Hydrogen Sulfide in Dirted tank - HELP!!!

Discussion in 'Freshwater Substrates - Gravel, Sand' started by LWormy, Aug 3, 2015.

  1. LWormyValued MemberMember

    Hello! I have a 10 gallon Walstad tank with hygrophilia as my rooted plant and hornwort, anacharis, duckweed and giant duckweed as my floaters. I have 1 ADF (I will add another one soon) in there with lots of guppies. Recently gas pockets started building up in my dirt and the substrate swelled up a lot in one part of my tank. It kept rising like a mountain and I ignored it for weeks, thinking it's not a big deal. Well, I was wrong. The thing blew up and my sand and dirt got all mixed up together. There has been a lot of other bubbles in the tank. Since they are everywhere, I can't poke the substrate to release them otherwise I will stir up the dirt more. I tried using MTS to stir the sand for me but they don't go deep enough to get to the bubbles. My substrate is 2" deep and the bubbles form in the bottom 1.5". Are there any critters that burrow deep and are compatible with my tank? I have a lot of plants and a mint plant growing out of the tank so my ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are all zero. I was thinking about blackworms but I don't know if they will dig deep enough or if they will last long with my frogs and fish. Any idea? Please help because I don't want to have my tank explode again.
  2. matsungitWell Known MemberMember

  3. BDpupsWell Known MemberMember

    Did it smell like hydrogen sulfide? Why do you think that's what it was? How long has it been set up with dirt?

  4. LWormyValued MemberMember

    It smells like rotten egg and I can see gas pockets in the deeper part of the substrate. The tank's been set up for 4 months. The dirt is Miracle Grow and it is mostly bark. There are a lot of organic matter to turn into mulm and that's why I believe there are so much gas. The bacteria is busy processing it and it produce the gas as a by product.

    Really? I have never heard of that before. Where did you get that info? I am curious to know more about it. Don't tubifex worms have a lot of nasties that come with them though?

    Just a thought, will having more rooted plants help with the anaerobic pockets?

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2015
  5. BDpupsWell Known MemberMember

    Yeah I know how it's produced. It just doesn't happen all that often and wanted to make sure that's what it was. That's too bad. I don't have any experience with it so I can't offer any advice.

    Are your frog and guppies doing OK?
  6. matsungitWell Known MemberMember

    By experience. I had 2 fish tanks when I was in the Philippines and live tubifex were really popular. They do come with detritus included. They form a ball if not in contact with any substrate and the detritus is inside the ball with them since they are detrivores. Depending on the source sometimes they do come with stinky nasties. Especially if they were fresh harvested from the wild, quite possibly from sewers. So it's a good idea to find a reputable cultured source. There was a time that I had to reset the tank and clean the substrate and I am finding large colonies of tubifex worms that were in deep where fish couldn't reach them.
  7. LWormyValued MemberMember

    They are doing fine and the bubbles don't seems to affect them. For some reason the frog like to completely bury herself into the dirt and that release a lot of the bubbles. In part of my tank there are sand (more like really small gravels) covering the dirt and the snails and frogs couldn't dig deep enough to release the bubbles there. That's my real problem because the bubbles will just keep getting larger until it explodes - or until I find it and poke it. Are there any diggers that don't mind digging a little heavier substrates? Will tubifex and blackworms last with my frog and fish or will they all be gone within days?
  8. LWormyValued MemberMember

    My tank have no filter and the water is pretty much stagnant other than the movement from the frog and fish and slight circulation from the heater. Do tubifex need a lot of oxygen to do well? How fast do they reproduce? Can anyone list the pros and cons of tubifex and blackworm? I am still trying to decide between the two. I am also open for other options. Any inverts (other than MTS) that likes to burrow? What about small fish?
  9. matsungitWell Known MemberMember

    Tubifex thrive in oxygenated water so I am not sure how much can survive in your tank.

    Here's a link I found that may be useful to you.
  10. JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    Tubfex worms are part of the lifecycle of the parasite that causes "whirling disease" in native fish around here.

    I wonder if anything like that might be a potential issue with live ones you may get.
  11. matsungitWell Known MemberMember

    That's quite a possibility. All live food have this risk of transferring parasites and disease. All I can say is be careful who you buy from. All resellers are hit and miss since you never know when they switch suppliers or stock. Try to buy from people who hygienically culture their own or resellers that buy from them.
  12. LWormyValued MemberMember

    So will blackworms be safer? My substrates get stir up REALLY easily since the dirt is no longer capped by anything. That is the reason I don't use any filter or pump. All my oxygen are generated by hornworts, anacharis, and hygrophilia (which I have a LOT of). Will tubifex worms survive and breed in my tank? I will try to get a pic of it so you get the idea. Also, what are the pros and cons of tubifex and blackworm?
  13. matsungitWell Known MemberMember

    These links should help you along.

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