Tank ODOR!!!!

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Phillipw311 created the topic: Tank ODOR!!!!

Hello all! I have a quick question that's driving me crazy. I guess this topic qualifies for the category I placed it in. I have a single juvenile Oscar in a 55 gallon tank by himself. Here recently it's started to STINK!!!! Its stout too... I can smell in the second I step into the room... I really need to fix it because I spend 90% of my time at home in this room. I know this sounds like a carbon filter issue but I have verified that it is not... I have a traditional HOB filter and a Fluval 306 canister filter and I swapped and replaced the old carbon filters with brand new carbon filters in both. The canister has 2 and the HOB has one. I waited 3 days and it STILL smells. I have tried water changes but it only dilutes it some for about 3 hours then it smells strong again... I don't really know how to describe the odor. It's not because the ammonia is up or anything to do with water conditions. I have the API master kit and checked it again today prior to this thread. Ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite all remain at 0ppm. Which is great, but it makes finding the stench hard... I don't know how to resolve it obviously... Haha any suggestions...? Anything would be worth a shot at this point. He's a baby (3") and I've only fed him pellets so far. But the fresh carbon filters have yet to neutralize it. The best way I could explain the smell is this. Have you ever let a HOB filter stay in there longer than it should and you know you need to replace it but for whatever reason keep putting it off?? Have you ever smelled one that's been in there for say 4-6 weeks?? It's usually RANK!!! That's the odor that's in my entire room.... It's a fairly good sized room but its stout in here... I am open to any and all thoughts. Somebody bounce some ideas off of me please!!!!! Its like a really sour, almost dead and rotted fishy smell if that makes any sense. That's about as well as I can explain it.
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OFL replied the topic: Tank ODOR!!!!

AYou haven't got a cat have you? If so, check it's not brought a mouse in that has died somewhere Near the tank.

Smelly fish tanks can often indicate that there is a filtration problem, bacteria stinks when it has died, But you say that you're reading this checkout okay? Mind you, a nitrates reading of zero is suspicious to me. If I was you, I would do another test, just make sure that you follow the instructions, especially shaking the vile for 1 min and no less. You've only got one fish you say, so we can rule out a dead fish that is in the tank rotting away.

What about food, what you feed your fish? Make sure nothing has got trapped somewhere that could be causing the smell.

I would suggest that you remove the carbon altogether, carbon filtration is not necessary. If you are experiencing smelly water then obviously ruling things out one by one as a good idea, start off with the carbon filtration.

See what other people say. However, when I had a similar problem when I was first into fish I had bought myself a new canister filter to put on the aquarium. I got the canister filter running on the tank, and switched the internal filtration off. In the morning, the tank accidentally stunk. So Like I've already said, all the bacteria died and caused a real stinker. What sort of mechanical filtration are using, you haven't changed this have you?

I may not always be right, but I am always the BOSS :-)
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robham7770 replied the topic: Tank ODOR!!!!

Zero readings across the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate spectrum lead me to believe that you are not performing the test correctly, or you have a bad test kit. I have a couple of tanks, and I do not use carbon in any of them. I never smell anything from them, With the wc you are doing, maybe the smell is coming from the tap water. Are you on a well or a municipal system?
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ernie replied the topic: Re:Tank ODOR!!!!

Other than carbon what else have you got in your filters. Also not using carbon in any of my filters. Possibly could be excess food rotting in tank, how often do you gravel vac? Maybe do nitrate test again should have a reading.
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Phillipw311 replied the topic: Re:Tank ODOR!!!!

