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Old 07-14-2012, 12:01 PM   #1 
Purple
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Stinky Fish!

My fish tanks smell! D:

I have two 1 gallons, 1 3(?) gallon, and 1 2.5 gallon. I do a 100% water change every other day because they get so stinky.

I just lifted up my 2.5 gallon's lid and I nearly died. A wave of stench hit me. It was horrible. It smells like something rotten.

One gallon #1 smells like some kind of weird mixture between burning plastic (there's no heater, but the water stays warm) and cat food.

One gallon #2 didn't stink at first, but started stinking ever since something got into the gravel and caused the water to cloud up after an hour. I removed the gravel since. I can't smell it right now to explain the smell, but I will post if I need to when my sister's out of her room. ("Hey, can I sniff Otis's tank?" AWKS.)

My 3 gallon smells like the 2.5 gallon, but not as strong.

I did water changes yesterday, so they're not due for one. I feed them about 90% frozen brine shrimp and 10% BettaMin flakes. I feed twice a day (shrimp in the morning, flakes at night) and fast once a week. None of the smells smell like the shrimp. (It's very distinctive.)

What could be causing the smell? How can I stop it from stinking so badly?
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Old 07-14-2012, 12:33 PM   #2 
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I don't know if they smell is coming from the diet or if it is a water problem. Do you have any testing equipment for your water? If not you can probably contact your local water treatment plant to see what your water contains.

Brine Shrimp are good Treats and not very good as a staple diet for bettas. And flakes for the most part are not a complete diet either; it is best to find a betta specific food or a food (pellet or flake) with a high protein content.

Pellets are better for measuring the amount of food you're feeding your fish because you can actually count them while flakes it is hit or miss.
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Old 07-14-2012, 01:08 PM   #3 
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If you post pictures of your tank that would help. It could be bacteria on your decorations or growing on the sides of the tank.

I scrub the sides of my tanks with a acrylic safe aquarium approved cleaning pad once every 2 weeks or sooner if I deem necessary.

Since most betta food contain a ton of protein, the waste from those foods could be adding to the odor. That's another reason there's a oily film on top of the water.
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Old 07-14-2012, 01:20 PM   #4 
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I can't get a picture right now, but I'll try to describe their tanks as best I can.

One gallon #1 is this with plastic substrate in weird shapes. (Sorry, that's my best description.) They're not porous. As of today, there is a betta log.

One gallon #2 has nothing in it. It's one of the glass tanks with the flat front and back and curved sides. It has violent Seran wrap over the top.

My three-ish gallon has rounded plastic substrate, a thermometer and a heater that attaches to the side of the tank. It's a glass bowl with violet Seran wrap over the top.

My 2.5 gallon has flat marbles, a thermometer, a heater that attaches to the side of the tank, and a betta hammock. It's a rectangular tank with a glass lid.
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Old 07-14-2012, 01:37 PM   #5 
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no filters or air stone. my tanks had a little stink till i added filtration
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Old 07-14-2012, 01:46 PM   #6 
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Can I just put a filter in there, or do I have to cycle it first, or what?
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Old 07-14-2012, 01:51 PM   #7 
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All your tanks are too small to cycle. Cycling is the process of building up beneficial bacteria(BB) by absorbing ammonia and nitrites in the filter and turning it into nitrates; with a tank that small the bioload can not support the growth of BB.

To fully understand a cycle I recommending reading about: the Nitrogen Cycle. I gave you a very dumbed down version.

I recommend some air stones if you want some flow in your tanks. You can support multiple stones on one pump if you use a 'gang valve'. You can then spread out and control the amount of air to each stone.
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Old 07-14-2012, 02:10 PM   #8 
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Yeah, I thought they were too small to cycle. Thanks everyone for your help!!
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Old 07-16-2012, 03:44 AM   #9 
Hallyx
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Both of my 3gal tanks are cycled and smell very sweet---clean freshwater swamp smell---as do my 5 gals.

You can cycle a quart bottle if you have enough area for the nitrifying bacteria to colonize. For a 2.5 gal a large sponge filter (hydro '0' or equivalent) will provide enough area, flow and aeration to handle a Betta...and little else.

Any filter with enough foam to make a cube 2 inches on a side will work.
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Old 07-16-2012, 04:04 AM   #10 
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+1^

My 3.5 g is fully cycled and stable. Big sponge in filter, stacks of plants and wood, LOTS of surface area for BB. Regular water changes (BB don't live in the water column anyhow), and regular testing. I wouldn't try to cycle a smaller tank without loads of plants/surface area for BB.

It's pretty challenging, but you CAN cycle a smaller tank and keep it stable.

That said, the smell thing is weird. Try changing the substrate? Do you vac it/rinse it at water changes? Sometimes stuff builds up under there and smells.

I will never use another undergravel filter either... boy, do they pong..


eta:
Quote:
I feed them about 90% frozen brine shrimp and 10% BettaMin flakes.
^ This might have something to do with it.

Shrimp stink. Miss just one, and phew.. Plus, they're not that nutritious, really. I'd get good quality pellets and/or get a mosquito bucket.. mozzie larvae don't stink.. or wingless fruit flies for live food. Wrth a try?

Last edited by Aus; 07-16-2012 at 04:15 AM.
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