Okay so stocking a 31–35 gallon with THESE?!!

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SlvikanAKAMsWorryWart

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After some moving around of fish I have now two small small kribs in my SeaClear show tank. That’s all. I was wondering if I could get (the same sized) one yellow lab and one duboisi (white spotted). That way they won’t have a team to gang up with and they’re all juveniles so they can grow up together. The two kribs are male and female but not mated (and if they do mate I’ll rehome them as I had many issues with a mated pair I kept). But the two kribs are small and not aggressive at all. They were heavily bullied by an aggressive krib who is now in a separate tank.

Would this work? I can get dithers (tetras) too and I LOVE blind eye cave tetras and my lfs has them but they might NOT be a good choice lol. At all. I am happy to get the tetras as dithers but I’m not dying to get them so if I can’t that’s fine as well
 

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I am working on an Mbuna setup myself. currently 9 fish in a 40 long tank and my LFS is recommending a stock of at least 15 otherwise I'll have aggression and targeting issues to deal with. Adding the dithers is a solid idea. If you get aggression that would probably be a good way of keeping things confusing for the aggressors. Only concern is finding dither fish that can survive in African water conditions. I've heard that you can always go up in hardness and KH values because you are just adding more minerals to the water but you can never go down so you may be able to adapt some hardy tetras to the water. Keep me posted if you do decide on dithers, sounds like an interesting experiment.
 
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SlvikanAKAMsWorryWart

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therealpatricksnyder said:
I am working on an Mbuna setup myself. currently 9 fish in a 40 long tank and my LFS is recommending a stock of at least 15 otherwise I'll have aggression and targeting issues to deal with. Adding the dithers is a solid idea. If you get aggression that would probably be a good way of keeping things confusing for the aggressors. Only concern is finding dither fish that can survive in African water conditions. I've heard that you can always go up in hardness and KH values because you are just adding more minerals to the water but you can never go down so you may be able to adapt some hardy tetras to the water. Keep me posted if you do decide on dithers, sounds like an interesting experiment.
Oooo good call. Any ideas? Blind cave
 

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Blind cave tetras are normally recommended for species-only tanks. Since they are blind they are likely to be outcompeted for food by almost any other species, but especially with any type of cichlid. I'm not don't think that tetras and African cichlids are considered compatible. Most tetras prefer lower pH and hardness than african cichlids.
 

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I just did a little research on some dithers and I'm finding that Black Skirt, Rosy Barbs, Giant Danios, then Silver Dollars are recommended (ordered from smaller setups to huge tanks). For you're tank You could probably pick the Rosy Barbs and try that out.

Regarding the ph and hardness concern above. Like I said you can always go up in those values with fish that usually require them lower but you can never go down. I'd do a little more research just to ensure I'm not crazy but it logically makes sense. softer water means less minerals so fish that have lower water requirements just don't need to utilize as many minerals, if there are more than they need then their bodies can always just dispose of the excess mineral content, whereas africans require high mineral content to remain healthy, so if you give them soft water then they will suffer because they can't get what they need from their environment.
 
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Magicpenny75 said:
Blind cave tetras are normally recommended for species-only tanks. Since they are blind they are likely to be outcompeted for food by almost any other species, but especially with any type of cichlid. I'm not don't think that tetras and African cichlids are considered compatible. Most tetras prefer lower pH and hardness than african cichlids.
That’s funny I was JUST researching that. Actually the other person on here suggested it lol. But I did see perhaps a few types suggested and when I looked the options were: lemon, black neon, black phantom, kitty, bentos. They all had ph listings of 7.5 and higher temps. Not sure if that’s correct of course. Also o was wondering if I should get African tetras but couldn’t find much info oddly enough. I see somebody on this thread (since I began replying to you) has suggested rosy barbs. I avoided them in the past bc I wanted dithers for angels and was told to avoid barbs (though I have no idea why so not certain). Any thoughts?!

therealpatricksnyder said:
I just did a little research on some dithers and I'm finding that Black Skirt, Rosy Barbs, Giant Danios, then Silver Dollars are recommended (ordered from smaller setups to huge tanks). For you're tank You could probably pick the Rosy Barbs and try that out.

Regarding the ph and hardness concern above. Like I said you can always go up in those values with fish that usually require them lower but you can never go down. I'd do a little more research just to ensure I'm not crazy but it logically makes sense. softer water means less minerals so fish that have lower water requirements just don't need to utilize as many minerals, if there are more than they need then their bodies can always just dispose of the excess mineral content, whereas africans require high mineral content to remain healthy, so if you give them soft water then they will suffer because they can't get what they need from their environment.
How bad is it to have a fish who needs 7.8 or above at 7.4. Just wondering. I can get ph up from api or try Natural methods. Does it hurt them immediately or over time? This last question is simply out of interest.
 

