Hydrogen sulfide bubbles - should I worry? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 09-02-2011, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Hydrogen sulfide bubbles - should I worry?

I periodically, once or twice a day, see a bubble of hydrogen sulfide (or methane?) bubble up fom under a piece of mopani wood I have in my tank. Is this an immediate hazard I should address? How toxic is hydrogen sulfide to fish?

I have a 55 with a deep (3-4") layer of ecocomplete. The Mopani wood has a fairly large footprint on the ecocomplete surface creating the dead space underneath. I can smell the sulfur when I bump the wood when cleaning, releasing a bubble or two. I think the bubbles are collecting in a cavity under the wood.
All major parameters are good in this heavily planted tank (pH 6.5-6.7, ammonia=0, nitrite=0, nitrate 2.5-5)

If I need to address it, what's the best way - siphon out from under the wood or just lift the wood out and let the gas release?
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post #2 of 3 Old 09-02-2011, 06:56 PM
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I've never noticed this, though I suspect I may have such spots. When I place wood in my tanks, I tend to get them down quite deep into the substrate. I suspect this prevents air pockets, as I turn the wood all over before and during the "burying." Once it is there, it stays. The few times I have moved wood chunks I've not noticed what you describe. If I did, I would get the siphon in one hand, lift up the wood and give a very thorough vacuum to the entire area digging down to the bottom. You can at least do this with Eco-Complete (or gravel) substrates.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #3 of 3 Old 09-02-2011, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Byron, I was hoping you'd have a suggestion!
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