Jump to content

Substrate, bubbles and smells

Karen B.

Recommended Posts


Gosh transferring aquarium/upgrading is stressful.

I wrote this post about my current situation 


Basically I was cycling a 10 gallons planted aquarium, left it alone for a couple of month, no heater, no HOB filter but with a sponge filter and a light. I did nothing to it, no WC (except filling back the evaporated water), no vacuuming.

Then I got the opportunity to transfert it to a 20 gallons. I removed the plants - some had died/rotten in the substrate. The smell was horrendous but there was no bubbles in the substrate or anything.

I cleaned the substrate in dechlorinated water twice, removed the rotten plants/roots, leaves, etc. I was left with the « normal » swamp kind of smell.

Then I transfered it to my aquarium and there was some weird (metallicy?) smell to the substrate mixed with the swamp one. The substrate was wet when I added it to the tank, I filled it slowly with water. Then I noticed many air bubbles trapped in my substrate when I moved it.

Is it normal? I moved the substrate around to release the air bubbles. I might empty the tank and refill it to rince it one last time because of that weird smell. Not quite sure what it is, I rinced my substrate twice in dechlorinated water then left it in the bucket. Maybe it was some sort of left over Prime smell? Currently, the tank is full of water and there is no smell at all.

should I get rid of the substrate even if I rinced it really well? Could there be something toxic that will harm my futur fish? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/6/2022 at 9:18 AM, Karen B. said:

Then I noticed many air bubbles trapped in my substrate when I moved it.

Completely normal. Some air gets trapped in the substrate. A few weeks ago I install ugf filters in 7 tank. I still run across an area I know I had not gravel vacuumed yet. It just happened to me this morning installing new ACO heaters.  I just poke about eventually they stop.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...