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Discussion Starter #1
Hello I am new to this site and see a lot of useful information. I have had my tank set up in the past, and then packed it up and let it sit for the last three years. So I am not really new to having an aquarium. I am setting it back up again and seem to have a problem

I have a 50 gallon freshwater tank, fluval 305 filter, heater, and undergravel filter. I set the tank up added Start Right. Let it sit for a 3 days, everything looked good so I added a couple ( 3 small) tiger barbs to get the tank to cycle. Looking good.

I added a couple large pieces of shale to the tank, the next day my water was really cloudy and the stink was terriable. I removed the shale ( I think that was the problem) when I pulled it out it was slimey and almost like made of clay (explains the muddy looking tank and smell). I changed about 75% of my water, cleaned my filter, looked OK, the next morning very cloudy and stinks really bad. So I then changed 75% of my water removed the plastic weeds and the rest of the other rocks (which I used in the past with no problems I think they are granite and slate) I also cleaned my filter again the pads were very brown and have a very bad smell. Today I again did a very large water change, cleaned my filter, and removed and washed about half of my gravel, refilled my tank and it seems to already have a bad odor after only a couple of hours.

This tank has only been set up for less than 2 weeks, I cant seem to get the bad smell to stay away.

My poor starter fish are still hanging in there, and I am sure my filter is working.

Sorry about the long post, but I wanted to give all the information for some intellegent help!!

Thanks David*H2
 

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I would do a complete restart of the tank given that you only have 3 fish and the tank isn't cycled anyways. Wash all your rocks, gravels, plants, and filter well.

Do you know where the various rocks came from? If the shale was a clay material it could have contained a lot of organic material and all that gunk could have lowered the oxygen in the tank (especially on the gravel) and maybe you had some toxic gases building up in the gravel. Sift the gravel with a stick and see if you get any bubbles.

Were you fish breathing funny or acting weird durin all this?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I drained the whole tank yesterday, washed all of the gravel and refilled last night. It has now been 24 hours and the tank looks great and the smell is gone.

I got the shale from a job site in PA. I thought it would look great in my tank, it must have been loaded with organics. What a pain in the [email protected]#. It was certainly clay based (didn't realize it at the time) looked very pretty.

Now finally I can cycle my tank, the fish are doing great, I hope they hang in there.

Thanks for the help!
 

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Clay based explains the cloudy. Dont know where the stink came from. Maybe something organic under the gravel decomposing and rotting.
 

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Welcome to the site! Glad to see your probelm was solved!
 
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