Habitat - Indoor :: Since April - New baby RES

Turtle tank setups and other indoor configurations.

Post Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:37 am   Since April - New baby RES

Hello everyone!
I wanted to post on an active forum about my family's RES we were given/rescued.
My parents have a pool and in March my mother found one in her pool about the size of a dime/quarter. She took care of it and it did very well. In April she decided to gift it to my son (age 5). She took care of everything with a small tank setup (starter kit) etc.
Since then he/she grew and grew to where there was not enough room to get around. So we decided to make a good decision and found a really good deal on a new tank/stand that is 125 Gallon.
We read and researched a lot over those months and in June I started setting up the tank. I initially wanted to get a canister style filter but we ended up with a H.O.B - (Aqua Clear 110).
I learned and researched about media for the filter.. Over time I have made some adjustments from the stock media that came with it.
Surprisingly the tank has been pretty self sufficient with standard up-keep. I chose to get some poly fil and sea chem media after a few cycles. Later I stopped using carbon just to make sure we had a good system working.
After July I noticed the smell increasing though we are in Florida I somewhat expected it to some degree. Now I have the media in this order:
bottom we have the sponge filter ( I did cut it in Half).
a double layer of poly.
then Sea Chem Matrix (bagged)
single layer of poly fil.
the stock bagged media Bio Max.
and now I have added the Carbon (bagged).

This seems to be working fine with a few exceptions. I like to do a 20 gallon refresh every month as we only have the tank filled to about 90 gallons.
Every week I check the filter for debri build up or blockage as if it gets clogged it will raise the media from pressure. I rinse the media every 2 weeks.
Now that I am using carbon I check it often and replace as needed (monthly) - haven't had to lately as I just added it recently.

My question is more so about light build up in the tank. I don't like to stress the turtle (ie.. remove him to feed etc..) we stay on top of his environment and its in our eat in dinning room near the kitched - back wall, so we can see him/her..
the filter does it's job with maintenance but I am thinking about adding a power head to move the water around a bit for better filtration. Is this a good idea? If so which one should I get?

I now believe our RES is a female ( flat bottom, shorter claws). She has grown significantly since June to now September. If I had to guess about 3.5 inches on the shell.
We feed her about 15/20 pellets in the morning. There is a snack (dried shrimp or meal worms) mid day.. and some more pellets in the evening.. She has really increased her appetite. I like to leave a piece of romaine in the tank here and there..

In a few more months I am thinking about raising the water up and building a new basking area (egg crate style above the tank, enclosed etc) and raising my chained lights. thoughts on this?

I am attaching a few photos.. The HOB is not in the position from the picture as I moved it down to the right side of the tank.
She loves when my two boys (age 2 and 5) come to the tank.. She swims right up to them with no fear, follow their fingers down the side etc.. She is always hesitant of me or other adults.
Attachments
IMG_20190920_120243_030.jpg
More recent this month (feed me!)
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Overhead view of RES in Sept (morning feed)
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New tank in June - HOB Filter is now on the right side of the tank (not middle. Water Level is maxed to raise the basking to the top of the polls almost.
IMG_20190421_204642811_th.jpg
Old small tank in April 2019.
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Post Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:29 am   Re: Since April - New baby RES

How bad is the light build up? Things seem fine in the pics. I’d also use fewer pellets, skip the treats and try veggies everyday. I like to use it in the morning so they can digest it better. For pellets, you can sort it out in a pillbox in case the kids want to sneak her some food :)
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Post Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:32 am   Re: Since April - New baby RES

It's not too bad, after a week or two I see film/algae build up in random areas either on the tank wall or bottom.. sometimes on a few rocks as well..
From the side view the water looks exceptional, from the end looking through it is cloudy as I can barely make out the basking poles or the other side of the tank.
I feel like this is mostly normal and to just keep scrubbing biweekly or monthly and keep my water changes at 20-30% monthly...
I was just curious if a power head could help circulate to get any debri from resting on the bottom to long to go through the filter..?

I will take some more pictures in the tanks current state and post them in this thread.
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Post Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:41 pm   Re: Since April - New baby RES

Build up like you described is inevitable. A little algae is not bad.. what kind of film are you seeing? A lot of times its shed skin or waste from poop. Could also be hard water deposits. More circulation can help a little bit, but results might vary as there will always be "dead" spots in the tank. I usually just stir things up when I net stuff out of the tank.
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Post Posted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:05 am   Re: Since April - New baby RES

Yeah sounds accurate.. I do the same and net it .. or when I siphon I move it around to get the debris out.
Attachments
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IMG_20190929_085239008-1209x1612.jpg
IMG_20190929_085303885-1612x1209.jpg
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Post Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:35 am   Re: Since April - New baby RES

The algae does look a bit more excessive than what I get. How often do you wipe it down? It could also be from overfeeding... leaves too many nutrients in the water.
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Post Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 11:55 am   Re: Since April - New baby RES

Weekly now that she has increased her appetite. Again this turtle is only about 6 months old give or take.. After I took those photos I have a long extended brush I used to hit the algae and stir up the debris in areas and netted it out as best I could. Overall the water quality is good IMO.
I am just wondering if I had something making a little current if my filter might pick up more of it... Not that I don't want to clean anything.
I just feel like she is starting to push the limits of this filter now vs. when we first put her in this tank. I know it's rated for more GPH etc but we all know turtles are good at messes :).
And if she is starting to with her growth spurts etc, I am wondering if I need to add another or something else to help keep it steady.
I check and do a weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly maintenance now.
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Post Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 12:16 pm   Re: Since April - New baby RES

Algae can grow anywhere, a stronger current in there probably wouldn't change much. Also look to see how the lighting can be tweaked. Too much light will also cause a lot of algae growth.
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Post Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:56 pm   Re: Since April - New baby RES

the lights on that side are 2 led side by side. The cover two panels on top.
far right is the UVB / basking lamp.
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Post Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 11:07 pm   Re: Since April - New baby RES

Both the UVB / basking lamp should be over the basking area. The rest of the tank doesn't need any extra lighting, though you can add some if you want. Plus, you want to run the lights from sunrise to sunset and make sure no direct sunlight hits the tank.
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