How to Remove Aquarium Smell

All aquarium smell issues should be taken seriously. They may mean something is rotting in your tank and you will want to make sure all your fish are healthy and accounted for. Once you know your fish are all right, you can start to look for other sources of the stank.



Whether the problem stems from an issue with maintenance or tank care, you’ll find answers right here. You can deal with it and get back to enjoying the beauty of your fish tank.



How to Remove Aquarium Smell

1 Bleach the Smell Out

If your fish tank smells like rotten eggs, the way to get rid of the ammonia smell is to start by getting all the living things out of the tank. Put them into a temporary tank while you deal with your main one. Bleach your main tank for a full 24 hours. This will kill off all the bacteria in the tank, as well as in your filter. Next, you will need to wash out your tank three times to ensure that all traces of the bleach have been completely removed. Fill up the tank and test the water. You should not notice any smell at all.


2 Vinegar Water Scrub Down

Some used fish tanks will carry a strong fishy smell from their previous inhabitants. You’ll want to get rid of it before putting your fish in the tank, so start by scrubbing it down with a solution of vinegar and water. Rinse thoroughly and let it set for a couple of days before filling it with water.


3 Activated Charcoal Solution

In a case where the issue is stanky water, add some activated charcoal to the filter. You can pick some up at a pet store that sell aquarium supplies. You would need to replace it every three weeks for optimum freshness.


4 Clean the Lid

If you are looking for the source of aquarium stank, check under the lid. It can be a haven for bits of uneaten food that gets stuck and starts decomposing. Once that starts happening, the tank will start to smell. Sometimes, the buildup of stanky materials is due to condensation. Either way, you need to deal with the funky stuff by taking the lid off the tank and giving it a thorough cleaning.


5 Change the Water

Changing the water often is a good strategy that will help you keep the aquarium smell down to a minimum. It’s normal for an aquarium to have a bit of aroma to it, but it should not be overpowering. Do a 50 percent water change every week and you should not have to worry about a major smell issue.


6 Add Oxygenating Plants to the Tank

If you check your tank and the water is cloudy and smells bad, you may be overfeeding your fish. You’ll need to change the water completely. Add some oxygenating plants to your tank. They’ll help to improve the quality of the water. Stop overfeeding. The excess food is falling to the bottom of the tank, decomposing and making the tank smell.


Published by

Joe Fresh

Joe is an odor combatant, chemistry extraordinaire and all around good guy. He has an over-productive olfactory system with absolutely zero tolerance for unpleasant aromas.

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