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Not sure about that entirely. I’m sure someone else might know for sure but in my experience the standard deviation on most hobby species these days is pretty broad when it comes to water parameters just due to the nature of how they are raised and shipped around. They see alot of variance in wp so saying a fish needs an exact parameter is pretty rare. It’s more about consistency. Obviously I wouldn’t keep an african cichlid at 6.5 or a betta at 8 or anything crazy but anything within .5-.8 would probably be fine as long as you keep it wherever it is. Cichlids especially are pretty hardy and adaptable, its drastic changes that will kill them because it affects how they breath and take in nutrients from the water. If you really want to dial things in just go with the cheap method using epsom salt, baking soda, and sea salt...maybe a little calcium carbonate. Thats the poor mans cichlid buffer.

On a side note instead of Rosy Barbs I’ve heard good things about buenos aires tetras but haven’t researched that fully.
 
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therealpatricksnyder said:
Not sure about that entirely. I’m sure someone else might know for sure but in my experience the standard deviation on most hobby species these days is pretty broad when it comes to water parameters just due to the nature of how they are raised and shipped around. They see alot of variance in wp so saying a fish needs an exact parameter is pretty rare. It’s more about consistency. Obviously I wouldn’t keep an african cichlid at 6.5 or a betta at 8 or anything crazy but anything within .5-.8 would probably be fine as long as you keep it wherever it is. Cichlids especially are pretty hardy and adaptable, its drastic changes that will kill them because it affects how they breath and take in nutrients from the water. If you really want to dial things in just go with the cheap method using epsom salt, baking soda, and sea salt...maybe a little calcium carbonate. Thats the poor mans cichlid buffer.

On a side note instead of Rosy Barbs I’ve heard good things about buenos aires tetras but haven’t researched that fully.
Thank you! What stinks is when you research and decide and then can’t find the fish anywhere lol! I have yet to order fish bc of the extremely costly shipping. I did see somewhere that you can add baking soda but I used tea tree oil to treat ich once and lost a tank so it’s great to hear you say it’s okay to use the at home method. I had researched the tea tree oil but hadn’t had a conversation about it. This was when I first started in August
 

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therealpatricksnyder said:
Obviously I wouldn’t keep an african cichlid at 6.5 or a betta at 8 or anything crazy
Oops, I have my betta at 8......
therealpatricksnyder said:
Obviously I wouldn’t keep an african cichlid at 6.5 or a betta at 8 or anything crazy but anything within .5-.8 would probably be fine as long as you keep it wherever it is.
Oops, I keep my betta at 8....
 
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jkkgron2 said:
Oops, I keep my betta at 8....
Your old betta. No jk that’s not funny sorry. I had no idea
 

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SlvikanAKAMsWorryWart said:
Your old betta. No jk that’s not funny sorry. I had no idea
Well, he is pretty old, not gonna lie :)
 
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jkkgron2 said:
Well, he is pretty old, not gonna lie :)
He just looks old from the ph. He was born last week jkjk
Actually fully jk but I don’t know what incorrect ph does. Like higher temps shorten life spans but cause more activity but I don’t know when the ph comes into play. But my krib mom is about to pass so don’t worry about us. We are just fine.
 

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Low PH is acidic can strip off some fishes slime coat and essentially burn them to the point that their gills can't properly absorb minerals, oxygen, and nutrients from the water, granted some fish Bettas for instance, have evolved to thrive in lower PH and are also labrynth fish that can breath air and absorb nutrients through their food instead of solely via the water passing over their gills. Too high of PH can chap a softer fishes skin due to it being so aklaline, but fish like cichlids and goldfish have very hardy scales and skin so they aren't affected, they also don't process nutrients the same and need harder water with a higher GH and KH in order to absorb those nutrients via their gills directly from the water.

I have only been using these products to impact my ph, GH, and KH lately to save some money. Keep in mind all measurements for my use are specific to my own experiments based on my own tanks buffering capacity (ability to withstand changes to PH, GH, and KH) and it should be noted that I supply my tanks with RO/DI water and work with that as a baseline.

