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how often should you clean your tank?


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#1 iloveturtles315

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 09:28 AM

hi everyone,
Just wondering how often you should clean your turtle tanks?
I have two musks and I'm not sure how often to clean it...
Thanks

#2 Nicky Johnson

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 07:11 PM

The size of your tank plus which filter you have will make a difference. For example a small tank for your two turts or weak filter would mean more cleaning.

Personally (I have 2 RES in a 100gal) I do it in a 4 week cycle- a 1/4 water change week 1, 1/2 water change week 2 and 3 and then a full water change week 4. I vacuum the gravel each week during water change and wipe the tank sides if looking dirty. I find this to be sufficient as my filter keeps the water clear and it never looks dirty but the water changes I do for the fact the turts need to drink the water. My old tank was smaller and it needed cleaning more often. I do feed them in the tank and that will make a difference too.

That is what I personally do for my RESs but I don't know anything about musks.

#3 iloveturtles315

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 02:01 AM

Hi I'm a beginner with turtles so I don't really know alot about all this kind of stuff,
My tank is a 25g and I'm not sure on the filter.
I've kept the water in for 11 days know and the water seems quite clear. I was thinking changing the water every 2 weeks.
Thanks

#4 Nicky Johnson

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 04:21 PM

Hi I'm a beginner with turtles so I don't really know alot about all this kind of stuff,
My tank is a 25g and I'm not sure on the filter.
I've kept the water in for 11 days know and the water seems quite clear. I was thinking changing the water every 2 weeks.
Thanks


If you have a 25gal with 2 turts in maybe it might be good to do a small water change each week? It doesn't have to be a full change but it just gives them some fresh water.

It is not always good to base it on how clear the water is in my experience because I'm pretty sure my filter would keep my water clear for way longer than I leave it but it doesn't mean the water isn't dirty as aquatic turts will wee/poo in their water and then drink the same water. Also I have gravel which tends to mask how much waste there is and don't see it until start vacuuming it.

So my suggestion is that you do a small water change each week- maybe take out and replace 1/4 of it? Then you can decide when you feel you need a full change (but with a 25gal and 2 turts in I would suggest often. Maybe every 2 weeks as you suggested).

#5 CLAWS

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 05:11 PM

To take the guess work out of cleaning your tank or doing water changes, you should base your water changes on the nitrate buildup in your tank. Nitrate, which is colorless, can become toxic over a period of time if it exceeds 40-50ppm. It is wise to purchase at least an ammonia and nitrate test kit. Ammonia which is a lot more toxic(just a couple ppm) is also colorless. If you have adequate filtration your water should be crystal clear. Assuming that your tank is cycled, the nitrifying bacteria are keeping the ammonia and nitrite at zero, you should monitor the nitrate that builds up over time. If you are using a substrate it should be vac'd at least every week. You don't want the waste to dissolve into the water where the filter, even filter floss, won't pick it up.

But for water changes I concentrate on the nitrate buildup. With the nitrate test kit you can determine the nitrate buildup per day. Check for nitrate every few days to determine when your nitrate gets to 20ppm. This might take a couple weeks. Then at that point do a 85% water change. This way the nitrate will not exceed 23.5ppm if you do 85% water changes every two weeks. If you only do a water change of 25% at this point, the nitrate will get to 80ppm in your tank if you just do 25% water changes every two weeks. So you have to be careful in what your doing. If you use the nitrate kit you can't go wrong. Just as a note, if you want to figure the max nitrate you will get by doing a certain percent water change at the same interval(every two weeks in your case) just divide the nitrate buildup at the time of the water change(20ppm in your case) by the percent of the water change. So 20ppm divided by 85%(.85) = 23.5ppm max. If you only do a 25%(.25) water change in that same period of time then your max nitrate will be 20ppm divided by 25%(.25) = 80ppm max. To me it's a lot easier to do larger water changes on a set interval. Hope this make sense to you, but if it doesn't just ask.

#6 iloveturtles315

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 01:44 AM

wow i didn't know there was so much to it! haha
thanks for the imformaton guys...
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