Aquarium Setup Guide. pH-hardness-temperature-salt-aquascaping

Rainforest Fishes
(South American and West African cichlids; bettas and gouramis; tetras, barbs, danios, rasboras; etc.)

  • 6.0 to 7.0 PH
  • soft to moderate water
  • 76° to 82°F
  • no salt needed
  • aquascape plants; driftwood; inert rocks (quartz, slate, granite, onyx, etc.), gravel, and sand

African Rift Lake Fishes
(cichlids and other fishes from the rift Lakes)

  • 7.5 to 8.5
  • hard to very hard PH
  • 74° to 80°F
  • Rift Lake salts (if needed to increase hardness and pH)
  • aquascape soluble rocks, gravel, and sand (dolomite, limestone, coral rock, lace rock, tufa rock)

Central American Fishes
(Central American cichlids, livebearers, cave tetras, catfish, etc.)

  • 7.0 to 8.0 moderate to hard
  • 74° to 82°F
  • many species are salt-tolerant
  • aquascape plants; driftwood; all rocks, gravel, and sand (soluble and non-soluble)

Brackish Fishes (monos, scats, some puffers, mollies, gobies)

  • 7.8 to 8.0 ph
  • moderately hard water
  • 74° to 82°F
  • specific gravity 1.001 to 1.012
  • Aquascape salt tolerant plants (anubias, Java Fern,Mangrove) Driftwood; all rocks, gravel, and sand

Marine Fishes (all coral reef fishes)

  • 8.3ph
  • moderately hard water
  • 76° to 84°F
  • specific gravity 1.025
  • Aquascape live rock; macroalgae; soluble rocks, gravel, and sand

All parameters and values are suggested approximate preferences only; wide variability and adaptability exist among species and individuals within each category.

Extreme diver Norbert Wu’s journey into the Antarctic underworld


These stunning image shows the results of one man’s 400 hours of swimming in the coldest waters in the world

A medusa or jelly Desmonema glaciale. It lives near the surface and the bell can reach over one meter in diameter.


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