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Amelia writes:

> HELP!  While cleaning out our coffee maker, my roommate accidentally
>  spilled old coffee grounds into my 10 gal. planted tank.  We took out the
>  lone fish (a previously very happy betta) and sucked up most of the
>  grounds and about 90% of the water, but in a few places the grounds have
>  sunk into the gravel and I don't want to disrupt the gravel and the soil
>  underneath it if I don't have too.  There is about 3/4 of an inch of
>  gravel over 1/2-3/4 of an inch of soil in the area where the grounds
>  settled in.  Does anyone know of the effects of a mild brew of coffee on
>  plants or fish?  Does anyone have any idea whether daily (or more, if
>  needed, I love this tank) would be sufficient or whether I need to tear
>  down the tank and start it over?  I'm guessing that about 1-1.5 
>  tablespoons of coffee are left in the tank.  Thanks,
>  Amelia 

The most likely effect will be a lower pH and slight yellowing of the water.  
Other than that, don't panic.

Bob Dixon