General Care Discussion :: New turtle addition + Tank upgrade questions

Taking care of your turtle's overall health.

Post Posted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 4:20 pm   New turtle addition + Tank upgrade questions

Hey everyone, I'm new to this forum, and I have a few questions. I've been lurking on this forum for turtle care research for years now, and finally created an account. I appreciate everyone's advice and info!

I've had my RES Burt for about 3 years now, since he was a wee baby. He's always lived alone, and over the course of his 3 years, I've slowly upgraded him from a 20g to 40g to 75g tank. He has an ATBA that he loves and uses regularly. He's always been healthy, active and social. Recently I decided to get him a tank mate, a painted turtle I've named Barry. They are both males and about the same size (Barry, the new guy, is just slightly smaller). For the first week they were both acting normal - Barry took to the ATBA immediately, and I've not noticed any aggressive behavior between the two. They've basked on top of one another, and haven't even bothered each other during feeding time.

My first question is about Barry's recent change in behavior. It's only been about two days, but I haven't seen him using the basking area at all. In fact, he's been spending a LOT more time at the bottom of the tank, sometimes just laying at the bottom with his legs tucked in. When I approach the tank, he swims back up to the top, and I've caught him swimming around when I'm not in the room, but it seems to be for very brief periods of time. Burt is still swimming around as usual, and nothing in his behavior has changed, but Barry seems to be nearly always at the bottom. It could be nothing at all, but it seems unusual, especially compared to his behavior for the first week. I fed them earlier today and they both ate, so....I'm not sure if this is a problem or maybe nothing at all?

The UVB and heat lamp are both a little old, so I replaced the UVB earlier today, and am about to go get another heat lamp in hopes that this will clear up any basking issues, but I want to know if there are any other warning signs I should be looking for?

My second question is about their upcoming tank upgrade!

I got a great deal on a 120 g tank and stand, so I'm in the process of setting it up. I've decided to go with sand for my substrate (currently they have round stones in the 75g) and I'm about to fill up the tank, add the sand, and let the filters start cycling the water once the sand settles.

I have a Fluval 110 power filter, the kind that sits on top of the tank, on their current 75 g tank, which states it should filter tanks up to 110 gallons. It's new and working great, and I want to use it on the 120g tank in tandem with a canister filter. I bought a Fluval 306 canister filter, which should filter tanks up to 70 g. That'd be a combined total of 180 g, but I'm not sure if filters work that way or not. Can I use the combined gallon amount? Or do both filters need to be able to handle a 120g tank independent of one another?

Thanks again for any and all helpful info!! :D
buddrowwilson
 
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Post Posted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 5:54 pm   Re: New turtle addition + Tank upgrade questions

#1 you can't watch them every minute of every day. I setup a camcorder at night to try and see what happens when I'm not in the room , it helps. Today all may be ok BUT that day will come to permanently separate them. Yes ! two males... same tank will be a bad call instinct will take over!

#2 Combined two filters at 180gph is still way to small for a 120 . Turtles require 2-4x's filtration. 120x4=480 gph ! I myself use the 2x's for babies , the 3x's for juveniles and 4x's for adults ! Any way you look at it not enough GPH , if you go with it you will be cleaning the 120 every 3-5 days just to keep water quality up. At adult size a 120 would be good for one turtle not two. Filters are rated at fish gallons not turtle gallons.
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Post Posted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:29 pm   Re: New turtle addition + Tank upgrade questions

I replaced the heat lamp and UVB light and went to the store. Came back and they were both basking as usual.
buddrowwilson
 
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Post Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:44 pm   Re: New turtle addition + Tank upgrade questions

Good to hear! Do you measure the basking temps?
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Post Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:35 pm   Re: New turtle addition + Tank upgrade questions

steve wrote:Good to hear! Do you measure the basking temps?



Hey! I do, but admittedly hadn't really looked at the thermometer in a while. Burt had been in the 75 gallon for about 7 months, which was when I last replaced the UVB bulb, but the heat lamp had been going longer than that.

They are both pretty stoked now, though, and are back to their usual basking habits - which is a LOT!

I went ahead and got another Fluval 110 HOT filter, for a grand total of 290g for their upcoming move into the 120g tank.

And I've been rinsing sand all day! We're all very excited about this upgrade!

Here is a picture of the current 75g tank. The ATBA was built for his old 45g, but I'll be building a new one for the 120, as it clearly won't fit! :D
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burtandbarry.jpg
buddrowwilson
 
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Post Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 1:16 am   Re: New turtle addition + Tank upgrade questions

A new 120 gallon sounds pretty sweet. Just be aware that male RES seem to always become aggressive, and painteds are a bit more timid. I would just have a plan if you need to separate them because aggression usually catches us off guard.
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Post Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 1:07 pm   Re: New turtle addition + Tank upgrade questions

Totally. I read up on it before making this decision, and have a few tanks on hand for the worst case scenario. Thankfully I work in a pet store (as a dog groomer in the salon, not on the floor) so if I need any supplies in case of emergencies, they are readily available. I'll post pictures once I get the 120 up and running!
buddrowwilson
 
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Post Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 1:45 pm   Re: New turtle addition + Tank upgrade questions

OK great, looking forward to it!
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steve
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Post Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:29 pm   Re: New turtle addition + Tank upgrade questions

I'm gonna put the new fluval on the old tank tomorrow, and put the old tank's fluval on the new tank...if that makes sense? to start integrating the bacteria from the old tank into the new one.

