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High pH & low GH

Discussion in 'Filtration and Water Chemistry' started by JayC, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. JayC

    JayC Egg

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    I’ve got 2x 5yo Eastern long necks, they were in a tank the first 4 years and I made them a pond close to 12 months ago.

    I’m hoping for some advice on safely lowering the pH and upping the GH in my turtle pond and advice on what may be causing the issue.

    pH = 8.4
    Ammonia = 0
    Nitrate = 0
    Nitrite = 0
    GH = 100ppm
    KH = 80-100ppm

    When I first started the pond the pH was low, I added calgrit and it’s been consistently high.

    I need to find some river sand from somewhere, only calgrit on the bottom of the pond at the moment.

    I’m in VIC, heater set at 20 degrees so it doesn’t fall below that, they’ve only been in the pond about 11 months and was dropping to 13 degrees without the heater in winter. Sits around 26 degrees in summer.

    Currently no plants, a few feeder fish and a gold fish in there.

    Recently upgraded my filter, built a large canister style filter (mechanical and bio) need to add a UV filter into the mix I’m thinking.

    Any help/advice would be much appreciated.
     
  2. smoyle

    smoyle AFT Moderator
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    Hey mate, what's your pond made of?
     
  3. JayC

    JayC Egg

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    It’s a preformed black plastic pond.
     
  4. Aussiepride83

    Aussiepride83 Administrator
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    Are you filling/topping the pond up with town/tap water, rainwater or bore water?
     
  5. smoyle

    smoyle AFT Moderator
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    Haha, that was going to be my next question...beat me to it. :)
     
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  6. JayC

    JayC Egg

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    Town/tap water... I just tested it and pH is 7.2-7.4
    GH and KH both less than 50ppm.
     
  7. Aussiepride83

    Aussiepride83 Administrator
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    Rainwater is a lot softer. If you have a rainwater tank, use the rainwater to top up your pond for a while and see if that brings it down.
     
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    #7 Aussiepride83, Feb 12, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2018
  8. JayC

    JayC Egg

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    Unfortunately I don’t have a rainwater tank although might look into it... any other suggestions in the mean time?
     
  9. Aussiepride83

    Aussiepride83 Administrator
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    Honestly, being in an outdoor pond, those parameters aren't of huge concern. Your turtles have the benefit of natural sunlight every day and given the appropriate diet, you don't need to be concerned. Can you upload a photo of the pond setup?
     
  10. JayC

    JayC Egg

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    Originally I had the dock hiding leads but I moved the dock for optimal morning sun so still need to tidy it up a bit but mainly wanted to focus on water quality at the moment lol
     

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  11. smoyle

    smoyle AFT Moderator
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    I have that exact same pond (I use it for feeder fish and growing aquatic plants to feed my turtle). The problem for you and your turtle is going to be that it's only 60cm deep at maximum, so it's going to experience a wider range of temperatures than it probably should. I'll let the other guys advise on whether that's not going to work.
     
  12. Craig

    Craig Founding Member/Administrator/Public Officer
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    Hi, not only is that pond too shallow and will overheat in the heat of the day, but the turtle will easily climb lattice and escape!
    The fence needs to be made of a smooth plastic, glass, perspex, polycarbonate, polypropylene, tin or Colorbond fencing.
    You may also need to raise the fence to keep neighbouring cats from entering the area of a night time and causing damage or worst case scenario, killing your turtle!

    20110906.JPG corrugated-fence-.jpg tin-fence-panels-design-ideas.jpg
     
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  13. JayC

    JayC Egg

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    I’ve got a net/cover I chuck over it so nothing can get in. As for the temps it does fluctuate a bit, I’ve got the heater set to 20 degrees so it doesn’t go below that but it does hit 26-27 degrees on the hottest days in summer, could that be causing the high pH?

    I’ve had nothing but issues with one turtle (skin infections) since being in the pond, it was so much easier to manage a tank and originally I thought it was water related because it started with the pond, but I don’t think it is because my other turtle is good as gold in there.

    They started off minor and I bought “API turtle fix” to treat the pond and seemed to work temporarily. He recently got much worse and is currently being dry docked in a hospital box, having medicated baths, quarantine tank, topical treatment and antibiotics etc and is slowly improving.

    The vet thinks his skin issues are “trauma related” from the other turtle, which makes sense because he has always been smaller and more timid, possibly getting bullied?

    At this rate if you think the pond is fine and one turtle is doing well in there, I might look at either getting a large tank (don’t really want to because the little guy loves basking in the sun) or starting another pond =S

    Any further advice on this would be great!
     
  14. smoyle

    smoyle AFT Moderator
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    If you have two turtles in there then yes, it is highly likely to be trauma related. Two or three turtles is the worst possible combination. One will always be bullied until it is dead. You'll have to separate them immediately I'm afraid and keep them separate.

    As Craig said, the problem is not only predators getting in, but your turtles getting out. It needs to have smooth sides - turtles are incredible escape artists.

    So you have a heater on an outdoor pond? You'd need a few of them to heat a pond that size effectively. Do they all have heater guards? The idea with ponds is they're meant to be large enough to achieve relatively stable temperatures by themselves, hence the minimum depth requirements.
     
  15. JayC

    JayC Egg

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    That’s terrible, the poor little guy...

    So is that less likely to happen when people have more than 3 turtles? Not that I’m thinking of getting any more turtles but you see people with larger ponds with a few turtles in it?

    So with my two, one has become territorial since being in the pond and been attacking the other one?

    They’ve been separated for over a week while the smaller one is healing, dry dock/quarantine tank etc I mentioned before. I’ll make sure they’re permanently separated then.

    I’ll work on the boundaries of the enclosure to ensure nothing gets in or out, thanks for the tips!!

    I’ve got a large pond heater with heater guard that seems to do the trick, which we only bought because the temp dropped to 13 degrees in winter and was concerned that they’d come from a tank into a pond and may not do too well with the whole not eating over winter thing...?

    Looks like I’ve got some work to do, possible making 2 new deeper ponds...
     
  16. smoyle

    smoyle AFT Moderator
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    One is best, but four or more turtles seems to me the magic number for multiples. Have a read of this thread regarding keeping two or three together.
     
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  17. JayC

    JayC Egg

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    Wel
    It's a shame the pet shop didn’t mention that about 5 years ago :laugh: but should’ve researched more prior to getting them... thanks for the advice, really appreciate it!! Looks like they’ll both be flying solo from now on.
     
  18. smoyle

    smoyle AFT Moderator
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    Yep, pet shops... we've all been there. Unfortunately, pet shops aren't staffed with animal experts, just sales people.