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Re: Small 1-gallon tank

>Date: Tue, 23 Feb 1999 13:00:12 -0500
>From: "James Purchase" <jpurch at interlog_com>
>Subject: RE: Small 1-gallon tank
>Hoa is having trouble keeping Otto's alive in his 1-gallon, filterless tank.
>I am concerned about a statement he made about treating his gravel with
>acid. What was wrong with your gravel that required treatment with acid? I
>know that some people recommend treating calcium containing gravel but I've
>never really understood the reasoning - if the gravel is CaCO3, it's all
>gonna dissolve in acid, provided there is enough acid. Wash out the acid and
>what remains will continue to dissolve in your water.
>You have a one gallon aquarium. Hardly a big volume of gravel. Why not just
>go buy the proper substrate? The acid probably cost you more than a pound of
>quartz gravel would cost.


The idea is to continue to soak and rinse the gravel until it stops
bubbling. Then the CaCO3 will have all been washed away--we hope.  That's
what I did. And the gravel was bought at a LFS--Cambrian gravel.  The acid
was really cheap, really--swimming pool Muriatic acid.

>From: Steve Pushak <teban at powersonic_bc.ca>
>Subject: Re: Small 1-gallon tank
>There are at least two basic problems to solve with small tanks and
>plants: pH and oxygen. Let's assume that you can keep ammonia levels in
>check by the plants and water changes.
>It's good that you have sunlight but its best if you can prevent full
>strong sunlight from hitting it especially in summer. Venetian blinds
>can help to regulate the amount of light. The problem is heating the
>tankw ater up so high that there's no oxygen left in the water. You can
>also get cyanobacteria in such conditions unless you are changing water
>faithfully. The Betta won't mind the warm temps (won't like cold though)
>but the Otocinclus won't be able to tolerate low oxygen.


The sun only hits it directly for about 1 hour in the morning.  The
temperature never rises above 75F, and I see bubbles coming off the leaves
when that happens, so I don't think O2 is a problem.

>The pH problem can be solved if you use a cotton bag of sphagnum peat.
>Aeration is another way to keep the water moving and supply ambient CO2
>to the plants. Enough aeration to keep the plants supplied with CO2
>adequately would probably stir up anything laying loose on the bottom of
>the tank and might disturb the Betta. Peat or peat water buffering keeps
>the pH stable so its not necessary to have really vigorous water
>movement. With enough water movement (no fish), I think you could keep
>the pH stable without pH buffers and still have reasonable plant growth

Ok, I'll try the peat bag.  Thanks for the suggestion.  Also, do Otos need
driftwood in their diet like many plecos?  I do not have any wood in the
tank right now.  I wonder if that's the problem (or another problem anyway).

>As an alternative, why don't you go to a 5 gallon tank? This will be
>easier to keep stable.

I like the challenge.  ;-)