Ph ranges

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Ph ranges

Postby Aestolia » 2008-06-29 13:38

I've been doing some looking into some different fish for my tank. I've found a number of different ones that should work together but I'm concerned about the PH compatibility. All the fish I've been looking at show 7.5 as 'within range' though some at the low end, and some at the high end.

What's an average variance in tank PH, and how difficult would it be to keep it at a stable 7.5?
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Re: Ph ranges

Postby KittyKat » 2008-06-30 10:09

What fish are we talking about? It all depends on the species as usually if pH incompatible, then the fish are also quite likely to have other incompatibilities (for example aggression: what is considered a "peaceful" African Lake Cichlid would be equivalent to an "aggressive" SA cichlid)

The pH will be affected by the contents of the tank and by your tap water. It's probably easiest to go for fish that will live in the pH of your tap water as that counts down the amount of effort and maintenance you have to put into it, but pH is relatively easy to alter in a mature set up: for softwater add bogwood or for hardwater add shells and suchlike. You can also use pH buffers, but these are costly and IMHO not good for fish / too risky to use, although I do not have any definite proof of it either way (just using common sense and basic knowledge of chemistry).
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Re: Ph ranges

Postby Aestolia » 2008-06-30 11:18

I decided on going with some of the 'less aggressive' Africans -- Peacocks (Midnights, and either Ruby's or Flametails) these are obviously the higher PH guys. I was also looking at a Plec (L30) and a Featherfin Squeaker. From what I've been reading they're both (aggression wise) fine living with species both more, and less, aggressive than the peacocks.

My roomy really wanted me to get a plec so I was already looking for one that was happy with the Terrors I initially had in mind.

My tap seems to be about 7.6, and my tank 7.8 probably higher cause of my substrate.
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Re: Ph ranges

Postby KittyKat » 2008-06-30 14:55

Good choices for the tank! Be aware that the peacocks while peaceful, do have mild con-specific aggression (which means that potentially you won't be able to have many males as all Aulonocara species look similar). The African cichlids will benefit from the higher pH. The Featherfin is fine as well.

For the pleco, I would recommend something else as L30 are softwater.. but I have heard of people keeping softwater plecos with success in hard water. You will also have to take into account that the Featherfin Squeakers are considered to be very aggressive to other catfish (including plecos) and it may be a good idea to just go for one or the other. On the other hand, something like Synodontis multipunctatus (Cuckoo cat) is more sociable (should be kept in groups of 3+) and a much better tankmate for other species of catfish, but even the Cuckoo cats can get a bit power happy with cichlids and other specie cats.


To reply to your question (before I go off on another tangent)..
If you do not change anything in your tank, do regular and consistent maintenance it is easy to keep pH stable.
Just keeping the pH at a certain value is very hard as it will always try to move to the tank's "steady state" pH. The only way you can force it is by using buffers, but you can also "aid" it through choice of decor.
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