Habitat - Indoor :: Filter and Tank Set up

Turtle tank setups and other indoor configurations.

Post Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:39 pm   Filter and Tank Set up

I have to baby RES', both a year old and 3 in. Right now they are in a 20 gallon tank. We bought them from a reptile specialist, who we still keep in contact with as to their care, and we feed them base on what he was feeding them. They eat a lot, about 1 1/4 tablespoons of pellets every morning at 6:30, and then just under a tbsp every night at 6:30. He was feeding them 1 tbsp every morning and night, and told us to up it, as they have grown since we bought them. They also get the occasional meal worm as a treat, usually just after I have cleaned their tank. Right now I am doing full 95% water changes every week. I have the Zoo Med 318 filter in the tank, and I'm just not sure this is enough. Every water change I add 10ml of sludge destroyer and 2 tsp of conditioner, following the instructions on their bottles. we keep about 60% of the tank filled with water. Every time I change the water I also take the filter out, clean the sponge, clean the pellet things, or replece the pellets if it's time, and I wipe down the tank every other week (top only not the floor). After the water change the water is clear for about 2 days and then it goes back to being this cloudy green color. We are'nt sure what to do to help the tank at this point. We tried ghost shrimp, and they seemed to be helping, until we got home late one night and the turtles decided if we weren't going to feed them on time they were going to hunt dinner on their own. Does any one have any advice on how to keep the tank clean longer? We don't want to feed them less, as we are feeding them what the reptile store owner is feeding all is other turtles. They are shedding a lot right now, and we assumed that is just because its so hot. The water in the tank is also evaporating about an inch a week, i've been debating adding an extra half bucket halfway through the week. There's also some algae growing on our dock, and we weren't sure how to treat that. Normally we call the reptile guy for help, but he's pretty busy right now with a reptile expo coming up. Any help would be much appreciated. We just want what's best for our little guys.
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Post Posted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 12:22 am   Re: Filter and Tank Set up

They should be in a 50 gallon by now, and that requirement will only continue to get larger. You also need to reduce the amount of pellets they are getting. Have you tried any veggies?

Since you might be able to figure out their genders yet, I'd wait and see what you might have to upgrade your next tank(s).

Algae is usually not harmful, what kind of dock do you have?
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steve
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Post Posted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 2:46 am   Re: Filter and Tank Set up

They'll definitely need a much bigger tank, and this will make maintenance easier; each time I upgraded my tank, I found the water stayed cleaner much longer. What will really help is a more powerful filter. The ZooMed filters I had used to say they were rated for tanks up to 40 gallons, but later labeled themselves as capable of filtering up to 20 gallons (assuming the tanks are half full). Most people recommend using a filter that's rated for an aquarium with twice as much water as your turtle tank has, since they produce more waste and eat more messily than fish. (So if you have a 20 gallon tank, you'd need a filter rated for 40 gallons. I cut it close by using an Eheim filter that's rated for 66 gallons in a 40 gallon tank; I just do bigger water changes.)

It's daunting to think about buying a big tank and a big filter, so it might be best to start by getting a filter that's rated for the size of the aquarium you plan to get later. Then, you can check Craigslist for big tanks, or get tanks that are 55 gallons or under at Petco's dollar per gallon sale (which seems to happen twice a year). I had a sludgy aquarium for a long time, but the extra space and filtration really help!
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Post Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 3:35 pm   Re: Filter and Tank Set up

Thanks for the quick relpies. The guy we work with said the tank is a good size for them for at least another year. He said once they are 5 in that's when we will need to move up to at least the 40 gal, but prefferably the 50 gallon. We have a small apartment, and I don't mind changing the water every week. What filter would you guys reccomend for a 20 gallon for the turtles? We are definitely willing to buy a new filter. Once our lease is up and we move apartments we will get a new tank, but for now they seem to be doing fine in this one. They have plenty of room for swimming and scavenging the floor. I'll put a picture up next time I clean out the tank.
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Post Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 4:25 pm   Re: Filter and Tank Set up

What filter do you have now? To be honest, you might just want to save up for the next upgrade.
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Post Posted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 11:25 am   Re: Filter and Tank Set up

The filter we have now is zoo med 318
ArtemisBethel
 
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Post Posted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 11:49 am   Re: Filter and Tank Set up

I'd wait to see their genders... it shouldn't be much longer now.
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steve
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