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Old 06-26-2013, 02:36 PM   #1 
jadaBlu
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Does your planted tank smell different than one with just gravel? (I will explain)

Does the tank have any unpleasant smells after you plant? I am hoping to get rid of problem for the sake of the fish and myself.

I have one tank that is all gravel that I am changing over with the others to the planted tanks. It may be the first one if planting solves a problem I have with it. The tank smells moldy when you open the lid. Even though the chemistry is good and despite cleaning and changing the tank 100% after other percent water changes didn't help. Do you think planting it will get rid of this smell? Will I be trading one smell for another with the soil?
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:52 PM   #2 
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Great question. I'm wondering this myself. I just tore down my first planted tank attempt because there were some bubbles and I thought it smelled 'off', but then again I thought it smelled wierd when I set it up. I'm starting to wonder if that's just how they smell.
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:26 PM   #3 
shellieca
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I don't have soil in my planted tanks but from what I understand they will go through a smelly period because of the dirt. You will have to "aerate" the soil to release the gases that build up in a new set up. So it can get quite stinky for awhile.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:51 PM   #4 
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I hope not. My significant other is not crazy about my fish we've just reached the tolerance stage. I will never hear the end of it if the tanks stink. I will have burrowing snails to make sure my soil stays aerated. I may poke also if it doesn't seem to be helping.
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:52 PM   #5 
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Some soils contain manure which for obvious reasons is to be avoided.
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:19 PM   #6 
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The smell can be caused by anaerobic air pockets forming in the substrate as shellieca said. You want to disturb these pockets with the poking process to avoid them building up to large amounts. When they break lose and they are large, they essentially poison the water. The air pockets will eventually stop forming (after the plants take hold), and the smell should subside as well, but until then you just have smelly water. I found that an air stone helps the water keep from becoming "thick" during this time. The bad side effect of that though is that it does throw the smell out of the tank more, making it more noticeable in the room.
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:00 PM   #7 
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Can't you just poke the soil really often to keep them from forming to begin with or would you be at it all day long?
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:16 AM   #8 
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Dead Bactria Stinks! I think that is what you are smalling. anaerobic air pockets stink too yes because it's dead Bactria basically. Heavenly planted tanks with well rooted plants should not have anaerobic air pockets. This normaly happens in sand bottom tanks.

A healthy tank will smell too. It will mess like fresh dirt with a hint of swamp. That smell is a good thing it means your tank is aged and has a good balance of live Bactria.

One time I left my filter full of water but shut it off and let it sit. All my good Bactria Was dead. When I went to open the filter OMG I thought I was going to die the smell was so bad.
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