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Old 02-18-2007, 03:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Awfull Smell!!!

I have a friend that just got into the Aquarium GIG. He received a 45 gallon tank from a friend of his. The tank had been sitting stagnant water for about a year. He thoroughly cleaned out the tank and began to hardscape and add water. He noticed within a day or so the tank stinks really bad. Any ideas on how to get rid of the smell?? he has done several water changes almost daily and the smell will go away for awhile but then return.
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Old 02-18-2007, 04:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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about 2-3 gallons of bleach in the tank. then do 2 or 3 100% water changes, then overdose declor.
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Old 02-18-2007, 06:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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When you do the chlorine treatment, rinse several times with HOT water. It will help release the chlorine into the air. Then you can soak with plain water and a lot of dechlor.

Baking soda might also help but I wouldn't use it at the same time as the chlorine.

Also, as a sanitizer, chlorine needs about 1/2 hour to work.
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Old 02-18-2007, 07:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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For a 45 gallon tank, a quart of bleach will do the job nicely. just cover the tank tightly and let it sit for a day or two before draining and rinsing.
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Old 02-18-2007, 08:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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quart for a day or two sure. 2 or 3 gallons and you'll be done in 30 mins. Personally, I'd rather not wait that long...and yeh, hot water will help evaporate the liquid chlorine into chlorine gas
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Old 02-18-2007, 08:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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before you go into all of that though is he sure the smell is the tank its self and not something IN the tank?

Seems like if it were the tank its self, he would have never been able to clean the smell away to begin with, and that the water changes wouldnt make much of a difference.

Possibly something that he put in as hardscape, or the substrate causing the smell? I have had soil tanks not work out for me and smell horribly, I have also had wood turn water pretty stagnant and stink like rotten eggs.

Just something to look into before the tank gets ripped apart
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Old 02-19-2007, 04:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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If you can tell us what exactly what hardscape was used and get a description of the odor, that might help.
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Old 02-19-2007, 07:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t2000kw View Post
When you do the chlorine treatment, rinse several times with HOT water. It will help release the chlorine into the air. Then you can soak with plain water and a lot of dechlor.

Baking soda might also help but I wouldn't use it at the same time as the chlorine.

Also, as a sanitizer, chlorine needs about 1/2 hour to work.
Chlorine is more soluable in cold water than hot. So rinse in cold water.

The amout of time bleach needs to sterilize depends on the concentration! For stright bleach just a couple of seconds is needed. For 10:1 diluted - it just takes 3-4 minutes.

As a rule of thumb just dumping some in and letting it sit overnight and rinsing in cold water works fine. Any left over you can still smell will dissipate fairly quickly once the tank is full.
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Old 02-19-2007, 08:31 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I based the time on the small amount used by the homebrewing community, 2 tablespoons per 5 gallons, but yes, more will work faster.

As for hot or cold water, it depends on whether you want to dissolve it in repeated soakings (and emptyings) or release the chlorine as gas (into the air) with a hot water rinse and get rid of it that way. In homebrewing (beer/wine), many of us use a hot water rinse. It takes less time and water to get rid of the chlorine this way.

But in this case, it might be better to do several soakings to get rid of it, if the stuff is hiding in little crevices between the sheets of glass.

I prefer iodophor myself as a sanitizing agent, but it stains, even glass if you are not careful, so I wouldn't use it for this.

What I'm wondering is if there's something that needs cleaned, not just sanitized to kill off a mold or something that might ge giving off the smell. Cleaning with a detergent is probably out, unless you use something from the food industry. But maybe scrubbing with something like baking soda and water would work. Then do the sanitizing if it needs it.
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Old 02-22-2007, 05:20 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Troy McClure View Post
If you can tell us what exactly what hardscape was used and get a description of the odor, that might help.
Yes basicly when I recieved the tank I tossed everything into the trash and purchased new. I added 50 pounds of gravel, three pieces of boiled and cleaned slate (I boiled them), and one large sea shell that I found 20years ago in the ocean (I boiled it also). Just to add, I have found that after I did a re-cleaning and started over the smell is less but still there.
The smell is more like rotting potatoes or old tropical fish food.
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