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Post Posted: Sat Dec 24, 2016 6:43 am   Hello, New Here

Hi everyone,
My name is Brandon. Nine years ago my younger sibling was given a RES turtle as a gift from one of her friends. I was 13 at the time, I believe, and my sibling was much younger. We had no clue what we got ourselves into, and since she just wanted it for how cute it looked I was the one who got "stuck" with it (as was how I felt at the time) and bought its food. Not having taken the whole thing seriously, it kind of grew up in rough shape. It was overfed, lived in a 10-gallon for some time with a toy I managed to turn into a floating "dock" that just moved around the tank freely. Luckily, thinking back, was able to get some UV since we did take it out to 'walk'.

At some point I made friends with someone who is a turtle owner and I decided to get more serious about the whole thing. I got it a 40 gallon for a while more, w/ some gravel (which now I know I shouldn't have) but it never ate any and its had it for years. It had a heat lamp but no UV. I still took it outside occasionally but that has stopped happening (so I am getting a UV bulb).

So now it is 6" and it has been that way for at least two years. I feel now it's a miracle he (male) is alive and I am trying to make sure I make his last years much happier, however long that may be. I am on quite a budget and would not have bought a turtle now if I didn't have one but oh well. I have it, his name is Lencho (joke name from a friend), and I want to improve his conditions :)

So now I have a new 60 gallon tank. It is not the best, and the apartment owners don't want me to fill it all the way but it is a huge improvement to what he's had. I have also bought a Sunsun canister filter. I have a clamp lamp w/ a basking/heat bulb and I will get another clamp lamp for my UVB bulb.
Right now I'm treating Lencho with some anti-bacterials as he seems to have 1 little spot of damage (white but not squishy nor smelly) and I want to avoid infection. First time it's happened in the 9 years I've had him.

So while he's on his treatment, this gives me time to work on the setup for his new home :D

That brings me to the question, and I'm sorry it's after so much text. See I'm interested in using sand, haven't decided on which yet. My question is, is it ever a requirement to remove all the sand from the tank for deep cleaning?

I don't mean for when we initially put the sand in the tank. I mean aside from the siphon-cleaning or sifting, do I also occasionally have to dump out all the sand and wash it and put it in all over again?

Thank you for reading.
Vynzent
 
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Joined: Dec 21, 2016
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Post Posted: Sat Dec 24, 2016 4:00 pm   Re: Hello, New Here

Hi, Brandon,

I'm using "CaribSea Super Naturals Aquarium Sand" in my two turtle aquariums (one for a Western Painted, and the other both as substrate and in a nesting area for an African Sideneck) and I love it (and the turtles do too, lol - see my signature for pictures, etc.).

I followed this guide for the initial cleaning.

Sand acts as a great home for healthy bacteria to help in biological filtration (and so if I were to clean it, I would use existing aquarium water and not tap water, etc., that might kill said bacteria) and also retains heat well (especially for turtles that like to dig). I've never done any "sand only" cleanings, but I do change the water often (30% about weekly, and occasionally will do an 80-90% change)... and each time I do this I disrupt the sand completely to get anything that might be stuck in it to the top for me to remove or for the filter to eventually grab, and just so the sand isn't sitting stagnant perpetually.

The only other thing to watch for with sand is to make sure your filter intake isn't too close - not good for impellers, etc. to get a bunch of sand sucked into them. But don't be too paranoid about that - my Eheim 2215s have seen a lot of sand in them from mischievous turtles knocking suction cups off glass and subsequently the filter intake to the bottom of the aquarium ... I've never seen any of the sand go beyond the initial bottom part of the filter and so it hasn't damaged anything.

Happy Holidays!
-Derek
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turtlenojutsu
 
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Post Posted: Sat Dec 24, 2016 5:22 pm   Re: Hello, New Here

Thank you very much for your response and that guide was great! I think I got so paranoid that I forgot about such simple tools as little shovels! I can't believe I've been using my hands to try scooping out gravel before haha.

I noticed in the video he said that about twice a year of deep cleaning of sand works for him, and that's a ton of turtles! I think I can handle that sort of thing (1 turtle), and I'm glad to hear the sand has not caused you issue with your filter.
I will get some sand!

Happy Holidays :)
Vynzent
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Dec 21, 2016
Gender: Male

Post Posted: Sun Dec 25, 2016 5:09 am   Re: Hello, New Here

Hi Vynzent, welcome to the forum! You can use regular sand, pool filter sand is a little bit better if you can get it. Easier to clean and it doesn't get stirred up as easily. What's the white spot.. can you post a picture of it?
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steve
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Post Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 1:01 am   Re: Hello, New Here

steve wrote:Hi Vynzent, welcome to the forum! You can use regular sand, pool filter sand is a little bit better if you can get it. Easier to clean and it doesn't get stirred up as easily. What's the white spot.. can you post a picture of it?

Thank you :)
I wanted some Quikrete PFS but I can only seem to find very large expensive bags available in most places. I'm thinking of getting CaribSea Super Naturals Aquarium Sand.

Unfortunately the white spot looks stained for now because of the medicine, but it is exactly as this picture from another site forum:http://i49.tinypic.com/24fk13o.jpg
No smell, nothing squishy, it's just solid and dry.
However, the amount in that picture is a ton in comparison to what Lencho has.
I am dry docking him and apply anti-bacterials, with a couple hours in between of clean water so he can poop. I believe I'm seeing improvement, I will start taking pictures everyday to have certain comparisons.

I have been reading that other people too own a turtle for years before suddenly it just happens.

His new home will address the issues I think lead to this:
-no uvb bulb (solved)
-cold water during the winter (will buy heater)
Vynzent
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Dec 21, 2016
Gender: Male

Post Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 3:21 am   Re: Hello, New Here

Check garden centers for pool filter sand. Here's our sand thread: viewtopic.php?t=17268

From that picture, it looks like a breach in the shell and the white would be a thin, boney layer and feel rough around the edges. Fungus, if it hasn't started shedding, will feel smooth.
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steve
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