Help! Smelly fish tank - Aquarium Forum
Aquarium Forum
Advertise
Freshwater Fish Diseases, Algae Problems, and Tank Emergencies This is a place to chat about different ailments of freshwater fish, as well as tips on how to control algae, and other topics about keeping your fish tank healthy. If you're having problems keeping your fish healthy, or the fish don't seem to be well, of you have some other type of emergency, this is the discussion board to post in. Our community of members will promptly give you guidance.

Go Back   Aquarium Forum General Freshwater Aquarium Topics Freshwater Fish Diseases, Algae Problems, and Tank Emergencies

Forgot Password?
Connect with Facebook

Welcome to the Aquarium Forum forums.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast and simple so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.
Connect with Facebook
OR

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 10-27-2010, 08:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 8
Feedback: 0 / 0%
Said "Thanks" 3 Times
Was Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Help! Smelly fish tank

Hi everyone. I need some help. I recently started up my first 50 gal. fish tank. Everything seemed to be going well until a few days ago. On Monday, the water was very foamy on top (white) and it smelled funny, not like anything in particular, but just pretty gross. That day, I ran to the pet store to talk to someone. I got the gravel cleaner pump that removes water and did a 20% water change. The woman recommended since we were changing the water to use prime, the chlorine/ammonia remover. After we did the change, the next day the house smelled like rotten eggs and there was foam on the top again. Assuming that we didn't clean it enough and the smell came back, we did another 20% water change and use prime on our new water. Well, this morning the rotten egg odor was even worse. After reading the prime bottle and doing some research, I discovered that prime smells like sulfur. However, I do not know what to do. The smell is terrible and I am afraid it is going to get worse. Will the sulfur smell eventually go away? Is there anything I can do? Also, there is some more foam on the water this morning, is this bad?

Please help!

P.S I checked all my water levels this morning and everything seems to be normal!
jt1128 is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To jt1128

Join AquariumForum.com Today - It's Free!

Are you an aquarium enthusiast? Then we hope you will join the community. You will gain access to post, create threads, private message, upload images, join groups and more.

AquariumForum.com is owned and operated by fellow lifelong aquarium enthusiasts. We strive to offer a non-commercial community to learn and share information.

Join AquariumForum.com Today! - Click Here


Sponsors

Old 10-27-2010, 08:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
jaiko1975's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 66
Name: jaiko
Location: Hollywood
Feedback: 0 / 0%
Said "Thanks" 6 Times
Was Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Talking Re: Help! Smelly fish tank

the tank is going thought a cycle. live it alone stop the water changes and it will level off in a couple of days. hope this helps..
__________________
55 g , 3 red eye ballon tetras,2 head and tail tetras, 3romy nose tetras, 1 comond pleco,1 britel nose pleco,1 cardinal tetras,1 neon tetra,1 veriatus,8 firecons, 3 panda corys,1 albino cory,1 pepper cory.


40g 1 Mayan cichilds, 55 firecons, 5 red jewels

20g 1 jelly bean parrot.




you can check out my tanks on my youtube channel below.

http://www.youtube.com/user/jaiko1975?feature=mhum
jaiko1975 is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To jaiko1975
Old 10-27-2010, 10:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
....has no life....
jrman83's Avatar
Welcome Wagon Aquarium Forum Tank Of The Month Winner
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 12,567
Name: Ben
Location: White Plains, MD
Feedback: 16 / 100%
Said "Welcome to Aquarium Forum" 5,127 Times
Said "Thanks" 745 Times
Was Thanked 4,593 Times in 3,761 Posts
Default Re: Help! Smelly fish tank

Are there fish in the tank? If so, how long have they been in there?

When you say you checked your water levels, I assume you mean ammonia, nitrite, nitrate? If you are testing, how are you doing that - through what method?
jrman83 is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To jrman83
Old 10-27-2010, 01:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
Queen Platy
NursePlaty's Avatar
Welcome Wagon
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 932
Name: Annie Pham
Location: Dallas Ft Worth, Texas
Feedback: 1 / 100%
Said "Welcome to Aquarium Forum" 266 Times
Said "Thanks" 41 Times
Was Thanked 189 Times in 182 Posts
Default Re: Help! Smelly fish tank

When I cycle my tank with fish or fishless I never have any unusual odors. I would try to find out with the problem is. Do you have driftwood that is rotten in there? Dead fish? What all do you have in your tank? Just gravel and water?
__________________
55gallon
Light - 6500K CFL, 23wattsx5 5hr/day
Substrate - Red Mexican Clay, Sphagnum Peat moss, Eco-Complete
Misc- Pressurized CO2, EI Dose KNO3, KH2PO4, CSM-B
Plants -Limnophila Aromatica, Stargrass, Dwarf Hair Grass, Christmas Moss, Baby Tears (HM), Dwarf Baby Tears(HC), Rotala Rotundifolia, Ludwigia Glandulosa, Riccia Fluitans


