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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V3 #661

Hello Steve,

> After looking around in a number of places, I finally found a source > of Hydrochloric Acid at a hardware store (Most shop keepers looked 		> at me funny when I started to explain that I wasn't really interested in cleaning concrete.....)

You have to learn the first rule of an aquarium-keeper -- never own up
to tradespeople that you are going to use the item you seek not for its
intended purpose, but for a frivolous one!  :-))
> I found a 5 litre container of Hydrchloric acid (Muriatic - "Spirit of
> Salt" ???) for $9.95 (Aus)., which sounded like a bargain to me. I'll
> never have to buy any more - unless it has a maximum shelf life???

Stoppered, it will last about 100 years..

> Anyhow, the label says that it contains 350g/L HCL.  I imagine that > this is 350g of HCL in granular form that has been added to each 			> litre of distilled water.  Is this correct?

Aside from the fact, that HCl is a gas, your concentration concept is
> If so, what concentration HCL do I have?  

You have a 35% HCl solution.

> How many drops / ml would you guys recommend adding to SLOWLY lower > my pH, considering that the tap water is pH of 8.4 and 120ppm Carbonate Hardness?

I wopuld *strongly* recommend, that you take two parts of water and add 
TO THE WATER (NOT the other way around) one part of your 35% HCl. You
will then have approximately a 10% HCl solution.

Now experiment! To a liter, gallon, or whatever add a drop or two of
your 10% HCl and see the result. Continue until you reach the pH you
desire -- then scale up to the volume of your tank.

Another *strong* suggestion: Do NOT chenge the pH more than 0.2 - 0.3 pH
units/day! Many will tell you that they changed pH by a unit, without
disastrous results. True! But that puts needless strain on the fish. 

One should remember that pH is on a logarithmic scale: One unit pH
change represents 10-fold change in acidity!

> i do not add CO2 to this tank, I am just trying to lower the pH to a more
> neutral point.  I am not concerned about the few fish that live in the
> tank.
> Regards,
> Steve Amor