I spent 5 weeks to create 8 gallons of mineralized top soil for my planted aquarium. After work for nearly every day for 5 weeks I've worked on this dirt, sometimes 1-2 hours. Why? There's pros in putting this into your tank over just buying some premade stuff.
You get the soil, filter it, let it soak for 2 days. Lay it out to dry. Let it dry for 2 days. Then break it up, and repeat it all 4 times. The result is this awesome smooth dirt for the bottom of a planted aquarium. See:
6/11 - My $20 filter was failing so I put in the new Fluval 406. It's totally awesome. It's quiet. One mistake I made was that when you start pumping all that water into it, it drained the tank by about 10 gallons. It didn't work until I added more more water.
The water flow is nuts. Baby turtle goes by it and it launches him and slams him against the side. It's funny to watch the fish launch.
Tragedy struck today as 2 of the Bala Sharks died :( One of my $20 filters died and I think the water just got too bad. So I'll have to buy some more of those :( :( They were my fav fish too.
I'm looking forward to a new 125g tank! Megaturtle is getting too big for the 40 gallon.
6/3 - For sale: Private island only $12 million
5/31 - Too much turtle? Check out this shirt I got matching for me and my kid.
5/31 - 1,500 hits. Building a little slower than my War2 page haha.
5/31 - Crazy Boat picture added
5/30 - Super Mario Aquarium. Check it out, it's awesome.
5/18 - Ancient Car-Sized Turtles Hung Out with Titanoboas
5/13 - New posts and pictures
Feeding the fish at Legoland (the staff was)
Our 10 year old made his own video of him feeding the fish and turtles in the morning. It's short. I'm sleeping when he does this, haha. It's really funny, he sees me making videos and posting videos and tries to make his own. It's interesting to see what things he says.
5/6 - We went to:
Sandbar Fish/Pet Shop
OC Tropical Fish
99 Cent Store
Today me and the 2 kids spent all day driving around to pet stores and fish stores. We bought 3 bala sharks, 1 female Cherry Barb and one plant and a heater for one of our tanks. It was pretty fun. Also went to Sonic and the pool.
My Latest 4 min video of our tank. - Starts off blurry but clears up. If you like it, please hit thumbs up at the end.
Our two other Aquariums. We got the top one for $25 but it's worth $87 in stores. It has two kinds of tetra, ghost shrimp, one gold fish, a blue beta, and algae eaters, catfish.
Taking me about 1-2 hours to clean the thing each week. Mainly it's cuz I clean two filters that suck. I really want the $230 filter. If I bought
Bought 2 more catfish (speckled and a 4th Green Corey). Bought a Rainbow Shark.
Received our Air Pump and set up a bubble disk of bubbles. We have a 2nd tank from long before with a Beta and a bunch of tetra, ghost shrimp, and a snail.
Used my birthday money from Wesley P to order an air pump and bubble disk to add bubbles. Also Agent86 for the tubing for it. It might show up tomorrow.
still waiting for my turtle web site. TT.
I ordered some Java Moss and it turns out it was from out of country so f-ing customs stole it and gave me an empty envelope. So now I have to get my money back or get it reshipped or ask for my money back via paypal.
Discovered my bosses, bosses, bosses, boss has a tank with 2 giant female red sliders in his office. I never went in there. He has the canister filter on my wish list. I've seen it in use 2 times now. It looks/sounds awesome so I'll for sure buy it eventually. $239 means I have to wait until maybe August. His grew giant (female) and his his aquarium is way too small. He has a nice setup though
Red turtle is still blind. So sad :(
Pretty much done buying. We do need to add some more fish. One of the catfish died. 3 left. 1 guppy died. I'll need to do some more water tests to make sure it's not the water.
Went to 3-4 more stores over the weekend. We got some more decorations, 13 more Ghost Shrimp.
Blind red turtle seems to be almost seeing. I can't prove it but he's doing much better.
We bought this patch of floating plants. The turtles love it. They sleep in it, they ride in it as it spins in circles.
Updated Tank 3/16:
New Video. We went to a pet store CaliforniaPetsOC.com last night. They had a giant pond with full sized Red Ear Sliders. These things were huge, about the size of your midsection. I should have held up something to compare their size. Oh well.
Great news. Found a cage top to the Aquarium. It's 36x12 while I need 36x15 1/2. But the extra room leaves room for the cords in the back. We just need to bang out the end of it so it lays flat in the back. We were going to have to make our own so that's so awesome. Yah for CaliforniaPetsOC.com.
Went to the pet store last night and got a sunken log and 2 mopanoe African Wood logs. They're cool. Still waiting on the Java Moss to arrive. That temp gauge I bought below was missing the battery. They claim via email they sent it. My ass. It was totally missing.