NursePlaty is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To NursePlaty
Old 10-27-2010, 03:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 8
Feedback: 0 / 0%
Said "Thanks" 3 Times
Was Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Help! Smelly fish tank

Hi everyone! Thanks for the replies. I have 4 fish in the tank, an oscar, two jack dempseys and a green terror. They all seem to be doing well. I test the water with the test strips. I have gravel, driftwood, and plants in there. However, last night I took the plants out. The smell has gone away some, I think it definetely was caused by the prime chlorine/ammonia remover since, when I read the bottle, it says a sulfur smell was normal, I just didn't realize it would make my whole house smell! Never using that again. The water still smells, I am not sure if it is due to the prime or if it just smells in general. There is still foam on the top of the tank, just not as much as before. Should I leave it be or do you think I should keep doing partial water changes? I am new to this so any advice would help!
jt1128 is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To jt1128
Sponsors

Old 10-27-2010, 04:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
....has no life....
jrman83's Avatar
Welcome Wagon Aquarium Forum Tank Of The Month Winner
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 12,567
Name: Ben
Location: White Plains, MD
Feedback: 16 / 100%
Said "Welcome to Aquarium Forum" 5,127 Times
Said "Thanks" 745 Times
Was Thanked 4,593 Times in 3,761 Posts
Default Re: Help! Smelly fish tank

Isn't that like one capful for that sized tank? I use prime and never smell anything from the tank. How long have your fish been in there?

Do yourself a favor and ditch the strips, they are not very accurate. Sounds like your tank is still cycling, you'll want accurate numbers with those expensive fish you have.
jrman83 is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To jrman83
Said thanks:
Old 10-27-2010, 04:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 8
Feedback: 0 / 0%
Said "Thanks" 3 Times
Was Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Help! Smelly fish tank

its 2 drops per 10 gallons, so i do 100 drops. The odor was awful. I will probably bring my water over to petsmart and get it checked. I need to get a pleco but I don't want to until my water issue is resolved. Unfortunately, some of the people there don't know what they are talking about so I don't know what else to do at this point other than water changes.
jt1128 is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To jt1128
Old 10-27-2010, 04:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
Welcome Wagon
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 685
Feedback: 0 / 0%
Said "Thanks" 96 Times
Was Thanked 93 Times in 86 Posts
Default Re: Help! Smelly fish tank

First tank.....50gal tank....home to an Oscar, 2 Jacks and a Green Terror. All young at this point I assume......

I'm getting flashbacks from my own experiences with my 'inherited' tank......I wish you LOTS of LUCK with this tank.

Aside from that, the foam is probably a sign of ammonia. I can't comment on the smell. I don't use anything to condition my tap water with before use. Keep doing partial water changes. Leave the water out for 24 hours before putting it in the tank if possible and let the tap run for about 10 minutes before filling a bucket with water. What substrate do you have? My tank with silica sand smells more then my other tanks. Oscars are messy messy eaters and the extra debris that they leave around could help account for some extra smell. They require much maintenance.
__________________
10gal fry tank planted with Wisteria, Java Moss, Anuabis and Anacharis
35gal Sponge Bob tank with live bearing tropicals (daughters tank)
15gal planted with Swords, Java Fern, Wisteria and Red Rubin housing 10 fry and 2 bladder snails
55 gal with Oscar (future planted tank with angels and flowerhorns)
55 gal Community tank (platys, mollys, guppys, glass catfish, angels, phantom tetra, red eye tetra and swordtails)

Amie is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To Amie
Said thanks:
Old 10-27-2010, 04:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 8
Feedback: 0 / 0%
Said "Thanks" 3 Times
Was Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Help! Smelly fish tank

Thanks Amie. I have learned that Oscars are mess, along with the others. When I was cleaning it the other day I found a lot of food int he back of the tank. I cleaned that, but there is still food/waste floating around. Since I only do partial water changes, it's hard to get everything out. When I test ammonia, it says 0, but like others are saying, that could be due to the test strips. What can I do to get rid of ammonia?
jt1128 is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To jt1128
Old 10-27-2010, 06:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
....has no life....
jrman83's Avatar
Welcome Wagon Aquarium Forum Tank Of The Month Winner
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 12,567
Name: Ben
Location: White Plains, MD
Feedback: 16 / 100%
Said "Welcome to Aquarium Forum" 5,127 Times
Said "Thanks" 745 Times
Was Thanked 4,593 Times in 3,761 Posts
Default Re: Help! Smelly fish tank

Forego the pleco for now and try to pick up an API master test kit. It has ph, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate test kits inside. Most people never need anything more than that.

