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Tetras And Ph

Home Forums Fresh and Brackish Water Fishes Tetras And Ph

This topic contains 14 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Fishwife 8 years, 10 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
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  • #300092

    Fishwife
    Participant

    Hi all, I’m new on here and would like some advice on a fish I’ve not really bothered much with in the past, Tetras.

    I’m setting up a new 50 litre South American tank and will buy a couple of females for my male Apistogramma cacatuoides. At present I have 6 beautiful little Ember tetras that will also go in with them and I’d like to get a different type of Tetra as well. My problem is that I have a ph of 7.4 and very high phosphate in my tap water. I once bought a dozen beautiful little Green Neons and they all died within weeks and reading up on them since I see that they prefer more acidic water.

    It’s no use trying to choose what type of Tetra I’ll buy before I actually go to the LFS, it will have to be something that doesn’t dwarf the Embers so I want the torpedo shape rather than the other, but I could do with some tips for when I go to the LFS. They always say ‘if it lives here it should live in your tank as we have the same water’ but I’ve found in the past that this isn’t always the case.

    I’m looking for something that will tolerate a highish Ph, and something a bit different. Or perhaps you could give me an idea on which Tetras to avoid.

    #313007

    ndc
    Participant

    hi, dont think your tank is big eneough for a trio of apisto and any more tetras than you already have, to be honest its probably a bit small for the trio as well (im guessing its something like 2ft x 1 ft x 1ft?) . you would maybe be better not thinking about breeding the apistos and getting another small group of neons or black neons, how is your tank filtered and how often do you water change?

    #313011

    Fishwife
    Participant

    You do surprise me I thought I’d get quite a few more small fish in there, The tank is a Classica Aquacurve and the measurements are 24 x 12 x 16 high. I’ve had the Cockatoo and Embers in a 20 litre with and Otocinclus for a couple of months until I sorted this new tank out.

    From what I’ve read I thought I’d get the trio in quite nicely, but am not really bothered if I don’t get them, I wanted to sort and settle the Tetras first, but I wanted something a bit different in the Tetra line, definitely not neons

    #313013

    Matt
    Keymaster

    Have you thought about dwarf pencilfish Nannostomus marginatus? Perfect for small tanks and won’t predate on apisto fry should they arrive. Welcome to the site too.

    #313015

    ndc
    Participant

    one of my favourites for smaller tanks are iriatherina werneri , threadfin rainbows, couple of males, couple of females look great in smaller tanks

    #313017

    Byron Hosking
    Participant

    Hi Fishwife,

    A tank measuring 24x12x16 inches is a 20 gallon which is approximately 75 litres. You mentioned a 50 litre tank in your first post, which would be approximately 13 gallons (I still think in imperial measurement!). I’m assuming your new tank will be a 20 gallon, given the measurements in your latest post.

    I agree with ndc that a trio of apistogramma might be pushing things in a 20g, but I would try one female to keep the male company. Many years ago I had a pair of Apistogramma bitaeniata [they were then known as A. kleei] in a 15g and they spawned and I sold most of the fry in pairs at the local club’s auction. A few characins (tetras) would add to this display, but finding some that will live comfortably in a pH of 7.4 will not be easy. The A. cacatuoides come from Peru, namely the Rio Ucayali, and according to Staeck & Linke [American Cichlids I, Dwarf Cichlids; Tetra Press] the water at collecting sites had a pH of 7.6 so you should have no difficulty maintaining this fish in your water.

    Ember tetras remain small, and a shoal of 6 will do nicely in your proposed tank with the apistos. The Ember Tetra, Hyphessobrycon amandae, comes from the Rio Aruguaia basin in Brazil which has an acidic pH. Some authors report that when kept in alkaline water (above pH 7) the fish becomes pale and not at its best. In my experience, most of the tetras will not fare well above ph 7 because they originate from acidic waters (in some cases extremely so, down to pH 4-5) and even tank raised fish still carry their evolutionary blueprint, so to speak, and “prefer” water closer to their biological needs. Managing to live in unsuitable (to them) water is different from living at their best. However, this is not to say that they may not do well, and another option is to lower the pH slightly through peat filtration; by slightly I mean down to neutral as this wouldn’t bother the apistos so long as the change was gradual. Don’t use chemicals to lower the pH as this is only temporary and the pH will rise again with the next water change or on its own, and a fluctuating pH is worse that keeping it a bit high but constant.

