Stinky fish tanks? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 19 Old 10-12-2010, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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Stinky fish tanks?

Maybe I am hyper sensitive to the smell of the fish tank, I am to other things, but my tanks stink. I don't know how you guys handle the smell of your tanks in your house. My tanks gross me out from the smell. They are kept very clean, with weekly water changes. About 60% new water. I sucked out a bunch of the small snails today as well. I have even been cleaning out the gravel more then I probably should but I just don't care for the smell. My tanks are not really over stocked either, in fact they are lightly stocked with heavy plants. In fact, today I had to clean out a ton of plants to make room for my fish to swim.

I think it is the smell of rotting plants or snails or fish or I don't know but... Ick! Anyone else notice this yuck smell or am I just hyper sensitive? If you do notice it, how do you handle it?
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post #2 of 19 Old 10-12-2010, 10:16 AM
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My tanks smell like wet dirt/soil. Try cleaning ,replacing filter media more frequently.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #3 of 19 Old 10-12-2010, 10:21 AM
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i kinda like the smell of my tank close up. What i don't like the smell of is when my rug gets damp during a water change and doesn't dry out properly - ewww
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post #4 of 19 Old 10-12-2010, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 1077 View Post
My tanks smell like wet dirt/soil. Try cleaning ,replacing filter media more frequently.

I don't have filter media in the one tank, I only have a sponge filter and that gets squeezed and cleaned. The other tank the filter is changed often too. Like I said, I am a bit of a clean-aholic. I probably over clean the tank. In the beginning I was doing 50-60% water changes daily, now I do it once a week. I might need to start changing it 2-3 times a week again. I don't think it hurts the fish to have the water nice and fresh.

Ick! Fish water rug, I can see where that would be a problem. lol
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post #5 of 19 Old 10-12-2010, 10:47 AM
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I don't have filter media in the one tank, I only have a sponge filter and that gets squeezed and cleaned. The other tank the filter is changed often too. Like I said, I am a bit of a clean-aholic. I probably over clean the tank. In the beginning I was doing 50-60% water changes daily, now I do it once a week. I might need to start changing it 2-3 times a week again. I don't think it hurts the fish to have the water nice and fresh.

Ick! Fish water rug, I can see where that would be a problem. lol
Odd, that it smells and you are doing that much cleaning. My tank smells just like 1077's, kinda like a moist "garden". What exactly are you smelling, as in what does the smell remind you of?? Maybe it stinks to you but maybe it's a good smell that you're simply not familiar with??? Just a thought.

Fish rug, yuck! All the more reason to have tiled and hardwood floors. I'm always amazed at how much water I get all over the place when I'm doing tank maintenance. If I had rugs when I started this hobby they would have been ripped out long ago, lol.

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Last edited by aunt kymmie; 10-12-2010 at 10:52 AM.
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post #6 of 19 Old 10-12-2010, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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I am pretty sure it is just MY issue, not so much a dirty tank. It is sort of a Plant/Soil smell. I just don't like it. I am hyper sensitive to most smells. My poor dogs get bathed far more often then most and they get to wear Calvin Klein "Eternity" all the time because I don't care for the smell of dog in the house either. No worries folks, I won't make my fish wear cologne. I just don't want others coming in and smelling fish tank either. Guess I will keep more of the Reed diffusers in the room near the tanks.

Kymmie, I have hard wood floors too and I lay towels out on the floor when doing the water change. I am one of those people that can paint a room without getting a drop on anything but when I change the tank water, it drips, somehow. Then I just do a load of towels and we are good to go.
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post #7 of 19 Old 10-12-2010, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Inga View Post
I am pretty sure it is just MY issue, not so much a dirty tank. It is sort of a Plant/Soil smell. I just don't like it. I am hyper sensitive to most smells. My poor dogs get bathed far more often then most and they get to wear Calvin Klein "Eternity" all the time because I don't care for the smell of dog in the house either. No worries folks, I won't make my fish wear cologne. I just don't want others coming in and smelling fish tank either. Guess I will keep more of the Reed diffusers in the room near the tanks.

Kymmie, I have hard wood floors too and I lay towels out on the floor when doing the water change. I am one of those people that can paint a room without getting a drop on anything but when I change the tank water, it drips, somehow. Then I just do a load of towels and we are good to go.
If it's a plant/soil smell your tank is healthy! Yay for you!! The smell will come to grow on you, I promise.
I'm way hyper sensitive to smells too. I don't even allow cologne or perfume in my house, use all unscented products and buy special shampoo for my dogs. I feel your pain, lol.

If you don't stand up for something you'll fall for anything...
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post #8 of 19 Old 10-12-2010, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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I don't know if it will grow on me. I guess I will learn to appreciate the fact that it is a healthy tank smell but I doubt I can learn to like that smell. I also have noticed thousands of tiny little green leaves on top of the tank with a single root hanging down from them. I have no idea what those are. At first I thought they were tiny pennywort plants starting. It is all over the top of both of my tanks. The fish seem to like swimming around them, it isn't hurting anything that I can tell.

Oh, one more thing about smells for me. There are those I like, like the Calvin Klein Eternity but yeah, most cologne... EEK!!! Especially woman who try to cover the smell of smoke or something. Yikes! That gags me. I work in a hospital and am forever wearing a mask because the smells start gagging me.
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post #9 of 19 Old 10-12-2010, 12:15 PM
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OK, dogs who get to wear Calvin Klein cologne?? LOL!!

Sometimes my tanks are more whiffy then at other times. Usually on WC day. It doesn't bother me per se because I know it's how it should smell. Anything rotten or farty smelling would be a different story. That would mean problems with the tank anyway and you don't have that.

Animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers.
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post #10 of 19 Old 10-12-2010, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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OK, dogs who get to wear Calvin Klein cologne?? LOL!!

Sometimes my tanks are more whiffy then at other times. Usually on WC day. It doesn't bother me per se because I know it's how it should smell. Anything rotten or farty smelling would be a different story. That would mean problems with the tank anyway and you don't have that.

No, Rotten or farty would be my 3 year old Rottweiler. The dog has gas no matter what he eats or what I give him to help. Yogurt helps a little but the Calvin Klein helps with the rest.
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