A stable pH is more important than "the right pH." Fish can adjust to your higher pH better than a lower one if you suddenly crash your pH.
Are you afraid of pH crashes? What's the worry?
Are you interested in Cichlids? If this is the African species you want to keep, then a pH of 8 isn't a problem. Most aquarium fish you get at the local pet stores will adapt to a wide range of water conditions, they have been for many, many years. Most will tolerate a pH of between 6 and 8.5.
If this is your first tank, you should go with the hardiest species until you get the hang of keeping the tank water chemistry steady. If you like livebearing fish, then Platys, Guppies and Swordtails are best. If you prefer egglayers, then Danios, White cloud minnows and Rasboras will work.
Cycle the tank properly will any of these fish and make sure you give the fish a large enough tank, at least 30 gallons and work on setting up and following a sound water change and filter maintenance routine. When you get comfortable, you can think about keeping some of the more challenging species.
The worry is that the fish I want prefer acid and soft water. So now that my water is very alkaline and very soft, I am afraid that I can't keep most fish.
And cichlids need alkaline and hard water, I don't think there are fish that like alkaline and soft water.
But maybe it is not a problem, I'll read the article. Thanks @talisant.
I will order a KH and gH test too. I called the water department of my city and all they could tell me that we have very soft water, no numbers were available.
If you have soft water your ph should drop. Try testing it after rinning a bubbler in it for a while
I don't have a bubbler yet. But I will let some water stand for 24 hrs and then try again. Also, after reading the article, I will test for hardness once I have the test kit and then go from there.
Hi, most 'soft' water fish will do just fine in harder more alkaline water it's often the other way around where you run into problems. I have had all kinds of softer water fish in my harder alkaline water, ph of 8.0 including my betta, my Tetra's and my German blue Rams. They all have done just fine.
I wouldn't over think it but you will have a hard time keeping live bearers alive if your water hardness is low and you don't replenish the minerals with an additive.
Hi, @CindiL I think the problem might be alkaline pH 8 water ( I retested after having the water sit 24 hrs) and very soft water.
My city's water department could only tell me that the water is very soft but doesn't have numbers.
I'll get the KH/DH test and once I am ready to set up the tank, I'll be back. Be prepared