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Thread: Nasty stank in new tank (need help)

  1. #1
    SCAPE Member Jr. SCAPEr Sasquatch's Avatar
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    Nasty stank in new tank (need help)

    Hoping someone can help me out here. Tanks only 4 days old and stinks bad.

    Tank: 2.5g Top Fin retreat w/ built in filtration
    Soil: Flora Max
    In the tank: Sm. piece of cholla and Dwarf baby tears
    Used Top Fin Readistart Nitrifying Bacteria starter
    Heater in tank
    Tank comes with small (12) LED light bar. Seems bright but not sure what it's putting out.
    Some of the DBT is planted and the remainder was tied to a small lava rock and the cholla
    As of today:
    Nitrate = 0-20
    Nitrite = 0-.5
    GH = 75ppm
    KH = 80ppm
    pH =7.2

    *edit* I ordered Flourish and it just came today. Have not used any yet.

    I boiled the Cholla for a full day changing the water periodically. It still leached tannins into the water, which I changed once.

    Came home from work today to find a scummy film on the top of the water and a nasty smell. It looks like some of the outer pieces of the DBT's has fallen off and that was floating around in the water.

    I'm guessing it from the tiny pieces of DBT rotting? I've been doing planted tanks for a year and none of my other tanks had this problem. I couldn't get DBT to take in my first tank so I ripped it out after a couple of months. Wanted to try it on a smaller scale with this tank.

    I just finished doing a large water change (about 50%) to get out the funky water and smell. Smell is still there but just a little. Not bad like before. Any other suggestions?

    Thanks in advance!

    20171011_193805.jpg
    Last edited by Sasquatch; 10-11-2017 at 08:00 PM. Reason: Forgot to mention ferts

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    On Duty 3000 posts, Grand Master SCAPER Zenzu's Avatar
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    It's the organic matter decaying in the tank. I would take everything out of the tank, put the plants into a holding tank or bucket. Clean everything off and start with a fresh cycle in a relatively empty tank. Adding only healthy plants back in.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr Kole85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zenzu View Post
    It's the organic matter decaying in the tank. I would take everything out of the tank, put the plants into a holding tank or bucket. Clean everything off and start with a fresh cycle in a relatively empty tank. Adding only healthy plants back in.
    Zenzu is the plant jedi! Every time I see one of his posts or replies I read very carefully and take it all in! Lol

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    SCAPE Member Jr. SCAPEr Sasquatch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zenzu View Post
    It's the organic matter decaying in the tank. I would take everything out of the tank, put the plants into a holding tank or bucket. Clean everything off and start with a fresh cycle in a relatively empty tank. Adding only healthy plants back in.
    What decaying organic matter? The DBT? I've only had the tank running four days, would it be decaying that fast?

    Thanks for the info btw.

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    On Duty 3000 posts, Grand Master SCAPER Zenzu's Avatar
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    Something is causing the water to foul. Ammonia, protein, bacteria... there is organic matter breaking down in the tank, just not sure what. It could very well be the dwarf baby tears melting.

    You have the filter running right? Looks like an AIO which seems wierd that a film would build up on the surface because of the way aios are usually designed, it should prevent films from forming, by skimming or overflowing.

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    SCAPE Member 1000 posts, Semi-Pro SCAPEr Bongox3's Avatar
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    I'm thinking it's either the wood or the Top Fin Readistart Nitrifying Bacteria starter... in my apisto tank with a bunch of these types logs, spider wood, and submerged leaves, I often get a smell like decaying vegetation ... if I pull out the either type of wood, and sniff it, it can be pretty pungent as it's leeching not only tannins but also a sugar like substance that looks similar to fungus...it eventually went away...but was pronounced at first...water changes and manual removal of that stuff was key...

    I don't care much for top fin products too... never used the stuff u listed, but other items I recall not being impressed with and tossing... while beneficial bacteria is great - this product may have caused an imbalance... substratesource sells similar products by brightwell and azoo... not sure they work, but I like other products made by them... best choice however, is just give your tank more time to cycle and leech nasty stuff... I think with the frequent big water changes and an occasional brushing of the wood with a toothbrush or siphon you'll be golden.

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    SCAPE Member Jr. SCAPEr Sasquatch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bongox3 View Post
    I'm thinking it's either the wood or the Top Fin Readistart Nitrifying Bacteria starter... in my apisto tank with a bunch of these types logs, spider wood, and submerged leaves, I often get a smell like decaying vegetation ... if I pull out the either type of wood, and sniff it, it can be pretty pungent as it's leeching not only tannins but also a sugar like substance that looks similar to fungus...it eventually went away...but was pronounced at first...water changes and manual removal of that stuff was key...

    I don't care much for top fin products too... never used the stuff u listed, but other items I recall not being impressed with and tossing... while beneficial bacteria is great - this product may have caused an imbalance... substratesource sells similar products by brightwell and azoo... not sure they work, but I like other products made by them... best choice however, is just give your tank more time to cycle and leech nasty stuff... I think with the frequent big water changes and an occasional brushing of the wood with a toothbrush or siphon you'll be golden.
    Thanks! you and Zenzu have been extremely helpful with info. The Cholla did smell really bad when I took it out so maybe that is it. I'm going to try a combination of your suggestions and see if I can get it regulated.

    I've used Top Fin nitrifying with all my other tanks and had no problem but maybe because this one is so small it went sideways. Thanks again for your input. Anymore input is appreciated and I'll update after Things get better or worse.

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    SCAPE Member Jr. SCAPEr Sasquatch's Avatar
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    *UPDATE* For what it's worth.

    The frequent water changes seemed to be helping but there was still film on the water every time I got home from work. The nasty smell wouldn't go away though. I decided to scrap the entire tank and start over. I took the cholla out and boiled it again. Even after boiling it it still had that nasty rot smell. I currently have it soaking in vinegar. I'm going to boil it one more time to hopefully get out the nasty smell. I'll be cleaning the tank out with vinegar. Soil still stinks so rather than boiling it I'm throwing it out and starting over with that. I've been scaping for a year and this is my first failed tank so I guess it was bound to happen.

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    SCAPE Member 1000 posts, Semi-Pro SCAPEr Bongox3's Avatar
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    That's a total bummer, sorry to hear about the tank... maybe nix the cholla wood until your tank is established and ready for fish and/or shrimp... you could also consider use of charcoal, but it's strips a lot of beneficial stuff for plants...

    Check ur mail, sending u a pm...

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    SCAPE Member Jr. SCAPEr Sasquatch's Avatar
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    *UPDATE 2* For anyone following my saga.

    I finally figure it out. The meaty wood pulp inside the Cholla was causing the problem. The piece wasn't a skeleton, it still had soft wood on the inside. I ended up taking a screwdriver and toothbrush and scraping it all out like scraping the insides of a pumpkin. The stuff reaked! Hoping this concludes my issue and maybe someone with the same problem will see this and not have to go through a week of nasty smell before figuring it out.

    20171014_232803.jpg

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