• Looking to buy a cephalopod? Check out Tomh's Cephs Forum, and this post in particular shares important info about our policies as it relates to responsible ceph-keeping.

smelly sand


Apr 14, 2005
i recently moved and have 2 tanks that are connected to each other. one is 65 gal and one is 29. i completly emptied to 65g and put the sand in a bucket. the 29g i was able to move with the sand and water still in it.
i let the sand sit in the bucket for 2 days thinking it would be ok becuased there was water mixed in the sand. but now the sand smells like rotten eggs.
now what would be the best thing to do
1. should i wash the sand in freshwater and will this kill all the good bacteria
2 or should i throw the stinky sand in my tank becuse there is good bacteria growing in it and this smell is normal.
Rinse it real well a little at a time in running water and add each little bit back to the tank.

The bacteria in the sand eat organic matter and breathe oxygen. When you store sand for a long time in a bucket, they can't get oxygen. When this happens, there are other critters that eat the stuff by breathing sulfates and "exhaling" hydrogen sulfide, which is the rotten egg smell.

Arrrggh! Anaerobic decay ! That smell that smell...can't you smell that smell...

Yep, what he said.

thanks guys
i rinsed the sand and it smells better. im a little worried though because i ordered a coule of baby cuttles and i dont want anything funny to happen to my tank in the next few days.
i was wondering if my tank does go hay wire, would it be a good idea to keep them in a brand new tank, with new water, new sand, and maybe some old live rock for filtration and then do lots of water changes. (that is if my big tank does crash)
You really shouldn't put cephs in if you have any question as to whether or not the tank will crash.

Given that, throw us some details about the system--what type of filtration you have, how far was the move (ie, did the move kill the filter), how much LR?

Well I have 65g tank w/29gallon sump, 1/2 the sump filled with live rock. A couple of pieces of rock in the 65g.
I also have an aqua medic protien skimmer, an ehiem cannister filter,
2 power heads.
The tank is over a year old. I had an octo for the last year but he just recently died.
I changed about half the water out today, cleaned the sand.
I think the reason that my few pieces of coral died today and some pods where floating is because my heater wasnt hooked up and I noticed that the temp was only 60. so now I have dead coral floating around in my tank that is probilby causing the slight spike in ammonia.
:hmm Well I suggest:

1.get rid of the dead corals.

2. do a 30%water change every day until you you nodice no more ammonia.

3.Test you water quality every other day until you get every thing on track.

Enjoy your cuttlefish.


Shop Amazon

Shop Amazon
Shop Amazon; support TONMO!
Shop Amazon
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.