Is this anaerobic hyrdrogen sulfide?
I'm about to do a substrate swap this Saturday as the sandbed that came with my 'new to me' tank is not working out very well. Just want to know if anyone can clarify if this is anaerobic or not. Thank you!
ewww that looks nasty. It would not surprise me at all if there was hydrogen sulphide in there. Be prepared for it to smell like rotten eggs once you start disturbing it. Take frequent breaks. Never put your head directly over the tank. Dont touch it if children are in the house.... actually it would be better if no one else was in the house at all.
IF IT DOES NOT SMELL AT ALL, GET OUT OF THE HOUSE IMMEDIATLY. Hydrogen Sulphide (aka H2S) kills your sense of smell when it is above 100ppm. This is also the point when immediate health concerns begin. Headaches, nausea and sore eyes are early indicators. Prolonged exposure at this level can result in unconsciousness. Higher levels can result in instant unconsciousness(around 300ppm). Might not be a bad idea to have someone standing outside(preferably with a cellphone) by an open window(make sure the room is well ventilated) to make sure you're ok. Make sure they stay away, having 2 people unconscious isn't helpful. Higher concentrations(700ppm+) can kill instantly but I dont imagine it would be possible from an aquarium.
If in doubt, just stir up a corner section of the sand bed, whatch the bubbes hit the surface, and if you get a rotten egg smell, then your in for some work there. I hope there isn't anyting in the tank. You might want to take everything out if there is.
Alright, so Saturday I tore the tank apart and changed the substrate. Took the tank out to drain the last inch of water and the sand. Didn't notice any smell during the tear down but once I started stirring up that sand bed and scooping it out, WOW, it was pretty bad. Not bad enought to cause any discomfort, just a rancid smell. Got it all cleaned out, some fresh #5 Aragonite sand (a little coarser than before, I have HIGH flow in the tank so it helps). Fish are good, only one coral got injured during the process. My dumb fault. I knocked it off the liverock while lowering the huge piece of rock into the tank. hit the lip of the tank and then onto the floor. Fragged into three pieces. Two of which are actually still doing ok, the small sliver I tossed out. I have more coral in there than I know what to do with lol.
So I do think it was an early case of Hydrogen Sulfide but I caught it before it destroyed the tank. So happy and relieved it's out of there.
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