Lower PH, GH, KH:
1. Distilled White Vinegar 5mL per 20 gallons seems to drop PH by .2-.5 depending on how well it's buffered.
2. Almond leaves (especially great for a Betta tank) which will slightly lower PH and will soften GH.
3. Fluval Stratum substrate, which will absorb excess minerals which buffers PH and will reduce GH and KH, not by much though.
4. Dillution with distilled or RO/DI water, which generally has a PH of ~6 and 0 GH and 0KH

Raise PH, GH, KH:
1. Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate) 1 tbsp per 20 gallons to raise PH by .2-.5 and increase KH by about 3dKH (50ppm).
2. Epsom Salt which doesn't impact PH or KH but will increase GH 2 Tbsp per 10 gallons to raise GH 3-6dGH (50-100ppm).
3. Calcium Carbonate raises GH and slightly KH. 1 Tbsp per 10-20 gallons raises GH 3-6 dGH (50-100ppm) and KH by 1-3 dKH (20-50ppm)
4. Crushed Coral - Really more of a buffer but will increase PH by a few degrees. 1lb per 10 gallons as a substrate or placed in a mesh bag in the filter.
5. Limestone - untested for my application but I know it can increase PH and GH.

All these items are available at most grocery stores and should be tested in a bucket of water from a water change to calculate your buffering capacity of your specific tank water. Also when you dose your entire tank you should either add them to a mesh milk bag and place them in the filter to slowly dissolve or premix your water change water with them to be added back into the tank.
 
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therealpatricksnyder said:
Low PH is acidic can strip off some fishes slime coat and essentially burn them to the point that their gills can't properly absorb minerals, oxygen, and nutrients from the water, granted some fish Bettas for instance, have evolved to thrive in lower PH and are also labrynth fish that can breath air and absorb nutrients through their food instead of solely via the water passing over their gills. Too high of PH can chap a softer fishes skin due to it being so aklaline, but fish like cichlids and goldfish have very hardy scales and skin so they aren't affected, they also don't process nutrients the same and need harder water with a higher GH and KH in order to absorb those nutrients via their gills directly from the water.

I have only been using these products to impact my ph, GH, and KH lately to save some money. Keep in mind all measurements for my use are specific to my own experiments based on my own tanks buffering capacity (ability to withstand changes to PH, GH, and KH) and it should be noted that I supply my tanks with RO/DI water and work with that as a baseline.

Lower PH, GH, KH:
1. Distilled White Vinegar 5mL per 20 gallons seems to drop PH by .2-.5 depending on how well it's buffered.
2. Almond leaves (especially great for a Betta tank) which will slightly lower PH and will soften GH.
3. Fluval Stratum substrate, which will absorb excess minerals which buffers PH and will reduce GH and KH, not by much though.
4. Dillution with distilled or RO/DI water, which generally has a PH of ~6 and 0 GH and 0KH

Raise PH, GH, KH:
1. Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate) 1 tbsp per 20 gallons to raise PH by .2-.5 and increase KH by about 3dKH (50ppm).
2. Epsom Salt which doesn't impact PH or KH but will increase GH 2 Tbsp per 10 gallons to raise GH 3-6dGH (50-100ppm).
3. Calcium Carbonate raises GH and slightly KH. 1 Tbsp per 10-20 gallons raises GH 3-6 dGH (50-100ppm) and KH by 1-3 dKH (20-50ppm)
4. Crushed Coral - Really more of a buffer but will increase PH by a few degrees. 1lb per 10 gallons as a substrate or placed in a mesh bag in the filter.
5. Limestone - untested for my application but I know it can increase PH and GH.

All these items are available at most grocery stores and should be tested in a bucket of water from a water change to calculate your buffering capacity of your specific tank water. Also when you dose your entire tank you should either add them to a mesh milk bag and place them in the filter to slowly dissolve or premix your water change water with them to be added back into the tank.
Wait what is a mesh milk bag? And I love this bc I only need to raise mine .4–.6! Thank you for your detailed answer. Would it help if I added the baking soda in smaller increments? Just not sure what a mesh milk bag is but am happy to get. And how long does it take for low ph to mess fish up. Like a day or a week or months? Just wondering
 

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They are also called nut milk bags, you can find them on amazon if you really want yo go that route but its easier to just mix everything up in a bucket and add it in. It discolors your water though and makes it look like nuclear fallout in your tank but its harmless.

Fish appreciate a slow change in their parameters and a .5 swing should be ok in one maintenance. I’d always start with less spaced out over longer periods so the change has time to balance back out before you perform a test and make an adjustments. I would test, dose, wait 8 hours, test, then if its still off, wait at least 24 hours from the last dose before making changes again. Sometimes the additives can clump and suck into the filter where they sit for a while until they get fully dispersed and impact water parameters.

