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Old 06-07-2013, 08:09 PM   #1 
Lindsaypez's Avatar
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Rhode Island
My new 3 gallon tank smells. Any advice?

Hello again. I absolutely love these forums and my betta obsession is growing because of you all! Thanks for being here!

My 3 gallon tank has been set up for 5 days and it really smells. It's strange. I've done two 20% water changes so I would assume the water couldn't be the problem. All I have in the tank is: gravel, 3 small silk plants, 2 bulbs that are growing into plants, the betta and the heater. I can't quite describe the smell...Slightly like sulfur? Kind of like a sewage plant? My husband doesn't smell it at all but it's very strong to me.

Should I get a small sponge filter? Am I doing something wrong? My fish was sick for a few days but he is 100% better and swimming around his bowl like crazy. I assume the water condition is ok since it's new. I'm using the Prime water conditioner which has a terrible smell out of the bottle...That would not cause an odor though, right? It's 2 drops per gallon so I imagine 6 drops in 3 gallons of water would dilute the smell. Any advice? I've smelled horrible tanks that haven't had water changes in ages (I used to work at a pet store) and I can't believe this smell is coming from the tank already. I just did a little water change though, taking out the tank water in a cup, and I smelled the water before dumping it. The water didn't smell. I guess the actual tank is smelly...
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:29 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Ontario, CA
Are you cleaning the waste out of the substrate? If not that could be part of the problem. IME, the tank will get an odor like a pond but I'd don't usually smell it unless I'm doing a water change & I get the gunk out of the substrate with the water. I would get a gravel vac/syphon & do 2 50% water changes per week with a good vacuum once a week.
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:46 AM   #3 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
I am really sensitive to Prime smell. It gets stronger to me over time. I switched conditioners, and problem solved.

If you don't have a HOB filter breaking the surface you could try that.

Substrate can also get anaerobic pockets. Poke all over with a skewer or chopstick every other day and see if that helps.

Let us know what works for you!
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:06 AM   #4 
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Spotsylvania, VA
Like Shellieca says, it could be your filter substrate. If you are doing the water changes, are you cleaning the filter as well? if so, do you take the filter out from the tank and completely clean the filter in and out?
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