gas bubbles coming from soil? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 04:35 AM Thread Starter
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gas bubbles coming from soil?

Hi,

i have a 10 gallon with 1 1/2 inch of organic miracle gro with clay in it and 1 1/2 inch of eco complete to cap.

I read that if the air bubbles smell like rotten egg it is bad and unfortunately mine does. How do i fix this problem?

water temperature 77.9
i have a diy paintball system with a ceramic diffuser
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 04:53 AM
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Get a chopstick or something similar and poke at the substrate, unfortunatly you are going to make a mess with all that miracle grow escaping but thats the joys of a dirted tank :-)

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 05:31 AM
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Mmm....hydrogen sulfide! Poisonous to plant roots if it remains in contact with them for any longer than a few days. It will kill the roots, turning them black and rotten.

If you have a lot of soil in there (greater than 3") you may want to remove some. Extra soil tends to trap this gas and "hold" it in the substrate. Removal of some of the soil would help some. Still, the issue is that you soil isn't getting enough oxygenation for the water. Chop sticks or skewers can help get rid of the gas pockets (as suggested by stevenjohn), or you can use your hands to move the substrate in large areas at a time. I found this to be a more efficient way to remove the gas bubbles. Kind of gently move the substrate en mass, and it should help dislodge gas pockets over a larger area.

This will continue until your organic matter finishes decomposing. Time will take care of the root cause of the issue. Usually means that you will be moving the soil for about a month or so. Over time, you will want to do this every few months to prevent compaction, which can trap organic matter in the substrate and cause sulfide gas build up even in mature systems.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 04:18 PM
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I would not panic based on the replies your thread has received.

You don't have 3" of soil (yes I read the opening post). 1.5" soil layer, 1.5" cap.
Bubbles are completely normal. Minor amounts of hydrogen sulfide being generated early on are also normal. Simply watch for any mounding of the substrate which would warn of a large pocket forming. I had it happen and erupt through the cap spewing soil all over,,, sadly everything lived and the tank cleaned up with a cap repair and a touch of vacuuming with the water change. Poke around from time to time and yes a few stems will have burnt roots but again it's not earth ending and generally passes with a little time. 99% of the bubbles after the first week are CO2 generated by the bacteria chewing through the organic content. This should last about 10-12 months if you are lucky because my plants grow the best while it's happening.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 04:29 PM
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gas bubbles coming from soil?

To much soil is bad!!! I easily have 2-3" in my edge and see random bubbles coming up once in a while. Should I be draining and poking the soil for a bit? Is this actually a risk to kill fish/shrimp?


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by shift View Post
To much soil is bad!!! I easily have 2-3" in my edge and see random bubbles coming up once in a while. Should I be draining and poking the soil for a bit? Is this actually a risk to kill fish/shrimp?
(Answered in the other thread too.)
hydrogen sulfide risks are 99.99% myth.
Anaerobic pockets releasing bubbles of hydrogen sulfide that kill all your critters is a crazy concern except for the rare case that I've only heard about but never seen documented.

Read if you like the link below to a great write up on deep sand beds.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume...e_7_1/dsb.html
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 07:41 PM
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I actually had a dead shrimp in my tank yesterday which started to freak me out after reading this


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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 08:02 PM
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Great article, looks like sand not is just a dead substrate.

Do plants grow good in sand compared to other substrates? Any experienced?

Jnad

Quote:
Originally Posted by wkndracer View Post
(Answered in the other thread too.)
hydrogen sulfide risks are 99.99% myth.
Anaerobic pockets releasing bubbles of hydrogen sulfide that kill all your critters is a crazy concern except for the rare case that I've only heard about but never seen documented.

Read if you like the link below to a great write up on deep sand beds.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume...e_7_1/dsb.html
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jnad View Post
Great article, looks like sand not is just a dead substrate.

Do plants grow good in sand compared to other substrates? Any experienced?

Jnad
Here's a few more links on that topic.
My favorite tanking method is high organic content potting mixes capped with a number of different materials. Everything tried to date has worked great.
http://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/aq...-sand-bed.html
http://www.aquaworldaquarium.com/Art...ent_killer.htm
http://www.aquariacentral.com/forums...Sand-Beds-Work
you just don't stir up that deep substrate


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 05:41 AM
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So i found another dead shrimp..

I pulled out all my pumpkins and transfered them to a different tank, poked the soil like crazy and compressed it to let out a ton of gas and did a 50% water change to hopefully tone down anything that "may" have been there for sake of the fish.


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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-21-2020, 10:02 PM
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Have you experienced a ton of white slime fungus stuff growing over everything? I have a ton in my dirted tank (that bubbles a lot).
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