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#21 Preston

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 10:07 AM

Here are a couple of additional pictures.

I've been through two cleaning cycles. Brown scum builds up pretty fast on the sides, but it comes off with a light swipe of a soft brush. My strategy is to put the hyacinths on the land, drain it most of the way, take the turtle out, then swipe the sides and swish around until the scum goes out. When it is very low, I start adding water to help with this process. It gets quite clean, total time about half an hour (half of which is unsupervised draining.)

The tank loses less than 1/4 inch of water daily through evaporation and sloshing. I have the hose timer set to add about 1/2 an inch (one minute at low volume), the balance of which runs over.

I added a floating mosquito killer (which they say is OK for humans to eat, so ought to be safe for the turtle) to keep mosquitoes away. Looks like a small hard donut. Two dollars buys six months worth.

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#22 sliderkid

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 11:26 AM

What kind of mesh is thata? Chicken wire? I m building a basking box and am looking for that kind of material. Also, I assked sterilite and they said they stopped making the 1849 in clear! :(

#23 Greco

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 02:20 PM

I likey

#24 Preston

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 06:38 PM

What kind of mesh is thata? Chicken wire? I m building a basking box and am looking for that kind of material. Also, I assked sterilite and they said they stopped making the 1849 in clear! :(

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Usually it is called "hardware cloth." The holes are, I think, 1/2 inch, but it comes in other sizes, like 1/4 or 1 inch. It is much sturdier than chicken wire, which is usually 1 1/2 or even two inch holes and thinner wire. Hardware cloth can stand up on its own. You can see that while the top is reinforced with wood strips, the walls are just the wire. It is quite sturdy.

#25 sliderkid

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Posted 11 April 2005 - 12:35 PM

I see. hardware cloth is hard to cut right? Do you need wire clippers? What about chicken wire do you need clippers for that?

#26 Preston

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Posted 12 April 2005 - 12:13 AM

I see. hardware cloth is hard to cut right? Do you need wire clippers? What about chicken wire do you need clippers for that?

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I used wire cutters to cut hardware cloth. Even to cut chicken wire, you need something that will cut wire.

#27 Preston

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 09:19 PM

The container I used is starting to bow out, and I don't think it is going to last very long. It has bowed out at least an inch and perhaps more. 50 gallons of water weighs 400 pounds, and it just isn't strong enough.

Consequently, I've ordered a new tank from

http://www.plastic-m...lass.php?cat=39

which has 50 gallons at $128 delivered. I'll post again when I have the unit in operation.

#28 sliderkid

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 12:17 PM

Sounds good, let us know how that goes!! are they clear?

#29 Preston

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Posted 04 June 2005 - 10:17 AM

I rebuilt the container for the new tank, and it is much more solid. The new tank (link above) is translucent, and doubled the cost of the project, but but should last indefinitely because it was made to hold that much water. The sides are smooth and flat, so should be easier to clean the algae off. I was able to fit the new tank in the same frame, although with a fair bit of rebuilding, because this tank was shorter and wider, but fortunately fit with sufficient dry land. These tanks have a lip, which is about 1.5 inches deep, which should actually make it a bit easier for a smaller turtle to climb out. Our turtle is large enough that this isn't an issue.

The tank is rigid and about a third of an inch thick, so the drain is much more stable and firm. However, I had a lot more trouble making it water tight and only succeeded by filling the hole and coating the entire connection in household goop. This sealer adhered to the tank very well and the whole thing is solid and pushing and pulling on it now doesn't create any dripping.

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#30 Millerlite

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Posted 04 June 2005 - 10:31 AM

What size is that one is it the same or bigger.

#31 Preston

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 05:42 PM

What size is that one is it the same or bigger.

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It is the same number of gallons -- 50 -- but shaped differently.

#32 Preston

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 08:23 AM

At six weeks, the tank is working great. It hasn't flexed at all, and as an added bonus, it cleans up easier. Now if I could just find a floating plant that worked better -- the hyacinths died, probably because the turtle ate the new growth too quickly.

#33 Zebeck

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 08:37 AM

Very nice thanks for sharing.

Well, standing outdoor water here will drop to 60 degrees. Seems a bit cool for a Texan.


I wouldn't worry about 60 if the air temp is above 75 and there is direct access to the sun.
If it gets cooler than that i'd heat the water.

How do you keep the heater form touching the plastic?

#34 Preston

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 06:15 PM

How do you keep the heater form touching the plastic?

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I have a heater that attaches using suction cups, and it is close to the side, but doesn't touch the side. I don't actually know if the new container is smooth enough for suction cups, but I have put a small fountain in the tank to aerate the water, and can probably attach it with wire to that. The pump itself is attached to a brick with a piece of coat hanger wire so that the turtle doesn't knock it over. Attaching the heater to a brick on the bottom would also work.

#35 Preston

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 06:20 PM

The method I'm using is to replace the water weekly. I think this is the main problem the water hyacinths didn't thrive -- there weren't enough nutrients for them. (Unusual problem with turtles!) Is there a plant that can withstand going into new water weekly? If I go longer than a week, I get algae buildup, and I like keeping the turtle in clean water. So it seems I need rooted plants in containers on the bottom, that can be removed easily for cleaning, and then replaced. Any ideas for rooted aquatic plants, that (i) grow fast, (ii) are edible by RES, (iii) are hardy and can withstand being out of the water for an hour while the water is changed weekly, and (iv) are pretty?

#36 sliderkid

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Posted 18 July 2005 - 01:42 AM

Could you get some very basic filtration like a power filter or the jebo canister and load it with mechanical media and some anti-algae media and then let the plants do the biological work? Duckweed seems to be the best canidate for your conditions right now.

#37 Preston

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Posted 19 July 2005 - 08:50 PM

Could you get some very basic filtration like a power filter or the jebo canister and load it with mechanical media and some anti-algae media and then let the plants do the biological work? Duckweed seems to be the best canidate for your conditions right now.

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I ordered a couple of pounds of duckweed, so I'll see how it goes. I have connections that could permit filtration but I had hoped to avoid it, mainly because I like replacing the water, since I don't have any fish. Turtles, as I understand it, do fine with replaced water and replaced water is definitely clean water. My daughter's turtle has never had a single sick day, at least in part because I've kept the water very clean.

But it seems like the water needs to be dirtier for plants to thrive. I might try a small amount of fertilizer in the water instead, allowing me to replace it weekly.

Can a JEBO be used outside and is there a US online supplier? What are inexpensive outdoor filter options?

#38 jarrad

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 01:31 PM

whats the dry land that you have. is their a way they get out of the tank on to dry land?

#39 lisaannlee

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 08:39 PM

I've had great success with water celery and creeping jenny. They grow fast,I prefer to plant in a container and let them grow into the water allowing for a nice way to enter and exit the water. I also have jenny in the water. They seem to with stand my turts.

#40 Preston

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Posted 28 August 2005 - 09:32 PM

whats the dry land that you have. is their a way they get out of the tank on to dry land?

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There is wood level with the water next to it. You should be able to see it, to the right, in the picture above.




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