I hope this article has made it clear thatjust because you don't have soft water in your aquarium doesn'tmean you can't keep many different kinds of interesting andcolourful fish. New types of cichlid, goby, and livebearer arecontinually appearing on the market, and many of these make excellentsubjects for a hardwater community tank. If your prepared to do someresearch and specialise, Rift Valley cichlids and brackish water fishboth offer challenges and rewards all their own. In short, don'tsee hard, alkaline water as an obstacle, but as an invitation to keepsome of the most interesting fish in the hobby!
pH And Alkalinity In A Saltwater Aquarium - Saltwater Aquarium Hobby
What this means for aquarists is that if they are having an issue with pH they need to address KH because by doing so they will alter what controls the pH in the first place. If the pH needs to be increased than the KH needs to be increased. This is actually relatively easy and safe and can be done in many ways. Some people will use crushed coral as a substrate and use reef type rock in an aquarium that will house African rift lake cichlids which are native to the extremely alkaline lakes. An even easier and more effective method is to place crushed coral in media bags in the filter exactly as if it were carbon. This provides better flow than it would receive sitting on the bottom of the tank with at best a fraction of the flow. The crushed coral will slowly dissolve, release carbonates and bicarbonates into the water column, and increase the KH and therefore pH. It should be replaced regularly just like carbon since a biofilm of nitrifying bacteria can develop on the bagged crushed coral which can actually prohibit the crushed coral from dissolving. The other common method of increasing pH/KH is to add products specifically designed to buffer pH to higher levels. These are usually designed for African rift lake cichlids or other fish from alkaline water such as goldfish. Some products simply increase the pH while others will buffer it to a specific pH (such as 7.5 or 8.2). There are even products made for specific lakes. One made for cichlids from Lake Tanganyika will buffer the pH as high as 9.0. Others made for Lake Malawi or Lake Victoria will buffer to around 8.2.
Seachem Seachem Alkaline Buffer Aquarium Water Buffers
Allow the product to flow through the filters and thoroughly dissolve into the aquarium water. Recheck the pH of the tank. Continue adding sodium bicarbonate as needed for as many days as it takes to raise your tank's alkalinity to the proper level.
Best Shrimp For Hard, Alkaline Water Conditions | My Aquarium Club
The cichlids have to be close to the top ofany list of hard water fish. While many are adapted to soft, acidicwater conditions (not least of all the ever-popular angels, rams, anddiscus), by far the majority prefer hard, alkaline water. All thecichlids from the Rift Valley lakes -- Lakes Malawi, Tanganyika, andVictoria -- fall into this category, as do many of the species fromCentral America and from Asia. Now, having said this, not all of thesecichlids make good community fish. So while keeping a Rift Valleycichlid aquarium is certainly one option for the aquarist in a hardwater area, the focus of this article is on those species that will dowell in a community setting. On the other hand, a tank set upspecifically for these fish can be extremely rewarding. These fishrange from tiny, shell-dwelling forms rather like gobies through togiant predators and schooling plankton-eaters. Any aquarist living in ahard water area should certainly consider keeping these 'freshwatercoral reef fish' -- in terms of colour, activity, and variety, RiftValley cichlids are hard to beat. As a rule, the popular South American tetrastend to tolerate rather than thrive in hard water. Some, like Neons,cardinals, and Glowlights, suffer somewhat, and their mortality inhard, alkaline water can be very high. Nonetheless, a few tetras doinhabit hard water streams and rivers, and these make excellent choicesfor the aquarist with a hard water aquarium. One of the best is thex-ray tetra, , a pretty, peaceful tetra thatadds colour and movement to any community of small fishes. It isn'ta fin-nipper, and so can be trusted with things like guppies, and isbig enough that it isn't at risk of being eaten by things likehalfbeaks or dwarf cichlids. Another fine choice for the community tankis the blind cave tetra, . Because this fishinhabits streams in limestone caves, it is perfectly adapted to hard,alkaline water. It is, of course, a wonderful oddball fish, and despitehaving no eyes it has an uncanny way of navigating and finding foodvery effectively; a splendid fish for the aquarist after somethingdifferent.