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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
 

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You need to wash all of your gravel, wash all of your decorations, wash out your filter canister, & add a new charcoal bag to your filter.

Do daily 50% water changes & watch your ammonia levels closely until the tank cycles.
 

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What you are describing is typical of tanks and equipment that have sat for a long time. You're in a sense "cooking off" all the stuffs that have gathered while being stored away. Even though you have rinsed and changed water, etc. The cloudiness is being attributed to the tank trying to cycle.

Definately add some fresh carbon to the filter if you haven't done so as yet. This will help with the contaminates that are causing the odor.

Kill your water changes and the cleaning of the filter as you're not cycled at this point. The large water changes and extra cleaning are only stalling it out.

I personally don't use "starting agents" to cycle so I can't really comment on it being effective. Do however, continue to monitor that ammonia level, when it starts to rise, then start on a regular wc routine through the cycle.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
yesterday I took out all the gravel and washed it with muratic acid, washed all the other larges stones with muratic acid. then after that I soaked all the gravel and large rocks in my laundry tub for 4 hours with the water running. I re-assembled my tank last night. Right now (24 hours later) my tank seems to be in great shape.

My fish are still hanging in there and the smell is gone. I replaced my charcoal and filter pads. Finally I may get my tank to cycle. Thanks for the help!!:):)

David
 

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In the future, I'd recommend fishless cycling (just ammonia) so you're not putting your fish through all that. It works very well IMO. Glad things are back on track
 
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