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gh and kh with platys


Oreganoodle
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Finally got my tank cycled and went out and bought 6 platys (34 gallon tank).

From what I can tell, they prefer a gh of 71-214 ppm and kh of 71-143 ppm.   My tank and local water source is at gh of 60 ppm and kh of 80 ppm. How quickly do I have to worry that the levels might be too low?

Thanks!

 

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I think that the goal is stability. A constant level of hardness is what they crave. Many livebearer breeders simply add 1 lb of crushed coral per 10 gallons which provides a constant source of hardness without big swings you can get with baking soda and wonder shells to some degree.  The crushed coral can be in or on the substrate, in bags in a filter, or some folks just plop the bag in the tank. 
 

Personally I use aragonite sand and crushed coral in my livebearer setups. It’s a thin layer but it’s there to provide them with what they need. My tap is very similar in gh/kh to yours but with the aragonite and coral my tds is 600, gh is 300, kh 80-120. I top off every week and change water on those setups every 1-2 weeks I breed dwarf platys, mollies and blue Hawaiian moscow guppies as well as 3 lines of Neocaridina. 

At your present level of hardness they will breed for you but don’t expect the clouds of fry they’d produce in a constant gh/kh at a higher level. The other concerns that have been expressed about breeding livebearers in softer water is a higher rate of birth defects. this is anecdotal and kind of a breeder wise tale most likely as many people have softer water and do just fine but as Cory has said many times when he had soft water previously he was always wishing he had harder water to improve his fishes health.  

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I have platys at 6.8-7 pH because my water is super soft, but I make sure they have high GH and they seem to be doing really well. The most important thing is you don’t want to change their parameters too quickly. If you change things slowly, they’ll adjust fairly well to a wide range!

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