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substrate bubbles

Methane itself is odorless. If there is no odor from the substrate
bubbles they are nearly entirely nitrogen from denitrification. By the
time the anaerobic bacteria have begun to produce methane in significant
amounts, I think you will be able to detect the faint smell of mercaptan
(-HS) compounds which is the same smell as is found in natural gas.
Please review the APD archives using "mercaptan" as a search key for
more info.

By and large substrate bubbles are harmless provided that the oxygen
levels in the aquarium water remain adequate. I recommend you let the
bubbles escape naturally rather than poking into the substrate too much.
Steve Pushak                          teban at powersonic_bc.anti-spam.ca 

Visit "Steve's Aquatic Page"            http://home.infinet.net/teban/
 for LOTS of pics, tips and links for aquatic gardening!!!

Aquatic Gardeners Association     -                  technical advisor