My Newest Video
Still waiting on Aridin's response for my turtle web site.
I'll post new pictures/video when I get a chance.
We took the red blind turtle to the Vet for about $40. On a $4 turtle too. They gave us some more special eye drops. They said don't worry about us causing the blindness. They said sometimes you get sickly turtles at those Chinatown areas. :( I still hope his vision heals though. (both turtles might be girls for all I know).
Picked up a bag of "Pool Filtered Sand" at Ace for $14. 50 lb bag. At home I put it in a bucket and filled it with water. I kept rinsing the sand until the water was clear. Then I took a little bowl and carried the sand into the tank. (copying a youtube video on it). We built the rock formation higher and a little sand area. We needed sand for the Catfish whose feelers get jacked by just rocks. Now we can feed them on the rocks.
We lost a snail, died somehow. Now I need to buy another snail. It did last 1 1/2 weeks.
Tons of guppies in the tank, at last 15. I think one died. Turtle isn't eating them yet.
3/8/2012 - My new water changing hose arrived. We did the bucket thing on Tuesday and it was horrible.
Haha they brought home some Terra Teras (sp) and yellow turtle ATE one. haha. First time. $1 a fish too. I told them to not buy those, they didn't listen.
Thinking about This Canister filter. It's crazy expensive and might be overkill for a 40 gallon but those turtles are so ansty.
We cleaned the tank/filters last night. It's clear I need a $200 canister filter. The filters were so nasty after only one week.
The feeder guppies we got on Friday already had a bunch of babies on Monday. It's crazy. Those turtles better start eating those haha.
Momette7777 the yellow eared slider is doing amazing. He's smart and his shell is turning into beautiful colors.
Learned a few things. For a few days we had this black light night light in their. Unknown to us, that is horrible for reptiles. It makes them blind. So don't ever use those. Also that without a filter I was supposed to be changing the water ever 2 days. So our poor turtle got an eye infection that COULD leave him blind. So we've been treating him with eye drops and special baths. I asked my chick to call up a vet and see how much for a Vitamin A shot. To be honest I just feel so devastated about his condition. I like him so much. I feel like I owe him due to not doing things properly.
Discovered we can't order a metal grate for the top. Ours is just the wrong size 36x16 so they don't make any that size. So we need to somehow build something. Someone wanted $96 to create one. I asked today.
- I need River rocks. We think we might look fo them in Oregon next time.
Watching the turtles eat their turtle sticks is the cutest. I'll try to film it.
I took a little garlic shredder and shred up some carrots (once a week) and they loved and ate it. Turtles love Carrots but you can only feed it to them weekly.
Ordered some Java Moss. You're supposed to grow it. I think I might need some CO2 operation set up but I'm told it's really complicated. Someone showed me a GIANT ass CO2 tank they have to use. There's simpler hack jobs to use instead.
3/5 - Friday we went to a new Fish store in Mission Viejo. It was awesome. I got a Moss Ball, 10 Guppies, we got a small turtle dock that fits their size. We got some medicine for red turtle which seems to be blind still. It breaks my heart. We're giving him treatments. I pray every day poor little turtle gets his vision back.
3/1 - Reptile Super Show in San Diego. But I'd hate to be around all those snakes. I hate snakes. http://reptilesupershow.com/. I'll probably still go though. I'll use my kid as a snake shield.
3/1 - I don't care who doesn't care about turtles. These guys are the best.
3/1 - We think the red turtle might be blind. He can't seem to see his food. The other one does find. I hope he recovers or is ok. Watching them feed is super fun. I need to record it. We love these guys so much.
2/28 - The cover we ordered came all broken and it didn't fit anyway. So we might need to make something to hold the lights.
2/28 - We added 4 cory green catfish today. They're super funny. They group up in groups of 4 and dart to the surface.
2/28 - We all just love the tank and watching it. It's fun to even eat dinner and watch the tank. It's brought so much joy to our life. And I'd love to continue to improve it. I just hope the turtles make it.
2/27 - Red turtle (Nebu7777) is doing a little better with his/her eyes. My chick™ seems to think one eye might be blind :( :( :(
2/26 - I added some things to the Turtle Wish List here if you want to help buy things for them. Already people have kicked in nearly $200. Myself I've spent $300-400. There's basically 3 items: A Dock, Setup for Bubbles (3 items), or a tube thing for cleaning the tank (hardest part).
2/26 - I want to get a bubble stone going but it looks like a $60+ project. I have no idea what to pick. Check this These turtles are expensive as hell.
2/26 - Spent like 2-3 hours on Saturday at Petstores (hit 4) looking for things. Spent about $60 for decorations. They came out pretty well, check out the new photos.
Spent 3 hours setting this up. Huge thank to my chick for making 75% of it happen.
