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  1. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    A lot of great advice. Thanks. Appreciate the discussion.

    I tested my tap water only once (and didn't let it sit 24 hours!) ... It came back around the mid 7s. I will try it again letting it sit out for a day first.

    I don't have a water hardness test (just got the API Freshwater kit with pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate). I will look into that.

    For me, just having an aquarium again with some fish and plastic plants isn't that exciting ... I do appreciate the fair warning that, as an inexperienced fish keeper, it may be wiser to build up to something more complex ... But I often have a go big or go home approach. Smile. My goal is for, as one person mentioned, a natural looking aquarium that showcases fishes and plants that are compatible with one another from a similar region. It doesn't have to be exact and I am still in the planning stage.

    As for cost, the extra cost of an appropriate substrate and plant-friendly lighting is a little bit of a concern ... Since those extras seem to be related most to housing live plants.

    I had also read, as another poster mentioned, that plants can help balance and strengthen the ecosystem of the aquarium ... That's my hope.

  2. #12

    Join Date
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Unless your only availability is wild fish, ph and hardness shouldnt be such a conscern. I have personally worked with blackwater fish for many years in 7+ and 8+ ph/liquid rock...
    FW: 1 45gal, 1 40gal, 3 10gal, 3 30gal all community tanks of different species
    Sw: 1 55gal, 1 30gal show, 1 29gal show, 1 20gal and 2 10's

  3. #13

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    And so have I and I've seen mine perk up and start displaying and pre-mating behaviour after I lowered hardness.

    Anyway, for planning purposes, the website of the watercompany should get you ballpark figures.

  4. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by talldutchie View Post
    Anyway, for planning purposes, the website of the watercompany should get you ballpark figures.
    Just checked online and it reports water hardness at an average of 27ppm and a range of 19-36ppm and says it's "soft". Reports pH at 7.6 units average.

  5. #15

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    That's a nice kind of water. Would allow you to do most jungle biotopes.

    Now... what's your must have fish?

  6. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by talldutchie View Post
    Now... what's your must have fish?
    Right now I am leaning toward doing a smaller tank since it's my first one and I don't want to buy a stand - so, was thinking of a 20L tank I can put on my kitchen counter where I have some free space. I found a book at the library called "The Natural Aquarium" that gave me some ideas.

    Was thinking maybe going with some tetras (neon, I would guess, they seem to be easiest) and maybe a Ram cichlid ... but both seem to prefer a pH nearer to 7.0 ... I wonder if the live plants will help even that out without chemical intervention?

    I also read that water hardness (And mine is soft) sometimes is more important than pH (as long as the pH isn't off the charts). I think both the tetras and ram cichlid like soft water ...

  7. #17

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    you don't have to take it that seriously. many people keep "soft water" species successfully in PH 8+ and very hard water. because they are farm bred they are much more adaptable.
    pH might be off abit, but other than that your water is awesome for keeping most aquarium fish. unfortunately though your preferred tank size might be a tad small for your chosen species.
    neon tetras should ideally be in a tank of at least 40 litres capacity and the ram about double that. you could go bigger on the tank, or you could search smaller on the fish.
    sparkling gouramis, badis, bettas are some of the fish that would fit in a tank that size.

  8. #18

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by thornomad View Post
    Right now I am leaning toward doing a smaller tank since it's my first one and I don't want to buy a stand - so, was thinking of a 20L tank I can put on my kitchen counter where I have some free space. I found a book at the library called "The Natural Aquarium" that gave me some ideas.
    Smaller tanks are actually slightly harder to keep than bigger. A 20 long is a decent size though.

    In your kitchen... if the tank catches a lot of direct sunlight you will get algae problems.

    Was thinking maybe going with some tetras (neon, I would guess, they seem to be easiest) and maybe a Ram cichlid ... but both seem to prefer a pH nearer to 7.0 ... I wonder if the live plants will help even that out without chemical intervention?
    Neons would work, most other tetras would work. A female ram would offset this nicely.

    I also read that water hardness (And mine is soft) sometimes is more important than pH (as long as the pH isn't off the charts). I think both the tetras and ram cichlid like soft water ...
    Yes they do. Water like yours is pretty ideal for fish. Add some wood maybe or a few elder cones and you will see your ph drop a bit. On a tank this size 2-3 elder cones will have quite an effect. Would mean slow acclimatising of new stock.
    Plants in itself are not going to have any effect on ph and hardness.

    OK, now for the nad news.

    This is a typical neon biotope:

    at least in the streams in the dry season.

    Now, for rams there's not that much information unfortunately.



    So, two distinctly different habitats. Fortunately they will both enjoy a flooded river Places like



    Will see the water level rise 3, 4 feet in the rainy season. All the flooded vegetation is a source of good hunting and shelter for small fish.

    (ignore the nattering)
    is an idea how you could setup something relatively simple that is between a strict biotope and an ornamental aquarium.

    Or take this: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3182/...a4dea8c28c.jpg but plant a bit better.

    Basic idea, get some nice wood, a few river pebbles maybe and decide if you want to plant or justuse a lot of amazon frogbit.

  9. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by madagascariensis View Post
    neon tetras should ideally be in a tank of at least 40 litres capacity and the ram about double that. you could go bigger on the tank, or you could search smaller on the fish.
    sparkling gouramis, badis, bettas are some of the fish that would fit in a tank that size.
    I think 40 Litres = 10 gallons right? Twice that would be 20 gallons (I was thinking of a 20L tank). My thought was maybe 6+ tetras with another fish or two.

    Does having a larger filter do anything for the number of fish you can keep? I would imagine the size of the fish would have to remain suitable to the tank ...

    Quote Originally Posted by talldutchie View Post
    In your kitchen... if the tank catches a lot of direct sunlight you will get algae problems.
    My kitchen is the one place that doesn't get any direct sunlight (sadly for the cooks - smile). One of the reasons I thought it would work well (and is close to a water supply).

    Quote Originally Posted by talldutchie View Post
    OK, now for the nad news.
    Heh. Well, I'm going to have to stick to a looser definition of a biotope at this point. Smile. Maybe I should start using the term "Natural Aquarium".

    All those videos and pictures are very helpful. Will look into how to get drift wood as well as which plants may go nicely.

    Time to start writing all my ideas down and answer any remaining questions I'll have. Exciting!

  10. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Whoops! I see the mixup now ... I had written 20L to abbreviate "20 Gallon Long" tank ... not a 20 Liter tank. Smile. That's where we got crossed.

    Quote Originally Posted by madagascariensis View Post
    neon tetras should ideally be in a tank of at least 40 litres capacity and the ram about double that. you could go bigger on the tank, or you could search smaller on the fish.
    sparkling gouramis, badis, bettas are some of the fish that would fit in a tank that size.

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