04-16-2011, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by fishmamma
I didn't read the whole thread, so my bad if someone said this already...
Depending on how thick your substrate was, and also depending if it had sat without any movement... not saying this in technical terms.. gases will build within the substrate that can be harmful to your fish in large amounts... have you ever seen bubbles come up from the substrate whenever you moved it..? I think this could have also contributed to the smell... I use Eco-Complete and IMHO I don't think it's the best for growing plants.. To prevent the gases from building you'll either have to manually move the substrate around yourself or get something that will continuously burrow.. I use assissin snails and they work great!
This is true. I didn't delve into the substrate problem initially because it is gone now (he threw it out), but in my mind something was wrong. Either too deep, too few plants, too many fish, over feeding...or something killing off the bacteria--and so everyone is clear, we are not talking the nitrifying bacteria but the aerobic and anaerobic bacteria that colonize the substrate.