Alright here we go guys! Thanks for all of the replies! First off, no I do not have cats. Not in the house at least!!! As far as my readings go, I just now retested. I don't know how precise they are since I did a 40% water change 24 hours ago, but nonetheless, here's what I got. pH-7.0, Ammonia-0.25ppm, nitrite-DEAD on 0ppm for sure, Nitrate-also dead on 0ppm. I have sand in the tank so It's really not that difficult to vacuum since all debris stays on the surface. I usually try to do 2 changes a week. I usually shoot for Tuesday or Wednesday and then Friday or Saturday depending on the day I changed it previously. As in if I do Tuesday my next water change date is Friday. if I do Wednesday my next change will fall on Saturday. That's how I prefer to do it. Since he's literally 3" long I try to not change too much of the water at once. No more than 50%. I know more work will come with age and size. As far as canister filtration goes I have not altered or replaced anything in it except for carbon. And I cleaned off all other filtration and serviced it at the one month marker when I replaced the carbon. I have only had my canister running for 6 weeks. 2 of which no fish were in it and I was cycling. It has obviously since then cycled. The Fluval 306 Canister contains Biomax, a water polishing pad, carbon, and bio-foam. But again, it smelled prior to me cracking it open and servicing it. That was the whole reason I replaced the carbon in the first place. I cant believe all of you guys don't use carbon!! It's always been my understanding that it helps to neutralize odors. And both the HOB filter and canister included carbon so I just replace it as the owner's manual recommends. As far as my tap water quality goes, I am actually located in Memphis, TN. I don't know If you guys keep up with tap water qualities, but as far as I know Memphis has one of the highest quality tap waters in the United States. So, I don't believe my tap water is the culprit of the odor. Thanks again for inputting guys!
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Phillipw311 replied the topic: Re:Tank ODOR!!!!

I know everybody will probably have different opinions on this topic, but as far as tank cycling I am a believer in API Quick Start. So I just artificially cycled it and simply waited about 14 days with all filters and heater running to add my little guy. I waited till the white hazy bacteria bloom settled. As soon as I could see the other side of the tank and my water test met my acceptance, I added my little O.
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Phillipw311 replied the topic: Re:Tank ODOR!!!!

Also, if this will help you guys diagnose my issue, I've noticed a white hairy slime on my driftwood and on my clear air lines. I haven't messed with it as I figured it was natural and I wouldn't want to kill and agitate it. I do however scrub my inner walls with a magnetic pad once a week. My driftwood was staining the water yellow, but the tannins have recently quit leeching so much so that isn't really taking place anymore. Maybe still a very faint yellow tint but it's nothing compared to what it was. That's about the only things I know to say that may help. You now know my water conditions and specific details that may be the culprit. I am not sure that's why I am here. Ha! Let me know what you guys can brainstorm up please!
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robham7770 replied the topic: Re:Tank ODOR!!!!

Phillipw311 wrote: Also, if this will help you guys diagnose my issue, I've noticed a white hairy slime on my driftwood and on my clear air lines. I haven't messed with it as I figured it was natural and I wouldn't want to kill and agitate it. I do however scrub my inner walls with a magnetic pad once a week. My driftwood was staining the water yellow, but the tannins have recently quit leeching so much so that isn't really taking place anymore. Maybe still a very faint yellow tint but it's nothing compared to what it was. That's about the only things I know to say that may help. You now know my water conditions and specific details that may be the culprit. I am not sure that's why I am here. Ha! Let me know what you guys can brainstorm up please!

Ammonia reading of .25means the tank is not fully cycled, Keep up with the wc, and don't worry about the driftwood. If you don't like the tannins leaking into the tank, then you can remove it. it is normal for it to discolor the water, and also grow some "stuff"on it. With the set up you have, and the wc you are doing, I really don't know why the tank has an odor.If the supply is not the problem, then I don't know what is.
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Phillipw311 replied the topic: Re:Tank ODOR!!!!

Okay thanks a lot!!! I think the ammonia is still 0.25. It's really hard for me to tell. the 0 and 0.25 colors are very close. In fluorescent lighting it looks like 0 but under halogens it looks more like 0.25 so I honestly don't know what the best lighting is to do my water checks under. I know to hold it to the white backing on the card but that's about it.... If it truly is 0.25 what can I do to speed up the cycle??
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DRACO replied the topic: Re:Tank ODOR!!!!

ok... let me join the brainstorming...

is your room well ventilated? what is the temp of the room as against tank temp?
having ammonia but no nitrate means your filter is not working yet...
having those filters, your tank should be zero ammonia with a reading of
nitrate if you have colonies of good bacteria in the filter....

room colder than the tank, tank water will evaporate and spread the odor
in a colder room unless your room is well ventilated..

same is true when room is warmer than the tank water, the smell of the
tank will spread out and fill the room.
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