General Care Discussion :: New Tank!

Taking care of your turtle's overall health.

Post Posted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:34 pm   New Tank!

Been a few weeks (months?) since I first joined and started asking for advice and today I finally got the tank. I decided on a 120-gal, 48x24x24. I didn't see any pieces of cork big enough at the specialty place I picked up the tank from but they do sell driftwood. I'd like to get some of that later on once I start adding stuff to make it look like a decent habitat; what's the general procedure for adding cork and driftwood? Do I just soak it in hot water in the tub for a few hours, give it a scrub, and then rinse it off? Cold water? I know it can't go straight into the tank before being rinsed and stuff but IDK how long the process takes or how to know when it's safe to enter the tank. In the meantime, in going to use the largest floating dock I can find as a temporary solution until I can set up a proper basking area.

Side note: the turtle is not in the new tank yet. I won't be transporting her across state lines until I've got the basics/bare minimum set up since I need to move her as soon as I can. I can always add to it once she's down here.
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Joined: Jun 28, 2017

Post Posted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:10 pm   Re: New Tank!

Real cork needs to be clean well with soft brush , Lots of dust and trash gets caught up in all areas. I also use a garden hose with a little pressure to get in hard to get to areas. Cork does not stain your water as driftwood but does have some tannins so I cook it in boiling water to remove them and get rid of any hitchhikers in it. One thing you in the beginning will have to get use to no matter how long you clean it there will be some fine cork dust . Especially if you have a male with long nails. Scooping it out becomes part of regular maintenance. Or as I did was to get a small skimmer. It does get less / better in time but with the long nails on males get use to it.

Driftwood has a lot of tannins some like it tinting there water makes it look more natural. Others use carbon to help remove to some degree but will not remove it all. Most of use want crystal clear water so : do same as cork clean well you can soak it outside for several weeks keep changing the water which works.
But I like cooking it , works better and faster also kills any of those hitchhikers too. Get the largest pot you got put driftwood in fill with water boil the water. When water turns to tea empty and start over with fresh water on same spot , do this until water is clear then turn driftwood around to get other side if needed and repeat. How long depends on whats in the wood until water is clear . Most it ever took me was three hours to get a three foot piece clean outside in a crab pot. Most of the time is just heating up the water.
If you have a big crab pot and propane tank it's faster and if very large driftwood most will fit at one time. Doing it outside your wife will love you !
This is just me but I find Malaysian driftwood cleans up faster than trash wood also to me again has less tannins and look better.

Cork basking area is easier on a turtles bottom and is not flat allowing turtle shell to completely dry off a must and look more natural ! Being it floats offers more swimming space.
Driftwood gives a great natural look and it also lower the PH depending on the size to the water volume. If you have a lot could make a basking or a resting area for your friend.
Save any small broken pieces of cork I used them on my old extra large zoomed dock modifying it for even more basking area. Just cut to fit the way you want and a little silicon to hold. My dock is over 3 sq. ft. , Piggley like's to climb around.
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Post Posted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:29 am   Re: New Tank!

I had a lot of trouble keeping the cork clean when I tried to add it. Even when it seemed clean, it would get little pieces broken / bitten off of it. Probably just didn't have a lot of extra room for it in the tank though.

Oh, I guess you basically said that, litefoot. Sedge made too much of a mess of it for me personally.
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