Can Not Keep Livebearers Alive Question

  1. p

    psradich Initiate Member

    This is so frustrating! For some reason I cannot keep any livebearers alive for more than a week. I have multiple largish tanks. The one I am trying to keep them in is a 55g. It is well established for going on 4 years and filtered by 2 sun sun filters (model escapes me but it is way over filtered).

    Occupants are 4 med sized angelfish, 5 pearl danios and 1 congo tetra (left over from another tank that crashed from a heater malfunction). Parameters are very stable 0 on ammonia and nitrites. Nitrates stay around 20 with weekly 50% water changes. Temperature is 79 degrees. I never see any signs of aggression at all.

    I have this 55g and a 75g discus tank and a 75g tiger barb and geophagus tank. 0 deaths in the past year except livebearers. I have tried platies mollies and guppies and can't keep any of them alive!!

    I don't consider my self an amateur but am certainly not a beginner but I am at a loss here. Any ideas?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Demeter

    Demeter Well Known Member Member

    What pH and hardness is your water? Livebearers need harder water with a higher pH than all the other species you are keeping. If you have soft water and a low pH then this could be the reason you are having so much trouble.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    p

    psradich Initiate Member

    Fairly soft ph around 7.1 I have never had problems keeping African cichlids in my water with no buffers. Are livebearers that sensitive to ph?
     
  4. Demeter

    Demeter Well Known Member Member

    If the water isn't hard enough then yes, they can be sensitive to it. I'd try setting up a spare 10-20gal with crushed coral as the substrate and give it a go there. See if the extra dissolved minerals keeps them going strong. You can also add epsom salt to raise hardness, but how much I couldn't tell you. Doing water changes would be tricky though, as you will be adding water of a different pH/hardness to the tank.

    This is why it is much easier to match fish to parameters out of the tap rather than trying to change your water parameters to suit the species of fish. Too much of a headache.