Stinky water from dead mouse - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-08-2019, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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Stinky water from dead mouse

Okay, so I bought a 40g breeder tank a few years ago and stashed it in the garage to use at a later date. The other day I finally got around to using it so I could combine a few of my small tanks into one. There was a dead mouse in the tank, been there a while. It was a skeleton and other.. grossness. I scrubbed the crap out of the tank with white vinegar and rinsed repeatedly with hot water thinking that was more than enough.

Tank has been set up a couple days now, using my filters/hardscape/substrate from one of my other tanks and last night I discovered the tank smells like a dead animal, not overbearing, but I can smell it coming from the filter. I have shrimp and snails in the tank and they seem to be doing fine. Berried females haven't dropped eggs and I haven't seen any dead shrimp. Haven't seen sheds either though. I've done tests and ammonia tests come up negative. Might be a tiny bit of nitrates, there's a lot of plants and already cycled double sponge and HOB filter.

Do you guys think this smell is something that I have to worry about? I want to believe that it will fade after a few water changes, one which I've done already, but I'm still worried. I need to get my fish in here, but afraid to. I'm running carbon right now and I'm thinking maybe I'd try some purigen over the weekend. What do you think? Will the smell just turn to ammonia/nitrates? Could it hurt my fish? Thanks.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-08-2019, 05:13 PM
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I would think a vigorous scrubbing would remove all traces of a long decomposed mouse. Was there any trace of it left? Could there be dead snails? In any case I would up the water changes and perhaps go with a large quantity of activated carbon for your filter. Purigen is great, but in this case I believe I would use lots of the less-expensive more aggressive product and replace it every week until things get under control.

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-08-2019, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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There was no trace of anything when I was done cleaning the tank. Just shiny glass and silicone. I'm surprised by this smell, but it smells exactly like the tank did before I cleaned it. Dead animal. It sucks. I really can't imagine it hurting my fish, but still. I'll just use carbon, I have plenty of it laying around. How often should I change the carbon? I have a bigger cycled hob filter on the tank with fish that might speed up the process but that means I'd have to move the fish to the stinky tank to use that filter. My GF wants to get them moved this weekend. Trying to minimize here to regain some space in this apartment, lol.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-08-2019, 07:13 PM
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That sucks! The smell of dead mouse is atrocious. I doubt it'd hurt your animals at all. My guess is the smell/fluids got into the silicone. Good luck!
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-08-2019, 07:25 PM
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If there is a noticeable odor, there must be decay. As in currently. I'm of the thought that this is no residual dead mouse. If there was nothing left, there was nothing left to rot. Any chance it's coming from outside of the aquarium?

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-08-2019, 07:30 PM
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Anything stuck under the rim?

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-08-2019, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Nothing stuck under the rim that I noticed. It's definitely coming from the water because when I siphon it out and dump it in the sink it smells awful. Hopefully carbon will clear it up. I'll double check rim when I get home but my bet is it is in the silicone. It was touching it where it laid.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-08-2019, 09:56 PM
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Stinky water from dead mouse

Add some carbon/Purigen to your filter and the odor should disappear in 24 hours. Its a simple and easy fix.

JM2C

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-13-2019, 12:31 AM
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One time I left my filter off for a couple days between making my new tank/scape. Well, I forgot the water was still in the filter and line.

The smell coming from the filter when opened a few days later was one of the most disgusting smells ever. Like disgusting swamp sludge x10 mixed with sulfer.

I have no happy ending. I scrubbed and soaked with soap, peroxide and bleach on separate occasions s on the innards of the filter (plastic pieces etc). The smell never went away, just reduced to a slightly gross tinge. The plastic seemed to have absorbed whatever was produced in those few short days. There were small cavities on the filter top that stuck extra bad.

On my final cleaning attempt a month or so later I accidentally fried the motor and had to get a new one. No more smell now, heh.
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