2/25 - Working on setting up the tank. We still need sand and to wash the sand. We still need some fake plants. I need to buy or make a grate for the top. We have a glass one and might use that but I think there might be issues with the lighting and the glass. Not sure.
2/24 - Got the tank today from BigRed/Firebat. Now I just need to set it up tonight after some lame boyscout event.
2/24 - Turtle Carnage - Seems like the tank has nothing to do and way too many turtles so they just kill the fish.
2/24 - Expecting the 40 gallon tank today and setting it up. We have nothing to rest it on though.
2/23 - UVB light arrived yesterday. Now I'm expecting the tank tomorrow. The turtles love the day/night cycle I gave them. When I put in the night time bulb they just lay around and rest.
The yellow slider (Momette7777) is a fraidy cat. When I go near them, he quickly dives off and hides under the pot. So funny. He was also doing this weird thing where he hung one leg out way behind him. I thought it was broken or something but it was just something he was doing.
2/20 - Ordered a UVB light and holder. Reptisun. Cost of these guys is up to about $200 which still includes a free tank. We also got the rock filter by Bivrip. We still need a stand for a tank and decorations and fish to add in. We'll eventually upgrade to a bigger tank as the years go on. Hopefully these guys don't die on us as we're upgrading to the tank. They seem in great condition. They're enjoying each new upgrade we give. I tried the night light last night and they loved it.
We are still waiting on the fish tank but we're using a temporary storage container. The kids and chick made a lego platform for them. The climb the stairs, then dive off, then repeat the process like a water park/water slide. It's hilarious. I need to add a photo of the side view. Some jerk put a dislike on my video :(
Check out the cool halloween face on the bottom of my turtle. It looks like a Jack-O-Latern. This isn't the best picture but it still shows it.
We spent about $100 today on the turtles. We got a $50 start-up kit with 2 lamps, 2nd filter, and thermostats. We want over to Walmart and got 2 bulbs, and a light for the top of the aquarium. We also got a tank heater. Now we're just missing a grate for the top, a stand for the tank,
We're expecting to get a Turtle tank this Friday, 40 gallon.
OMG. I was completely blown away today when I started to leave for work and saw a giant package on the patio. I opened it and it came in a big blue velvet bag like Santa Claus. Inside was, the one item that we really wanted for the turtles, a rock filter. It's amazing. I'm so happy. Thanks a ton BiVRiP? I only had .2 seconds to look before I was late for work. THANKS SO MUCH!! The kids are going to be so excited.
I personally know of a teenager who is retarded because his brothers (about 8 and 5) played with their pet turtle and then with their baby brother and he caught salmonella and there was nothing they could do until it was too late medically.
Note that it's STILL illegal in the USA to sell them. Meanwhile before you destroy Alfie (or whatever they've named "it"....talk about it privately and do some research. Meanwhile have them wash their hands before and after handling it with antibacterial soap. Normally I would never recommend that - I'd use vinegar first..because the a.s. also destroys the good bacteria that needs to be on your hands (per MD'S).
Who would have thought one video would make us like turtles so much. I LIKE TURTLES. Our boy even has a turtle pillow pet. We have a nice fountain outside with a fake turtle on it that looks totally real. We have a nice turtle patio statue thing.
So now we finally got real turtles. We're discovering you have to buy a lot of crap for them. The cat just required a litter box and food.
Read Eared Slider - We named them, Momette7777 and Nebu7777 our Battlefield characters. Mine is the red one. His is the yellow one.
We need to get an aquarium for them. Then start buying things like filters and lights.
congrats on the turtles, that sounds like a blast! I wish I could find the links, but I remember seeing some really cool planted turtle tanks a while back. You can get simple or insane with that stuff expense wise, either way it can be fun!
This first link is to a video with some 'natural design' for the tank layout. I mostly thought the use of plants and some larger rocks was cool. Youtube Vid 1
The second video also has some live plants but what I found interesting about it is that the guy has an area raised in the tank with a 4" sand bed so the turtles can lay eggs. Youtube Vid 2
I was looking more at aquariums and saltwater reef tanks, but there are some really cool looking turtle/reptile setups out there too.
a turtle walked into our yard when i was younger and and we kept him as a pet for years and years. we kept him outside in a plastic wash tub full of water, with a rock in the middle he could climb on to sun.
you should wash up after you touch him but i don't think you have to go overboard.
Registered: 2005-08-16 Location: Bay Area,Ca Posts: 36
You kind of wandered into a source of contention among turtle keepers. basically red eared sliders need at least a 20 gallon tank each to begin with , a filter that is 2x the gallon size of the tank because they are messy and the proper lighting sources. So when people sell them in little plastic boxes to people who buy them just because they are cute they are dooming 99% of them.
