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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi There,

I'm new to the forum and could really do with some advice and help.

I've had a false map turtle (called Darwin) for almost a year now, and have recently upgraded his (as far as I can tell at this stage) tank.

He is now living in a tank that is 59ins by 20 by 22, so just under 5ft long. I have an eheim ecco pro 300 - 2036. The set up also includes, a water heater, and lamps which are a minimum of 5% UVB. He has a large basking area, with plenty of room to move about in.

My issue is really water quality. He is now the only turtle in the tank, (we recently lost our little musk) and there is also a little tetra filter in the tank. Apart from a few large rocks there is little substrate at the bottom, as with my previous tank, I felt this inhibited the water quality.

I do part water changes about every 10-14 days (more often if needed), and after feeding I remove as much waste as possible. However the filter seems to struggle with removing some of the waste, and I think the water quality could be improved.

Any advice anyone could provide would be much appreciated. Anyway I can improve my husbandry, to make sure Darwin has best possible quality of life?

I know you guys use photobucket for photos however I am technically challenged if you would like to see some photos there is a link to my instagram below:

Instagram

Cheers
 

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:welcome: to the Forum.

Do you know why you lost your Musk? Young Musks really do not cope well with deep water and need lots of resting places and to be able to sit with their heads out of the water, plus of course walking along the bottom of the tank. Adults seem to like to stand on their back legs with their heads out of the water. Mixing species is not always a good idea.

Having looked at your photo - a good sized tank, but it does appear to have a lot of condensation on the inside. Does it have a lid? Obviously not on the right hand end as there is a basking light. Turtle tanks should not have lids.

I don't know what age/size your turtle is, but room temperature water 20c is usually fine with a basking area 10c warmer. Does he ever bask as the lamp seems to be rather a long way away from the basking area?

I think I would remove the stack of stones and use a purpose made Zoo Med dock (depends on size/weight of turtle) or a piece of cork bark. This would stop any waste getting in between the stones.

I would also fill the tank up (presumably that is the cabinet it came with so there are no concerns regarding weight and strength ect!) and provide some wood, plastic plants if you don't want real ones and use some of the stones so he can sit and hide in/on them as he wants.

We don't use that particular filter so I don't know anything about them, but which media are you using? We use Alfagrog. From the photo it appears that the inlet and outlet are at opposite ends, which is obviously correct.

The cleaning of tanks and filters often comes up in posts. We very rarely clean ours as the filters do an excellent job. Too much cleaning of the filter sponges/media etc can do more harm than good. We do check the tanks regularly and they do need topping up fairly often.

I think that is it! Please don't think I am criticising in any shape or form. I am just running through some of the things that came to mind, and hope that I have been helpful? Hopefully, some other keepers will be about later :2thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
He spends quite a bit of time basking. Im at work most of the day, but when I'm around he is often out of the water for long periods, which i assumed (maybe incorrectly) was good natural behaviour. We currently use the rocks as an tempory measure, previously i had a zoomed floating doc, but he outgrew it, and im struggling to find one large enough to meet his needs. Any links to good suppliers would be great! Where i live there isnt much around.

As for the musk. He was never in the big tank. He was in a much smaller, shallower tank. I have no idea why we lost him. With his smaller set up, we didnt have the issues with water quality, he was eating, and really quite lively up until about 30 minutes before he died. He just went, really quite suddenly.

There is a lid for the tank, but we dont use it. As it would obstruct the lights, that picture is from when i had just set things up, and was messing around with some bits and bob, but the tank is condensation free.

Darwin is in good health, but I want to ensure im doing everything i can to improve his quality of life. we have made some adjustments to the filter media, on advice from a local aqautic store, and that seems to have helped a little. But the filter really seems to struggle with some of the larger waste.

Any suggestions on filters, media and water quality would be great

Thanks again
 

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Our filters are Eheims also but 2213s or 2215s on the indoor tanks. The ponds have home made ones. I Googled yours and found the data:

35 - 66 UK gallons/160 - 300 litres.

On your tank sizes it would hold 93 UK gallons/350 litres, but this would be if totally full.

As it looks to be about half full then it would already be up to the limits of the filter. That said, I've not looked at the specifications for the ones we use recently and can't remember anyway what it says! Ours work fine though.

Your water in the picture doesn't look dirty although obviously this isn't the best way to telling.

Which media are you using?
 

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Nice big tank, In that photo it looks like it is freshly set up which I think is probably why there is so much condensation? (water splashing around off the hose etc).
Where about's are you? I have a large bit of cork bark that would fit perfect for a basking ramp. Those rocks give me the willy's :lol2:, looks like the top ones are just waiting to be kicked off and crack the bottom of your tank. Same as that ornament in the middle if it is made of anything heavy as Turtles aren't usually careful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Nice big tank, In that photo it looks like it is freshly set up which I think is probably why there is so much condensation? (water splashing around off the hose etc).
Where about's are you? I have a large bit of cork bark that would fit perfect for a basking ramp. Those rocks give me the willy's :lol2:, looks like the top ones are just waiting to be kicked off and crack the bottom of your tank. Same as that ornament in the middle if it is made of anything heavy as Turtles aren't usually careful.
The smaller rocks or pebbles have been secured in place using a water tight sealant, and so far that seems to be doing the trick, as after spending all that money on the new tank. I wanted to make sure Darwin wouldn't destroy it. The tall rock formation in the middle is very lightweight and I don't think can cause damage if knocked over it, only looks like rocks, isn't made from them. Darwin loves to hang upright from it.

I'm based about 10 miles outside of Peterborough in a place called Deeping St James.

Someone suggested that perhaps my filter is at its capacity, what would you advise? Would a smaller 2nd external filter pick up the flack or just invest in a new one completely?

Currently in the filter is a layer of chunky media( like square rocks), then a layer of smaller round pebbles, then a layer of I think its called ehiem fix its like curly plastic woven strands. Then a charcoal like teabag thing and then three different sponges. The fix and Charcoal, were recommended from my local aquatic center, and seem to do a better job than the original media.​
 

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Good news about the rocks.

As for the filtration its really up to you, you could add a second one or replace for a larger model. I would probably suggest adding a second to run along side as I know from my aquariums once you start getting to 300+ litres its difficult to find 1 filter on its own that will do the job, and they are usually big bucks.

As for as filter media I only use large sponges (varying from coarse to fine) and Alfgagrog, as Stephen says its top stuff. Your LFS has sold you Carbon by the sounds of it, which is not needed at all, its only really useful to remove medications from the water and has a very limited lifespan. I've never used the Eheim fix stuff, no doubt its good, but probably way overpriced and still worse than going with a standard sponge/alfagrog combo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everybody for your help! I will do some research into this alfagrog stuff and a second filter for the tank!

The last year has been a huge learning curve and I've still got a lot to go, but hopefully I'm on the right tracks at the very least. The welfare of Darwin, will always be my priority.

Thanks again for all your help!
 
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