Thankfully tank isn't cycled yet- so I have the option to change my plans... (although MTS are en-route to me- fortunately they can deal better with my very soft water than other snails can). My grand vision for my tank had been: RCS, Various Snails, Danios, Kuhli (maybe horse faced after recommendations) Loaches, Maybe Corys - but most snails and RCS won't like my water. In doing a lot of research I've read a lot of conflicting advice. "pH is important! No pH isn't that important- ... it's whether it fluctuates- ... no that doesn't matter either they fluctuate a lot in the wild it's the GH and KH that matter... Don't try adjusting your GH/KH it only makes things worse!" Naturally with all the conflicting advice I'm a little puzzled. I don't want to have to keep playing with chemicals and altering this or that . I know if I play with chemicals there is always the chance I mess something up and put my critters into shock. Yet at the same time- my water clearly isn't suited for any snail other than MTS- and I may have to give up on my desire for shrimp. It looks like Corys and Loaches might be happy. So: pH 8.0/GH 50/KH 40 Is it that bad?... With a KH that low- I suspect that means I would need to be constantly changing the water (small ammounts frequently- more so than most people) or the Nitrate levels would make my pH swing? There are always buffering blocks... but then- if I have buffering blocks and I clean my tank out- as I add new water from the tap (obviously treated water but still pre-buffered water) with low GH/KH- will that send my fish into shock? I was already planning on plants- I guess with a low KH- this makes them even more important- I need something to take the Nitrates out the water with my low KH! - Or am I just over analysing things and there is nothing to worry about? Sometimes researching something to death to make sure you're doing the right thing makes you less sure that you are. All the species I want are hardy- that adds to their appeal to me (although not the only reason I want them).