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Water Quality and Algae Questions and comments about water quality.

 
 
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  #1  
Old ,
bluuge bluuge is offline
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Exclamation Help! =\

Ey guys my name is Brian and I'm pretty new to this whole hobby and I have to say... it's pretty amusing watching my firemouth and blood parrot intimidate each other....

but anyway... I'm having a problem... my tank smells realllly bad... so bad that my mom thinks it's bad for my health... but what do moms know... I have a 50-55 gallon tank with a firemouth, midas, green terror, needlenose gar, tiger oscar, and blood parrot cichlids... 3 or 4 live plants and some driftwood... I feed them twice a day with an assortment of sinking pellets and every 3-4 days I go to petsmart and feed them 30 rosy red minows.

I can't figure out what the heck this smell is... I do weekly water changes (15%-30%) as well as vacuum the gravel... I think it's a filter issue (Crappy Top Fin 60 power filter)

there are some dead plant leaves that need to be trimmed....

someone help !
  #2  
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Sharon Sharon is offline
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Default Re: Help! =\

Welcome Brian!!! Well, a healthy aquarium should NEVER smell bad. Have you tested the water for Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrates. I'd need the readings to make suggestions. If you're fish are fully grown, the tank is overstocked, so that will contribute to the problem. I feed once a day, so maybe you could reduce the feeding for now, until the problem is sorted. The filter is not the best you could have for that tank, as you have some fish that are going to be quite BIG!!! A 55 gal tank is really suitable for an Oscar alone, as they are very messy. Let's start with the readings...if you don't have your own kit, maybe your LFS could do it for you. You really need a test kit...The liquid test kit is better than the strips.
BTW...Speaking as a Mom, we know LOTS!!!
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5 gal... Robin, (Betta)
5 gal...Pete, (Betta)
5 gal...Scotty(Betta)
10 gal...Female Betta Sororiety
10 gal... Neons, Glolights and Cardinals, 1 Oto
10 gal... Ram Pair
29 gal... Mbuna Tank
29 gal... Krib Pair, Tiger Barbs, Tetras, 2 Otos
55 gal...5 Australian Rainbows, 1 Angel Fish, 1 Blue Gourami, 6 Congo Tetras, 1 Leopard Ctenopoma, 1 Clown Pleco, 1 UpsideDown Catfish,5 Otos, 1 Bronze Cory, 2 Peppered Cories,2 Panda Cories
  #3  
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bluuge bluuge is offline
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Default Re: Help! =\

thanks for the welcome sharon...

ok I'll get those for you... hopefully tonight...
  #4  
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Default Re: Help! =\

A faint fishy or musty smell is normal for an aged aquarium. A strong odor is an indication that there is decay in the tank. Too many big fish and over feeding produces excess waste material that rots. Do not feed for several days. Change 10 to 15% of the water every other day while thoroughly vacuuming the gravel down deep. Rinse the filter material with old water every time you do a water change. Get out any dead plant material. Look at the driftwood closely for rot and smell it for a rotted odor. Something may have gotten in a crack or crevasse and is decaying.
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  #5  
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bluuge bluuge is offline
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Default Re: Help! =\

ok... I work at a pool store and got my hands on a test kit... ph and alkalinity are very low... like 6 ph 20 alkalinity... pretty acidic.
  #6  
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Default Re: Help! =\

We would need the readings for Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates to tell if something's up with the water quality. A tank should have a "sweet, earthy" smell if everything is healthy...If you can smell the tank by walking into the room, something's wrong....water changes are in order, as Dan says. I'd go a step further, and do 20% changes every day, and vac substrate. What have you been doing in regard to water changes? How often and how much?
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Sharon

5 gal... Robin, (Betta)
5 gal...Pete, (Betta)
5 gal...Scotty(Betta)
10 gal...Female Betta Sororiety
10 gal... Neons, Glolights and Cardinals, 1 Oto
10 gal... Ram Pair
29 gal... Mbuna Tank
29 gal... Krib Pair, Tiger Barbs, Tetras, 2 Otos
55 gal...5 Australian Rainbows, 1 Angel Fish, 1 Blue Gourami, 6 Congo Tetras, 1 Leopard Ctenopoma, 1 Clown Pleco, 1 UpsideDown Catfish,5 Otos, 1 Bronze Cory, 2 Peppered Cories,2 Panda Cories
  #7  
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bluuge bluuge is offline
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Default Re: Help! =\

aha I wouldn't say it smells "earthy"... more like take an oxygen mask at the door... I do weekly water changes.. about 30%-40%...
  #8  
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D.Gray D.Gray is offline
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Default Re: Help! =\

I would think that 30 - 40% water changes weekly would mess up the cycle in the tank. I do 10-15% changes weekly and the water I refill with is filtered to remove a lot of chemicals and bacteria.

If I get a smell out of my tanks I clean the filter media on my power filters and go to once a day feeding or once every other day until the smell goes away. Usually the smell is rotting vegitable and animal matter on the filter (at least this has been my experience when some black worms I was feeding got sucked up by the filter and decomposed on the filter media on an off the back power filter).

I would change less water per week than what you currently do, rinse your filter media if you can and maybe not feed as much. Also I added some live plants and that helped cut the smell as the plants will absorb many of the nutrients from the food waste (uneaten food).

Hope this helps,
Dave
  #9  
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Default Re: Help! =\

I would reccomend that you continue the 30-40 percent changes. You've got an overstocked tank...How big are those fish, right now? We definitely need the readings I asked for. They will indicate if enough water is being changed. It would be a good idea to rinse the media in dechlorinated water. I have eight tanks, with five in a small room. There IS no smell, and there should not be. Something is wrong, here...

BTW...you are going to have to rehome some of those fish....
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Sharon

5 gal... Robin, (Betta)
5 gal...Pete, (Betta)
5 gal...Scotty(Betta)
10 gal...Female Betta Sororiety
10 gal... Neons, Glolights and Cardinals, 1 Oto
10 gal... Ram Pair
29 gal... Mbuna Tank
29 gal... Krib Pair, Tiger Barbs, Tetras, 2 Otos
55 gal...5 Australian Rainbows, 1 Angel Fish, 1 Blue Gourami, 6 Congo Tetras, 1 Leopard Ctenopoma, 1 Clown Pleco, 1 UpsideDown Catfish,5 Otos, 1 Bronze Cory, 2 Peppered Cories,2 Panda Cories
  #10  
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bluuge bluuge is offline
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Default Re: Help! =\

ok... I'm taking a sample to my LFS right now...

which one should I rehome that would be the most effective?

sorry if I'm asking too many questions
 


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