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dissolving calcium

I set up a tank about a month and a half ago and following my own
advice, I added several teaspoons of powdered calcium carbonate to the
water. In the past, even large amounts of CaCO3 would dissolve in only a
few days, possibly with the assistance of the fish disturbing any
deposits left on the leaves of plants.

For some reason, in our new house, in this aquarium which still has no
fish, the CaCO3 still hasn't completely dissolved. There should be
plenty of CO2 dissolved in the water but it doesn't seem to be having
any effect. Perhaps some type of diatom algae has formed on the calcium
which seems to be stuck in the cracks of many of the plant leaves and
which prevents it from dissolving. Of course, new growth is nice and
clean. I'm concerned that any time I add new calcium carbonate, that it
is again going to coat the leaves of all the plants and not dissolve.

I do plan to add some Otocinclus to this tank but I haven't gotten round
to buying any new ones yet and the ones I have in the other tank are
impossible to capture. Anybody have any tips on catching Otocinclus?

Does anybody have any advice on how to dissolve a teaspoon of CaCO3 into
a gallon or two of water so that I can add it in dissolved form? I have
some muriatic acid left over from making PMDD and I also have some spare
air pumps.

Maybe I should just put some dolomite into the corner and stop obsessing
about calcium?
Steve Pushak                              Vancouver, BC, CANADA 

Visit "Steve's Aquatic Page"      http://home.infinet.net/teban/
 for LOTS of pics, tips and links for aquatic gardening!!!