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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-24-2008, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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water smell

Hey everybody, I've got a quick question.

I recently set up a 55 gallon fresh about a month and a half ago. For the past couple of weeks my water has had a bit of an odor to it. Now, I did my research because I used SoilMaster Select on top of a layer of peat and capped it all off with some Black Flourite sand. I've also got a rena Xp3 on the tank and a Hagen GLO 2x54watt running about eight hours a day. I've cycled it with some cheap fish and I think it's close to being ready to go.

But every few days we have to stir the soilmaster to release gas that forms in it. This is the only way to make the smell go away, temporarily.

Is this normal for SMS, will it eventually stop making the smelly gas? I just don't want to have a smelly tank for years to come when I could fix it before I stock it.

If anyone has some experience with this stuff, or knows what's going on then I would be indebted to you. Thanks!

Well I've never been to Spain, but I kinda like the music

Rock Chalk Jayhawk! Go KU!
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-24-2008, 09:46 PM
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I have SMS in a couple of my tanks and they have never produced an odor. Have you tried some carbon in your canister? I think it might be the peat. But without more information it would be hard to guess what is causing it.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-24-2008, 10:10 PM
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It must be your peat, I have a number of tanks with SMS and no smell.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-24-2008, 10:54 PM
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How much and what kind of peat did you use?

Have you checked your tank's pH?





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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 05:11 AM Thread Starter
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I just used peat from Home Depot (I'm a newb, what can I say), I also had DIY CO2 going in and when it's going, the pH goes down from 7.2 to 6.7 whereabouts; but right now, I don't any CO2 going in.

I believe that this is some byproduct of a metabolic process of bacteria in my tank. I had a couple of plant sprouts from my SMS and I didn't even plant anything, so I think they may have something to do with it. Possible?

Well I've never been to Spain, but I kinda like the music

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 06:58 AM
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If you still have the bag the peat came in, you might want to take a read- if it was treated with anything or saturated with ferts like some are, this may be the source of your issues. When using peat in an aquarium you want pure peat with no additives.

Yep, odor is usually some sort of decomposition.

I agree with fsh, carbon and/or Purigen in your filter should help, and I'd also do some large water changes.





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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 07:24 AM
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The peat is starting to decompose and giving off the smell.

I just don't understand why nubies want to use "Magic Mixtures" for their substrate. Nubies should stick with the commercial products like Flourite and that other substrate that I don't use. Try some AquaSoil Amazonia if you can find it. This is the substrate that Takashi Amano produces. I got a bag of it today to add some to my new tank.

If you want to experiment with your own mixture of substrate try the mineralized method. You can find an article on the process at Aquascaping World: http://issuu.com/john_n/docs/issue2a...25&layout=grey


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 02:14 PM
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you still didn't say how much peat you used.. You should have just lightly sprinkled the peat.. You can always vacuum the excess peat out of the substrate.


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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I followed the SMS article on the articles page of this forum. I followed what the author had described (but without the mulm, I did not have that) I used only a sprinkle of the peat and was still able to see the glass after I applied it.

It sounds like the peat will have to go from what everyone is saying.

Well I've never been to Spain, but I kinda like the music

Rock Chalk Jayhawk! Go KU!
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 04:35 PM
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If Im not mistaken its the mulm itself that kicks in the benefits of the peat.

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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If that is true, it doesn't surprise me. I guess I've got some peat to remove. Can anyone else support the notion about mulm activating the peat?

Well I've never been to Spain, but I kinda like the music

Rock Chalk Jayhawk! Go KU!
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 10:10 PM
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Peat typically is used b/c it is a source of nutrients/vitamins for the plants as it decays, and also b/c it releases tannic acid into the substrate/water column. Tannic acid useful b/c plants tend to prefer a more acidic root zone, and there are some species of fish that prefer lower pH and water colored with tannins, especially during breeding.

Mulm is full of organics so also is used in the substrate to provide nutrients for the plants, but primarily used to jump-start a tank's cycle, since it is full of the N-bacteria that are needed for the nitrogen cycle in a tank.

You can use one, or the other, or both.

I used both in my most recent tank project.





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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-10-2008, 03:45 AM Thread Starter
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Just to let everyone know who posted to this thread, I went ahead and totally removed the substrate that had been in contact with the peat. I think Laura was right about the additives because lots of green algae on the glass had started growing and there was no way that I was going to try and fix all that.

I had extra SMS left over so I just emptied the tank, scrubbed it down and filled it with new substrate and water. I'm hoping I got everything checked!

Well I've never been to Spain, but I kinda like the music

Rock Chalk Jayhawk! Go KU!
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