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>My tank is an Oceanics tank, with a very tight fitting lid. It is pierced
>in only two places: for the cannister filter's intake and return. Last
>night, before turning off the light, I sniffed the surface atmosphere in my
>tank. It had a closed up stuffy organic "smell"-not malodorous, but it was
>not a refreshing smell either such as one would expect from an air mixture
>that is fairly highly oxygenated. I looked at my fish and thought, "I am
>going to give you some fresh air tonight." So I left the tank top open to
>the air and shut out the light.
Here's another odor source to consider: If you're using any fine fish food
that floats, such as flake food, some of it may be crusting on the glass at
the top of the tank. I like to keep the water level in a tank up above the
decorative rim at the top of the tank, so the water line isn't visible.
This also means scum growth is not visible, and if you get lax, you won't
discover the problem until you nose it out.
I just had this problem, as I've had knee surgery, and had others
overfeeding for me.
>Here is the question: if I am injecting CO2 all day into this arrangement,
>is the O2 generated from photosynthesis really enough to keep these fish
>happy? Are tight plant tanks a good thing? What does a healthy planted
>tank with a tightly sealed top smell like?
During the day, the fish probably have plenty of O2, because the plants are
generating O2 when lit. When the tank goes dark, however, both the fish AND
the plants consume O2. To do a "quick and dirty" check, simply get up at
dawn one day, before ANY light hits the tank, and turn on the lights to
inspect the tank. This should be the point where the O2 level is lowest; if
the fish look distressed, or are gasping at the surface, O2 levels are
obviously too low.