The old ATBA should fit over two of the open top panels, and I'll just leave the glass that came with the tank on the third, open panel. Soon I'll build them one that fits this tank, but this will work for now.

I'm excited! The sand looks beautiful - but I'm sure they'll muck it up soon enough!
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buddrowwilson
 
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Post Posted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:22 am   Re: New turtle addition + Tank upgrade questions

Very good idea on filters , save all that good bacteria !!!
You know turtles they will just have to see what's under that sand , just nosy ! Then they will leave it alone.
Just keep observing that RES any problem if it comes will be from him , painteds are calmer.
Are you going to have live plants ? That will help the nitrates.
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Post Posted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:54 am   Re: New turtle addition + Tank upgrade questions

Nice looking tank! What are the dimensions?
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Post Posted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:56 pm   Re: New turtle addition + Tank upgrade questions

Steve, the tank is 72.5" L 18.5" W x 23.75" H

Litefoot,

I want live plants, but have been trying to figure out good ones that won't be immediately destroyed. I've seen a lot in these threads about floating plants - what are some good ones to get? I'm considering leaving my 75 gallon tank up and running just as a planted aquarium, maybe with a few fish (will help in case of immediate separation as well).
buddrowwilson
 
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 6:12 pm   Re: New turtle addition + Tank upgrade questions

Yes do that I highly recommend it.
Instead of fish put some ghost shrimp in would be better and with a good female and mated male would have plenty babies for food in time. I keep in my 70 plant tank a backup of water lettuce , hornwort , hyacinth all grow very well with little to no help. Anacharis to a point , I find the narrow leaf type grows faster could be rooted or like me let it float. On the hornwort and anacharis once it start's to grow I cut 5" sections for new plants. Any smaller you may not get any offshoots , 5" cuttings works great for me. The water lettuce put off rosettes and quickly reproduce , you could have one and in four weeks cover the top of your plant tank.
Me I hate the thin flimsy store hornwort so I get it from the city park a wild type. It's stiffer and holds up better but no problem for a turtle to eat. I do quarantine and wash well before it go's in my plant tank. Let me correct that I quarantine even store plants !
I use to keep in a 150 tank at least 5-6#'s of plants for most turtles but with my Piggley I cut that down to 3#'s because he's a big veggie person. Not that it was bad , I wanted to control his diet more. If I see him get more into the hornwort kick I take some out so he eats the water lettuce and vice a versa so it has a chance to catch up with him. If not I have the plant tank to fall back on.

Look in photo gallery under my post titled "shedding time " and see what a few look like. My FX pushes them to one side of tank but I like it that way.
litefoot
 
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Post Posted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:07 am   Re: New turtle addition + Tank upgrade questions

thanks for the info!

What is your process for quarantining plants?

Also, I want to add driftwood to give my turtles a more realistic atmosphere. I've heard about boiling and sun bleaching driftwood, but is there a better method for making it safe to add to a tank?
buddrowwilson
 
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Post Posted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 4:48 am   Re: New turtle addition + Tank upgrade questions

Quarantining plants I just wash well in bucket of tap water two three times keep adding clean water , remove anything I see snails etc then go right into my Plant tank for at least a week. Some say that will shock plants (tap water ) but have been doing that for decades with no problem.

Driftwood :
My personal preference is Malaysian. If you have very hard water it will lower the PH slowly. Malaysian does that the best , I think. I use to breed Discus and they needed PH of 6-6.5 to breed. Turtles don't really care about PH and in most city water it's pretty high. You just don't want so much you get wild swings in PH. In a 100 gallons for me to lower it a full point I need two pieces about 2'x6" to get there. With the stick type you would need more , less surface area.

Cleaning :
Wash with hose and brush , clean it several times , than in your largest stock pot boil it when water turns tea color replace water and start over. Keep doing this until all the Tannis ( tea color) comes out. Or as much out as you want out. Unless you want all that color in your tank , not me. Do Not use chemicals , Not any , people who do are using driftwood for art work Not a fish / turtle tank ! Sun bleaching is ok to try to lighten color but that would take months and only a very little. Problem it dry's out and will float until it get's water logged again. I like it natural and that's what most of us want , Natural ! The boiling also gets all those critters living in it out or kills them like algal , fungal spores. Let it cool before it goes into tank then you and Burt enjoy. That's the safest way for your turtle and it's all about the turtle.
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