Any aquatic environment is hard to maintain but turtle tanks can be quite messy when you think about it. However, if you enjoy the task of housing a turtle in your own personal tank, you don’t want that to become a tedious task. That is why we have come up with this article, to help you learn and understand how to keep a turtle tank clean.
We are going to delve into 7 different ways, all in their own right, that are very useful, that help in keeping the integrity of your turtle tank. You will find your turtle very healthy and happy in its environment. Instead of having an obnoxious odor and unclear water in your turtle tank, you’ll find it to be crystal clear, and a pleasing site to look at!
This means of water treatment is required for any sort of aquarium you have, but is also very important when it comes to turtle tanks. As the nitrogen cycle runs through in your turtle tank, you will find the end product nitrite to be forming, which ends up being very useful for aquatic life. However, ammonia can also build up, which is one of the most toxic substances in any environment.
While the nitrogen cycle minimizes the amount of ammonia in the water, over time there will be a significant increase that you can not avoid. This can be very detrimental for your aquatic life. This is where the process of dechlorination comes in. Dechlorinating the water must be done before you place it in the tank however. Otherwise, you will not only kill the harmful bacteria, but also the beneficial bacteria that acts as a biological filter for your tank.
The most efficient time to dechlorinate your water is when you are conducting water changes for your tank, and it will minimize the effort you have to put in.
Proper Filter For Your Turtle Tank
Filters are by far one of the most important factors that come into play when talking about aquatic environments. They help to stabilize the environment in the water, and keep it steadily at the correct level, so that your aquatic life can thrive in it. You can use various types of filters for turtle tanks, but we prefer canister filters because they are very reliable and have great performance.
Canister filters come with 3 different types of filtration: mechanical, chemical and biological, all of which help in keeping the environment of the water at an optimal level. With maintenance being required from time to time, it is one of the best ways to maintain your aquarium’s health. Finding the best filter for your turtle tank requires a lot of research, but is definitely worth it in the long run!
Cleaning Tank Bottom
As we have already said, ammonia is really harmful for your aquatic atmosphere in the tank. As such, you have to be careful of the different places it can come from. This involves excess food in your turtle tank.
Bacteria in the atmosphere will break down these excess remains, and convert them to ammonia, making it quite harmful. Thus, it is essential that you clean the bottom of your tank around 4 times each month. You can do this by vacuuming the bottom with various vacuums found in local fish stores.
Always make sure that the apparatus you use when cleaning your turtle tank is secure and safe. Otherwise, you will just be adding more problems into the environment. A very important thing to remember is that if you have one of the best canister filters for your turtle tank, such as the Fluval FX6 canister filter, you can greatly reduce the amount of times you will need to clean or vacuum your tank.
Floating Freshwater Plants
While aquatic plants can look aesthetically pleasing for your tank’s decor, they also serve a much more important function in the ecosystem of your aquarium. The ammonia and nitrate that you want to get rid of from your tank, will be used by the plants as nutrients.
Both floating and submerged freshwater plants will allow you to make sure your tank stays healthy. However, floating plants are much better at this when compared to submerged ones. This is because the floating plants can retain Carbon Dioxide from both outside and inside the tank, making their nutrient retention much faster.
One problem you may encounter is that since turtles like to eat everything, they may indulge in the plants as well. There are a couple of ways to stop that process:
- A smaller tank connected to the large tank can harbor the plants, and be connected via tubing.
- Certain plants grow quite fast, are unappealing to turtles and free of any toxins, making them quite ideal for this purpose.
A few good choices of plants for this could be water lettuce, dwarf duckweed, giant duckweed, amazon frogbit and hornwort. However., based on what turtles you have and how the habitat you created is, you will need to do your very own research to get the best for your turtles.
Feeding Routine And No Overfeeding
Most aquarium pet deaths and aquarium messiness is caused by a poorly maintained schedule of feeding and also due to overfeeding. If you feed your turtle too little or too much, you can either kill it or make the tank extremely messy due to there being excess debris that gets broken down into nitrate and ammonia.
You can find fish stores that sell nutrient packed food that will sustain your turtles with ease, and provide them with good growth. However, you need to maintain a rigid schedule of feeding. A juvenile turtle (up to 2 years old) requires to be fed up to 3 times a week, and no more. An adult or mature turtle can easily go through the week only being fed once.
You also need to take into account that different breeds of turtles would prefer different food, and that each type of food comes with various types of nutrients. Some can be low on calories (such as lettuce), whereas other types can be protein packed (such as fish meat). Thus, proper research is needed on your turtle and what it needs to eat to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Hopefully you have found some good insight into managing and maintaining the cleanliness of your turtle tank. Make sure you are always running water changes in your turtle tank, at least 30% and every alternate week. Vacuuming needs to be done a couple of times each month and the filter for your aquarium needs to be cleaned every 3 months as well. This will help you nurture and cultivate a very healthy and loving environment for your turtle and will keep it happy!
Rod Hanks is a 32 year blogger from the United States, helping readers find the best quality products and services. He holds a masters degree on Finance from University of Minnesota. When he is not working, Rod plays football, goes to the gym and plays video games Read more about him.