I'd be doing 25-30% water changes everyday until that smell went away. If you think it is the Prime, get a bottle of Aquasafe.
jrman83 is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To jrman83
Old 10-27-2010, 06:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 45
Name: Cole
Location: Colorado
Feedback: 0 / 0%
Said "Thanks" 3 Times
Was Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Default Re: Help! Smelly fish tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by jt1128 View Post
its 2 drops per 10 gallons, so i do 100 drops.
At 2 drops per 10 gallons, you should only be adding 10 drops if treating the entire tank (My bottle says 2 drops per 1 gallon, maybe you mistyped). A 30% water change is 15 gallons so, using 2 drops per gallon, you should be adding 30 drops per 30% water change. You don't need to treat the entire tank each time, only the new water.

I don't use Prime in my 80 gallon tank. But, in my 6.6 gallon, I've never noticed any smell.

I think most of the problem is overfeeding of your fish in addition to being a new tank. I would do a 50% water change and then not feed for a few days.

Regarding the ammonia:
This thread has some good info for those new to aquariums.

Last edited by Cole : 10-27-2010 at 06:35 PM.
Cole is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To Cole
Said thanks:
Old 10-27-2010, 06:46 PM   #12 (permalink)
Queen Platy
NursePlaty's Avatar
Welcome Wagon
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 932
Name: Annie Pham
Location: Dallas Ft Worth, Texas
Feedback: 1 / 100%
Said "Welcome to Aquarium Forum" 266 Times
Said "Thanks" 41 Times
Was Thanked 189 Times in 182 Posts
Default Re: Help! Smelly fish tank

I use prime all the time and the smell was never that bad. Maybe when I open the bottle, but when I close it the smell is gone. There is no lingering smell. I dont believe its the plants, even dead plants dont stink. I think it is something else.
__________________
55gallon
Light - 6500K CFL, 23wattsx5 5hr/day
Substrate - Red Mexican Clay, Sphagnum Peat moss, Eco-Complete
Misc- Pressurized CO2, EI Dose KNO3, KH2PO4, CSM-B
Plants -Limnophila Aromatica, Stargrass, Dwarf Hair Grass, Christmas Moss, Baby Tears (HM), Dwarf Baby Tears(HC), Rotala Rotundifolia, Ludwigia Glandulosa, Riccia Fluitans


NursePlaty is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To NursePlaty
Old 10-27-2010, 06:51 PM   #13 (permalink)
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 8
Feedback: 0 / 0%
Said "Thanks" 3 Times
Was Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Help! Smelly fish tank

Sorry, meant 2 drops per gallon! not per 10 gallons. Anyway, I don't know why it smelt so bad but the rotten egg smell didn't happen until the day after I used the drops. Who knows, but the smell is gone now. Still a little foamy, the water does smell a little but not like rotten eggs (Thank god!)
jt1128 is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To jt1128
Old 10-27-2010, 06:55 PM   #14 (permalink)
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 8
Feedback: 0 / 0%
Said "Thanks" 3 Times
Was Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Help! Smelly fish tank

that thread was very helpful cole, thanks!
jt1128 is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To jt1128
Old 10-30-2010, 06:56 AM   #15 (permalink)
Welcome Wagon
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 2,858
Feedback: 0 / 0%
Said "Welcome to Aquarium Forum" 3,078 Times
Said "Thanks" 479 Times
Was Thanked 744 Times in 679 Posts
Default Re: Help! Smelly fish tank

Left over food is really bad news in a tank. It sounds like you have been feeding way too much, or the fish don't like some of the food you have been giving them. I think some one mentioned, but I'd stop feeding for a couple of days as well as doing water changes.

I think you can use prime safely in future without having to worry about the smell, it has some smell but once you put it in the water it is faint at most (when you put your nose close and sniff it). Don't ever use water straight from the tap. A dechlorinator like prime is the safest but if you don't use one leave the water to sit for at least 24hrs before use.
snail is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To snail
Old 10-30-2010, 08:26 AM   #16 (permalink)
Welcome Wagon
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 685
Feedback: 0 / 0%
Said "Thanks" 96 Times
Was Thanked 93 Times in 86 Posts
Default Re: Help! Smelly fish tank

It is probably not that they don't like the food. They are messy period. I feed my Oscar 1 pellet at a time. He eats that one (minus the half that he spits back out) and I feed hi another one. I won't feed him more then 3 or 4 due to the waste and then come back maybe an hour or so later and clean it with the gravel cleaner. He doesn't like the cleaner so I give him a little time to digest first. I also don't feed him everyday either. When I skip a day I do feed him more but still one at a time.

