10 Gallon Tank Preparing an established tank for new fish

WrenFeenix

I have a tank that's been sitting empty for nearly a month, but I have been maintaining it. I do a water change once a week and add fish food to keep the biofilter alive. I'd like to get another fish, but even with the water changes and vacuuming up old food, the tank smells pretty bad due to the rotting food. This tank under normal circumstances doesn't smell anything like this, so I'm wondering if the smell indicates the presence of harmful bacteria.

Would just doing a water change and vacuuming up all the food before adding the new fish suffice, or do I need to completely get rid of the rotting smell before it's safe to add fish?
 

Revan

Usually a healthy aquarium shouldn't smell like much, at most a bit earthy if you smell closely. If it smells that bad, there's probably something else in there. I usually tend to recommend using raw ammonia drops rather than fish food as an ammonia source, but even fish food shouldn't cause that much of a smell.

Try doing a water change/gravel vac and cleaning up all the food. If there's still a smell, I think it indicates something else is at hand here.
 

mattgirl

If the water change and gravel vac doesn't remove the bad smell run some carbon in your filter. It should absorb any bad smell. Be sure to clean the underside of the hood and under the top rim while doing your water change.

Is it possible you may have a bit of cyanobacteria in this tank? It has an unpleasant odor. Under normal circumstances tanks don't have a bad smell. Earthy yes, but not unpleasant.
 

WrenFeenix

If the water change and gravel vac doesn't remove the bad smell run some carbon in your filter. It should absorb any bad smell. Be sure to clean the underside of the hood and under the top rim while doing your water change.

Is it possible you may have a bit of cyanobacteria in this tank? It has an unpleasant odor. Under normal circumstances tanks don't have a bad smell. Earthy yes, but not unpleasant.
I had completely forgotten about carbon! That should definitely get rid of the smell.

Doesn’t Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae?) require light? The tank is unlit in a dark basement, and there is no visible algae in this tank whatsoever.

The tank didn’t smell that bad when I was using algae wafers, but it started stinking when I switched to shrimp pellets. As of this evening, the smell has become slightly earthy, but it’s still not great. Maybe the bio load of a single betta is less than a single shrimp pellet, and the tank had to adjust.
 

mattgirl

Doesn’t Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae?) require light? The tank is unlit in a dark basement, and there is no visible algae in this tank whatsoever.
It probably does. I have to think the carbon will freshen things right up.
 

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