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#1 Violent Ninja Turtle

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:24 PM

Hello everyone, I'm brand new to this site, but I like what I've seen so far so much that I joined, lol! Anywho, I have 3 turtles (2 yellow sliders, and a yellow cooter) in a tank I believe to be about 40gal. (I know, too small, but times are tough and it was free!) none of them are over 4 years old or even close to 6" wide so they're still doing ok for now, but I hope to upgrade to at least a 125gal. in the future. Until then, I'm trying to make the most of what I have available to me now, and I'm pretty excited 'cause today I ordered my 1st canister filter!

So I'm pretty psyched up, got a really nice deal on a XP3 (I really like the idea of overpowered filtration, I think that should do it), almost went with the Aquatop but I decided to go with the Rena. So, in my experiences so far, this hobby is really best learned through trial and error, as I have and continute to make LOTS of errors, lol! So before I make anymore, I figured I would bounce a few questions off the experienced fine folks on these forums and see what bounces back...

My first question has to do with substrate, I haven't used any with them yet, but I'm getting really bored of the bare bottom look. So I've been considering rocks (slate, river, sea, or a mix), but I really like the way sand looks too (read a post where someone was using sand blasting abrasive and that looked really nice), so I was thinking maybe a nice layer of sand with varied sized river rocks and slate rocks would look nice and natural. But I keep reading about how sand is more difficult to maintain (at least that's what some people think) and I'm kinda worried about them swallowing the sand, although they've been around soil and I haven't had any problems with that? So what is it EXACTLY that makes sand so difficult to maintain? Also, using sand with this new filter concerns me, will a prefilter lower my GPH? Will having the intake 8" from the surface of the sand be too far away to collect debris from the bottom? And if I decide to not include any sand or sand-like substrate, how hard is river rock to maintain? Would I need to take out every rock and rinse it each cleaning?

Next question I was pondering, since this is my 1st canister, I was curious about the outflow jets (is that what its called?), can I put those underwater, like close to the bottom to push debris towards the intake, or does it have to be at or above the surface of the water?

Also, I think one of my sliders is a female, she's still kinda small to tell for sure, but I'm about 90% positive. So I've been trying to decide on a small nesting area for her, I was wondering if it was a viable idea to include it in the the tank (ATBA), or if I will need a separate nesting tank when I see her getting ready to drop eggs?

And last but not least, when I do construct my ATBA, I wanted to put lights under the platform so the water isn't so dark, any suggestions on lights I could put just above the surface of the water?

Okay, I think that's about it for now, looking forward to hearing what y'all think, and I'm sure the gang will appreciate it...thanks in advance to anyone that replies!!

#2 CLAWS

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 11:57 PM

Hi,
Welcome to TT, glad to came aboard.

Yes, bare bottom tanks can get boring but they are the easiest to maintain. If you go with stone it will need to be vac'd weekly. Sand is a little harder to maintain and sometimes difficult to keep out of the filter. If you use stone make sure it's twice the size as the turtles head. They tend to swallow the smaller stone gravel and can get impacted. If you use sand keep the inlet strainer at least three inches above the sand bottom. This will help keep it out of the filter.

Yes, the spray bar can be placed underwater. Nesting spot/ATBA combo would be great. I think i would place the lights outside the tank in the back at the ATBA level. This would provide light under the basking dock and keep the light bulb dry. Good luck!

#3 Incarnate Beast

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 08:27 AM

for the ATBA question, I got one of these http://www.ebay.com/...=item5ae873d34e it can be in or out of the water and LEDs last forever. There's also bubblers with LEDs in them now that will uplight from the bottom of your tank. They're made out of a durable plastic so the turts shouldn't destroy them

#4 CLAWS

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 11:15 PM

Sounds like a winner to me. They put water heaters underwater why not waterproof lighting. Great idea!

#5 Violent Ninja Turtle

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 04:18 AM

Awesome, thanks for the replies, and I really like that underwater light...any idea how many watts it is? I'm thinking about a few low-light real plants (another reason for the substrate) to put in with em, so that's kinda why I wanna put lights under the dock, just full spectrum regular light thats strong enough for a few plants should do the trick. Saw a nice fluorescent cabinet light at Lowe's I thought would work nicely, but these other ones on ebay are a LOT cheaper, lol! Waterproof too, looks like a winner to me...I do like the idea of bubblers with lights, but I'm pretty sure the turts would keep messin with it just to annoy me, they're funny like that, still worth looking into...

Also I did a little research on gravel vacs, anyone have experience with that battery operated Ehiem handheld? Looks like a pretty solid product compared to similar models I've seen so far, but I'm not sure about how good a job those things really do for the whole tank. Dunno if anyone has seen that Cobalt power gravel filter? Looks pretty awesome, but a little bit more of an investment than I was looking to make on a gravel vac...kinda like my old school plastic siphon that cost me $6, lol! But I'm not going to need to empty that much water during maintainence anymore (filter gets here wed. can't wait!) so the Ehiem looked like a good choice.

So again, thanks for the replies and thank you for the warm reception, Claws!

Once I get everything built and put together, I'll be sure to post pics!

#6 Incarnate Beast

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 07:23 AM

the wattage on the one I linked is 1.1




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