Shrimp Aquarium Smells Bad

Drewbacca
  • #1
I have a 10 gallon RCS aquarium at my office that I've set up. After it cycled, I had a couple mystery snails in there for a couple months to maintain the cycle and help get it ready for the shrimp. It's set up with a sponge filter rated for 20 gallons hooked up to a Tetra Whisper 20 air pump. I have Eco-Complete substrate along with live plants. The live plants came with a seed shrimp population that I've been trying to keep under control. My parameters are a temp of 79, pH: 7.5, Ammonia: 0, Nitrite: 0, Nitrate: 5, GH: 10-15, KH: 4. I do 25-30% water changes weekly, prepping my water with API Stess Coat+ and use a small Wonder Shell once a month to keep my GH up. I also squeeze and wash out the sponge filter monthly in tank water. I started out feeding my shrimp 1/8 scoop of Bacter AE 3 times a week, 1 Mineral Junkie Pearl, 4 times a week, 1 Shrimp Dinner pad 4 times a week, and 1/8 scoop of Shrimp Baby twice weekly.

About a month ago I added about 24 red cherry shrimp. Everything went well for a week, and then I noticed a bad smell. It smells like a wet towel that has been left out to mildew. My parameters have been good, and it doesn't occur every day. I posted about it in another forum, and the concern was that I might be feeding too much. However, I'm typically not in my office on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and sometimes those days are the worst days. I've cut back on feeding, but that doesn't seem to have helped. My mystery snails are no longer in there, but I'm getting some nerites to help with the algae on the side of the tank. I'm also going to start feeding in a glass dish to keep the food from sinking into the substrate, so perhaps that may help.

Anyway, I'm kind of at a loss at this point. I have an air purifier that works well when I'm in the office, but I don't want to run it when I'm not here. My coworker's patience won't last forever. I've had numerous tanks in the past but have never had a problem with smell. This one has been bad though. Is there anything else you can think of other than cutting back even more on food? I have an Aqueon 10 HOB filter I could add on in case you think it is under filtered.
 
mattgirl
  • #2
Is it possible to put a small HOB filter on the tank and just run carbon in it. The carbon should remove the smell. That is one of the main reasons for using carbon in any tank. It is also used for removing meds after treatment is done.

I don't know how much food shrimp need but it does sound like you are feeding a lot.

oops, I didn't see the part about having a HOB filter but yes, it should help if you run mostly carbon in it.
 
Drewbacca
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Is it possible to put a small HOB filter on the tank and just run carbon in it. The carbon should remove the smell. That is one of the main reasons for using carbon in any tank. It is also used for removing meds after treatment is done.

I don't know how much food shrimp need but it does sound like you are feeding a lot.
I can put it on there and am thinking about it. Is that a common problem for sponge-filter tanks? As for the food amount, I'm going to use the dish feeding to help figure out how much they really eat in a day. I got my feeding recommendations from the Flip Aquatics Youtube channel, but I think it's more for a larger colony that is already well established.
 
mattgirl
  • #4
I can put it on there and am thinking about it. Is that a common problem for sponge-filter tanks? As for the food amount, I'm going to use the dish feeding to help figure out how much they really eat in a day. I got my feeding recommendations from the Flip Aquatics Youtube channel, but I think it's more for a larger colony that is already well established.
I run sponge filters in a couple of my tanks and don't notice any bad odors from them. I don't have shrimp though.

Feeding in a dish is a very good idea. It will prevent excess food building up in the substrate.

I really think feeding in a dish and carbon in your HOB will take care of the problem.
 
Drewbacca
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Ok, busted out the old HOB. Luckily I have a prefilter sponge to put on it so it doesn't suck up my shrimplets and Endler fry.
 
FishRFriendz
  • #6
It smells like a wet towel that has been left out to mildew.

That doesn't sound too bad. Maybe it's the algae. Is it so bad you smell it from a distance? or just when you get close?
 
Drewbacca
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
It comes and goes. The water up close doesn't smell great up close, but from time to time it really smells bad in the whole office, extending out into the hallway and the offices around me.
 
richiep
  • #8
1/8 of bactor AE monday is enough once a week
1 mineral junkie Wednesday once a week is enough. 1 shrimp dinner pad friday once a week is enough
Bring your temp down to 72
The algae on the side and biofilm will keep them going
 
Drewbacca
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
I had heard that increasing the temp to 78-80 encourages breeding of the shrimp. That's a separate discussion, but that's why I have it set higher.
 
FishRFriendz
  • #10
Cut the feeding way down and temporarily do more water changes. It's a bit tough to do water changes on a normal tank at work I bet. I keep a pair of tanks on my desk at work. If it ever smelled bad I'd just do more water changing. Also, bubble foam on the surface triggers more water changes.

The only bad smell comes from the stagnant water that sits in containers from the water changes. I collect water into a bucket under my desk till I fill the bucket to empty out at the kitchen. But even then it's never smelled up a large area.

I had heard that increasing the temp to 78-80 encourages breeding of the shrimp. That's a separate discussion, but that's why I have it set higher.

Read the comment on my imgur post
 
Feohw
  • #11
I had heard that increasing the temp to 78-80 encourages breeding of the shrimp. That's a separate discussion, but that's why I have it set higher.
Higher temp increases rate of breeding and causes them to mature faster. However it also may lead to faster metabolism, shorter lifespan, smaller body size and an increase in their need for food. Generally they are most comfortable at around 72. Usually you increase temp if you need to mass produce them, but if you want them to do best around 72 is ideal. I initially read the same as you, but after looking into it I definitely prefer them at 72 as Richie said. There's also studies that show that higher temps produce more males, and that lower temps produce more females. I see the link above discusses that.
 
richiep
  • #12
Increasing temp will promote breeding but the life span is reduced it's not a separate subject smells are enhanced by heat so reducing the tank a few degrees will help with smell
 
FishRFriendz
  • #13
Increasing temp will promote breeding but the life span is reduced it's not a separate subject smells are enhanced by heat so reducing the tank a few degrees will help with smell

Yeah it's helping the bacteria that are producing the smell grow more. Kinda like body odor is worse if you're hot and sweaty.
 
Drewbacca
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
Right. I had also increased the temp due to the Endlers I put in there to help control the ostracod outbreak. I had also heard that increased temps will promote more male Endlers, so I figured that was a win-win.
 
richiep
  • #15
I understand what you've done and why but it's all these little things that are causing your problems
 
Drewbacca
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
Alright. If the HOB with the carbon filter doesn't reduce the smell, I'll try lowering the temp. However, I used to have it at 75 before the Endlers and I was still having smell issues.
 
tjander
  • #17
Just a thought, are you sure you don’t have a small water leak that is hitting your office carpet? The fact that it can be smelled in the entire office is concerning. Especially from a 10 g tank. I can’t imagine your water smelling that bad and it be good for aquatic life. I agree with others, I think you over feeding big time. Cut it back and see if that helps. But check your carpet for wetness
 
ROFEA
  • #18
You may do this but, there will be less smells if you keep their foods containers in a ziplock bag (same with nitrifying bacteria additives, plant fertilizers and my baster to suck up molts and old food sometimes smells if I don't rinse and dry it.
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
36
Views
5K
CWright
Replies
21
Views
459
Gennasharples
Replies
17
Views
324
CryoraptorA303
Top Bottom