Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Hydrogen Sulfide (

duggus562 02-26-2011 04:30 PM

Hydrogen Sulfide
Hi Every one. Back for more expert help.
Tank is doing fine plants growing like crazy. Algae under control. Trying to keep fish within the philosophy and science of the Ecology of the Planted Aquarium by Diana Walstad and her book seems to suggest that H2S in the tank should be of minimal concern. Am I misreading and if so should I be concerned?? Also it sign of bad housekeeping????
Thanks in advance for any help!!

mike720 07-31-2012 04:01 PM

as long as your soil is not too deep 2 in or less, or too compact, so o2 can get into the soil your decomposition should be more methane and co2 than h2s.. especially when your plants start sending down roots into the soil as many plants use 02 from the root to absorb nutrients ...

redchigh 07-31-2012 04:07 PM

All substrates produce H2S, but the surface layer breaks it down. As long as you don't disturb the substrate, it will be fine.

Mixing the soil into sand into gradual layers seems to help the substrate stay healthy... For example-

Top layer- 100% sand
second layer- Mostly sand, a little soil.
third layer- equal parts sand and soil
fourth layer- mostly soil

It seems in my experience that not much soil is needed- it's the bacteria that really does the work. The soil just keeps the plants healthy until the decomposing fish food takes over.

Just saw the tank is already set-up. Don't worry about the H2S, just try not to disturb the substrate, and do NOT try to stir it or vacuum it.

AbbeysDad 07-31-2012 09:12 PM

+1 - Don't disturb the substrate. Hydrogen Sulfide is created at dangerous levels when detritus gets stirred deep in the substrate and anaerobic bacteria break it down with foul results. We want detritus to either be removed or broken down by aerobic bacteria.

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