4 Main Reasons of Smelly Aquarium Water

4 Main Reasons of Smelly Aquarium Water

smelly fish tank

You usually can’t smell an aquarium unless you put your nose right above the tank’s filter. But sometimes, people who own fish tanks notice a strong smell coming from the water.

If you can smell a fish tank without getting close to it, that’s a sign something’s not right and you need to fix it quickly.

What Are the Causes of Smells in Aquarium Water?

Aquarium water can start to smell bad due to four main reasons:

  1. Dead Fish: Sometimes, a fish might die and remain in a corner of the tank. The dead fish will start to decompose, releasing proteins and oils that can stink up the tank. It’s important to find and remove any dead fish quickly to prevent this.
  2. Overfeeding: Feeding your fish too much can also cause a smell. Any food that the fish don’t eat will sink to the bottom of the tank and start to rot. This not only smells bad, but it also helps bacteria to grow, which can make the smell even worse.
  3. Too Many Fish: If your tank is overcrowded with fish, there will be a lot of fish waste in the water. This can be too much for the filters and bacteria in the tank to handle, leading to a bad smell.
  4. Rotting Plants: Lastly, if you have plants in your tank and they start to die, they can also cause a smell. Dead plants will start to rot, which can make the water look murky and smell bad.

How to Treat Smelly Aquarium Water?

First, check your fish. If any are missing, they might have died and are causing the smell.

If all fish are there, the smell might be from the leftover food or plant debris in the gravel or on tank furniture.

To fix it, clean the tank thoroughly. Use a tank vacuum or scoop to clean the gravel. Also, reduce the amount of food to one small feeding per day.

Clean the filter before and after you clean the tank. If you see lots of debris, the filter may be clogged and needs cleaning.

After cleaning, check if the smell is gone.

Preventive Measures to Avoid Smelly Aquarium Water

After you’ve removed the cause of the bad smell from your fish tank, wait a bit and then check if the smell is gone.

Here are three easy steps to prevent your aquarium water from smelling bad:

  1. Don’t overfeed your fish: Fish will not die if you don’t feed them all the time. Overfeeding can cause health issues for them. So, feed them sparingly.
  2. Clean the tank regularly: Your aquarium is a closed space. You need to clean it regularly to keep the environment healthy. Sometimes, the bad smell may be due to the buildup of waste products. So, never skip a water change.
  3. Change the filter: The filter helps to remove the bad smell. Use a filter with activated carbon media. But remember, you need to change the filter a few times a year. The carbon in the filter gets used up and needs to be replaced to keep working effectively.

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