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Re: Fp. gardneri N'sukka biotop!
Dear Bobo, This is Nevin Aspinwall in St. Louis. I returned from a 4 month
collecting trip to Cameroon in Decembver where I collected numerous
populations of Fp. gardneri from the Cross River drainage near Nigeria. We
collected gardneri from small streams. I wouild forget trying to replicate
the biotope of gardneri in your aquarium. The water where they live has a
total dissolved solid content of only 10 mg/l which of course is very soft.
If you try to replicate this water condition with RO water the pH will drop
precipitiously in a week or so and you will be left with a bunch of dead
gardneri. 10 TDS water is very poorly buffered and you won't be able to
control the pH adequately unless you do extensive water changes. Remember in
nature that the water that these fish are living in is flowing water and is
continually replaced. You can't replicate that. My advice is to use your
nornal tap water assuming it is in the range of 80-300 TDS and adjust your pH
to around 7.0 to 8.0 even though I observed that gardneri's biotope has a pH
around 6.5. After a week or so the pH 7.0-8.0 water in your tank will
gradually fall eventually reaching a pH of 4.0-4.9. The latter pHs are bad.
Of course weekly water changes of 10-20% will keep the pH of your tank in the
more acceptable range (6.0-8.0). Lots of plants and nylon mops will make them
happy. See you later. Nevin