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Old 06-29-2013, 09:13 AM   #1
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what's the stink?

Hi, I've checked my water quality and its fine but my tanks smells rank! Could it be my plants or my black moor?

My tank gets clean water twice a week and gravel siphoned / decor cleaned once a week. I feed once a day and there's never left overs. My black moor has started eating the banana plant so I've taken a couple of burst bananas off it already.

The fish are fine, water quality is fine. It just smells ripe. Any one any suggestions? Thanks. X
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:03 AM   #2
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Could it maybe be your filters?
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:09 AM   #3
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What does it smell most like? Does it smell like dirt strongly? Or say, hot garbage for example?? Ha ha... Sometimes it's hard to describe if it's unique. But my moderately planted tank w/ Eco-complete smells like dirt sometimes. My other moderately planted tank w/out Eco-complete never smells that way.
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:28 AM   #4
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How old is the tank? Weird & unscientific as it sounds, I've noticed tanks seem to go through some different smells as they age. It also depends on if you have live or fake plants.
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Old 06-29-2013, 11:07 AM   #5
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How old is the tank? Weird & unscientific as it sounds, I've noticed tanks seem to go through some different smells as they age. It also depends on if you have live or fake plants.
+1 on that too. Could just be a passing phase. Just keep up your regular PWC's, keep a close on your water parameter tests & watch for any changes in your fish's behaviors in the tank.
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Old 06-29-2013, 11:07 AM   #6
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How old is the tank? Weird & unscientific as it sounds, I've noticed tanks seem to go through some different smells as they age. It also depends on if you have live or fake plants.
Sounds a lot like my wife...
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Old 06-29-2013, 11:35 AM   #7
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Thanks for the suggestions folks and thanks for making me laugh out loud in public Aquamandan I'm getting funny looks now!

I upgraded to a 45 litre tank about 2/3 weeks ago and kept the filter medium
from the previous filter. Basically I just moved everything I could into the new tank. The banana plant and moss ball are recent (1 week or so ) as is the black moor. The rest of the decor includes plastic plants and generic aquatic tat as chosen by my 4 year old. I have no algae or cloudy water and my levels are perfect.

I would say 'hot garbage' sounds about right smell wise. It's not particularly pleasant! I only did a filter scrub and water change yesterday and it lost the funky smell for about 8 hours. Is there such a thing as too many water changes? Can a tank be too clean?

I'm so glad I have a test kit or I'd be freaking out. Not that I'm particularly calm now lol! Whoever said fish keeping was a relaxing hobby obviously didn't do any of the work

Advice gratefully received. X
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Old 06-29-2013, 12:27 PM   #8
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You could try adding carbon or purigen to the tank. Either of those should help take care of smells.
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Old 06-29-2013, 01:20 PM   #9
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Yep the purgen or carbon will do wonders. But just curious, how thick is your substrate? Sometimes really thick substrate can get gas pockets but that is normally only in really thick sand tanks. When the gas is released and hits the air it smells like rotten eggs because it's methane. My 220g is in our sunroom and during the summer we shut the door off between it and the main house as the AC unit out there works better that way BUT the room also has an earthy smell, kind of like walking in the woods after it rains when that room is closed off. I also noticed it smells more like that since I took the huge Potho's plant I had growing with it's roots in the tank water out. House plants can help with that also. But honestly the odor shouldn't be offensive. If it is then I'd look for something rotting in the tank.
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Old 06-29-2013, 03:52 PM   #10
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Looks like the mystery has been solved......I'm an idiot but I produce very clever children.

I was just doing a water change to 'take out the icky water' when my 4 year old pointed out that the old water in the bucket did not smell icky at all. Infact, the tank smelled 'earthy' when the lid was off for a wee while, not 'hot garbage' like.

Where was the smell coming from? He found some rotting food being kept nice and moist on the bulb in the lid of the tank So my problem has been random rotting ick being kept hot and moist. When we take the lid off we get a quick burst of 'ick' then nothing.

I'm waiting for the bulb to cool properly then give it a good clean and air dry till I can get out to buy a new bulb. And here was me thinking I was doing well keeping the light on for 7/8 hours a day for the plants.

I'm slightly concerned at the level of condensation in the tank hood, there's not much air getting in when the lid is shut. Would drilling a couple of holes in the plastic be a good idea? I can't think why it wouldn't be but maybe I should get advice from someone smarter than me (currently includes anyone 4 yrs +)

Thanks for the advice guys, the carbon I bought earlier was a good idea anyway, I'll disturb the gravel every couple of days to prevent gas build up and I'll keep doing what I'm doing otherwise.

X
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Old 06-29-2013, 04:20 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by 11bkd View Post
Looks like the mystery has been solved......I'm an idiot but I produce very clever children.

I was just doing a water change to 'take out the icky water' when my 4 year old pointed out that the old water in the bucket did not smell icky at all. Infact, the tank smelled 'earthy' when the lid was off for a wee while, not 'hot garbage' like.

Where was the smell coming from? He found some rotting food being kept nice and moist on the bulb in the lid of the tank So my problem has been random rotting ick being kept hot and moist. When we take the lid off we get a quick burst of 'ick' then nothing.

I'm waiting for the bulb to cool properly then give it a good clean and air dry till I can get out to buy a new bulb. And here was me thinking I was doing well keeping the light on for 7/8 hours a day for the plants.

I'm slightly concerned at the level of condensation in the tank hood, there's not much air getting in when the lid is shut. Would drilling a couple of holes in the plastic be a good idea? I can't think why it wouldn't be but maybe I should get advice from someone smarter than me (currently includes anyone 4 yrs +)

Thanks for the advice guys, the carbon I bought earlier was a good idea anyway, I'll disturb the gravel every couple of days to prevent gas build up and I'll keep doing what I'm doing otherwise.

X
hah, that is a funny way to get a bad tank smell

Unless your fish aren't getting enough air I wouldn't worry about modifying the lid. It is keeping a lot of moisture in and keeping the evaporation down to a minimum.

You only have to worry about gas bubbles forming when you have sand. It compacts enough to keep pockets of gas from escaping until the sand is disturbed. I have sand in all of my tanks and have never seen this happen.
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Old 06-29-2013, 04:50 PM   #12
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Just reading along...

And rofl a lot! Different (height) eyes see things differently at times!

I had some gunky food build up on the rim of the lid at the back where it opens at the hinge, before and it started to grow mold.

Also on the inside ridge of the rim where the glass meets the plastic was getting gunky build up wiped it out and gross odor gone!

Still chuckling!
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