Habitat - Indoor :: Tank Care Questions

Turtle tank setups and other indoor configurations.

Post Posted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 11:07 pm   Tank Care Questions

How's it going everyone? I got my turtle in Nov 2015 but I have a few questions about water changes/filter maintenance. I have a bare bottom 40 gallon breeder about 3/4 of the way full with a fluval 406 filter. In the bottom 2 chambers of the filter I have carbon and in the top 2 I have ceramic. I use a fish net every day or so to get whatever solid waste out I can. I clean the sponges in the filter and change the carbon every 1-2 months. I changed 1 chamber of ceramic for the first time about 2 months ago and changed the second chamber today. Since I got the turtle I only did 1 full water change (I think it was in April or so) and a couple of partial changes (probably 6-8 gallons out, 10 or so in). Other than that I add water every couple weeks (I have a couple 5 gallon jugs I leave filled and use as needed). For the most part the water is clear and there aren't any odors or anything coming from the tank so I'm assuming what I'm doing is working for the most part. However, last week I noticed some spots where there was like a 'film' on top of the water. Just wondering if my filter setup/frequencies of changes are good and what that film might be and how to get rid of it. As always thanks again for all your help!
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YonkasTone
 
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Post Posted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 1:51 am   Re: Tank Care Questions

If the film is clear/oily looking, it's probably protein. To get that into the filter, you'll need something to stir up the water--air stones work, but power heads create a stronger flow. I think you can also buy protein skimmers. Another quick thing you can do is position a cup so that it's almost entirely in the water but empty, and then tilt the lip just below the water surface so the top layer of oily water slowly pours in. (This is more important in fish tanks, since that protein layer can inhibit oxygen exchange in the water, but I don't think it's exactly harmful to turtles--just a potential source of nitrates in the water, maybe).

I personally change about 30% of my water once a week (or more if I'm late on a water change). It sounds like you've got a good filter, although cleaning it once a month could help (just rinsing the sponges in a bucket of tank water, and cleaning out tubes). Even though I do all that, though, the protein layer still shows up (and I've got my turtle on a balanced diet, so he's not just getting protein-rich food every day). Good luck!
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Post Posted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:48 pm   Re: Tank Care Questions

thanks! the film does look oily so chances are it's a protein layer. I try to do the filter change once a month but unfortunately it doesn't always work out that way. When I do the change though I do clean all the hoses, wipe all the film and stuff out of the inside of the canister, etc. I rinse the ceramic in tank water but the new carbon packs and sponges I spray with a hose to try and get as much of the crap out as possible. I'll do a partial water change more frequently but I'll also take a look at her diet/feeding schedule to see if I can get rid of the protein that way over time. As of now I feed her once a day and alternate between carrots, some type of leaf (red leaf lettuce, spinach, mustard leaves, etc) pellets, cuttlebone, & the occasional guppy (every 2 months or so).
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Post Posted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:08 pm   Re: Tank Care Questions

Could the oil slick be from poop or just a collection of shed skin?
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steve
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Post Posted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:22 pm   Re: Tank Care Questions

That sounds like a pretty good diet--they do need protein, and it's probably coming from the turtle (shed skin or poo) rather than directly from the food anyway. It's pretty easy to get rid of the film once you know how to do it (the cup thing is super easy, and doesn't require a real water change). I'm not sure it's possible to get rid of it entirely, but if anyone knows how, I'd like to know too!
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:09 am   Re: Tank Care Questions

A circulation pump pointed up since it will agitate the waters surface will take care of the oil slick issue. I would also like to point out you don't need to replace the ceramic rings you just need to rinse them in tank water and reuse them. You can buy a sun sun pump from ebay for around $10.00
1 Male Mississippi Map/Mississippi
1 Female RES/Slidy.
1 DBT White Concentric Female/ Lucky
1 DBT Male/ Spots
(Housed in the same tank)

300 gallon indoor stock tank, FX6 & FX5 filters. Mega-Ray 100w UVB bulb.
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:53 am   Re: Tank Care Questions

steve wrote:Could the oil slick be from poop or just a collection of shed skin?


It's possible but I don't think so. I scoop out poop whenever I see it (almost daily) so it isn't sitting in the tank terribly long. From what I've seen the skin that sheds is a lot thicker than what I'm seeing on top of the water. If you're saying there is a slime/residue on the skin that sheds that could be floating to the top that's very possible because she has been shedding lately (both skin and scutes).
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YonkasTone
 
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:05 pm   Re: Tank Care Questions

It could just be a collection of things, it seems that kind of stuff just attracts each other when on the surface.
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steve
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:23 pm   Re: Tank Care Questions

Kansasslider wrote:A circulation pump pointed up since it will agitate the waters surface will take care of the oil slick issue. I would also like to point out you don't need to replace the ceramic rings you just need to rinse them in tank water and reuse them. You can buy a sun sun pump from ebay for around $10.00


I was thinking about getting a bubble bar and pump for along the back of the tank, do you think that'll agitate the water enough? I was also looking at powerheads but not sure what size i would need for a 40 gallon breeder. Amazon has 800 & 528 GPH that attach to the side and ones that sit on the bottom of the tank that range everywhere from 70-800 GPH. If I go the power head route I don't want to get something that makes it impossible for the turtle to swim.
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YonkasTone
 
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Post Posted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 12:06 am   Re: Tank Care Questions

Yes, a bubble wand will work for surface agitation. Well it did for me in a 100 gallon stock tank... it only required a small Whisper pump.
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steve
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Post Posted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 5:30 am   Re: Tank Care Questions

In my 40 gallon breeder I used a maxi-jet 1200 with no issues with my baby turtles swimming. In fact they did and still do like to swim in the current. I like circulation pumps vs bubblers. They do a great job of stirring the water and waste. Bubbler's dont. As far as size I'm not sure they make one that's too powerful for a 40-gallon breeder tank. I do not recommend maxi-jet pumps. I like the cheap sun sun that I wrote a review on.
1 Male Mississippi Map/Mississippi
1 Female RES/Slidy.
1 DBT White Concentric Female/ Lucky
1 DBT Male/ Spots
(Housed in the same tank)

300 gallon indoor stock tank, FX6 & FX5 filters. Mega-Ray 100w UVB bulb.
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Kansasslider
 
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