06-16-2008, 10:45 AM
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Lights: it depends on the manufacturer. Some light strips will fit inside the groove, and other are made to sit on the frame. You need to buy the lights that are made by the same manufacturer as the aquarium.
Another alternative, which I prefer, is to build a canopy. You can probably make one for less than $50. Then buy light fixtures from Home Depot or Lowes and mount the fixtures inside your canopy. These fixtures usually cost about $10. Or just buy a ballast and endcaps, if you are handy. If you buy a fixture, you will need to use bulbs made for an aquarium, replacing the shop light bulbs.
The smell is likely a result of food and waste decay. Increased water changes, or increased use of activated carbon, will usually solve the problem.
It is also possible that you have areas within the gravel bed that have become stagnant. This often happens when a large rock or piece of driftwood remains undisturbed. The low oxygen area within the gravel below can result in a hydrogen sulfide smell. The solution is the same. Use a gravel vac and increase water changes. The honest truth is this... a well cared for aquarium will not have any odor.