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Post Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:08 pm   Brand new set up - need input

Back in March we rescued a RES from becoming roadkill on our way home. He had a scratched up belly and a chunk missing from the top of his shell. Not knowing much about turtles we went out and from the advice of our local petsmart associate, we purchased the Zilla turtle start up tank. We had no idea this was meant for hatchlings until we got home and did some research. We figured it would do better than our bathtub until we could find the right setup for him. That brings us to this week. We scored big time on craigslist!! We got a 56 gallon deep tank (the width was just right for the space we have) with stand and fluval 405, and a bunch of fish accessories for $80!!! It is now set up but it just looks so barren! We know we need to get a bigger landing dock, as our turtle now halfway sinks the one he has now. We are getting that on Sunday. I just dont know what else to do to make this tank comfortable but visually enjoyable too. Any input is appreciated!! Thanks!!
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QtCowgirl
 
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:12 pm   Re: Brand new set up - need input

Welcome to the site! Looks like you're off to a good start. Some changes you might want to consider - remove the gravel and anything smaller than his head. Position both the basking and UVB light over the basking area.

I'd look into moving the tank away from the door, you should consider a wider or longer tank too. I'd bet you can make your money back on that tank easily.
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steve
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:53 pm   Re: Brand new set up - need input

Steve, Thank you for your response. I will place the two bulbs closer together :) And I will look into bigger rocks for the bottom, I wasnt aware of that either :) As for moving the tank away from the back door, thats the only place we had for a tank, and that was the largest tank we could get to fit our space. Some day Id like to put a pond in the back yard (we are in south east Texas so we have good weather 90% of the year), but that may be a few years out. Is this tank going to be ok for him until then? We just dont have the space for anything larger indoors :(
QtCowgirl
 
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:22 pm   Re: Brand new set up - need input

That could last him for a bit.
Turtles:
Dexter (RES)
Shelby (RES - gone and I feel really really bad).
Miracle (Box Turtle - Given to me after Shelby left us).
Orion (Mississippi Map Turtle).
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AlexisAwesome
 
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Post Posted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:07 pm   Re: Brand new set up - need input

The cat is wondering how to get lunch lol
Raising turtles is very rewarding..
1981camaroz28
 
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Post Posted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:48 pm   Re: Brand new set up - need input

Lol.
Turtles:
Dexter (RES)
Shelby (RES - gone and I feel really really bad).
Miracle (Box Turtle - Given to me after Shelby left us).
Orion (Mississippi Map Turtle).
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AlexisAwesome
 
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Post Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:21 pm   Re: Brand new set up - need input

Lol all 3 of our cats believe this is their new "kitty tv"!! They sit and watch for hours, or stand up and swat at the fish in the tank lol.
QtCowgirl
 
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Post Posted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:44 pm   Re: Brand new set up - need input

I just re-did my tank with a similar set up, and I love it. The Fluval filter will change your life, no more cleaning the tank every week. I'm going to post pictures in one of the build threads, but I put filter sand in the bottom of my tank, because plain river rocks created a lot of places for waste to collect. The pool filter sand was cheap and took about 1-1 1/2 hours for the water to clear up, but maintanence has been effortless since then. I also built a basking area above the tank (ATBA) so my entire 55 gallon tank could be filled with water. Sgt. Drake Alexander seems pretty happy with his new place, although it has taken a while to get used to the basking area.

The thing is, by doing some of these things right you can save a lot of effort down the road. Go with the sand, build yourself an ATBA, and love that filter!
Sgt. Drake Alexander, RES
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josephkr
 
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Post Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:55 am   Re: Brand new set up - need input

Joseph thank you for the tips!! I will look into the pool filter sand! That would look really nice anyways!! I have thought about the ATBA, but my issue in our home with that...we have 3 cats. I will have to look into something that is enclosed and the cats cannot access any part of it, but its a great idea if I can figure out something that is "cat proof" :D So far Ive been thrilled with the filter as well!! Our turtle has grown already even in the short time hes been in this bigger tank (or so it seems) and hes still very very social considering he was a rescue from being roadkill. We can go by his tank and he will follow us around, follow our hands, etc. I know its a response because I hand feed him earthworms and such, so he associates people with food now, but he has never tried to bite when I have adjusted things in his tank or cleaned things (thank heavens), but its fun to see him coming to people so willingly while he is in his tank.

Any other suggestions for the tank? I want to make it as functional, and turtle friendly as possible :D Thanks again!!!!
QtCowgirl
 
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Post Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:53 pm   Re: Brand new set up - need input

I would highly recommend a GFCI outlet since cat = wildcard.
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steve
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Post Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:26 am   Re: Brand new set up - need input

QtCowgirl wrote:Joseph thank you for the tips!! I will look into the pool filter sand! That would look really nice anyways!! I have thought about the ATBA, but my issue in our home with that...we have 3 cats. I will have to look into something that is enclosed and the cats cannot access any part of it, but its a great idea if I can figure out something that is "cat proof" :D So far Ive been thrilled with the filter as well!! Our turtle has grown already even in the short time hes been in this bigger tank (or so it seems) and hes still very very social considering he was a rescue from being roadkill. We can go by his tank and he will follow us around, follow our hands, etc. I know its a response because I hand feed him earthworms and such, so he associates people with food now, but he has never tried to bite when I have adjusted things in his tank or cleaned things (thank heavens), but its fun to see him coming to people so willingly while he is in his tank.

Any other suggestions for the tank? I want to make it as functional, and turtle friendly as possible :D Thanks again!!!!


I also have 3 cats. Only one shows interest in the turt. I have a screen over the top of the tank - looks like you have some sort of hood as well. The cats have never knocked over the lights or anything. Just my experience.
:mrgreen: Bill - RES
Dixie, Georgia, and Scrappy - cats
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ataraxiamb
 
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Post Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 3:06 pm   Re: Brand new set up - need input

How about some feeder minnows so the turtle will have something to chase.
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devilduck
 
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Post Posted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:02 pm   Re: Brand new set up - need input

Steve, I have a surge protector, and hoping to eventually put a GFCI outlet there, but with the screen and lid I have, it would be near impossible (not impossible tho) for the electrical items to make it into the tank.

Devilduck,
There are a few minnows in there, but he loses interest quickly because they are too fast for him to chase. I put about 30 medium goldfish in his tank about every 2 weeks and he chases those pretty often. :)

I have been thinking about getting a pleco as in this larger tank for some reason algae is starting to become an issue. If my RES is around 7" long (shell not including body), what size pleco should I look at, or should I even look at that option at all?
QtCowgirl
 
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:33 am   Re: Brand new set up - need input

I think it's a good that the minnows are quick, makes him work harder.
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steve
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:02 am   Re: Brand new set up - need input

I'm not a fan of the idea of using pleco to control algae. Depending on species they can grow very large, they add more waste to the tank, need real driftwood in the tank to eat, and have spines that can injure your turtle.

Algae is caused by excess light or nutrients in the tank (mainly nitrates). Try lowering your lighting period or blocking the stray light that is hitting the glass and water. Make sure you keep up your water changes or use some type of media, like Purigen, to absorb excess biomatter in your filter.
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devilduck
 
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