Tank crash? Sulphur smell and brown diatoms - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-08-2014, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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Tank crash? Sulphur smell and brown diatoms

Eeeek! I came back from two weeks away to find my 35 gallon tank at my office overrun with brown diatoms and stinking of sulfur. My coworker charged with feeding the fish says the filter stopped running over the last week. Except for typical algae blooms as things got settled out, I've never had trouble with this tank. Fish (harlequin rasboras, a few sorta valuable guppies, a pearl gourami, and a mated pair of plecos) are still alive and look OK, all things considered. I've done two 12-15 gallon water changes in the last two days, and am vacuuming and stirring up the substrate (Eco complete 3-5" deep). Should I just keep that up for awhile? If substrate went anaerobic, do I need to do anything other than vacuum and stir? I have malaysian trumpet snails in another tank and could add some to keep thing aerated. I have ordered a new power filter and until it arrives I have set up two spare power filters, a 30g and a 20g, and an air stone to keep things moving. Thanks!

37 gallon community; 10 gallon S-SS CRS; 2x10 gallon guppies; Specialties: Japan blue guppies (wild type), Ginga sulfureus guppies, Blond platinum LS guppies with purple mutation.
Non-aquatics: Off-track thoroughbred racehorse; 2 Maine Coon-type cats; 2 fluffy house rabbits; 60 orchid plants.


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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-08-2014, 07:12 PM
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If the fish are still alive, then I think the amount of anaerobic bacteria is not too bad, so continue the cleaning.
Dig into the substrate where you can without disturbing plant roots. Plants add oxygen to the substrate, so those areas are probably OK anyway.

Monitor the nitrogen cycle. The bacteria that turn ammonia into nitrite then nitrate need a LOT of oxygen, so if there was less water circulation, especially through the filter, a significant amount of the bacteria may have died off.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you, Diana, for the moral support! Off to go change another 15 gallons of water and do some vacuuming. Gah!
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