Habitat - Indoor :: recommended filtration?? At the end of my wits

Turtle tank setups and other indoor configurations.

Post Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:23 pm   recommended filtration?? At the end of my wits

I have the 40 gallon zoo med tank for aquatic turtles and I need to figure out a better filtration solution. The canister filter that comes with the kit just does not cut it for me. I've looked up sumps and canister filters and I have no idea what I should get for my specific needs. I have two baby reeves, at least 2 and a half inches in size. I keep the water from 3 - 3 and a half inches deep. I have to find something that is strong enough to even move the turtle waste, as the current one does not even do that.

If at all possible the same filter could be used as they keep growing and as the water level rises. Not important as I'm pretty sure I will get them something like a tub when they start getting too big for the tank.

I've been thinking about having a hole in the bottom of the tank and plumbing a way for water and waste to go to a sump but I have no experience with sumps whatsoever and don't really know the entire mechanics. But I did read that canister filters are better for turtles, its just a matter of finding the right one for these circumstances. Which I would like any help with.

Thank you
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Post Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:25 pm   Re: recommended filtration?? At the end of my wits

As you found out those so called kits are pretty much a joke. Myself I would keep 6" of water , I like at least 3x's turtle shell for depth. That also may help a little with the waters parameters.

No filter really pick's up solid waste most scoop it out. But with large enough water volume and allowing it to cycle a good filter will remove it. The cycling breaks down the poop so a filter can do it's job. Very hard to do in small tanks with little water.

A filter that does mechanical , chemical and biological is what you are looking for. Also filters sold are rated for fish gallons not turtle gallons. So with turtles being so messy you need a flow rate 2-5x's that of fish ! Meaning babies 2-3x's the flow rating of fish , juveniles 3-4x's the flow and adults 4-5x's the flow to keep a clean tank. Also media that comes with most filters are mainly for fish , need to adjust or modify for turtles. The placement of media in a filter for a turtle is important too !

On this forum read all the stickies under each topic will be a great help to you.
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Post Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:13 pm   Re: recommended filtration?? At the end of my wits

How long have you had it? Any chance to return it?
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Post Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:50 am   Re: recommended filtration?? At the end of my wits

As litefoot suggested, get a powerful filter, even if it seems overkill for your tank. Think about it long-term. Go for at least 3x filtration, which on that 40 gallon would be 120 GPH (Gallons per hour). But, lets say you want to later get a 100 gallon stock tank.. that will require a much more powerful filter, at least 300 GPH. The 300 GPH filter will be great even for that small 40 gallon, as it will easily handle all of the turtle waste.. it's just a matter of controlling the flow. Also, keep in mind, most filter GPH ratings are under optimal conditions. So they will not necessarily, after being filled with media, do the advertised GPH.. which is why a slightly overkill filter is all the more worthwhile.

Long story short, get the largest filter you can afford. Sumps are good, but as of my understanding, they are not adequate as a main filter for turtle tanks, due to the amount of waste they (turtles) produce. You want a canister filter for main filtration, and a sump could be used for additional filtration.

FYI, I have a canister filter rated at 2.5 times my tank size, and it has enough flow so as to prevent turtle waste from staying in the tank. A small powerhead could be added to increase water flow, if there are "dead spots" in your tank that the water does not flow over. That would prevent waste from building up in any one spot of the tank.
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