Water Problem, foul odor

Scretiree47

I did a weekly water change on my 20g tank today and when I plunged the vacuum tube into the gravel it sucked up a black cloud. I discovered this is not just one spot but all over. Also, the water has a foul odor. I use the mini vacuum hose from Python not the no spill version that connects to the sink.

Next Saturday when I do the water change, should I break out the big Python to thoroughly vacuum the gravel or just bite the bullet and change the substrate? I really don't want to do that because this tank has been cycled for quiet a while. The only chemical I use is Dr. Tim's One and Only bacteria, and API Tap Water Conditioner. Once a month I will use API Leaf Zone.
 

Flyfisha

What you describe sounds like a normal healthy substrate with more than one weeks worth of fish poop and old uneaten food? I could be wrong but that sounds like what we all see when we DEEP CLEAN gravel not just play around sucking out water.
A link that has gravel going up the vacuum as the poop is separated.

 
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Fisch

I am following as I have the same issue.
I just do sections of my tank for deep gravel cleaning. My tank is planted so I am a bit careful with forcing the python very deep.
Not detrimental effect to this point.
 
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Flyfisha

A foul odour might be a sign of blue green algae?
Have you ever seen blue green algae Scretiree47 ?
Do you know what it looks like?
 
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