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Turtle Tank Tips


Streetwise
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The librarian is reporting that Sam has not moved off his rock and into the water. I think he either got shocked, or the broken heater leached some chemicals into the water.

I think we need to do a complete water change. I'm feeling really upset and worried right now. I'm at a different school today, so I can't just go deal with it immediately as I would like to.

Can anyone please offer some experienced insight into this? I haven't had a broken heater since I was a teenager.

Thanks!

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@Streetwise, I keep coming back to this post. The image of Sam in a permanent stretch position as if he were hit by lightning bolt is haunting.

Post mortem on the heater: Looks like it got really hot before it failed

  • The stuff on the business end is brown which indicates it was cooked
  • The stuff on the business is bubbly which also indicates high heat over time

Could the heater have failed in the on position which led to breakage of the glass, instead of the breakage of the glass leading to the failure of the heater?

I don't recall every being shocked by heater, and I think I would remember that, but if it happened in the 1970s it is possible those memories have had their file allocation table over-written if you know what I mean.🙂

 

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Thanks @Daniel. It is possible that a water change was done which dropped the level below the heater, and failing as you describe. The heater was still hot when I pulled it out. He was doing that leg thing with the other leg too yesterday, like he was taking turns with them.

The librarian is going to take Sam out, and do a full-tank cleaning today, which makes me feel a little better. Helping with this setup has been humbling, but with mistakes comes learning.

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Honestly I wouldn't heat the water at all I had my snapper eat half a heater once (he is fine) if the water stays around room temp that will be fine 68-75. I would do a zoo med power sun for his basking light to make sure he can get hot if he wants to they do need to be changed I think every six months to a year. All UVB lighting will go bad over time but it is super Impotent for them. The leg out in that picture is pretty common for turtles to do when basking they will take all sorts of yoga positions when they are in the sun to get as much UVB and heat as they can it also helps them to dry out all the way because if they don't get all the way dry they can get fungus and bacterial infections here are some good pictures I found on the internet of them doing this

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I completely agree with all that Taylor said. With temperature unless a 110% tropical species they can have cool water and a warm sun to regulate their heat. Plus your comfortable in the room they are also. 

The lighting I also agree. I do like the reptisun. There is many good brands but for price and reliability they are a great choice. 

I also second the replacing of them every 6 MAX 9 months. As their UVB pretty quickly burns out even if the globe looks great. 

If the room gets a little cool and you can't get a heat+UVB bulb just use a UVB bulb and also use a very small heat lamp just over the basking spot or just off to the side to help it stay warmer. I do recommend it as it also helps them dry out a bit which is good for them as per what Taylor has said.

But a good bulb like reptisun does both so recommend that. Just make sure it stays warm and has UVB in it. 

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Thanks @Taylor Blake, @KoolFish97!

I have the lights on a timer for 07:00 - 16:00, and I will invest in a better set of lights. There is a lot of ZooMed stuff available locally. Since the building is temperature-controlled, I think I will forgo a heater based on your advice. I think I might also put some carbon in the filter.

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That's a sweet idea. Sadly one that I'll never try (can't get any order plant or otherwise here to Australia) 

But that's a great idea. 

I really think the heater is not necessary! Especially if climate controlled. Just have a basking UVB bulb he will love it. 

I see the water levels been raised a bit that's also really good. 

The carbon is a good idea. Especially if your not always there in a pinch to help water change etc. It'll just make sure the smell and colour of the water is nice mostly aesthetic but it's good none the less! 

To hell with the water chemistry and waste. You could always get or repurpose a small hang on back to grow some emergent plants from like pothos and peace Lily just to help it stay as clean as possible. 

It's awesome to see Sam getting his tank get better each update. It was a joy to see him sunbathing like they do!

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Thanks for the support and help, @KoolFish97!

The intake pipe system has been problematic since it was too shallow, so I went back to the original green intake, and spliced on some tubing to get all the way to the bottom. I also stacked three rocks to make a platform for a hang-on-back filter to go inside. Hopefully this will be reliable.

The librarian also gave me a cool piece of Mopani wood, which is about a foot tall!

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Edited by Streetwise
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  • 3 weeks later...

I brought in a couple of Anubias to try, knowing the risks. I dropped them in at about 08:00. Here they are at 12:00.

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He bit off about four leaves, and chewed on some others. His lunch was more expensive than mine!

I pulled the plants to take back home, or find another tank in the school. I'm still glad I gained first-hand knowledge.

 

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Sam is introverted and doesn’t want anyone to think that this thread is just about him.

I would love it if other turtle folks would jump in, share stuff, ask questions, answer questions, etc. Maybe @Sol can join us.

Everyone has been so helpful! Thanks.

🐢 💕 

Edited by Streetwise
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