Equipment Review and Discussion :: Think I need a real filter...

Various accessories and equipment discussed here.

Post Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:11 pm   Think I need a real filter...

I have a young little guy and I’m new to this turtle stuff. The pet store recommended a pond filter. The kind that would shoot a fountain. It’s in tank. Big, a pain to clean as it just dumps the muck in the tank water. I’m pretty filter dumb, but I don’t think it has any media? At least not the pellet like stuff I see in canister filters. It has white pads on the bottom. Then a black sponge on top. That’s all. I have a 50gal breeder and I fill it like halfway, He actually likes to play in the output stream and I see him shooting himself across tank often over and over. Lol I looked at EHEIM classic for 100gal-ish. And I see y’all recommend the fx6 a lot. But that seems a bit overkill? And my husband would kill me if I spend $300 on a filter. We dropped $500 on what I got from the pet store and I’m thinking they suck. I don’t plan to have more than one turtle. Let store said it looks like a male but they’ve also told me lots of things like, tear down and disinfect everything monthly. That it’s all like chicken blood-(salmonella) and to feed him pellets for the first year, then greens and crickets in addition. This site (and others) seem to make me think I’m misinformed.

Anyway, filters. I like the idea of a canister filter. I just need to find one, and exactly what I need to put inside it/new cleaning schedule.
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Post Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:45 am   Re: Think I need a real filter...

How long do you think he will be in that 50 gallon? Are you are planning on a "forever home" for him?

For time being, if the FX6 is too big, you can look into it's smaller brother, the FX4. We've been recommending the Penn Plax Cascade recently as a budget canister filter. If you want a hang-on filter, look into the AquaClear.

As for what the pet stores tell you and others... lots of misinformation out there. I would be extra cautious about cleaning/feeding if there are young kids/individuals with compromised immune systems dealing with the turtles but simple basic hygiene is enough for most people. Wash your hands after handing the turtle and anything in the tank (turtles shouldn't be handled much anyway).

Do regular partial water changes, occasionally full changes. Clean the filter every month or two (depending on it's load) and replace the carbon when you do. Scrubbing and rinsing the filter is usually enough.
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Post Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:20 am   Re: Think I need a real filter...

I figure it will depend on his growth. I know the bigger/dirtier he gets I’ll need a more powerful filtration system. I’ll keep him in it as long as it’s suitable. Not needing to tear the whole thing down monthly opens up a lot of options for making it look nice/fun for him. I currently have no substrate, as was recommended, but I see most people do use something. My uvb light also runs the length of the tank, they mentioned that it needed to be a 10.0 to penetrate the water to the bottom of the tank. Is that a thing? Or does he only soak it up while out of the water. Most setups I’ve seen have their lights just over the basking area.
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Post Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:47 am   Re: Think I need a real filter...

How big is he? At around 4" you should know the gender for certain. No substrate is great, sand is an option too, and maybe a few river rock. UVB over the length of the tank will probably cause algae problems. UVB lamps don't really penetrate the water surface, so having it over the basking area is the most beneficial for the turtle.
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Post Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:58 pm   Re: Think I need a real filter...

I knew it! I threw away one of his fake plants already b cause I was tired of trying to clean it (unsuccessfully) I suspected the light had something to do with it due to the pattern of growth. So I guess I need to find a smaller uvb option? Or a bulb that does both? My heat lamp is a Fluker clamp fixture (with dimmer) with one of those no-light ceramic heat “bulbs” I leave it on 24-7. It’s just sitting on the screen topper. I am going to order a water heater (EHEIM Jager 125watt) now that it’s colder for winter the temp seems to be 77 now. And He’s between 2-2.5 inches

Holy crap I think my brain is going to explode! So much research lately.
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Post Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:45 pm   Re: Think I need a real filter...

A bulb that produces heat+UVB is a mercury vapor bulb (reptileuv is a good brand). Expensive but puts out a lot of heat and UVB. You could probably add a bit more water to the tank too.
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Post Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:18 pm   Re: Think I need a real filter...

I've been noticing a trend in the national chain pet stores. I've been looking at filters this past week. Petsmart / Petco / Pet Supplies Plus / Petland are only carrying Marineland, Fluval, and some Eheim (Petsmart). Rena and Penn Plaxx have disappeared from local retail shelves. Along with those brands disappearing from retail is the media and filter parts associated with them. Not sure if this is a regional thing or if this is occurring nation wide.
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Post Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:36 pm   Re: Think I need a real filter...

I haven’t even looked at my local pet store yet. The one I got bad info from (Pruess Pets in Michigan) is always overpriced. And Soldans usually has limited stock. I’m an amazon girl haha. I currently have the pen plax 1000 in my cart with some ceramic rings and an extra black sponge. It gets really great reviews on multiple sites about turtles and fits my budget for now. Next I need to decide on what kind of uvb lighting to switch to. I’m kind of partial to my ceramic heat but it takes up so much space. I’m seeing suggestions to replace the mega ray bulbs yearly? That does offset the cost a bit. Decisions decisions. I also want to fashion him a bigger dock for basking. Hubby’s only request for this turtle is a palm tree :D
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Post Posted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:07 am   Re: Think I need a real filter...

If he has a well rounded diet (that has D3 in it), then I think yearly replacement is fine. I have not had any of these bulbs so I have not been able to test them with my UVB meter. If you do go with Mega Ray, get it directly from their site... theres usually a coupon code on their facebook page or homepage.

Bigger docks are definitely recommended, especially with MVBs or strong heat sources.
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Post Posted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:30 pm   Re: Think I need a real filter...

So I was thinking today, my long bar uvb light is only a couple months old. Could I put foil or something on the underside to block the light except for over his basking area? Then I can still use it for a few more months, and switch to the mega Ray. I’ve seen a couple other brands, is mega Ray the best?
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Post Posted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:38 pm   Re: Think I need a real filter...

Other than potential algae growth there’s no harm in having it over the tank. Yes you could block the light with something so long as you’re not wrapping the light in foil where heat could build up and present a fire risk.

About 2 bulbs ago, I converted to mega Ray from the power sun bulbs. The mega Ray is significantly better based on my turtle’s reaction to the bulb, his shell and the increased basking time.
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Post Posted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:30 pm   Re: Think I need a real filter...

Thanks for the info. It’s a 10.0 and I’ve had crazy algae on my fake plants. Although I’m not sure how much a good filter will affect that also. I guess I can start with the filter and see what happens. I got some black sand, driftwood, and a big cork bark for basking today and am working on setting it all up. Feel like I’ve been rinsing sand for EVER. I just saw a YouTube video on adding sand using a juice bottle and it contains the dirty water. I think I’ll be trying it.
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Post Posted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:50 pm   Re: Think I need a real filter...

Remember algae needs light and FOOD. Remove either and it goes away.

Your filter should help with most of the food but check your water for phosphates...another good source for green and brown algae. You can add a product called phosban or in bulk generic granular ferric oxide (GFO) to your filter’s chemical media section (where the carbon goes). Another option is to use chemipure elite as your chemical media. It’s a blend of carbon and GFO.
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