    Before I finished this post, I noticed that Matt has suggested the dwarf pencilfish, so there’s another option. The sources say this fish can tolerate alkaline water, although the fish’s natural waters have a pH of 5.6-6.0 which is vastly different.

    Byron.

    #313023

    Fishwife
    Participant

    Thanks for the replies. Now I know why I’ve never bothered much with Tetras /unsure.gif” style=”vertical-align:middle” emoid=”:unsure:” border=”0″ alt=”unsure.gif” />

    Oh, the reason I said the tank was a 50 litre was that’s what Classica say it is.

    #313028

    Byron Hosking
    Participant

    QUOTE (Fishwife @ Mar 18 2009, 05:25 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
    Thanks for the replies. Now I know why I’ve never bothered much with Tetras /unsure.gif” style=”vertical-align:middle” emoid=”:unsure:” border=”0″ alt=”unsure.gif” />

    Oh, the reason I said the tank was a 50 litre was that’s what Classica say it is.

    Tetras are characins, as are pencilfish. No characin likes salt, and they are very sensitive to any chemical. [I’m only guessing, but it may have something to do with their built in chemical warning system, unique to the characidae.] I’ve noted that several manufacturers of remedies especially those containing any copper (as most ick remedies do for instance) warn that they should be used in half dose if there are tetras in the tank. Beckfordi pencils (Nanostommas beckfordi) are the hardiest and livliest species of the genus, and I’ve kept them for many years and they are always spawning, but they do not like stuff added to the water. And in my experience this applies to all of the characins.

    Keeping the tank “south american” is right down my street; I thought I’d posted photos of my tank, but I can’t find them, so maybe I haven’t yet. Anyway, I’m adding a photo of my 70g and 90g aquaria which are both South American. If this is the type of tank you’re after, I suggest lowering your pH to around 6.8 with peat. The apistos will (if done gradually) not have a problem with this, and it will allow you your choice of characin. That could be a lovely display. You could even go biotope by finding out what characins inhabit the river where the apistos come from; there are websites about this, and books. Matt is very knowledgeable on these fish, as undoubtedly are others on this forum, and I certainly enjoy talking about characins. Keep us posted on what you’re planning, and I’m sure there will be good guidance and suggestions.

    Byron.

    Attached files

    #313029

    Matt
    Keymaster

    What stunning tank set-ups Byron! /blush.gif” style=”vertical-align:middle” emoid=”:blush:” border=”0″ alt=”blush.gif” />

    Fishwife do you know the hardness of your water?

    #313032

    Fishwife
    Participant

    Thanks Byron, that is a lovely tank

    #313038

    Eyrie
    Participant

    Cochu blue tetras are attractive fish but grow too large for a 50L tank and can be bolshie with tank mates unless in a large enough group.

    #313039

    Fishwife
    Participant

    Thanks for that info. What size do you think would be OK for a 50 litre?

    #313045

    Eyrie
    Participant

    I have embers and green neons in my 54L, but I see that the latter haven’t been a success for you. Anything in that size range though will be fine, assuming the water chemistry isn’t a problem.

    #313051

    Byron Hosking
    Participant

    QUOTE (Fishwife @ Mar 19 2009, 12:16 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
    Thanks Byron, that is a lovely tank
    #313052

    Fishwife
    Participant

    That’s great, thanks. So it’s a pair of Cockatoos with my 6 Embers and either the same number of Glowlights or Pristella. I saw some Golden Pristella a while back and they looked quite pretty, but I like the ordinary ones as well.

    It’ll be a while before I add them to the tank, but I’ll post a pic when it’s up and running properly.

    Thanks again

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