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Dwarf cichlids

Subject: Dwarf cichlids
by paddington on 30/5/2010 10:45:25

Hi, long time lurker!

I have a 120l tank which is home to 6 cherry barbs, 6 amano shrimp and 6 harlequins. The tank has been established for about 3 years now and seems to be nice and stable. It gets a 10% weekly water change, and is filtered by an eheim 2222 external.

I've been thinking about adding some more interest to the tank and I quite fancy a couple of Bolivian Rams. So my first question is assuming water chemistry was correct would my setup be able to handle the addition of two Rams?

Right, next question is regarding water chemistry. The water in Oxfordshire is pretty hard, according to Thames Water is is 16dh which according to the care sheet is too hard for the Bolivians (I've not measured my own water yet). Also, the pH of the water in the tank is 8, so again this is not appropriate. The Goldfishbowl shop up in Oxford offer free RO water at the moment (I think, they did last time I was there a few months ago) and I'm wondering on the viability of gently changing the chemistry of the water over a period of time using RO water (perhaps mixed with some tap water, or additives?) and maybe using some peat moss in the filter. Am I barking up the wrong tree with this idea, or could this work well?

One thing I won't do is risk the well-being of the current inhabitants. If they're not going to like it then I won't bother.

Any advice or general thoughts would be gratefully received!