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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-01-2020, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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Water testing

I've been noticing a strong odor upon walking into my home, especially after I've been gone for a few days. It is not a pleasant odor and sometimes makes me a bit nauseous. I suspect it may be coming from my 60 gallon planted tank. It has a sand substrate which is about 2-1/2" to 3" deep and a few valisneria plants, which aren't doing so great despite my efforts. Most of the foliage looks healthy, but a few leaves are brown. I trim them periodically though, so I don't think the plants are the issue. Filtration is adequate (Aqueon Quietflow 300 canister). I'm wondering if gas could be building up beneath the substrate and releasing into the air. I can't think of what else it could be. I have six geophagus that constantly sift through the substrate, so perhaps they are constantly disturbing the gas? Should I remove an inch or so of the sand and maybe even mix in a more coarse substrate to see if that helps? I only used sand because I used to have Corydoras, but they are in another tank now. Plus my plants aren't doing so great, so I wouldn't mind changing out some of the substrate. I have both Aquasoil and eco complete on had.

Lastly, are there companies that test aquarium water there a way tofor harmful (to humans) bacteria?

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-01-2020, 12:58 AM
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3 inches of sand might be deep enough to get some anaerobic activity going. Use a chopstick (or a wood dowel, or anything long) and poke the substrate a bit to see if bubbles come out. Typically, hydrogen sulfide (which gives off a rotten egg smell) will be indicative of an anaerobic substrate.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-01-2020, 03:36 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Darkblade48 View Post
3 inches of sand might be deep enough to get some anaerobic activity going. Use a chopstick (or a wood dowel, or anything long) and poke the substrate a bit to see if bubbles come out. Typically, hydrogen sulfide (which gives off a rotten egg smell) will be indicative of an anaerobic substrate.
I've definitely seen several bubbles rise to the surface in the recent past when cleaning, but the smell isn't a rotten egg smell.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-01-2020, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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It's more of a moldy smell actually. Could be the vals withering away. They used to be thriving but then they just stopped growing and looking kind of sad. I'm EI dosing, CO2 injection, and root tans, and they just aren't happy.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-01-2020, 03:02 PM
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It may not be from your aquarium. Mold is everywhere. What is the humidity inside your home? Do you have carpet? I pulled up the carpet inside my house and I was shocked at all the dirt and mold underneath. Also, if you've been getting a lot of rain lately, you may have a small leak in your roof. Wet insulation gets very stinky.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-02-2020, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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It may not be from your aquarium. Mold is everywhere. What is the humidity inside your home? Do you have carpet? I pulled up the carpet inside my house and I was shocked at all the dirt and mold underneath. Also, if you've been getting a lot of rain lately, you may have a small leak in your roof. Wet insulation gets very stinky.
It's definitely the tank. I did a thorough gravel vac yesterday and removed all the vals because they smelled awful. Vacuumed up a lot of plant debris and old roots, and a bunch of old nerite eggs (the nerite has since died but left thousands of eggs behind). I may add some carbon to the canister as well for a while to see if that helps.

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