Habitat - Indoor :: Tank water cloudy/smells of rotten eggs

Turtle tank setups and other indoor configurations.

Post Posted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:24 am   Tank water cloudy/smells of rotten eggs

Hi all,

A few hours ago in the middle of the night I woke up and the whole apartment reeked of rotten eggs. I mean, it was/is putrid. It's all emanating from the turtle tank and I really have no idea why or what to do about it.

I've got a 55 gallon tank shared by two female YBS, both of around 5/6 inches long (I realize the tank is too small, but they grew up too fast and there's a space issue in my apt). I use a powerful Sunsun filter. I do weekly 50% partial water changes and treat new water with Reptisafe Turtle Conditioner, Microbelift Substrate Cleaner and API Sludge Destroyer. I've had them now for about four or five years since they were hatchlings and this system has usually worked.

Full disclosure, I've seen signs that one or both of them may have recently laid some eggs, though neither have displayed any gravid behaviour. I saw what looked like it might have been egg-debris recently and I've also seen one of them biting down on round white stones, which I usually see around the time they've laid eggs in the past. I kind of doubt this is the source of the egg-smell, but I have noticed that when they've laid eggs in the water before it's caused the water to cloud up pretty quickly, so I'm not sure if that's relevant.

The water problem really started about a month ago when the water turned green. This has happened before, usually from algae. Often I've found that the answer is to replace the purigen in my filter, so I did. I put in two new bags of purigen and discarded the old ones (I'd previously recharged them, so I felt it was time for a change). I also cleaned the filter, but I was out of activated carbon, so I left the old stuff in there and ordered more.

The water didn't clear up. It remained green and cloudy. I tried leaving it alone for a few days to see if it'd clear up, but it didn't.

I changed all the water in the tank, leaving only the water I had in the filter. I realize now this was probably a mistake. It certainly didn't improve matters. It remained green and cloudy and didn't clear up.

The carbon arrived less than a week later, so I dropped that into the filter. The filter looked pretty dirty even though I'd recently cleaned it. Needless to say, changing the carbon didn't clear anything up.

Since then I've tried partial water changes, changing as much as 75% of the water, and I've not really had any luck. Things got a little busy and I hadn't managed to solve the problem. Now I have to do something today because this smell is awful and I doubt it's healthy for the turtles.
TheMVB
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Apr 24, 2017
Gender: Male

Post Posted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:18 am   Re: Tank water cloudy/smells of rotten eggs

I looked around and found some people attribute this kind of smell to bubbles in the substrate coming to the surface. I went in there and shook up the play-sand, sure enough some bubbles did escape. Not sure if that was the cause though. I did about a 75% water change and the water I was getting rid of stank so horribly it gave me a bit of a headache.

I also cleaned the filter, which smelled similarly awful (rotten eggs) and I found to my surprise that the two bags of Purigen I put in there maybe three weeks back were entirely depleted. I don't even know how that happens.

After the cleaning, the smell abated, for now at least, so that's something. The water still looks awful though.

Can anyone walk me through what to do next?
TheMVB
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Apr 24, 2017
Gender: Male

Post Posted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:18 pm   Re: Tank water cloudy/smells of rotten eggs

Certain kinds of algae can produce strong smells or this could be a bacteria imbalance. I would probably do partial changes regularly and replacing the carbon. If possible, feed out of the tank and keep an eye on poop and/or vomit.
User avatar
steve
Site Admin
 
Posts: 29550
Joined: Apr 11, 2005
Location: New York, NY
Gender: Male

Post Posted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:08 pm   Re: Tank water cloudy/smells of rotten eggs

The carbon in there was less than a week old, you really think I need to change it already?

I did a 30% water change yesterday and things are looking up so far. It's not crystal clear still, but it doesn't stink.

I haven't actually seen any poop or vomit, but what am I actually looking for if I see it?
TheMVB
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Apr 24, 2017
Gender: Male

Post Posted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:22 pm   Re: Tank water cloudy/smells of rotten eggs

For the carbon, it might be exhausted sooner than later if there are water issues. It'll absorb impurities and odors coming from the water.

For any poop/vomit.. just any that are unusually messy. With a sick turtle, you might see a lot of it.
User avatar
steve
Site Admin
 
Posts: 29550
Joined: Apr 11, 2005
Location: New York, NY
Gender: Male

Post Posted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:15 pm   Re: Tank water cloudy/smells of rotten eggs

Not crystal clear could be a bacteria bloom since you just did massive water changes. Give it a couple of days before you add / do anything. If it's not stinking and just a bit cloudy, it may clear up on its own.
User avatar
VeipaCray
Moderator
 
Posts: 4310
Joined: Aug 31, 2009
Location: Naperville, IL
Gender: Male

Post Posted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:03 pm   Re: Tank water cloudy/smells of rotten eggs

Yesterday it was looking crystal clear, today it's only a little worse than that, but still clear. I'm thinking the issue is mostly resolved now. I do wonder if the leaves I'm feeding them has been fouling up the water. I do feed them in their tank as one of them really doesn't like being held.

Now I've got another issue in that one of my turtles is making a chewing motion. I posted about that in General Care, but here's the video in case anyone here has a suggestion; https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MB6v_A ... l_2kw/view
TheMVB
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Apr 24, 2017
Gender: Male


Return to Habitat - Indoor

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests