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Re:Small 1-gallon tank

James and Hoa.: The problem with ottos is that AFAIK they are all wild
caught and for some unknown reason are all juveniles. They arrive in the
LFS practically starved to death. I suggest waiting until they have been
in the shop for at least two weeks before adding to their stress
bringing them home. I quarantine them b4 adding to a general tank and
make sure they have nice rounded bellies.

> Hoa is having trouble keeping Otto's alive in his 1-gallon, filterless tank.

Muriatic acid is about $3.00/gal  not all that pricey, so not all that
much of an expense.
I usually hear that aquaricists (sp) test the gravel with the acid to
see if
there is any shells or other CaCO3 stuff in it. Could this be another
example of misunderstanding a technique?

> 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.
> Don't start adding more chemicals to try to control your pH - change the
> gravel.

Heartily agree, the simpler the better. 
Ric Cooney, N3BRB
rcooney at bcpl_net
Aquatic Gardeners Association
Baltimore, MD  USA