would kH and pH be that important? Like would I still have success with a higher kH and pH if the gH is very low?Tannin stained water of almost no measurable hardness, warm, dark. The eggs are killed by light. I managed to get fry, but none survived 2 days. Still, I was proud to have gotten that far. It isn't a tetra to start tetra breeding with.
I’ve mixed my tap water with Reverse osmosis water and got my Gh to 0 and my kH is around 80ppm so around 4.5 dKh. I’ve got my pH to 6.3-6.5Feed the adults 3-5 times a day with a variety of dry, frozen and live foods for 2-4 weeks before breeding them. This lets the adults produce good gametes (eggs & sperm).
Do big regular water changes and gravel cleans to keep their tank clean when feeding more often.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.
Separate the males and females for 5 days before breeding them. Add the females to the breeding tank and then add the males a couple of hours later.
The breeding tank should have a thin layer of dark gravel, a clump of Java Moss, an air operated sponge filter and a heater if required. Have a coverglass on the tank to stop the adults jumping out.
Black out the back and sides of the tank and do not have a light above the tank. After the fish have bred and been removed from the tank, put some more black card over the front to stop light getting in. Keep the tank dark until the fry are free swimming.
The water for the breeding tank should have 0 GH, 0 KH and a pH below 7.0 (preferably around 6.0-6.5). Temperature should be around 25-28C.
Add some peat to the water for several weeks before you breed the fish. The peat will drop the pH and add tannins to the water. The peat can be removed before the adults are put in the tank. I used to have 45 & 70 litre plastic bins with water and peat in for this purpose. Just use the tannin stained water to fill the breeding tank.
Is peat that expensive?I don't think a piece of driftwood will do the same as the peat. I have driftwood in all my tanks, in some cases it will eventually lower the pH but most of the time with a weekly to every 2 week water change cycle they don't have enough surface area to affect the water like peat would.
I have a mesh bag I could use, but I only have sponge filters. Is there any way it could work out of the filter or does water have to pass through?Peat is not expensive. I personally don't use peat in my aquariums, my water starts neutral to acidic, so wouldn't know exactly what to recommend, I would start with a smaller amount likely in the filter as part of the filter media. I do a bit of gardening and leave the peat to age a bit, a small amount can leach a lot of material. There is a lot of tannic acids in peat as compared to the typical woods you would put into an aquarium.