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KatNor21

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Hi, looking for opinions. This is my 38 gallon planted tank and looking to add one more fish species to complete it. Here's what I have:
9 green neon tetras
10 black phantom tetras
Amano and red rili shrimp
kept at 74-78 degrees
2 HOB Aquaclear 20 filters
pH 6.4
GH 300ppm

I'm thinking either 2 pearl gouramis (potentially both female to cut down on aggression) OR 6 threadfin rainbows (2 male, 3-4 females). Which one do you think I should get? Or do you have a better idea? Thanks!
 

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Astronomiii

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Gouramis can tend to be aggressive depending on how lucky/unlucky you are. Along with that, be careful about tetras as they are fin nippers, the long fins off gourami will be a problem, if I were you I would go safer with the threadline rainbows
 

Essjay

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300 ppm is 18 dH.

That is too hard for any soft water fish, including the ones you have, I'm afraid.




However, I am surprised your pH is so low with hardness that high.
 
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KatNor21

KatNor21

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300 ppm is 18 dH.

That is too hard for any soft water fish, including the ones you have, I'm afraid.




However, I am surprised your pH is so low with hardness that high.
pH is low because I use Fluval stratum for the substrate. The source water has a pH of about 7.5. I live in a house that's over 50 years old so I'm guessing the hardness is the pipes. We are moving soon. When we moved here, I thought it was soft water, not sure why but I was getting soft readings at first. Anyway I've had the neons for 6 months and they've been healthy.
 

Falconwithaboxon

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Gourami is a good choice in my opinion and experience. We have an almost identical tank, except mine is 45 gallons with higher ph and I have cories. I have 2 Opaline Gourami in the tank and they only mess with each other. The smaller fish leave them alone also. I would say Opaline, Pearl, or Paradise Gourami would be good choices for your tank. I do believe Paradise does better in hard water than the other Gourami.
 

Byron

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I suggest it would be beneficial to look into the odd parameters. Can you track down the data for your source water on the website of your water authority (or call them)? The GH, pH and KH (Alkalinity) would all be helpful. These numbers for just the tap water can then be compared to the numbers for the tank water.

The Fluval Stratum substrate may be involved. On the site it has "collected from the mineral-rich foothills of Mount Aso Volcano in Japan," which might explain the GH if minerals are dissolving into the tank water; it also does not say how it "helps support neutral to slightly acidic pH" and such "unknown" properties always worry me.
 

ClownLurch

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Gourami is a good choice in my opinion and experience. We have an almost identical tank, except mine is 45 gallons with higher ph and I have cories. I have 2 Opaline Gourami in the tank and they only mess with each other. The smaller fish leave them alone also. I would say Opaline, Pearl, or Paradise Gourami would be good choices for your tank. I do believe Paradise does better in hard water than the other Gourami.
Paradise fish like temperate water. OPs tank temp would be too hot for em long term but they’d love its hardness.
 
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KatNor21

KatNor21

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I suggest it would be beneficial to look into the odd parameters. Can you track down the data for your source water on the website of your water authority (or call them)? The GH, pH and KH (Alkalinity) would all be helpful. These numbers for just the tap water can then be compared to the numbers for the tank water.

The Fluval Stratum substrate may be involved. On the site it has "collected from the mineral-rich foothills of Mount Aso Volcano in Japan," which might explain the GH if minerals are dissolving into the tank water; it also does not say how it "helps support neutral to slightly acidic pH" and such "unknown" properties always worry me.
I visited Aquarium Co-op and told them about my situation. They said they've seen many many people use fluval stratum and have the same issues that I'm having of low pH but very hard water. It's a battle I decided I'm done fighting, so I replaced my substrate with sand. I tested the faucet water that I use and it was soft. I swear it was hard last week when I checked, so I'm pretty confused. Over the next couple weeks, I'll continue testing the tank to see if this changes the parameters and if they stay consistent.
 

Byron

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I visited Aquarium Co-op and told them about my situation. They said they've seen many many people use fluval stratum and have the same issues that I'm having of low pH but very hard water. It's a battle I decided I'm done fighting, so I replaced my substrate with sand. I tested the faucet water that I use and it was soft. I swear it was hard last week when I checked, so I'm pretty confused. Over the next couple weeks, I'll continue testing the tank to see if this changes the parameters and if they stay consistent.

Please always post numbers. The tap water was "hard" and now "soft" is meaningless without the numbers.

When testing pH of tap water only (not tank water) you need to ensure the CO2 is out-gassed or the result can be much different (and inaccurate).

Every aquarium will stabilize water parameters as the biological system establishes so don't expect the parameters to be "x" today and stay there, and if they do shift (depends upon what they are to begin with, and what is in the tank) this is normal to some degree.
 

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