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The Smell Of Fishtank Water


gomby119

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  • Regular Member

Hey everyone,

Been on lurker mode for a while as things have gotten busy on the work-side.

Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone else tries to recognize the difference in smell (if any) between clean tank water and not so clean water.

I've been trying to mostly so that I have another metric of the general health of the tank.

Anyone have any experience with that?

-Alex

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Guest Chishower

I always thought my tank smelled like the river..that good watery/fishy/plants smell. I dunno what bad tank water would smell like, I perform water changes relgiously to keep mine in tip top shape. (at the cost of my sanity :krazy: )

I would think it would smell more fishy, though. I mean, even fresh fish in a fish market isnt supposed to smell fishy - its a bad smell.

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I agree...Mine smells like river water as well. When you start to get that "fishy stench" I start to watch my params even closer.

The worst it has ever been was when I first ot into the Goldie hobboe, mind you I was VERY ignorant, I saw had 4 YES four fish in a 5 gallon MiniBow! AHHHHHH! :krazy: So with me not knowing how very overstocked I was, on top of the fact that I didn't know about the ammonia and fish waste...I didn't do any water changes...Oh my my my my....that was the most Wretched smell I have ever encountered. I live in a huge three story house, and my tanks are upstairs and the moment you walked in the front door , you could smell it....It was EVERYWHERE!

All that just to say, I've smelled it good and I've smelled it bad...and it was enough to bring me to Koko's! I could have died if I had to live with that smell one more day! :ill

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I like a fresh, salty smell. I use .1% salt all the time and if I can actually smell the salt I know the water is clean and fresh. I dislike that smell of decomposed vegetation which I sometimes get, which is weird since I have no live plants. This generally means my filter needs a good rinse out to remove excess waste.

Now, this is really weird but sometimes my tank smells really nice, like a subtle fragrance. I have no idea what this is all about. :wacko:

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  • Regular Member
The worst it has ever been was when I first ot into the Goldie hobboe, mind you I was VERY ignorant, I saw had 4 YES four fish in a 5 gallon MiniBow! AHHHHHH! :krazy:   So with me not knowing how very overstocked I was, on top of the fact that I didn't know about the ammonia and fish waste...I didn't do any water changes...Oh my my my my....that was the most Wretched smell I have ever encountered. I live in a huge three story house, and my tanks are upstairs and the moment you walked in the front door , you could smell it....It was EVERYWHERE!

387174[/snapback]

same thing for me! except i had 5 :o now my aquarium smells much better, but i have a 29gal, 5gal, 5 1gals, so now my room smells like an aquarium. it doesn't stink but i don't care for smell either. before i go to bed i usually spray air freshener (fresh linen scent) i spray it at the floor so it dosen't get in the tanks, then i could go to sleep, but before i found koko's my water use to smell pretty bad :ill

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  • Regular Member

I have never noticed a smell before but apon reading this post I ran to tank

good big sniff

river!

It reminds me of a place we are going this weekend with my X, we taking my son there...its a river and you can catch fresh crayfish

we taking a pot so we can cook em fresh, hmmmmmmm fresh lunch!

anyway thats what my tank smells like :)

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Guest Sacreligioushippie

Well I'm glad I'm not the only one who smells my tank. :D

I always tried to figure out how to describe the smell and river is definately it.

Glad I'm not the only tank sniffer.

~ Jessica

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Guest JustJayde

I always am smelling my tank just for that purpose yes, to monitor it.

I have smelled some really rank tanks and mine smells healthy and earthy. No foul smell. :)

If it gets a bit off the "natural non foul smell" I clean it that day.. but it is rare because I stay on top of it :)

:exactly

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  • Regular Member

Oh my godh I never smelled my tank before. I was reading all these posts and had to run over there real quick.

The person who said earth and leaves I think describes mine perfectly. I had to take about 4 big sniffs! I love the way the earth smells after it rains. That is what it reminds me of. I have live plants so maybe that makes a little difference between people whose tanks smell like earth and those who smell like river water.

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I smell mine every time i feed :) Its heaps easy to tell if somethings wrong then, especially once you know all the different smells. We smell wounds at work too :P some certain bacteria have a really specific smell (psuedomonas for example).

I think its great :) Takes a while to get a hold of all the different smells though.

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from my experiences....a clean tank has a constant smell to it be it earth after a rain or a running river...it's when it dont have that same smell that indicates something is wrong... :exactly

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I agree with the "fresh fiver smell". When I started cycling with fish food I added way too much. The water was frothy and green and smelled SOOOOO gross! I love the healthy water smell tho :)

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  • Regular Member
what kind of filter do you have? maybe its not filtering the water well enough.

387295[/snapback]

It is a wet/dry system built into the hood of an AquaOne tank. I rinse the filter pads regularly but it has a substantial sump area where mush accumulates. I only clean this area occasionally. Perhaps I should do it more often.

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I agree with svendenhowser, different bacterias smell different, I had a tank recently with a bad blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) bloom, it was REALLY stinky, a very strong vegetable smell, like succulent leaves (like cacti/aloe etc) that have been crushed and left to rot a little, really weird.

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  • 10 months later...
Guest tania123

Hi, im fairly new to the aquarium thing.

I had loads of fish when i was a kid but only in 2's or 3's since ive had 2 lots of fry my amount of fish has increased. The oldest lot of fry are in a 126 litre tank and with the hot weather we been having recently i been concerned that the water was bad as it was smelling and it was a little bit cloudy. I realise now that the smell isn't bad at all as it smells of a river like the rest of you guys say but the cloudiness is still bothering me. I think all the parameters are ok so is the cloudiness normal aswell.

Cheers

p.s. i think this site is great so much information and from personal experiences too.

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Hi Tania and welcome. How many fry are in the tank-what size type of filter-how often are you doing water changes,how much? What are you feeding the fry,and how many times a day? How long's the tank been running? Sorry for all the questions-The more we know the easier to help you. :lol:

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Guest fishey-wishey

As I am new to fish keeping (and didn't know) I noticed and kept wondering if it was normal to smell the tank/water! I have just had a few really good sniffs and my tank also smells like river water! After reading all your info this is a good sign :)

I love this site and all the information on here, I am going through my paranoid fish mummy phase, so I have found some really useful tips-Thank you xx

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  • Regular Member

I have an open topped tank so I probably notice mine more. It mainly does not have a smell unless I feed them some frozen food that is stinky like Emerald entree. When I first got it , it sometimes it had a pond smell but now that it has cycled I usely don't smell much.

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I used to smell my tank constantly-when it was cycling. I read that the smell of garlic or sulphur- really bad smell is the ammonia and the smell of old tobacco(described differently by different smellers) is the nitrites peak. Has anyone else read about that? My tanks are cycled and they smell like the earth smells when theres a light rainfall. Very nice.

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