The general consensus is that a full grown Oscar requires a 55gal all by himself. I purchased a 55gal that came with some full grown fish in it: an Oscar, a Black Shark, Pleco, Tinfoil Barb and a Convict. In the matter of about 3 weeks or less all the rest died and the Oscar has hole in the head disease from his poor conditions. He is doing better now but after what I tried to do to keep them and all the problems I won't put anything else in with this Oscar. I think they are right and at that size there is really only room for 1 fish especially one that is that messy.
__________________
10gal fry tank planted with Wisteria, Java Moss, Anuabis and Anacharis
35gal Sponge Bob tank with live bearing tropicals (daughters tank)
15gal planted with Swords, Java Fern, Wisteria and Red Rubin housing 10 fry and 2 bladder snails
55 gal with Oscar (future planted tank with angels and flowerhorns)
55 gal Community tank (platys, mollys, guppys, glass catfish, angels, phantom tetra, red eye tetra and swordtails)

Amie is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To Amie

Join AquariumForum.com Today - It's Free!

Are you an aquarium enthusiast? Then we hope you will join the community. You will gain access to post, create threads, private message, upload images, join groups and more.

AquariumForum.com is owned and operated by fellow lifelong aquarium enthusiasts. We strive to offer a non-commercial community to learn and share information.

Join AquariumForum.com Today! - Click Here


Sponsors

Old 03-14-2011, 07:08 AM   #17 (permalink)
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3
Feedback: 0 / 0%
Said "Thanks" 0 Times
Was Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Help! Smelly fish tank

is there a solution or something that one can mix with the fish and fish tanks water to prevent it from getting smelly? how many times in a week should one clean a tank? i just have to mention, i have hermit crabs in it.

Last edited by archdunk : 03-14-2011 at 09:49 AM.
archdunk is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To archdunk
Old 03-14-2011, 12:19 PM   #18 (permalink)
ADV TankSeperationAnxity
mec102778's Avatar
Welcome Wagon
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,442
Name: Mike
Location: Lorton, VA
Feedback: 0 / 0%
Said "Welcome to Aquarium Forum" 536 Times
Said "Thanks" 246 Times
Was Thanked 304 Times in 286 Posts
Send a message via Yahoo to mec102778
Default Re: Help! Smelly fish tank

I believe is't the active carbon in your filter that helps to eliminate the smell. Other than that change the water more frequently. My 30G seems to gather more alge and carries a slight smell that you don't even notice until you open the lid.
mec102778 is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To mec102778
Old 03-15-2011, 02:44 PM   #19 (permalink)
What do fish think about?
Gizmo's Avatar
Welcome Wagon
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 3,364
Name: Guy Miller
Location: East Bremerton, Washington
Feedback: 8 / 100%
Said "Welcome to Aquarium Forum" 395 Times
Said "Thanks" 711 Times
Was Thanked 1,236 Times in 1,041 Posts
Send a message via Yahoo to Gizmo
Default Re: Help! Smelly fish tank

This is probably a moot point and blatantly obvious to most people here, but activated carbon inserts in a filter are specifically designed to filter out odor-causing particulates in the water. You could double the carbon in your filter (if possible), or fabricate your own carbon inserts using media bags and raw carbon allowing you to "overload" them, so to speak.

And in the absence of using Prime, I really hope you are using some other sort of dechlorinator, elsewise you might be poisoning your fish with chlorine from the tap.
__________________
ClearForLife 10G Acrylic, 6 HET rasboras, ~80 RCS, 3 otos, various snails. Ludwigia repens, various moss. AC50, 50W heater, 5# pressurized CO2 w/RedSea 500 in-tank reactor, Finnex FugeRay Planted+ 17W LED.

"Give me your penchant and I shall grant you deliverance." - Falcor
Gizmo is offline   Reply With Quote Send A Private Message To Gizmo
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:05 AM.



Fish Topsites
Follow us on Twitter!
Alltop, confirmation that we kick ass

All content Copyright AquariumForum.com & the respective author. All Rights Reserved.
Disclaimer: We are not responsible for the content of any post or thread. This is a public forum and the content posted does not reflect the opinions of nor are endorsed by AquariumForum.com nor any of our employees.