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Turtle Tank Water Parameters


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Hi all, 

I am about to be a new turtle mama. In the research I've done, people don't seem too caught up into the water parameters for turtles. It seems that temperature is the main concern there. I understand that turtles create alot of waste and need high filtration but the NERM in me needs more information!

The Setup: 20g long tank, filled with about 4 inches of water. Filtration is an AquaClear hang on back thats rated for 70-80 gallons. Heater is set to 78 but is adjustable. Dual basking lamp using ReptiTuff and ReptiSun bulbs. Substrate is sand, some sphagnum moss and leaves that I boiled. LOTS of terrestrial plants as well as Brazilian Pennywort and a Red Tiger Lotus in those good good planter rocks. Hardscape was collected from a nearby creek, but washed and boiled. So far some unidentified (probably pondies) snails have been established and I plan to introduce an Endler trio. I am adding Easy Green and some root tabs on occasion. 

My Current Water Parameters: (Using AquariumCoOp Test Strips) 

pH: 6.8

GH: 300

KH: 80

Nitrate: 10

Nitrite: 0

Ammonia: 0

I know that my water is pretty hard (probably from the rocks?) but, didn't figure that was anything too concerning. Am I wrong? I know to monitor my pH, especially for the fish. Any other thoughts on water parameters for turtle tanks? 

My only other question is, do you guys think its possible that my leaves/botanicals could lead to any fungal infections or issues? There is some mulmy, kinda clear algae on some that I've seen. 

Thank you! 




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