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Old 12-16-2011, 10:01 PM   #1 
steftravels
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: BC Canada
My tank is starting to smell again, cycling. what is the problem?

Hi I'm starting to get that weird smell out of my tank again, not fishy but a little chemically. I have been vaccuming out the old food (there are no rocks ) but there are still some crumbs from every day eating. The water looks clear. I've had my fish in there about a week it's a 5.5 gallon. I don't have an at home water tester. I smelled this before last time I had a fish in there and a little while later the water went cloudy and he got sick and died. (may have been a bad ornament) but I am smelling it again so I added a little more cycle,

should I be worried? I have a Marina slim s10 I had just one cartridge in there and added one more last night. I don't want to move the old one (which is a little dirty) until I get more bacteria in the new filter piece.


Is there anything I should do at this point? If that water goes cloudy again I'm going to take coro out and put him into a 1 gallon till I figure it out.. but something is happening that I am not sure about
Thanks!
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Old 12-17-2011, 11:13 AM   #2 
guardianfyre
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The water is starting to smell because the cycle on your tank isn't complete. The odor is usually caused by ammonia (or the bacteria trying to eat it). The cloudiness that you're worried might happen (if it's kinda milky) is a bacteria cloud that occurs when there is an increase in ammonia in a tank. The cloud is actually a good thing (beneficial bacteria "breeding"), though the cause of it is not (high ammonia levels). It's called New Tank Syndrome.

Couple of recommendations. 1) Add some type of substrate. It provides a spot (other than your throw away filter cartridge) for beneficial bacteria to live. This way you won't have to worry about leaving a dirty cartridge in your filter to colonize your new one. If you don't want to use a substrate, other options are ornaments with uneven surfaces or adding some type of biomax media to your filter. 2) The Marina Slims have a cartridge type that includes zeolite (the one that says "best with goldfish"). Zeolite is a rock that absorbs ammonia. Or you can buy zeolite loose and a little mesh baggie and put it in your filter that way. 3) Small water changes. You don't want to do large ones if you are cycling your tank, but if you're noticing an odor, there is ammonia present at an unsafe level. Small water changes might extend the amount of time it takes to get the tank completely cycled, but it will also keep the ammonia to a safer level for your fish. 4) Get a "shrimp" net and use it for cleaning up the "crumbs" you mentioned. Any food left in the tank will only add to your problems.

Last edited by guardianfyre; 12-17-2011 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 12-17-2011, 03:13 PM   #3 
steftravels
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Ok well what I can do right now is a bit of a water change so I am making up some water. I put in a second filter but it was the tropical fish one, so I have one goldfish and one tropical fish. The other day I added an oranment with a rough surface so I am hoping the bacteria will grow on it. I don't get paid till next week so I can't pick up any more pieces but I will do what I can with what I have here.

At what point should I take the fish out if things don't look good? I know that he came home with bad fins and they still don't look that great. He's hard to observe because he hides alot
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Old 12-17-2011, 11:58 PM   #4 
guardianfyre
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Watch for further damage to the fins, excessive surface breathing (some surface breathing is normal for bettas, but if he's doing it all of the time, it's a sign of something wrong with the water), gasping for breath/heavy breathing, laying on the bottom of the tank (which can also be normal for bettas...), lack of energy, lack of appetite.

How much/how often are you feeding him? Flakes or pellets?
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Old 12-18-2011, 03:26 AM   #5 
steftravels
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He does look like he has a little less energy. So I changed approx 1/3 of the water in a 5.5 gallon tank. I put some cycle in there too, trying to get some more natural bacteria.

I give him 3 pellets in the morning and 3 in the evening. Although he is still terrified of me, and will not come up to eat the food. Somehow they go to the bottom and he forages for them.

There was a small amount of debris in the tank this morning but it is very minimal. it would be alot easier if he wasn't so scared of me. I can hardly observe his behavior because he hides behind objects or in his tunnel when I get near the tank. Even if I walk in the room unexpectedly and he is swimming around he will freak out and smack into the glass. I am a little concerned about that but I don't always remember to announce my presence.

Is substrate just a piece of foam? I have a piece of aquarium foam here that I could use from an old filter setup.
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:46 PM   #6 
guardianfyre
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Substrate would be aquarium gravel, sand, laterite, flourite, or similar products (stuff that covers the bottom of the tank).
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