(I’ve updated this article with a newer post, Guided tour of my pet turtle tank)
In mid-July this year (2008), I finally moved my two red ear slider turtles to their new home. It took a while before I finally set-up the tank because I was trying to sell it first since it was just way too big, even though me and AG had measured how much room it would take up. Failing that, I finally set it up in mid-July.
Here’s the front view of the pet turtle tank. It measures 48" wide, 30" deep, and 24" high (or 4 ft wide, 2.5 ft deep, 2 ft high). I divided the tank for each turtle using egg crate (light diffuser), the left side for Rex, the right for Cinderella. The background was (I later removed it) a foam 3D background, with fake plastic leaves hanging off the top. Basking area is corkbark and is attached to the egg crate. Two xP3 filters are used, each with a Hydor ETH external Heater. I have a 24" UVB light and two ceramic heat emitters. In each pet red ear slider turtle’s space, or territory as I like to call it, there’s driftwood, 2 river stones, and two cichlid "caves". 3 zebra danios, 3 long-finned leopard danios, 4 electric yellow cichlids, and 1 red zebra cichlid share the tank with the two RES turtles.
Here’s Rex from a side view of his territory. The blue thing is a fish feeder which I used to keep the turtle food in one place. I later took it out because the turtles eventually always removed it from the place it was suctioned to, and it didn’t matter if their food went all over the tank, they (or the fish) would still find it.
Close-up of Rex’s territory. I was attempting to have some moss grow on the driftwood, but with the pet turtles in there, they just wouldn’t give it a chance to grow and attach to the wood.
Cinderella in her territory. I added the air bubbles on the front of the turtle tank and under the divider because that area was becoming a dead spot for water circulation and a lot of waste would just pile up in the area.
Top view of Cinderella’s territory. The white eggcrate "tower" on the right is something I made to try to have some anacharis in the water to help clean out the nitrates and stuff. I eventually removed it because the anacharis just didn’t survive. There’s a roll of mesh inside the "tower" to protect it from Cinderella, but I think it just blocked all the light and killed the anacharis.
Top view of Rex’s territory. You can see their old 5.5 gallon tank on the left, which I converted to a natural (low-tech) planted tank.
Both turtles enjoying being able to swim freely in their new aquarium but still hanging out at the front, begging for food.
An angled view of the tank. I don’t plan on filling the tank up to the full 150 gallons because, honestly, I don’t know if the floor can hold the weight. The turtle tank is in an old apartment building and we don’t know where the support beams are. The tank is positioned on a corner of the building, so that gives the floor more support than anywhere else on the apartment, but there’s still a question of whether the floor can support the weight of 150 gallons of water. Anyway, I fill the pet turtle tank up halfway (about 75 gallons) and do water changes once a month. The water in the pix is obviously less than half, but that’s cause I didn’t do a water change before taking the pix.
Another front shot. You can see both my pet turtles, Rex is swimming on the left side and you can see Cinderella sticking her head out just above the two cichlid caves on the right.
Rex taking a nap. He’s hanging on to a suction-cupped piece of mesh that has some moss sandwiched inside it. He enjoyed sleeping on it in his old tank and he enjoys sleeping on it in his new tank too.
Here’s Rex smiling for the camera! His mouth looks yellow because he was eating the 3D foam background. I removed it because of that and the fact that it hurt Rex (I’ll explain in a future post).