New to aquarium, tank has smell

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Hypeir, Jul 8, 2015.

  1. HypeirNew MemberMember

    Here's my predicament:
    I recently adopted the hobby and purchased a 75 gallon fish tank. I have it set up with a 300W eheim heater and a fluval 406 canister. It also has 2 bubblers, a limestone fixture and a large piece of drift wood atop around 2 inches of pebble substrate. Around a week ago i had recieved my first heater and was preparing to start the nitrogen cycle (with 10% ammonia) however the heater arrived broken. I let the water sit in the tank with the pump active until yesterday when my replacement heater arrived. I've now started the ammonia cycle by adding 4 PPM.

    My problem is this: whenever i lift the hood of my aquarium the skim of the water smells musty. I think it might be the drift wood but i am not sure. I have a bubbler placed behind the drift wood. Also the tank water is about 86F degrees if that helps any.

  2. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Welcome to Fishlore!

    The driftwood might be from the tannins being released. Your chemical filtration should be able to take care of that. Since you dosed ammonia to 4 ppm already, please get yourself a bottle of Seachem Stability to speed up the bacteria growth process. Also, get an API Freshwater Master Test Kit if you havent already. I also have a 75g and what I would do is separate the heat dispersion, by getting 2 200w heaters or 1 300w and 1 200w.
  3. HypeirNew MemberMember

    Thanks for the welcome,
    How long do you think the chemical filtration would take? I believe my filter has 2 bags of carbon in it. I'll definitely pick up a bottle of Seachem. I do have the API kit but I find the 300 watt is doing well for now
  4. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    I'm not sure how long it would take, I dont have any driftwood nor have I ever had any. I dont like the pH-lowering effects of driftwood.
  5. HypeirNew MemberMember

    Ok, is there anything else it could be?
  6. GeoffreyWell Known MemberMember

    If you've just started the fishless cycle, I'd suggest bringing down the ammonia to 1ppm until you have a strong colony of both bacteria (ammonia to nitrite and nitrite to nitrate). Once these are established, you can up the dose to 2, then to 4ppm to strengthen the colonies. Once you can process 4ppm ammonia and have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and nitrates within 24 hours, you can fully stock your tank.

    You don't need to use bottled bacteria, but if you choose to use some, I'd suggest Tetra SafeStart, Dr.Tim's One & Only, or Stability.

    What type of smell is it?

    Dom, once the tannins is all released from the driftwood, it won't lower your pH. I'm pretty sure there are ways to remove it quickly. I think boiling it would help, but you'll need to double check that.
  7. delta5Well Known MemberMember

    You should remove the wood and look into soaking it. Google: 'how to soak boil driftwood for my aquarium.' You'll find lots of great videos, picture tutorials, ect.
  8. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    I agree with, but also disagree with your idea, Geoffrey. If the OP slowly stocks his tank, he could even get away with fishless cycle by starting to dose at 2 ppm and build his colony that way. The whole building up from 1 to 2 to 4 ppm takes a lot longer than cycling should.
  9. LiterallyHydroWell Known MemberMember

    Bottled bacteria isn't necessary, it just helps speed up the cycle a little bit.

    Try adding a lot of carbon to your filter, it should help with the smell in the tank. Also remember to leech the tanins from the driftwood. You could either soak it and replace the water daily until the water runs clear, or boil it.
  10. delta5Well Known MemberMember

    I can vouch for seachem stability. I made last minute decision to setup a 10g grow out tank for roughly 18-22 yellow lab fry. Everything in the tank was new and no cycle. All fry survived with only a bi-weekly 50%ish water change during the cycle with stability.
  11. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    More and more people are jumping on the Stability bandwagon, I'm telling people its much better than TSS, and it is! But anyway, you should really get a bottle of bacteria to speed up the cycling. Who wants to wait 3-4 weeks before they can add fish?
  12. GenaWell Known MemberMember

    My driftwood has a foul odor. I can't smell it unless I take it out of the water but I have a bad sense of smell.
  13. HypeirNew MemberMember

    Ok, i sniffed the drift wood, definitely an odor coming from it. I did boil it before i put it in however not extensively.

    I'm doing a 20% water change now to reduce the ammonia and help the odor. I'll be picking up the bottled bac later today.
  14. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    After the water change, wait an hour or so, and then test the ammonia levels again and let us know.
  15. tyguy7760Fishlore VIPMember

    I have a large piece of driftwood. Let me tell you the mistakes I went through trying to leach all of the tannins out of it before putting it in my tank

    I had read that there was primarily two ways to get tannins out

    1)Soak it for 24 hours and replace the water each day or two until the water you poor out is clear. Once it's clear it should be ready to go. (usually 2-4 weeks...sometimes longer, sometimes shorter depending on type of wood)

    2)Boil it an hour at a time

    I kind of mentally crossed the two and thought boiling it until the water was pure would work. So I spent about a week boiling it off and on. To my frustration, the water turned a dark tea color every time I boiled it. So I thought maybe I should transfer to the soaking method.

    So I did. And to my surprise the first day I soaked it the water was clear. I thought, "Hey maybe I should boil it one more time to be sure". So I did...and sure enough...brown water. Frustrated I boiled the wood off and on for another day or so...until I started realizing that parts of the wood were breaking off and just disintegrating.

    So out of fear of doing anything else to it i just went ahead and stuck it in the tank. No all and it's been in there 2 months now. Talked to my LFS and the guy laughed and told me I should have only boiled it two or three times total for an hour at a time and then checked it by soaking it for a day.

    Live and learn
  16. HypeirNew MemberMember

    Ok, the smell is still there. I'm not sure if it's the wood or not.
    It's a rot smell, really musty. It's like it accumulates under the hood of the aquarium and when the hood is lifted slightly it dissipates.
    I'm seriously about to go medieval and bring out my outside boiler.
  17. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Lol... since there is nothing in the tank right now, why not leave the hood off for a few days to let the smell dissipate out.
  18. HypeirNew MemberMember

    Ok, i'll try that.
  19. GeoffreyWell Known MemberMember

    Where did you get the driftwood?
    Does the rotting odour smell like sulfur?
  20. delta5Well Known MemberMember

    You might be experiencing growth of algae or other unwanted stuff on your driftwood. It happened to my wood, but my wood also started to get white fuzzy stuff. Not a problem after my tank cycled. Just like ammonia, nitrates, nitrites. You'll have a back and forth fight with what lives in the tank.