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Water Chemistry

Posted By: Jason <jfryatt@talk21.com>
Date: Thursday, 18 November 1999, at 2:45 p.m.

Does anyone actually know the precise water parameters of the natural habitats of the clown loach? I have read that values of pH 7.0 to 7.5 were recorded in Borneo but I have no idea on precise water hardness. In my experience pH seems to be linked to water hardness, by the fact that water is usually either hard and alkaline or soft and acidic. It seems to be well documented that clowns prefer soft water but this doesn't tie in with the pH readings taken in Borneo. The clowns in my tank react very badly to pH fluctuations (rapid gill movement, loss of appetite) and I'm starting to think that they need harder, slightly alkaline water and certainly a raise in carbonate hardness. I currently have a reverse osmosis purifier and a deioniser at my disposal, the product water of which I currently mix with 25% cold tap water which equates to a pH of 6.8 and a gH of 5 and a low kH (to low for my test kit to give an accurate reading). My tap water is quite hard at gH 15, and alkaline at pH 7.5 with a kH of about 3 to 4. If buffering is required, I've heard bicarbonate of soda is good, but how much would you use per gal? Another point is that loaches are often kept with discus and angel fish, as they are considered soft-acid water fish, but I doubt mine would be happy in a tank with a gH of 2, kH 1 and pH 6.5.
 

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