Habitat - Indoor :: Need help with substrate please!

Turtle tank setups and other indoor configurations.

Post Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:14 am   Need help with substrate please!

I finally managed to save up some money and will be upgrading by turtle to a bigger tank by the end of the year. :D

I'll be getting a 75 gallon tank for him and I'm really excited to start setting it up. But my concern is whether I should get a substrate?

I like the look of sand, but from some limited experience previously, I found it a hassle to clean and my turt enjoyed kicking it all over, causing it to get stuck in the filter. :/

I'm not very partial to river pebbles or tiles, so my only other option would be to go bare. Should I just keep the tank bare, or risk it with sand? Is it a bad idea to start with sand, and then remove it if it isn't working?
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 4:12 am   Re: Need help with substrate please!

What kind of sand did you use before? I've had my tanks bare, and substrate is not necessary. Pool filter sand is a good, it should be less cloudy and will get kicked up less once it's cleaned. You will need a new filter too, with the inlet not so close to the bottom.
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:11 am   Re: Need help with substrate please!

steve wrote:What kind of sand did you use before? I've had my tanks bare, and substrate is not necessary. Pool filter sand is a good, it should be less cloudy and will get kicked up less once it's cleaned. You will need a new filter too, with the inlet not so close to the bottom.


Hi Steve, I used some aquarium sand the last time. The grains weren't as small as I would've liked them to be, so they easily clogged the filter up. I'm not sure if I can find pool filter sand here.

I will be getting the eheim 2217 classic filter for this tank, and have a second filter (fluval u2) running as well.
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 6:59 am   Re: Need help with substrate please!

Bare bottom will make maintenance much easier. Compensate with creative decoration's.
Those U2's worked pretty good for their size but does take up good swimming room even in a 75. Also better if placed towards the bottom so a turtle can't use it to climb on at the top to escape. Keep it for an emergency backup maybe ?

The 2217's do clean effectively when adjusting some sponges with bio media for a turtle for the price range. Very easy to maintenance too. Does a good job. Issues with them to think about. Care must be taken on the bottom tube reports of it breaking easy and the 2217 is a new number for the old Eheim Classic 600. It is only "manual priming" ! https://fishtankclub.com/eheim-2217-can ... er-review/
Also has no circuity to turn off if pumped dry causing motor to over heat. If in Singapore the power never goes out then its good. If so and not at home when it happens that's a different story.

How's the rough shedding doing , will take longer . Watch the loose scutes well , trapped dirty water under them makes a good home for fungus/bacteria and does multiply over time with longer sheds. That's why preventive care was talked about before in other post. Some issues for turtles look similar and turtles hide them well , even to a Herp Vet . Observing and prevention is to me the main key in this hobby. Being a rescue now in your care he has a much better chance of doing well and at 5" will love the room in a 75.
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 10:22 am   Re: Need help with substrate please!

litefoot wrote:Bare bottom will make maintenance much easier. Compensate with creative decoration's.
Those U2's worked pretty good for their size but does take up good swimming room even in a 75. Also better if placed towards the bottom so a turtle can't use it to climb on at the top to escape. Keep it for an emergency backup maybe ?

The 2217's do clean effectively when adjusting some sponges with bio media for a turtle for the price range. Very easy to maintenance too. Does a good job. Issues with them to think about. Care must be taken on the bottom tube reports of it breaking easy and the 2217 is a new number for the old Eheim Classic 600. It is only "manual priming" ! https://fishtankclub.com/eheim-2217-can ... er-review/
Also has no circuity to turn off if pumped dry causing motor to over heat. If in Singapore the power never goes out then its good. If so and not at home when it happens that's a different story.

How's the rough shedding doing , will take longer . Watch the loose scutes well , trapped dirty water under them makes a good home for fungus/bacteria and does multiply over time with longer sheds. That's why preventive care was talked about before in other post. Some issues for turtles look similar and turtles hide them well , even to a Herp Vet . Observing and prevention is to me the main key in this hobby. Being a rescue now in your care he has a much better chance of doing well and at 5" will love the room in a 75.


Hi Litefoot! Yes I'm gonna keep the U2 as a spare just in case the Eheim 2217 doesn't quite do the job. But since I only have one turtle and no fish, I'm hoping the Eheim will be enough. We've never really had a big power outage in Singapore before, so that's good news for the filter!

The reason why I'm seriously considering sand is that I may want to have some plants in the tank eventually. I haven't read up on this yet, but I'm assuming I will need some sand for that.

My turt's doing well I think! He hasnt shed a full scute yet, but he's still shedding little pieces here and there. The white on his shell hasn't spread, so fingers crossed that it isn't fungus. I'm still feeding him veggies every day, pellets every 3 days, and koi wheatgerm too. And he loves sweet potatoes, so that's his weekend treat. :) I really hope he starts shedding properly soon, but I'm prepared to wait months or years for this.

How's Piggley doing? :)
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 11:07 am   Re: Need help with substrate please!

Piggley's doing well , just posted a video of him for end of year.

Sand , pool sand works the best ! Different method to clean , most use the rake/siphon method , many other ways google to see them. Vac like gravel will get you in trouble.

Some time's the fungus/bacteria will start under the loose scute's and spread from there. What I saw should / may come off with the shedding scutes , observe well.

I believe in plants , stay away from rooting plants any turtle will just dig them up to see what's under them ! Too dam curious. I tried to tie them down and Piggley learned how to untie knots ! Floating plants are the way to go ! The way Piggley eats' them , I have a 70 plant tank outside but with winter it's in trouble and tank is plastic now until spring. See Piggley's photo's for a few type's I use. Live plants will be extra maintenance ! That's why I use a skimmer.
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 12:24 pm   Re: Need help with substrate please!

