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Turtle in uncycled tank

Discussion in 'Filtration and Water Chemistry' started by Squirt4, Aug 27, 2017.

  1. Squirt4

    Squirt4 Juvenile Turtle

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    I know this is really bad to do but I was given poor advice and put Squirt into an uncycled tank before I learned about this.

    Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate were all 0 for the first week, but have spiked in the second week and stayed high in the third week (ammonia 0.5, nitrite 5, nitrate 10). I have started using seachem prime and stability. I had been doing 25% weekly water changes but have read maybe it's best not to change any more water til it's cycled?

    I have nowhere else to put Squirt while the tank cycles. What is the best and quickest way to get these levels down? I'm not sure if I should put fish in now or not?

    Also, I am ordering the nautilus 2700 filter (currently using a smaller internal one). Do I have to recycle the tank when I add the new filter?

    Your help is much appreciated :)
     
  2. Craig

    Craig Owner/Administrator/Public Officer
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    Hi, you should NEVER do any water changes during the cycling process. You should also be using a number of fish in your tank to feed the bacteria from the beginning. Seachem Prime will detoxify ammonia and Seachem Stability will quicken the cycling process.

    Ammonia is toxic to turtles and will cause a great deal of pain and discomfort to your turtle.

    You should buy a UV stabilised plastic tub and keep him in that until the cycling process has completed. Just change the water daily with tap water. This time of year you will need a 25 Watt water heater.
    Your temporary set up should look like this and have a basking area like the ones in the photo below.

    4626-1503808225-b3b09cec764fcd93b66f148528c2f9c8.jpg

    You will need to leave your old filter in the tank when you add your new Nautilus 2700 filter. This filter will also need to be 'mini cycled' but the time to do this will be much quicker as you already have established nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria in your tank.
     
  3. Squirt4

    Squirt4 Juvenile Turtle

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    Thanks Craig. Any advice where to get a UV stabilised plastic tub from? My local pet and aquarium stores don't have them. Also, should I be putting fish in once I take Squirt out or not to bother this late? Will it take another 6-8 weeks to cycle from now?
     
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  4. smoyle

    smoyle Sub-Adult Turtle
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    Hey mate, look up gumtree or storage stores, they usually have tubs.

    Yes, you'll need something to continually feed the cycling process, and fish are the best option (keep using Prime every 48 hours though). You need a constant source of ammonia right through the cycling process that can feed the nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria.

    Given the process has already started it shouldn't take another 6-8 weeks, but keep testing the water until it's been 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite for at least a week before adding your turtle back in.
     
  5. Squirt4

    Squirt4 Juvenile Turtle

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    Is this ok?
    --- Double Post Merged, Aug 27, 2017, Original Post Date: Aug 27, 2017 ---
    Thanks, so to put in goldfish and feeder fish..? And how many? Do I just feed them fish flakes?

    Also, is UV resistant the same as stabilised? Hoping my container is OK so I can get him set up tonight.

    IMG_9984.JPG IMG_9985.JPG IMG_9986.JPG
     
    #5 Squirt4, Aug 27, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2017
  6. Craig

    Craig Owner/Administrator/Public Officer
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    Hi, I usually insist on Food Grade translucent containers as I know they are not harmful and have used them for decades.
    Your container may be OK as it is BPA free and UV resistant.

    UV stabilised means it will never break down under UV. Resistant is resistant to a certain degree but how resistant I don't know.
     
  7. Craig

    Craig Owner/Administrator/Public Officer
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    Please remind me how big your new tank is?

    Yes you just feed your fish 'Fish Flakes'.
     
  8. Squirt4

    Squirt4 Juvenile Turtle

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    It's a 4ft x 14inch fish tank.

    When putting him in the separate container, do I need to dose it with seachem prime or this water Ager I used initially for the chlorine? And to do a complete or partial water change every day?

    IMG_9990.JPG
     
    #8 Squirt4, Aug 27, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2017
  9. Craig

    Craig Owner/Administrator/Public Officer
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    Hi, no you don't need to use water ager or Seachem Prime in the tub. You're not establishing turtle tank water or your filter bacteria, you're just disposing of the water every day so it's unnecessary using both of those.

    BTW, 3-4 large Goldfish would be recommended when cycling your turtle tank.
     
  10. Squirt4

    Squirt4 Juvenile Turtle

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    And this is why it doesn't need a filter either I take it?
    --- Double Post Merged, Aug 27, 2017, Original Post Date: Aug 27, 2017 ---
    Ok, I will get the goldfish tomorrow. Now that I'm using seachem prime for the tank, do I use that plus the water ager every time I do a water change or just one of them (once the tank cycles of course!)?
    --- Double Post Merged, Aug 27, 2017 ---
    Ok, Squirt's temporary home for a few weeks. Hope it all looks alright! Water level is about 9cms...
    --- Double Post Merged, Aug 27, 2017 ---
    Temp is still fine on about 26 degrees? Just hope he won't try to crawl out!

    IMG_9991.JPG IMG_9992.JPG
     
    #10 Squirt4, Aug 27, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2017
  11. smoyle

    smoyle Sub-Adult Turtle
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    Prime is a water ager, just use that.
     
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  12. Squirt4

    Squirt4 Juvenile Turtle

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    I thought it was a similar product, and have read that AFT recommends Prime. I'll keep that one up from now on, thanks. :)
     
    #12 Squirt4, Aug 27, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2017
  13. Craig

    Craig Owner/Administrator/Public Officer
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    Correct!

    Once the tank cycles you will need to use Seachem Prime or whatever water ager you have. Seachem Prime actually is a water ager but it also has the ability to detoxify ammonia as well.

    If you could drop that down 1° and aim for 25° C it would be perfect.
     
  14. Craig

    Craig Owner/Administrator/Public Officer
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    You beat me to it Simon. :)
     
  15. Squirt4

    Squirt4 Juvenile Turtle

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    It looks like this thermometer can only be changed in 2 degree increments, so it's stuck at 24 or 26 degrees then.
     
    #15 Squirt4, Aug 27, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2017
  16. Craig

    Craig Owner/Administrator/Public Officer
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    Hi, do you mean the water heater or your aquarium thermometer?
     
  17. Squirt4

    Squirt4 Juvenile Turtle

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    Just the small water heater for the tub can only be set in 2 degrees. The aquarium one is fine and can be adjusted to 25 degrees.
     
  18. Craig

    Craig Owner/Administrator/Public Officer
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    Ah OK, set the heater to 24° C then.
     
  19. Squirt4

    Squirt4 Juvenile Turtle

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    Will do, thanks. :)
    --- Double Post Merged, Aug 31, 2017, Original Post Date: Aug 28, 2017 ---
    My river sand and turtle grit came in the mail today...is it best to put this in the tank now while it's still cycling, or wait until the ammonia and nitrite levels drop and I take the goldfish out?
     
  20. smoyle

    smoyle Sub-Adult Turtle
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    Should be fine to add now, just be aware that in the absence of Prime or some other detoxifier ammonia and nitrite will become more toxic as your pH increases (which the calgrit will do). But if you're using Prime at the right dose every 48 hours that won't matter.