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Water stinks in the aquarium what to do

maintenance, care, compatibility

Beautiful and harmoniously located in the room aquarium can be a decoration for any interior. Aquarium – a great way to relax and achieve internal balance. However, the fish themselves and their house need constant and competent care.

Beginners and even experienced aquarists often encounter undesirable and unpleasant situations that are the result of improper or inadequate care. One of these situations is when the water in the aquarium smells unpleasant.

Let’s try to find out why aquarium water smells, and what actions you can take to eliminate unwanted odors from the aquarium.

With a situation where water smells unpleasant or even stinks, I come across, perhaps, every fan of aquarium fish. The causes of this phenomenon may be different:

  • Aquarium has not been cleaned for a long time. If you do not know, the dwelling for fish and other underwater inhabitants should be periodically cleaned, washing both the soil and algae and the glass of the aquarium. It should also regularly change the water. The smaller the aquarium, the more frequent cleaning it needs.
  • Poor quality fish food. Overdue feed can easily lead to rotting bacteria in the aquatic environment and in the soil. If you find an unpleasant odor in a relatively clean aquarium, try changing the type of food – if the problem disappears, then it’s a matter of poor nutrition.
  • Excess feed. Food is quite normal, but it is possible that you give it in excess. Feed particles that are not eaten gradually settle to the bottom and turn into the ideal substrate for the reproduction of microorganisms.
  • Overpopulation of aquarium. Such a problem is often encountered by novice aquarists who try to fit as many fish of various sizes and species as possible into a standard tank. It should be remembered that the aquarium is a kind of closed biosystem, which must be in harmony and balance. If the house has more residents than it should be, inevitably problems arise with the cleanliness of the premises.
  • The presence of some specific plants. Some types of algae can produce a peculiar smell. It is better to immediately clarify this point during the purchase of plants in the store. Again, the smaller the capacity, the more noticeable the vital activity of plant organisms: in a large volume of water the odor from algae is leveled.
  • Ground souring: methane release by soil bacteria.
  • Lack of oxygen. Deficiency o2 need to be removed with the help of a special device with the function of air circulation or a conventional compressor. Constantly high oxygen content in the water does not allow bacteria of the anaerobic type to multiply rapidly.
  • Too bright light. The abundance of radiation can lead to the multiplication and growth of unicellular algae, which, in turn, can produce unpleasant odors.
  • Too dim light. The lack of radiation causes the active growth of other algae, which also adversely affects the state of the water.

So, in most cases, the unpleasant smell of water is a consequence of excessive activity of putrefactive bacteria or plant organisms. Therefore, the main task of an aquarist is not to allow microorganisms to multiply too intensively, and for plants to bloom too much.

Suppose you figure out why the water smells in an aquarium. What measures should be taken to eliminate this problem?

The first thing you can do is to carefully clean the aquarium with all its contents. General cleaning is carried out according to certain rules.

It is necessary to consistently clean the walls, bottom, stones, algae and all other elements of the home for fish. Rotted algae and excess plants should be removed.

Replacing the water in the aquarium is carried out gradually – it can take 5-7 days. A complete and simultaneous change of water is carried out in exceptional cases: it is a huge stress for fish, which can lead to the death of fry and especially sensitive species.

Other methods of combating an unpleasant odor are saturation of water with a sufficient amount of oxygen, changing the feed or regulating its amount, ensuring the optimum amount of light emission. If the aquarium is overpopulated, a part of the inhabitants should be transplanted into another container, sold or donated: it is better to lose some of the pets than to constantly face the problem of abundance of feces and harmful bacteria.

In an overpopulated aquarium, fish feel uneasy and often show aggression towards each other.

Why is the aquarium water quickly dimmed if the tank is equipped with a filter? The main problem is that on the very first day of the launch of the aquarium there is no holistic and permanent biological environment.

The so-called “bacterial explosion” is caused by an active increase in the number of unicellular microorganisms, which are constantly multiplying. In this case, the fish should not be settled, it is better to do it on another day. When microflora equilibrates in the tank, then the water will become crystal clear.

Nothing serious needs to be done – this sediment will pass by itself. If you decide to change the water – it will again become muddy and unfit for life.

For 4-7 days the aquatic environment is fully restored, you can run plants and fish into it. To speed up the process, you can add water after the old aquarium with “residential” water.

Another common problem with the rapid turbidity of water in an aquarium is poor filtration of the reservoir. It should be well thought out system of purification, and this should be done quickly, until the young fish and did not have time to get used to a new house. A bad filter does not allow bits of dirt, feces, food debris, provoking the formation of decomposition products.

Such rotten water constantly stinks and can cause diseases.

Watch a video about filtering water in an aquarium.

Why still water quickly becomes cloudy? If it has become an unpleasant green color, dimmed in a short time – it means that microscopic blue-green algae develop in it, which lead to the flowering of the reservoir. With good development of organic and strong light, they make themselves felt on the fifth day.

When the light is not enough, cyanobacteria will acquire a brown color and begin to rot. Green color of the liquid with muddy, unpleasant smell – signs of growth of blue-green algae.


If frequent water changes, the growth of bacteria and algae provoked the appearance of muddy water in the aquarium, some steps should be taken to eliminate the problem.

  1. If your aquarium is overpopulated, place the fish in different tanks, where they would be comfortable and spacious.
  2. If there is an excess of light, shade the aquarium by setting it in a secluded corner where strong lighting does not go.
  3. If the water becomes cloudy the next day after the first feeding, make a bottom siphon and feed the fish in small portions.
  4. Settle snails and fish in an aquarium that eat leftover food, clean glass and water in a tank. After a few days, the water will become free of dirt, and will not require additional replacement.


Wrong settlement of fish as a reason for the rapid turbidity of water

Full replacement of water is required only in the rarest cases, for example, with general quarantine or water poisoning. Why not do this procedure often? Because the day after the complete substitution, you will notice how the water turned cloudy again.

A significant loss of its volume is stress for all inhabitants of the reservoir. Even during the death of some fish do not replace the water.

But there are a number of recommendations, after studying which it is possible to understand why substitutions are necessary.

  • Substitutions are necessary after the introduction of pathogenic microorganisms;
  • Replacements are required after visible flowering of the reservoir;
  • Urgent water changes are necessary when a fungal mucus is detected;
  • Refresh water is required due to severe soil contamination.

You can add water to the tank as it evaporates, but not more than 20-30% of the total volume. It is best to update 1/5 of the aquarium once a week. After the procedure, the biocenosis will recover in 2 days.

With the replacement of water cleaned the glass from plaque, remove debris from the bottom, clean snags and decorations.

It is better to plan a water change for both small and large reservoirs in advance. Type in a glass tank water from the tap, and leave it for a few days, covered with gauze.

Chlorine and gas will evaporate, the liquid will be safe for fish. And it should be remembered that in the first week of operation of the aquarium the water is not changed until an ecosystem is formed in it.

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