I would like to get a 55 gallon tank going. I want to put in 3 species of tetra, some corys and some otocinclus cats. I also want some platys. Every book I have says that tetra need soft water, 6-6.5 ph and platys need medium had to hard, 7-8 ph. So my question is can platys live in a soft water tank or is it best to keep platys out of my tank?
Thanks for the info
Tropical Fish Enthusiast
Most tetras origainate from the the Amazon river basin and their water is soft and acid. The same is true for otocynclus & cory cats. Platy's originate north of South America and their water is naturallu more alkaline. However, and this is a big however, not matter where their native waters are from, by the time they go through either live caught or fish farms to the wholesaler to the pets hop, they have been long since acclimated to water that is closer to neutral (7.0). It is better to ask your pet shop what their water is than to go by the literature. This way they won't be in as much shock.
Hi LA Traphole,
Question, how do you plan on making your hard alkaline LA water soft and acid?
I would keep platies out of a soft acid water tank. It's funny but soft acid water fish like tetras can live fine in hard alkaline water but hard alkaline water fish like platies rarely do well in soft acid. It's not an iron clad rule but true more often than not. Platies would be one species that might work but it's iffy.
I would just use your local water as that will be the water most fish stores in your area use. Changing water chemistry and constantly monitoring it then is a pain and to be avoided for you and the fish if at all possible. Tetras, corys, ocats and platies will all be fine in dechlorinated LA tap water. pH and hardness levels are more of an issue when breeding soft acid water fish as opposed to just keeping the fish.
Thanks so much for the info guys.
To answer your question biggun I was going to use peat to make the water in the tank acidic. I will just do as you suggested and use my own tap water. I guess I'll only try to change the water chemistry for breeding purposes.
Peat moss works best in water that is already moderately soft <130ppms and less than 7.5 pH. Peat works slowly to soften and acidify water unless you get a very acidic peat and use a large amount -- like a quart of unboiled but waterlogged peat per 10 gallons of water. You can call the company manufacturing your peat and ask for the pH of the peat they sell. pH's of less than 5 work great. Companies have that information. So in liquid rock LA water it would take alot of very high quality very low pH peat to soften and acidify it. If you use peat run a test on it in a small thing of water to see how quickly and well it works.