Not exactly sure how long til damage occurs but I’d get it corrected sooner just for the stress reduction of the fish. Chances are that the low ph won’t do any harm, over the course of a few months it may just cause stress and eventually some other disease will usually be the bigger problem. Hit the tank with some Stress Guard while you work just to offer some protection while you are changing the environment to keep the fish comfortable during the transition.
 
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SlvikanAKAMsWorryWart

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therealpatricksnyder said:
They are also called nut milk bags, you can find them on amazon if you really want yo go that route but its easier to just mix everything up in a bucket and add it in. It discolors your water though and makes it look like nuclear fallout in your tank but its harmless.

Fish appreciate a slow change in their parameters and a .5 swing should be ok in one maintenance. I’d always start with less spaced out over longer periods so the change has time to balance back out before you perform a test and make an adjustments. I would test, dose, wait 8 hours, test, then if its still off, wait at least 24 hours from the last dose before making changes again. Sometimes the additives can clump and suck into the filter where they sit for a while until they get fully dispersed and impact water parameters.

Not exactly sure how long til damage occurs but I’d get it corrected sooner just for the stress reduction of the fish. Chances are that the low ph won’t do any harm, over the course of a few months it may just cause stress and eventually some other disease will usually be the bigger problem. Hit the tank with some Stress Guard while you work just to offer some protection while you are changing the environment to keep the fish comfortable during the transition.
Wait which part will discolor? Bc I am nuts about my acrylic tank lol. I heard from many knowledgeable people on here that spider wood tanins don’t stain acrylic long term but I saw once somebody say yes so I’ve steered clear of driftwood. I also heard that the one ich remedy could stain tank from a store owner not sure if true. But which part stains—the solution or the milk bag? I use a python bc it’s a very tough location to fill without but if I did a smaller water change I could maybe mix it up.
 

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Don’t worry, It won’t stain anything permanently but it will leave powder residue everywhere and cloud your water until it fully dissolves and gets moved around by filtration. This is why some people will dose the powder in the super fine mesh bags in their filter. It still clouds the water but you won’t get the “freshly fallen snow” appearance lingering for a day or two. And its important to let the cloudyness run its course. Don’t do water changes or dump a bunch of pristine or clarity in to try and fix it. It’ll clear up on its own.
 

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I'm seeing a lot of really bad information being passed back and forth here without comment.

First, Mbuna and Kribs do not mix. Second, trying to keep a Tropheus as a single will not work, nor is it compatible with the Mbuna or the Kribs. Kribs are from West African rivers that are fairly soft and a little acid. The Yellow Lab does better with a group, but the Tropheus requires at least 10-12 individuals, and obviously a fairly large tank.

Second, I saw the suggestion that Blind Cave Tetras should not be kept with other fish because they cannot compete for food. This is not the reason. They should not be kept with other fish because they are terrible bullies and highly aggressive toward other fish. If anything, other fish cannot compete with them.

You can get various other Tetras to keep with the Kribs, they are fairly compatible. Most tolerate a greater range of pH and hardness than you see in their profiles, which are based on their type locations in the wild. In truth, much of that varies greatly by season in the wild, as well. And there's nothing wrong with a pH of 8.0 for a Betta splendens, so long as the nitrogen cycle is under control.
 
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chromedome52 said:
I'm seeing a lot of really bad information being passed back and forth here without comment.

First, Mbuna and Kribs do not mix. Second, trying to keep a Tropheus as a single will not work, nor is it compatible with the Mbuna or the Kribs. Kribs are from West African rivers that are fairly soft and a little acid. The Yellow Lab does better with a group, but the Tropheus requires at least 10-12 individuals, and obviously a fairly large tank.

Second, I saw the suggestion that Blind Cave Tetras should not be kept with other fish because they cannot compete for food. This is not the reason. They should not be kept with other fish because they are terrible bullies and highly aggressive toward other fish. If anything, other fish cannot compete with them.

You can get various other Tetras to keep with the Kribs, they are fairly compatible. Most tolerate a greater range of pH and hardness than you see in their profiles, which are based on their type locations in the wild. In truth, much of that varies greatly by season in the wild, as well. And there's nothing wrong with a pH of 8.0 for a Betta splendens, so long as the nitrogen cycle is under control.
Are there any tetras you recommend to live with the Kribensis?
 

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Colombian Red and Blue, Lemons, Rosy/Candy Cane types, Black Phantom. Maybe Emperors. Nothing long and skinny, like Rummy nose or Cardinals.
 
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