Aquarium Smelling For A Few Hours? Question

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by ostadsiah, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. ostadsiahNew MemberMember

    My tank smells fishy for a few hours everyday, in the afternoon.
    And the other times it has no odor at all.
    I was wondering why? And what can I do about it?
  2. FishGirl38Well Known MemberMember

    I'm not exactly sure why it would smell at only a specific time during the day, usually if there is an odor it lasts.

    and well, there are organic compounds in the water that're making it smell. Do you use carbon in your filter at all?
  3. Guppygirl88Valued MemberMember

    as in dead fishy? or just fishy fishy ? If all your numbers are right and your doing your water changes a little fishy smell is to be expected. It could be air circulation in the room .Your up moving around stirring up the air in the room .It's good though that your aware of the way it smells, sometimes scent is the first indicator that something could be off in your tank.
  4. ostadsiahNew MemberMember

    But, isn't it supposed to smell okay unless there's something wrong with it?
    I've never used carbon! Maybe I should?? But then I wouldn't know if something goes bad in my tank..?

    Well, it's not a pleasant fishy smell! My tank used to smell nice like wet soil a month ago, I don't know why it smells bad now..
  5. Magicpenny75Well Known MemberMember

    If it smells bad, like anything other than say, wet earth or puddle, then I would bet there is something going on. Can you tell us more about your tank? Size, stock, filtration, is it planted, maintenance schedule, water changes, etc
    There is an old saying, "The solution to pollution is dilution." i.e. when in doubt, do a water change. That would be my first step anyway.
  6. FishGirl38Well Known MemberMember

    It won't smell pleasant all the time, when its newer it might but as it ages, it's going to get a little more 'organic' smelling. Carbon is used for binding with and pulling odors, discolorations, and chemicals (like medications or sprays or anything that accidentally gets into the aquarium) out of the aquarium. If you were to add carbon to the filter, I bet the smell would go away in the next 4 days. Its likely a mixture of all the organic waste compounds that've built up in your tank, like nitrates and phosphates.

    I once had an slime algae issues caused by high phosphate levels. My tank smelled like a bog...erm, it had a very distinct plant like algae smell. Very strong too. Just check and make sure there aren't any dead fish or fungi growing left over food in the tank, if not, then some carbon would do the trick and it's probably nothing to worry about. If the tank starts smelling AND your using carbon, that's a cause for concern. (I was using carbon with the above, bog smelling example)

    With carbon though, there are pros and cons, the pros are above, the cons are that carbon has been said to leach phosphate into the aquarium in small amounts. Also, you'll have to change it on a monthly basis, if carbon is left in the aquarium after a months time, it could start leaching everything that it once pulled out of the aquarium, back into the aquarium. Otherwise its decent media to have on hand.
  7. Guppygirl88Valued MemberMember

    Have you tested your water? High nitrites and ammonia can give your tank a funky pondy smell(not all ammo. smells like something died) Have you changed fish food?or fed live, little uneaten fish parts can create an aroma:) Try a water change or more frequent water changes but definitely start using carbon it doesn't do anything to help smells it's just another layer of media to grow good bacteria on to keep your water clean
  8. ostadsiahNew MemberMember

    I first worried that something might be wrong when my tank smelled less than one day after water change!
    My tank is 40 gallon, it has Anubias and Java fern and moss, and Angelfish and Gourami and guppy and snails.
    I change 30% water every week.

    Oh interesting. OK I'm definitely gonna add carbons then. I had no idea about phosphates, like it's the first time I'm learning this! Thank you, I hope nothing is seriously wrong with my tank.
  9. Magicpenny75Well Known MemberMember

    Sounds all good to me. That's all I've got, sorry :) My tanks all smell like lake water, but I love it. Smells like home.
  10. ostadsiahNew MemberMember

    I did test my water, but there wasn't anything wrong, my nitrates are less than ever!
    Right, I'm gonna do more water changes then, maybe twice a week? And adding carbon right away. Thank you!

    I know! My tank smelled so nice until a couple of weeks ago, everyone loved it! I hope more water changes and carbons for a while can fix it..
    Also some leaves of my Java fern are dying, but I don't know if that can be the cause of the odor?
  11. kallililly1973Well Known MemberMember

    You should do a 50-60% WC once a week as opposed to 30% also if you use carbon you will need to replace it every 4-6 weeks. Also if you have any dying plant leaves cut them or pull them right out it will help with your water quality as well as helping your plant grow instead of struggling to try to repair an already too far gone leaf. Good luck! Do you have pics so we can se it :)
    Edit: forgot to ask at the time you smell the water is there a window sending sun into your house and on the tank possibly?
  12. skarWell Known MemberMember

    Have you had the tank setup for awhile ? A year or so ?
    The issue could be Old tank syndrome.

    If that is the case a deep clean under rocks and ornament vac can help.
    And I suggest purigen over carbon for your water organics removal.
    Does a better job and lasts longer.

    You also cooks l could consider poly fill fir your filter. Same idea polishes organics for a clean look .
  13. ostadsiahNew MemberMember

    Thank you!
    But the dying leaves have little baby java ferns growing on them so I wanted to let them grow bigger???
    There's no window, BUT, the smell kinda starts around the time when I turn on the aquarium light. Could it be related??
    (And I'll take a pic tomorrow!)

    Thank you, I hadn't heard of purigen and stuff! I'll look into it. And no my tank has been up only for a couple of months.
  14. ostadsiahNew MemberMember

    By the way, my tank still stinks for a couple of hours, at around 1pm when I turn on the lights, and I've been using carbon for a month but hasn't helped.
  15. CheshireKatValued MemberMember

    Do the lights heat up or add heat? Heat usually hastens decay and makes things smell worse. Ever had a full garbage can in a hot, stuffy house? Terrible.
  16. ostadsiahNew MemberMember

    No, it's LED and like a meter above the tank. Though I know what you mean by the garbage thing! It is terrible. But yeah, I do monitor the temperature and it's stable at 79 or so.
  17. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    Since you notice the smell after turning on the light have you checked the underside of the light to see if maybe some type of mold has taken up residence up there?
  18. CheshireKatValued MemberMember

    That's what I was wondering and was going to ask next. Seems like some thing's gotta be going on with the lights...
  19. ostadsiahNew MemberMember

    OK I just checked and found nothing. All seems okay. I don't even have any visible algae.
  20. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    Looks like we can check that off the list of possible reasons then. I know my tanks have their own unique odor. Not really unpleasant but there nonetheless.

    It was kinda unpleasant way back during the time I had an infestations of pest snails. I got the snail population down to manageable levels and ran carbon in my filters for a short time and it removed the not so pleasant odor.

    Do you by any chance have snails?