Converting tank

  1. J

    JustaJoker New Member Member

    Hello everyone,
    So straight to the point; in the area that I live in the tap comes out pretty hard, around the pH of 8 and the gH is at least 180ppm. I haven't had fish in my fishtank (29g) for about a year now (Used to have cories, tetras, and dwarf cichlids), and now I have just some crypts in the tank. Last time I checked the pH lowered to about 7.8 max when there were fish in it. I would like to get back into the hobby, and thus wondered if I just just switch over from a planted tank to an african cichlid tank, or any tank that has fish native to hard water. I have heard from multiple sources now that tank bred fish are highly adaptable to a range of pH's, however when not in their native pH environment their colors aren't as vibrant or they are more susceptible to diseases. So I guess my question(s) is, are there any hardwater fishes suitable for my tank? Should I even bother to convert?

    Please let me know if i've left out any information or if anything is vague.
    Thanks in advance,

    Justin

    P.S In my current situation, an RO system is not possible and I have considered this option.
     
  2. Graphix

    Graphix Well Known Member Member

    Tanganyikan fish do well in high pH and hard water, rainbowfish are also an option but with a 29g I'd suggest the dwarf type if any at all.

    Having cichlids doesn't completely rule out plants though, depending on the setup you could definitely still have floating plants and plants that cling to driftwood such as Anubias.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    J

    JustaJoker New Member Member

    As of now, I know anubias and java fern can withstand cichlids, do you think swords would be viable?
     


  4. Graphix

    Graphix Well Known Member Member

    It's been done, it depends which types of cichlids of course. I'd say you could have quite a good chance of having succesful growth of swords if you put it in a corner and surround that corner with rocks, creating an environment for a rock-dwelling species such as Altolamprologus Calvus or Compressiceps, or perhaps a few Julidochromis. Those could do okay with plants.

    I've even seen setups with shelldwellers, who LOVE to dig, but that kept the sword plants in the back of the tank, and they were left untouched. It ended up growing tall and creating a natural background for the tank.

    So yeah, I think it can be done but it depends on which cichlids. What kind were you thinking?
     
  5. OP
    OP
    J

    JustaJoker New Member Member

    Currently, Julidochromis is the only cichlid I know that fit. Unfortunately I know I'm restricted to what species I can keep due to my tank size. I was previously hoping to keep some kribs, any thoughts?
     
  6. Graphix

    Graphix Well Known Member Member

    I'm not too experienced with a great variety of cichlids, I've just done a lot of research from my own interest. But one thing that does come up is the fact that generally the fish you buy from your LFS/petstores are usually quite lenient when it comes to water conditions such as pH and hardness. If you buy them locally they will most likely already be used to your area's water.

    With Julies, you should be prepared to purchase a group of 5-6 and waiting until a pair forms, before removing all the others and selling/rehoming them.

    It's quite similar with Kribensis cichlids as well, although from what I read they live in a lower pH range, but again, if you find them locally they should be fine, otherwise acclimating them slowly will probably also be completely safe. You can do a pair of those in your 29.

    Personally, I would go with the Julies simply because I prefer their appearance, and the way they move around the crevices of rocks. You could give them a corner by piling up a bunch of rocks, then planting the rest of the tank, perhaps adding in schooling fish of some kind. You really have a good amount of options, you're just limited mostly to dwarf cichlids rather than medium or larger types like peacocks or mbuna.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    J

    JustaJoker New Member Member

    Alright, I guess I have a lot of homework ahead of me. Thanks for the help!