I saw a kid that had a mini one just like you guys and set everything up like you are doing now and it still died within a month, so be warned those mini red ears have a strong possibility of dying even if you do everything perfectly.
It is fun following along with your turtle adventure. I had one of those "how did I end up here?" youtube trips and found an interesting video about how large red eared sliders end up getting. Holy cow they get pretty huge, he had a 3yo turtle that was almost a foot long. I don't know what kind of room they need when they get that big, but it was definitely surprising to me. Youtube with Size comparisions You might want to keep that in mind when planning your tank out. I liked the lego platform, what a great idea!
Glad to see you`ll be getting the best UVB for your pets.It`s what we use for our Bearded Dragon. Friendly tip when it comes to buying some of the pet supplies though. Do your research and find out what you don`t need to over pay for. For example the pet store might charge you almost 6-10 bucks for a heat bulb but a store like Rural King sells them for 2 bucks. Also look into a timer for your lighting to help keeping things on a normal cycle for your pets. Some of this might not be necessary with turtles but still helpful I hope. Hope to see more videos and can`t wait to see them enjoying the 40gal!
Registered: 2003-03-20 Location: Irvine, CA Posts: 3637
Do your research and find out what you don`t need to over pay for.
Yeah that's been the delaying in getting them things besides getting the tank. I bought a book. I have been reading online. Then I've been trying to shop around for things. We saved $40 by buying a few things at Walmart vs. buying something at Petsmart. Then Petco was a total rip of all places as well (they suck).
I`m not a 100% sure but I think you`ll need to get a grate top soon so they can get the full spectrum of the UVB bulb. Also I think the UVB needs to be over there basking area like my lizards. It helps Bearded dragons digest but not sure if it works the same for your turtles. Looks great so far though and keep up the good work!
One thing I just noticed that might become an issue for you is the location of the tank. If that window gets direct sunlight all day you`ll probably notice an increase in algae bloom once the tank has been going for awhile. I have a 120 gal cichlid tank in a southern facing room with 3 windows and had a lot of algae problems even without direct sunlight and frequent water changes. Eventually had to break down and buy a cheap UV sterilizer (Green Killing Machine) to kill it all off. Water stays crystal clear now but it just another thing in the tank that really isn`t natural looking =(.
this is really cool. ive had mine for about a year now he has gotten very big but lately something is wrong he is not eating and he is not active anymore he just sits there at the bottom doing nothing. at first i thought it was just his built in winter slowdown but i think hes gonna die soon. doing everything by the book so i dont know. red eared sliders are fragile in many ways. im gonna buy a baby snapping turtle for my next one. they are super tough and can take anything.
I am glad the turtles are working out for you. I did some research for making my future reef tank "jumper" proof. It looks like the best option for me and perhaps you as well, is clear 1/4" screen in a custom screen frame. The process looks really easy to do. I found a great instructional video from bulk reef supply. If you check out this YouTube video at about the 2:08 min mark they talk about making the screen covers.
The plastic clear netting might not be the best option for you if you want to put your lights right on the screen. You might do better with galvanized mesh for the screen. I did find another video from a guy talking about the screen covers he sells at his pet store. He also specifically mentions that they are happy to customize the size if needed and contacted via email or phone. The 36"x18" standard cover was $35 so I would expect a similar price for a 36"x16" cover. Here is the YouTube Video that has the product link in the description of the video area.
That canister is overkill for sure but you need to think about the future and if you plan on upgrading your tank (you will) to a 120 when the time comes. If you do plan on making that jump eventually I`d buy something like that canister.
Extra filtration is never a bad thing. Don`t get me wrong though you`ll still want to do regular water changes and clean out the waste between water changes. It also helps to just pick a certain day of the week for tank maintenance so you don`t forget... For no particular reason at all mine is Tuesday ;)
I am assuming you used tap water to fill the tank and for your water changes. Did they tell you to make sure to get rid of the chlorine in tap water? They make chemicals that get rid of that, you can also let the water sit for 24hrs to have it gas off the chlorine.
I did a bit or research and if you are still living in Irvine then you have a bigger problem. They use Chloramines to disinfect the drinking water. The water departments FAQ Here mentions it. I don't think Chloramine will gas off so you will need to use either a chloramine filter, or find a chloramine removing chemical which the pet store should sell. If you have an RO/DI water purifier then they make choloramine filters for that too.
That could explain the fish dying on you and I am not sure standard water tests would check for that, they tend to focus on other things.
New update looks great! Keep up the good work and maintenance and you`ll see those test numbers drop like you want them too :). I`ve been fighting with my nitrate levels also here lately myself even after adding new plants and bigger water changes. If your number keeps staying high I`d suggest you test it straight out the faucet and see what it sits at.