Hi guys, thanks for the advice! I did some research, and it's really difficult to find any play sand in Singapore that isn't $40 a bag. I don't even want to look at how much pool filter sand will cost :(

I found some fine crushed coral sand selling at only $20 a bag, so I was wondering if it's ok to use that as a substrate? The grain is about 0.5mm – 1mm so it's pretty fine. I saw some play sand that are coarser, at 1mm - 2mm. Here's how the coral sand looks like.

Image

My worry is that the coral sand will eventually seep calcium into the water, which I'm not sure is a good thing or not. Any advice please? :mrgreen:
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 2:09 pm   Re: Need help with substrate please!

I'm still on vacation with the grandkids , if they see me online I'll never hear the end of it.
Crushed coral sand is a "no" to me ! it's a calcium carbonate ( aragonite sand ) not what you want for freshwater. Yes will seep calcium into the water. You want and need a "silica sand" . Play sand , pool sand , aquarium sand for fresh water is a "silica sand". At a big box store like a ( lowes or home depot even a building material type store if any around) or a "concrete supply house" you can find "quicrete" playsand and also kiln dried handy sand. that type is like $5-$10 for a 50 # bag and it is safe for fresh water tanks. Also pool sand is about $15-$20 for 50#'s here in the US , you may want to check your price in Singapore. I done a lot of research on this before Hurricane Katrina for my reef tanks , (sands , coral sands , dolomite ) also use search box above has even more info on this. It works great and is safe ( play sand / quicrete sand ). May need a little extra cleaning and sift a few pieces of small rock out but for the price... Got to go the kids


Back: try "transit mixed concrete" on changi road may just give you some. What about star ? Buildmate on Joo Yee road has fine play sand , ask nice may give you the small amount you need ? never hurts to ask I do but offer something like lunch money. Or ask where you can find small bags?
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 9:43 pm   Re: Need help with substrate please!

litefoot wrote:I'm still on vacation with the grandkids , if they see me online I'll never hear the end of it.
Crushed coral sand is a "no" to me ! it's a calcium carbonate ( aragonite sand ) not what you want for freshwater. Yes will seep calcium into the water. You want and need a "silica sand" . Play sand , pool sand , aquarium sand for fresh water is a "silica sand". At a big box store like a ( lowes or home depot even a building material type store if any around) or a "concrete supply house" you can find "quicrete" playsand and also kiln dried handy sand. that type is like $5-$10 for a 50 # bag and it is safe for fresh water tanks. Also pool sand is about $15-$20 for 50#'s here in the US , you may want to check your price in Singapore. I done a lot of research on this before Hurricane Katrina for my reef tanks , (sands , coral sands , dolomite ) also use search box above has even more info on this. It works great and is safe ( play sand / quicrete sand ). May need a little extra cleaning and sift a few pieces of small rock out but for the price... Got to go the kids


Back: try "transit mixed concrete" on changi road may just give you some. What about star ? Buildmate on Joo Yee road has fine play sand , ask nice may give you the small amount you need ? never hurts to ask I do but offer something like lunch money. Or ask where you can find small bags?



Thank you so much Litefoot! Enjoy your vacation with your grandkids!

Back to researching about sand. :D
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:09 am   Re: Need help with substrate please!

If you don't want to deal with a construction site it's also sold for gas fire pits. Silica sand is used for them too will be much cleaner and will cost a little more about $2 a pound.

I like free and got 300#'s river rock for just a tip and a "yard" of play sand when I extended my nesting area for the pond free. The company rep asked don't forget the worker so a tip given and pickup filled free. It helps to read a little about the company ( know what they do in the community , like sponsor playgrounds etc... ) to get pass the receptionist and directed to the correct person that can do it free. Never hurts to ask and be knowledgeable of the company , does not hurt with 5-10 minutes of reading. Those big company's sell by the ton a few #'s here and there are throw a way to them. But the good word of mouth you give them goes much further. I also send an email to there philanthropy dept with thanks to give a positive impact , allowing them to use my open email of thanks , for company use.

Looking outside the box in this hobby can and will save lot's of money ! MSDS's and good research to find safe items. Most of the time an item is sold for several use's and have different prices for each use. Being packaged differently but with big price differences , product is the same , just look for the cheaper price one. Homework saves money.
litefoot
 
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:13 pm   Re: Need help with substrate please!

litefoot wrote:If you don't want to deal with a construction site it's also sold for gas fire pits. Silica sand is used for them too will be much cleaner and will cost a little more about $2 a pound.

I like free and got 300#'s river rock for just a tip and a "yard" of play sand when I extended my nesting area for the pond free. The company rep asked don't forget the worker so a tip given and pickup filled free. It helps to read a little about the company ( know what they do in the community , like sponsor playgrounds etc... ) to get pass the receptionist and directed to the correct person that can do it free. Never hurts to ask and be knowledgeable of the company , does not hurt with 5-10 minutes of reading. Those big company's sell by the ton a few #'s here and there are throw a way to them. But the good word of mouth you give them goes much further. I also send an email to there philanthropy dept with thanks to give a positive impact , allowing them to use my open email of thanks , for company use.

Looking outside the box in this hobby can and will save lot's of money ! MSDS's and good research to find safe items. Most of the time an item is sold for several use's and have different prices for each use. Being packaged differently but with big price differences , product is the same , just look for the cheaper price one. Homework saves money.


Thank you for all the advice. I finally found someone selling aquarium sand at a cheaper price, so I've gotten that. It'll be delivered today, and I'm excited. :D
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Post Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 1:24 am   Re: Need help with substrate please!

Be sure to post pics :D
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