New Aquarium Smells Terrible!

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by Mike1995, Apr 22, 2018.

  1. Mike1995Well Known MemberMember

    so, i just got a 20 gallon long. pool filter sand as substrate. A aqueon quietflow 20 for the filtration. And a small powerhead. No light yet. everything is running.
    today, the water started smelling really bad. Why is this? It obviously has to cycle over the next month or two. And i don't plan on any fish during that time. The water seems a bit cloudy. And the filter pad that came with the filter is kinda lousy. Would some carbon work?? What's a good way to add carbon in there? it's such a small space. My two other tanks have no smell at all.

  2. Zigi ZigWell Known MemberMember

    There could be multiple reason for bad smell poorly rinsed gravel in a new aquarium can cause white cloudiness. Have you add any water supplements such as bacteria, pH adjusters, or any other chemicals can also create a bad smell, could you describe smell. As well if you tank is in cycle cloudy water is normal think. Active Carbon will help as it helps to removes odors you can use those type as they are made for Aqueon

  3. Mike1995Well Known MemberMember

    no i haven't added anything at all yet. Been working a lot. I'm thinking the cloudiness is maybe a bacteria bloom or something because everytime I've used pool filter sand, it's always settled by the next day.

    would the filter I have still be effective if i put different media in kind of like an aquaclear? So like up and down instead of front to back and just ditched the flimsy filter pad?

  4. Zigi ZigWell Known MemberMember

    Honestly i have no experience with HOB filters so i am not sure what will happened if you ditched filter pad.
  5. 75g Discus TankFishlore VIPMember

    Can you explain the smell?

    If the tank is cycling, my guess is ammonia.
  6. bitseriouslyWell Known MemberMember

    Humus/organic (earthy)?
  7. Alex PasqualeValued MemberMember

    Do you have any driftwood or anything inside the tank yet? If so driftwood sometimes smells like rotten eggs and can add to the smell, if not I would say that the sand was poorly rinsed. As for the cloudiness it should go away in a week or so. Also if you don't already, add some carbon to your filter, it helps with odors.
  8. Mike1995Well Known MemberMember

    it's like a sulfury, strong smell. I did put some zeolite and carbon in the filter, it's cleared up a bit but the smell is still there. As of now there's no living things in the tank except a few small java ferns i took out of my other tank.
  9. UluWell Known MemberMember

    Is the smell coming out of the substrate? Smell the water then scoop up a hand of substrate and smell that.

    You can change the water every day but if you got dead stuff coming up out of your substrate you need to get it out of the substrate, because it's going to stink everyday.
  10. Mike1995Well Known MemberMember

    there's nothing living in the tank tho :/
  11. UluWell Known MemberMember

    There are bacteria, and they are alive, and causing the stink.

    The question is are the bacteria in the water or in the substrate?

    But if you have no Livestock in the tank, it doesn't matter so much. Stir up the substrate well, and do a major water change, and then check it in a day.

    There's one other possibility in that is did you put in too much water conditioner?

    If you accidentally put in many times as much conditioner as you normally need, that can cause the water to smell terrible.

    Be aware that some water conditioners are ten or 20 times as strong as the brand sitting right next to them on the shelf.

    I got caught by that one once myself when I picked up a bottle of API super strength tap water conditioner.

    1ml per 20 gallons API vs 1ml per 10 gal using Prime or 1 drop per gal with Weco and a whopping 1ml (10 drops) per gallon usung Tetra or Aqueon brand.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
  12. Mike1995Well Known MemberMember

    i use prime. But i haven't put any in this tank. I literally have done nothing to this tank except set it up, put water in and wait :p no chemicals or anything etc. I used some zeolite in the filter. Water is crystal clear now
  13. UluWell Known MemberMember

    You do not have to put anything in the tank. The substrate was not 100% sterilized and neither was the water.

    You added light and heat and nature took its course. The few stinky bacteria that were present multiplied until you have the present odiferous result.

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