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Ammonia smell in substrate?


My only guess is that you had some kind of reaction or bacteria/biology
going on in the sand that is producing the smell.  Are you sure it is not
sulfates or a sulfur smell ? I think I remember you said you used some
"Sandblasting sand"  All sandblasting sand is not equal and is not intended
for aquatic used.  You gota be careful.

I have had good luck with fine river sand. First I  tested for calcium
content  (the vinegar test). Everything OK. Then I washed the crap out of it
with water/bleach to de-bug it, rinsed it a trillion times, I spread it out
on our patio glass table for a couple of days then washed it again.  Then I
let it sit in 5g buckets with de-Chlorinator for a couple of days.  This was
my first 10g tank about 10 years ago.  Since then I buy 25lbs bags of fine
2-3mm natural quartz river gravel from The Aquatic Center in Baltimore for
about $9 a bag.  I still wash it and then don't have to worry about this.
Its worth the piece of mind.  Others have had luck with Tex-blast
sandblasting sand but I could not source it here in VA.  See the archives
for more on gravel preparation.

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Also, (this is not a flame), please turn off HTML formatted messages when
you send them to the APD.  All of the HTML formatting characters are
included in your messages an make quite a mess in everyone's email in-box.

This can easily be done.  If you are using Microsoft's Internet explorer (ok
everyone don't cringe) go to the top menu on the IE main screen and click

in the "mail sending format" section click on the "Text Only" box.

The same basic process is performed if you are using Netscape.

Tom Brennan