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First Tank, 29 gal w/ high pH, will this be safe for an angelfish??

Discussion in 'Freshwater Newbie Forum' started by JenWit, Dec 10, 2017.

  1. JenWit

    JenWit AC Members

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    I'm in the process of doing a fishless cycle on my very first tank ever. It's a 29 gal freshwater tank planted with anubias nana, java moss and a red sword (I'll also be adding a jungle val this week). I'm using all seachem products including Flourite for the substrate and prime as the conditioner. I'm using ammonia and stability to cycle the tank. We have an airstone as well as an AquaClear 50 filter with a sponge, matrix carbon, filter floss and biomax.

    So far the cycle is going pretty well. We are about a week in and we have 0.5ppm Ammonia, 0.25 ppm Nitrite and 5 ppm Nitrate.

    I know it will be a while yet before I should add any fish but I'd love some input as I have some concerns about pH and tank size. This is meant to be a community tank and my husband really wants to have a few guppies, a couple mollies, and a marble veil angel.

    My biggest concern is the Angel. We have hard water even with a softner system. After a 24 hour rest, our tap water tests at 8.4 and with driftwood in the aquarium the tank water is holding steady at 8.2 pH. (I have ordered a GH/KH test, but it hasn't arrived yet). From what I have read Angel's prefer an acidic to neutral pH and besides that I am afraid a 29 gal tank with other fish may prove to be too small for the angel. We aren't opposed to getting a larger tank but I don't want the Angel to outgrow our current tank before we are ready (although our timeline could be easily changed). Much more important, I don't want to even get the angel if our water conditions are not good for it.

    I have read we can add peat to the filter to bring down pH and/or use a buffer but as this is my first try at a tank ever I would feel much better getting some additional input. Can an Angel thrive in highly alkaline water and if not is using peat or buffers a reliable solution? Thanks!!
     
  2. OrionGirl

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    Good for you on the fishless cycle.

    Angels can be acclimated to a wide variety of water conditions. They won't breed successfully in harder water, but the fish themselves will be fine. Contact a local breeder, see what water conditions they're using, of course, and then be prepared to drip acclimate the fish to your conditions.

    That said...and angel in a 29 will be ok size wise, but I wouldn't trust one with guppies. They are predators, and highly effective ones. Any fry will definitely be eaten, and smaller adults will be targeted as well once the angle matures. Ditto for mollie fry.
     
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  3. JenWit

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    Thank you! We have everything ready to go for drip acclimation and are in the process of getting everything we need for a 5 gal quarantine/hospital tank as well. I will chat with my husband and see which is more important to him, having the guppies or the angel.

    I hope this doesn't sound cruel but I'm not terribly concerned about fry getting eaten. I don't really know yet what we will do if we have many fry that survive into adulthood. With a 29 gal tank, I think we would find ourselves terribly overstocked very quickly. I have to do more research on what to do if we end up with surviving fry. I don't think we can avoid "unplanned pregnancies" and I am not sure about running a molly adoption agency ;-)
     
  4. Rbishop

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    I'm curious as to what your pH is upstream (inlet side) of the softener on a sample left out overnight to gas off. As well as GH/KH or TDS.
     
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  5. JenWit

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    I talked to my husband tonight and it turns out the faucet we are using for the aquarium is upstream of the softener system. So the water that read 8.4 after sitting for 24 hours is without our softener. I am stilling waiting to receive the API gh/kh test kit but will gladly post results once I have it. (should be here Wednesday). I am also leaving some water out tonight from an upstream faucet to see the difference with and without the softener.
     
  6. fishorama

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    It's good you're concerned about pH, KH & GH. "regular" water softeners add sodium ions to reduce GH. We need more numbers before & after...as you're aware.
     
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  7. OrionGirl

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    Having a plan for the offspring (including a predator in the tank) is a very good choice, just horrifying if someone isn't expecting it. And, off course, adult angels can eat adult male guppies (females tend to be a bit larger). Adult mollies will be safe. But, you can get just male guppies. Unless you want the fry, I recommend it, since females tend to be less colorful. Multiple males will get along fine without a girl around, but if you do have a gender mix, it's best to have a single male for every 2-3 females to 'spread' the attention around. A single female with multiple males will be harassed constantly, and often become very aggressive as a result.
     
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  8. JenWit

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    So after much debate back and forth we decided to go ahead with the guppies and mollies (all male) and instead of an Angel we are thinking about a powder blue Gourami.

    Now I'm just waiting for my GH/kh test to arrive to see if these will still be good choices based on our water quality. I have samples set aside from pre-softener and post-softener and I will test these as well as the tank water as soon as we get out kit. (still hoping it will be here Wednesday)
     
  9. JenWit

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    I have also started keeping an aquarium journal to document water parameters and quality along with maintenance, additions or changes made to the tank and such. So I will be able to look at trends etc.
     
  10. OrionGirl

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    The gourami will help with fry control, but the adult fish should be safe.
     

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