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Recommended fish?

1557 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  maxima
I have a 55gal planted tank (swords, ludwigia, and more to come!) that currently has a one inch sailfin pleco in it. The tank has been running for six months, and and all water parameters are normal, except for ph, which is 8+, but nothing I can do about that. Also, I add 5ml of Seachem Flourish twice a week.

What I want is a hardy fish that can withstand the vagrancies of a beginner planted tank enthusiast (i.e. someone who may not spot the initial signs of trouble right away). My primary interest is in cultivating a nice planted tank, but, of course, it needs inhabitants. I like the idea of more smaller fish, but am not opposed to larger fish (say, up to five inches).

So ... what are your recommendations?
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I would suggest some of the smaller tetras and rasboras. There are many small schooling fish in these groups. Rasbora hetramorph or espei are nice looking schooling fish along with the neon tetras, ember tetras, green fire tetras, glolight tetras, even some of the smaller rainbows would be nice. There are just too many fish to cover and they should be pretty inexpensive and hardy. Just take a real good look at the tank you want to buy from and make sure everyone looks healthy. Do take a look at the adult size of the fish you pick out. Some of the fish sold in fish stores get way too big for the aquarium and they grow fast.

I hope this helps you

Out of curiosity, what's the pH from your tap?

Most cities have a pretty neutral pH, unless you're working with well water. Either way, if the pH is high, the addition of plants will help lower it. Also, the addition of driftwood will as well. If you have either, the pH will naturally decrease over time. If you 'scaped with carbonate-types of rocks, well, you may never get it to go down sufficiently. The only reason I touch on this is that if you're buying rasbora or tetra species some you will find in stores are wild caught and adjusting them to a high pH may be tricky. So, just a warning- acclimate well and ask about the fish before you buy (should be a mantra of all fishkeepers anyways... :) )

As far as specific species, the "usual" plant tank inhabitants may be a little touch in high pH, such as blue ram cichlids, rummynose, cardinal tetras, neon tetras, etc. You would have good luck with more robust tetras like bloodfins, columbian blues, diamond, and others. Danio species would also do well for you. Rainbows, as stated, do well in higher pH. You could do a pair of kribensis to add some nice behavior- they almost always breed, even for beginners.

HTH :)
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Hi - The PH out of the tap (and into my tank) is approx 8.4. I asked at the LFS, and they said that all of the water in my area is high.

Thanks for your recommendations! I will investigate them prior to purchase.

I was also thinking of getting white cloud minnows, which I've read are quite hardy, so maybe a mix of rasboras and white clouds.

Thanks again!!!
A high pH out of the tap is reasonable. Check the pH after the water sits a day. As has been stated, unless you are on a well supply or are doing something to keep your pH up (as in Coral or Lime type rocks) it should come down. Your actual pH is not a big deal unless you are keeping Discus or African Cichlids. If you decide to add CO2 your pH will, normally, come down which is not a concern unles you are also suddenly changing the hardness too. Your LFS should be acclimating the fish to local conditions so your fish should be OK with your water. Just do your water changes weekly (20 to 30% minimum) and you should be good.

All the advice is good; just watch your fishload and add slowly a few fish at a time. The more plants the better as far as I am concerned as long as you have the light sustain them.
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small fish, in high ph water, zebra diano can be a good choice, they can withstand virtually any water conditions. 5 at least, or 2 males one female, otherwise they will pester other fish. longfin zebra diano is better, they behave better than regular zebra. avoid giant diano.

platy, swordtail, american flag, least killie, they are also small size fish and doing better in high ph water.
I think american flag fish like to nip on alge, plant tank and high Ph should be good for this fish, correct me if I am wrong.
avoid small tetra, since the Ph is so high! 8+!, even you use the Ph-down to lower the water to 7 and below, the GH of the water is still be the same, which is high due to the initial high Ph level(hight Ph level => high Gh level). small tetra couldn't withstand high Ph nor high GH. It is sad to have no cardinal tetra or other colorfull tetra species in your tank because they are so delicate to the water condition, 8+ ph water is definitely a no no for those dyed by God cardinals.

Cichlids from africa like high Ph, there are some small Cichlids out there don't nip or tear plants, but they are territorial(most of them), and those small cichlid are not cheap--I think. I am not a big fan into cichlid, I like harmony in a fish tank, so I have to resist the temptation of those little colorful spirits to avoid hazing in my tank.
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I neglected to list livebearers. Most would do great in a higher pH. white clouds would also do well.

If your LFS has the same water source, you may not have to worry about it so much, but I'd still ensure they aren't mixing RO into the system to even it out.

GL! :)
Please do not use PH down. I have found that the fish do much better with stable ph than trying to rapidly change it with ph changers. I like to use natural ways to lower ph like peat or bog wood. Each point on the ph scale is a 10 fold change in the water so if you lower the ph from 8 to 7 the fish really have a hard time.
I'd definitely recommend beginner's killifish species. They are very hardy, colorful and when you feel confident, you can start keeping the more difficult species - it's really like a different world in its own !
I'd recommend Fundulopanchax Gardneri species for a start.
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