General Care Discussion :: filtration issues

Taking care of your turtle's overall health.

Post Posted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:31 pm   filtration issues


I have a 75 gallon tank with a healthy adult yellow-bellied female. In the tank is a foot or larger pleco and 20 or so fancy guppies that Charlotte does a decent job of controlling their population. :wink: She has been in this tank for 2.5-3 years. When I first put her in the tank I got a Cascade 1000 and it worked great. About a month or two ago, I noticed the tank was cloudy after a filter/water change. I was not too concerned. Waited about a week, did another water change and it cleared up a bit, but became murky and cloudy again. I did some online research and thought maybe I had done too many water changes and had caused bacteria levels to rise too quickly and supposedly the fix was to let it be and eventually the levels would return to normal and the tank would clear up. Not the case. The tank began to stink. So I did more filter/water changes. Bought a water test kit and ammonia levels were off the charts. During this entire time, I have not lost any fish and Charlotte's behavior (i.e., eating, sunning, sleeping) is normal. My Cascade has dropped in production, so I purchased a Fluval 306 to help. I have had the Fluval going for about a month and nothing has changed. The water is still murky, it stinks if I wait too long to change the water (I can go about a week before it starts smelling up the room it is in), ammonia levels are off the charts, and all inhabitants of the tank are acting like nothing is wrong.

Any suggestions/advice?

Do you think my Cascade is shot? Should I get another Fluval 306 or should I get a 406 to go with the 306? Should I get another Cascade? Should I go with a different brand? I have had Charlotte for probably 5 years and when I rescued her she came in a 55 gallon.

Thanks for any help.

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Joined: Oct 4, 2017
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:58 pm   Re: filtration issues

Doing 10-20% water changes more often is better than doing a large 50% change or more that will hold you cycle together , if you have a cycled tank. You have a very large bio load in that tank and very under filtered. The 306 is rated for 70 fish gallons. Even two 306's will still be under rated ! A turtle needs 3-5x's the flow that of fish .
A baby 2-3x's flow of fish / juveniles 3-4x's flow / adults 4-5x's flow. So your 75gal needs a filter rated for 300-375 GPH for an "adult" turtle !!! Female adult YBS get 8-13" what size is you adult ? Myself I use a filter at 563 GPH for (1) 5" male RES !
That 12" Pleco for what it eat's it only poop's back the same , just adding to the bio load. Guppies no problem. Your turtle is getting bigger and adding much more waste to that 75 gallon. Also filter's come with media for fish , one needs to adjust for a turtle, that helps. Also what helps the best is water volume. For every 1" of turtle shell it needs 10 gallons of water. Yes gives more swim room BUT the important thing is it helps greatly to control water parameters which helps maintenance. The correct water flow on a filter with media for a turtle and a good water volume will make things much easier for your turtle and you for maintenance ! Lets face it you know how we all love doing maintenance.

For the price of two 306's or two cascade1000's you could get a FX4 which would have much more media and a flow that is much better. A fx6 can be found on sale even cheaper (use a price checker) that would be the last filter you ever need and give you great water parameters along with regular 25% water changes to hold a cycle!
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