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Copyright by KD Nishikigoi 2010.  All rights reserved.
Hydrogen Sulfide

Hydrogen Sulfide Facts and Myths
Written by Dr Johnson

Hydrogen Sulfide gas is a gas produced in an-aerobic pockets under water.
These may occur anywhere there is deep sand or sediment, or in a sump
with thick mulm.

Without Oxygen, some bacteria can respire by using Sufur, and this creates
Hydrogen Sulfide, H2S which is very, very toxic to fish.

HACH Chemical has a test for this, (1-800-227-4224) but this should be
suspected in any case of fish loss where:

1) There are no parasites, proven by microscopy,
2) There are no real Ammonia or Nitrite derangements
3) The signs are respiratory
4)The history has some reference to a stalled filter or the stirring of stagnant
gravel or media.
5) NEUROLOGICAL signs, of spinning, flipping and fearlessness may be
seen just before death occurs.

The smell is one of rotting eggs. Losses may be great and they will continue
after the H2S is long gone. If you discover or suspect H2S poisoning, you
should REMOVE THE FISH before disturbing ANY gravel or sand. Also, to
neutralize SOME of the hydrogen sulfide, a weak dose of Potassium
Permanganate may be effective. Still, housekeeping, and finding the source
of the anaerobic bacteria is the priority.
I've heard from a LOT of people that Aquascape ponds have Hydrogen
Sulfide problems. I have tested dozens of these, especially the older ones
since they are the most lored to have a problem - and have found NO H2S.
H2S is not an issue of pond TYPE but purely of pond maintenence.

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