6 Reasons Why Fish Tank Smells Bad And Is Cloudy? How To Stop

The most common reason for the bad smell is the high amount of wastewater in the tank due to lack of water change. You have to clean the water regularly to avoid the smell. The micro particles of the left food get mixed up in the water and start floating around, which produces cloudy water. For better fish keeping you have to consider the following guidelines.lest see 6 Reasons Why Fish Tank Smells Bad And Is Cloudy? and how to stop it

What is the reason behind the fish tank stink problem?

If your home is filled with a bad smell from the fish tank, then there is something serious damage to the water. As the water gets dirty, it produces a foul smell.

Generally, the excess food moves down to the tank’s bottom, where it gets eaten by the bacteria in yours aquarium.

These bacteria are multiple when the condition is right, and in few days, they will spread throughout the aquarium. These bacteria are hard to see due to their small size.

The bacteria are one of the reasons why your fish tank may be producing a bad odor. If you can smell the smell across the room, it is an indication that your tank needs a water change and cleaning.

 Here are some of the known reasons why your fish tank is stinking

 1) Dead fish:

When fish dies in the fish tank, the small fish are generally eaten by the predator or the fish available in the tank.

The large fish are floating around in the tank decaying slowly in the water. In this process, the fish starts stinking during the decay process.

If you do not remove them, then the dead will contaminate water and make it stink.

make sure to remove the dead fish as soon as possible to avoid other fish from breaking it down into pieces.

These pieces sink to the bottom of the aquarium, hiding under the decorative or the sand. This may attract the bacteria that make the water foul.

 2) Overfeeding:

People generally throw a random amount of food at their fish. It is not the way you should feed your fish.

Fish generally eat a small portion of it. you have to wait for the first bite to finish. The uneaten food will stay floating for a while until they get wet entirely and the air inside the food gets wholly moved.

Once the food is air-free, it will soak the water and become heavy. The excess food swims down to the bottom of the tank, broken down into small pieces.

It creates the layer of the waste product underneath of the decorative making the water foul.

The micro-bacteria thrive on the waste food making the water un-breathable for the fish and overfeeding causes the water to stink.

Therefore, it is advisable to break down the feeding in a small portion throughout the day.

Feed your fish 3 to 4 times a day to give them time to eat the sufficient amount of the food that they need for their growth.

 3) Fish poop in aquarium water:

Depending on the size of the fish, the poop produce in the water would make water contaminated.

You need proper filter media in the aquarium to suck the excess waste into the filter and keep it away from the water.

The sucking pump will take the excess waste product away from the water and keep the water clean.

Also, cleaning the filtration pump is easy to compare to cleaning the entire fish tank. Fish poop always produces a bad odor when it is not removed from the tank.

It may cause the water to stink. Also, the small particles flow around the water making the water look cloudy.

It would be best if you had proper filter media such as activated carbon to prevent your water from getting polluted.

Also, aquariums with many fish produce a lot of waste and should do regular water changes.

 4) Rotting Plants:

Decorative plants always look good in a fish tank. They seem appealing and make the tank environment suitable for the fish.

Fish also enjoy the surrounding that looks similar to their natural habitat.

Therefore, many aquarium owners use various types of water plants to decorate their aquariums. Aquarium plants need special water conditions where they can thrive well. Also, some need direct sunlight, which not possible in some households.

plants that need a lot of sunlight, do not survive long in a close environment. As a result, there will be many of dead plants, which become rotten over time.

The rotten plant pollutes the water and makes it stink. Also, the small pieces move in the water making the water look cloudy.

The water’s visibility drops significantly, making it challenging for fish to swim in the water. If you do not take immediate action of cleaning the water, the fish will start dying.

 5) Dirty Filter:

Every filter has the upper limit where they stop filtering the water. The contaminated water produces many dirt and micro particles that get sucked by the water filter.

The dirt particles create a layer on the filtration foam, making it hard to pass the water from the filter pump.

As a result, the water is reverse to the tank without filtration. Your filter might be active, but it is

not processing the water through the filtration.

Your tank water is still in the same condition as before.

6) Decorative:

The decorations used in the tank are made of plastic materials. Also, the sand and subtracts are prone the get dirty and produces a bad odor.

You should check if any of the decorative feels dirty or changing the shape or colors.

The colors used in the making of the decorative may be high in the chemicals. These chemicals react to the water and make the water contaminated.

The water condition will become lethal for the fish.

Remove decorations and clean the water. Keep the water without embellishment for a few days to check if the decoration was the reason behind the tank’s bad odor.

Read more on How to lower pH in Fresh water aquarium

Is It Bad If My Fish Tank Is Cloudy?

Yes. As you may now know, a cloudy tank is a result of excess waste or food particles in the water. This particle can produce ammonia after series of chemical reactions. Nitrifying bacteria are responsible for turning waste products into ammonia. If not act quickly those high concentrations of ammonium will start to burn gills of fish eventually causing death.

Nitrate build-up in the tank is much less toxic to fish than ammonium. Therefore it is important to study methods of removing bad smell from your aquarium, which is the first sign of a high amount of ammonium in the tank.

How do I get Rid Of The Smell In My Fish Tank?

Identifying the reason behind the foul smell is the first step that you should follow. The bad odor-producing content is still present in the aquarium water, and then it will make the freshwater stink again . Use the following method to fix the lingering odor.

1) Regular Water Change:

fish tanks need regular maintenance. Changing a small portion of water with freshwater, will remove waste food from the tank. Apart from that, you must clean your filter to keep your tank water in good condition.

Moreover, a freshwater aquarium should clean every 15 to 20 days to replace the entire water with freshwater. As the water gets dirty, the oxygen level of the water drops significantly.

The most common behavior of the less oxygen aquarium is the surfacing of fish. The top layer of the tank has a high amount of oxygen compared to the bottom.

It is also a good idea to check test your water for ammonia level with a test kit. Ammonia considers as one of the common odor-producing chemical in the aquarium.

 2) Using Carbon Filter

The carbon filter is useful for cleaning contaminated aquarium water. The active carbon kills the harmful bacteria leaving no trace of the bad odor.

The filtration process also moves the water through the active carbon, where the particles get trapped, and the clean water is pushed through the filter.

Note that the carbon filter would require regular cleaning to keep it performing at its peak level.

3) Clean The Bottom Of the Tank: 

Mostly the waste product gets trapped in the sand or the gravel. Cleaning the water bed would remove most of the stink-producing elements from the water.

Use the water pump that can suck the water from the tank and remove it from the tank.

Before doing that, move the fish into a bucket until you clean the water bed. Gently move the pipe at the depth of the tank to suck the particles residing on the sand or the gravel.

Read more on What Causes Oily Film Aquarium Water? Problem SOLVED

  Conclusion:

Fish tank smells are produced by the bacteria populating the water. The bacteria have grown the water where they get a sufficient amount of food to multiple.

When they cross their average limit and consume a large part of the water, their waste would start spreading in the water, making the water stink.

Also, the small bacteria make the water cloudy.

Micro bacteria can surf on the waste food particles and reach the decorative where they can comfortably breed and expand their community.

It is essential to keep changing water and pour fresh water into the aquarium to avoid growing in the water.

Read more Clean Aquarium Gravel With Or Without Vacuum Quick

About Dr.Chamika

Hello, I'm Dr. Chamika. I am a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. I am a passionate fish keeper, with10 years of experience. My mission is to help other aquarists experience the joy of fish keeping.