back up.
01-23-2007, 08:32 PM
All your tetras look great hobbs! At the moment the only schooling fish i have are my barbs. The tetras wont fit into any of my tanks too well..
01-24-2007, 12:07 AM
I like the Black Skirt a lot. Can't stand the hi fin whites or the rosie tetra's tho. All they do is sit in the middle of the tank all day. They'll probably live forever!
01-24-2007, 01:13 PM
Our white skirts were labeled as fruity tetras and look just like yours. It wasn't until much later I started finding out about dying fish. The dyed fish might be able to hold their color longer, I don't know, but the store admitted they are dyed. They are also my least favorite fish, nippy and like to chase others, and will probably live forever too!
01-24-2007, 01:53 PM
crapola.......I did see washed out looking rasberry (painted) in another tank but their color was nearly gone even before they were sold. Mine has lost no color so it was my hope they were not of the painted variety.
Can I send you mind so only one of us could hate our fish?
01-25-2007, 02:15 AM
Heck no, I don't want no more of those darn things. As a matter of fact I tried to talk my 5 year old into letting them go live with a friend who also bought just a couple, then found out they were dyed, won't buy more even though they should be in larger groups.....she refused to allow "her" fish to leave. AAARRRGGG!
01-25-2007, 05:39 PM
i just don't agree that tetra should be in hard water. it's not their ideal conditions, so why subject them to it?
01-26-2007, 11:40 AM
Sometimes I think far to much emphasis is placed on pH. In their native habitat the pH will fluctuate with the seasons (dry season versus rains & flooding) and the amazon basin is especially prone to these pH differences. The majority of tetras can be kept in a pH range of 5.5-7.5 with only a few exceptions. Neon tetras for example can be kept in water with a pH from 5-8. Their IDEAL pH is about 6.8 and to offer them the very best, yes you should try to give them water close to that Ph but they will still do well and even thrive in water of ph 8, which is far from their ideal, as long as all other environmental factors are optimal, ie. diet, temp, water (no ammonia or nitrite, low nitrate). These fish will undoubtedly never successfully breed in water that hard (they may try but viable fertilization would require much lower pH and softer water). But the point is, they can be kept happy and healthy in quite a wide pH range. Should they be kept in conditions that are not their ideal? Probably not, but then keeping fish in a captive closed environment is not really their ideal conditions either, but we do the best we can for our fish anyway knowing that although we cannot possibly replicate their natural environment in every way (well not unless you intend turning your rather large garage into an indoor aquarium lol) we can strive to give them their natural conditions in as many ways as possible and hope they will be forgiving about the few little things we can't manage.
01-26-2007, 11:53 AM
Very well said Aurora. As I said earlier....I tried the whole RO thing to soften my water after learning most of my fish "needed" a lower ph. It was not only a PITA, it wasn't working out too well. As I continued to lose fish I finally gave up. Have I lost any fish since then....yea, a couple, but my clown loaches whom I was trying sooooo hard to keep are doing great, and this is the longest clowns have stayed alive in my tanks!
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