Habitat - Indoor :: Is a turnkey setup doable?

Turtle tank setups and other indoor configurations.

Post Posted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 7:47 pm   Is a turnkey setup doable?

Hi all. This is my first post on a RES forum. I’ve searched the forum a bit but apologize if this is repeat I don’t have much time to search these days. I live in So Cal next to a pond and my girlfriend and I found a hatchling walking up the side of our house (concrete) heading towards the road. She wanted to keep it, promising she would care for it but that is not the case. I put hours of research into him when he was new to us and set up a habitat in a 10 gallon. This was years ago, we’ve upgraded him to 40 gal breeder and Fluval70 a couple months into having him, realizing this was not enough.

Fast forward and he’s still in the 40 gal breeder with Fluval70 (foam, active carbon, bio). His shell is now around 5” in length. Keep in mind we live at home for the rest of this post, so we’re stuck in one bedroom. He also has a large water heater that keeps temp at 70F. Basking area with UVB and Halogen, 80-85F on average. He gets API conditioner and sludge destroyer for change outs. We’ve fed him Reptomin pellets with calcium for ever, just started getting larger sizes as he grew. Also give him dried red shrimp, meal worms, and crickets as treats with an occasional small live fish. Overall he has a good life :)

He has one large (fake) wood thing and a few large rocks - with mostly swimming space. I maintain him once a week with electronic vacuum pump, top off water, drain filter, rinse foam/carbon/bio in drained filter water. I replace carbon biweekly and foam once a month. Bio gets replaced twice per year. I use pumps to remove and replace water. Once a month he gets a full changeout of about 90% of the water, I scrub algae off everything in the tank and replace water and filters as specified above. Which brings me to the issue we’re having with algae.

I do the full change outs so often due to algae growth. It actually starts growing on the glass after a month and a half, even with the maintenance I do. This has become too much work for us and wondering if there is a better way or even if I’m missing something? What do the experienced RES owners recommend? Thank you!
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Post Posted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:56 pm   Re: Is a turnkey setup doable?

If you have light and water, you will get some algae. Is there any sunlight reaching the tank? What are the lights over the water surface? Minimizing those will cut down algae. My routine is much simpler than yours but I have a larger tank (more water) and a large canister filter. I also keep the basking light over the basking area with no additional lighting.
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Post Posted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:14 pm   Re: Is a turnkey setup doable?

steve wrote:If you have light and water, you will get some algae. Is there any sunlight reaching the tank? What are the lights over the water surface? Minimizing those will cut down algae. My routine is much simpler than yours but I have a larger tank (more water) and a large canister filter. I also keep the basking light over the basking area with no additional lighting.


While he doesn’t get direct sunlight there is some carry from an open window during the day. I think possibly building a basking area that doesn’t not allow light into tank would help me. Is algae in the tank a big concern for turtle health? When does it become bad enough to merit scrubbing everything? It sounds like I may be taking it too far with maintenance.
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Post Posted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:25 am   Re: Is a turnkey setup doable?

What kind of basking area do you have now? A little bit of algae is fine, it even looks nice on certain tank decorations. Are you using anything else besides Reptomin? It's possible too much food waste is also fueling the algae.
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Post Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:13 pm   Re: Is a turnkey setup doable?

What is the feeding process like?
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