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Old 04-13-2012, 01:46 AM   #1 
kfryman's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Fremont, CA
Water Parameters

Why is it that many people say "Dont worry about the pH and hardness as bettas adapt" but species like neon tetras, that have been bred commercially for so LONGcannot be housed in anything but lower pH and hardness! Honestly it drives me crazy as they are one of the most popular aquarium fish. Is it that this is a betta site and you encourage people to get a betta or what?

It really drives me crazy and I want answers lol.
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:10 AM   #2 
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: California, USA
IMO, pH and hardness shouldn't be overlooked, even with Bettas. We have very soft water with poor buffering capabilities where I live. Because of this, the pH drops dramatically within a 24 hour time frame. Out of tap it's around 7.8, but it drops down to 6. To keep it stable I use a buffering powder.

I had a lot of fish problems (Bettas included!) before I came to realize this. Thankfully, I was on a Goldfish forum and they recommended I test my pH out of tap, pH in the aquarium, and the pH after 24 hours. I was also told to invest in KH and GH liquid tests. Without doing those tests I would have never known our soft, poor buffered water, was the source of all my problems.

It is true they can adapt to a stable pH, but so can Neon Tetras.
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:15 AM   #3 
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Well yes I am aware of that, but I have been told that because I have a higher pH that I cannot keep neon tetras. I won't bother keeping cardinals as I know they come from the wild and will do poor as it is a wild fish.

For you couldn't you just have the starry air outside for 24 hours let the pH drop, then add it into the aquarium? With conditioner of course.
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:57 AM   #4 
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Im not overly concerned with water parameters. Heck I dont even own a test kit. I just do water changes, add some IAL and let it go. I prefer the old methods of doing things. I have no fancy equipment. I may get an R/O unit depending on if I move out of my city after college to be safe. I found the more I fussed the more something went wrong.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:49 PM   #5 
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I am not gonna fuss over it, though some people will say they live shorter lives, well then bettas would too.

I know OFL has tetras in her liquid rock water, she breeds them in rain water than switches the Fri to the hard water once they age. I am gonna get neons once I get the free 16 gallon, though I will have to wait for there to be room. I am just gonna add a peat ball to help bring the pH down a bit.
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Old 04-13-2012, 07:31 PM   #6 
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Virginia, USA
I'm with Calie. PH and hardness should be considered even when keeping betta and goldfish (and look at how long goldfish have been domesticated). Domesticating a fish just means we can fudge with the parameters a little bit (up maybe 1 or 2 dGH). The thing about neon tetra is that they will adapt to the hard water, but they will live shorter lives. I wish I could find the exact study, but I remember seeing on where they did a necropsy on neons living in great quality water except that it was hard. Rather significant kidney blockage was found.

Adding the peat ball will probably stain your water, but unless you lower your KH, your pH isn't going to go very far.
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:17 PM   #7 
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Also, neon tetras have ended up being canary fish. Because they are so mass-produced, many of them have no hardiness left. Bettas are still pretty hardy. :)
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:54 AM   #8 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Its harder for a hard water species to go to soft water than for most soft water species to go to hard water-Generally soft water species will adapt and be fine in harder water with higher pH, however, you may not be able to get them to spawn and if you did the eggs most likely will not hatch/develop in the hard water.

Hard water species like most of the livebearers, goldfish and some cichlids will not thrive well in soft water-often becoming weak, color loss, compromised immune response and death can often result.

There is always exceptions to the rule......

Its easier to change soft water to hard water than it is to change hard water to soft water.....its not as simple as adding this or that......

Its not a good idea to try and change water to meet the needs of the fish-unless you understand the process-often its better to keep species that are suited for your water than to attempt changing it-having stable water is safer, easier than rebounding water chemistry that can be hard on the fish.

Thats the beauty of the Betta splendens-they will adapt to most any hardness or pH as long as its fairly stable......

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 04-14-2012 at 11:04 AM.
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