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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Everyone,

I recently did a water change in my tank with a false bottom because the water looked rather brown. When I pumped the water out it smelled horrible. I was hoping the eheim filter would keep the water clean but maybe not. Any idea why the water smelled so bad? Do I need to add something to it or change the filter media?

Another possible problem is that my substrate is very wet, I would say to wet. What's the best way to dry it up a bit without killing the humidity in the tank and possibly hurting the plants?

My build thread is here there are pictures throughout:
http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/pa...18x24-exo-terra-waterfall-complete-guide.html
 

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A few things to mention:

When was the last time you emptied out your false bottom?
(The water probably looked brown from the tannins leached into it from the soil ... which is normal)

You said that your soil is too wet ... why?
Thats what you need to figure out.

Are you misting too much?
Does your soil not drain well? (Which i find hard to believe considering youre using ABG)
My guess is the waterfall could be the problem.

Depending on your answers...
But at this point in time, if it were me, id throw a hygrometer in the tank and not mist again until absolutely necessary. (Once you get close to 60%/65% humidity or so).
And check to see if your waterfall is the cause.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The water had been in the tank for about 3 weeks. I am not worried about the brown color that is certainly from the tannins but what about the smell. I don't think the waterfall is the problem that never comes in contact with the substrate and has no leaks ( tested quite well ). It might be too much misting I will have to see if I can perform more spot misting just to water plants and not get the substrate wet. Another thing I was thinking is that I am using the large sea grape leafs and although I did break them up some they are still pretty large this may be trapping to much water in the substrate. Do you think it would be better to move to the live oak leaves from Josh's which are much smaller and would likely trap well moisture in the substrate.

Thanks
 

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I highly doubt the leaf litter would cause that problem.

How often do you mist?
 

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Are you running the eheim all the time?
Is there a decent gap between the substrate and your reservoir of water in the bottom?
Is your inlet and outlet for the eheim on the same side of the tank?

I'm still new to the hobby myself, so please take anything I say for the lack of experience that it is.

I run two canister filters in my setup, but have only been using one of them. Two was a little excessive. A while back I kicked the 2nd one again and noticed the odor. I assume it was from standing water in the pump/lines and/or not having much water movement on the other end of the tank and it getting stagnant. I can only guessing that you have some water not getting movement somewhere too and when you went to do your water change, it stirred it up.

As far as the saturated soil, then I'd think maybe the water level got too high at sometime and wicked too much into the soil. Are you using ABG for your substrate?

I doubt if I was much help, but thought I'd toss ya a couple thoughts from my limited experience.;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I hand mist every morning, then again after work around 5, then maybe once more a few hours later. I also have a computer fan pulling air out of the tank for 10 minutes every hour.
 

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So you mist 3 times per day? That seems excessive. I mist once everyother day and my humidity still never drops below 85%. I could probably do it every 2 or 3 days if not longer.

I think theres part of your problem right there. Lessen your misting and see if that helps.

Also, why are you pulling air OUT of the tank?
From what i understand, fans are used to circulate the air IN a tank. Not to pull it out or bring outside air in.

Do you have a hygrometer?
 

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Like I said, I just have the one set-up, so my experience is limited. I have a vent in the each rear corner and internal fans that run 24/7 in the front corners. With the waterfall, I only mist once a day. Occasionally a second time. I hold 90% or better humidity most of the tank. I'm at 95% as we speak and haven't misted since yesterday morning.

With your waterfall, I'd think that 3x a day is more misting than you might need. Any idea how your humidity is over the course of the day?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
1. I am using ABG
2. I run the eheim all day the input and output for the pump are at the front and back but on the same side.
3. The water level is about an inch below the substrate
4. The only reason I have been misting so much is to try to keep the Thuidium moss I ordered from NeHerp wet. I only do one full tank mist per day, the other mistings are specific to areas that have the moss.
5. I pull the air out because the fan didn't work flipped the other way ( weird reason I know ) Having the fan pull air from within the tank creates gentle air movement within the tank and keeps the glass clear. I may add another fan in the tank soon.
6. The humidity in the tank stays consistently between 80 and 85%

Thanks for all the responses!
 

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Hey there, Just a thought... I have a water section under my substrate and the ABG mix stays very moist but not soggy ( 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch air section between water and ABG) and I have yet to mist or water the ABG mix - I do hand mist (with the nozzle turned for a pretty narrow mist stream) once every other day or so. And to keep moss on the side walls moist as well. some plants are misted more often then others but I usually do them individually as opposed to misting the entire tank. It's been set up for 2 months and still no need to mist/water the ABG. Maybe being more selective on misting your plants will help and not misting the ABG? I did not expect the ABG to stay as moist as it does - so it may never need to be water at the rate I am going :)

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I almost never mist the substrate mostly just plants up near the top where the lights dry things out pretty fast and the moss around the tank. I am going to try to make sure to keep the mist off the substrate and provide some extra air movement for a few days and see what happens.
 

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One more thought, do you have any wood touching the water and then touching the substrate? That is why mine stays moist - In looking back at our build it does not look like any does but thought I'd bring it up just in case. the wood will wick water into the substrate... Hang in there, it takes sometime to get it all worked out :)
 

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How big is the gap between the bottom of your substrate and the water level in you FB? Is it touching? Are you wicking water up into the substrate?
This is a situation that must be corrected asap for the health of the frogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
One more thought, do you have any wood touching the water and then touching the substrate? That is why mine stays moist - In looking back at our build it does not look like any does but thought I'd bring it up just in case. the wood will wick water into the substrate... Hang in there, it takes sometime to get it all worked out :)
No wood is touching the waterfall and substrate so that shouldn't be a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
How big is the gap between the bottom of your substrate and the water level in you FB? Is it touching? Are you wicking water up into the substrate?
This is a situation that must be corrected asap for the health of the frogs.
There is an inch between the water level and the eggcrate holding up the substrate.
 
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