Hi There.

Share your semi-aquatic do-it-yourself projects, get ideas, advice and feedback from the community.

Hi There.

Postby Joe S » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:30 pm

Hello everyone and Gminor. So I was forwarded to this page from youtube and I have decided to adapt this brilliant idea for something a bit different. So, This weekend, the 20th, I will be picking up a 150 gal aquarium. Now I do not keep fish avidly, but some here and there. A few Feather Rainbows, Emperor Tetras, and Irian Red Rainbows. But my main fascination is turtles. I currently keep 21 turtles, and various species from different areas of the world. Now with this 150, I wanted to go over the top considering it is a massive tank. So, for those who are not familiar with turtles, they need to completely get out of the water to bask and warm their body temp up. With full grown turtles, 10+ inches, this can be hard to use a brand name basking area. However I thought I would adapt the styrophone/polystyrene with some wood and steel for bracing to act as an on top basking area.

I will also have arms running into the water and connecting with other pieces of the polystyrene to brace those, but allow the turtles to haul out of the water. I Also plan to encase the bottom, back, and sides of the tank with the background. I would love to post some photos if anyone is interested in this. It is going to be a big project.

I would like to ask if anyone thinks I will run into any issues while doing this? I would also love to hear any comments.

Thanks --Joe S
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Re: Hi There.

Postby gminor » Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:31 pm

Joe,
It sounds like you have quite a fun and challenging project ahead of you. Since you have allot of experience with turtles, I'm sure your design will allow them to easily navigate in and out of the water as they see fit. Most of the build instructions detailed in the do-it-yourself aquarium background article apply to both aquatic and semi-aquatic environments so hopefully it will be a good resource for you.

One thing I've heard about turtles is they produce a greater bio load than typical tropical fish so if true, all the more important that whatever filtration equipment you choose is easily accessible for maintenance.

Thanks for posting and we look forward to some pics as your project comes along!

Glenn

http://dramaticaquascapes.com/doityourself.html
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Re: Hi There.

Postby Joe S » Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:25 pm

Thanks. Yes they do produce a mighty bioload. I also plan to keep some Rainbows and Ciclids as well as plecos and catfish in there. My plan is to have an aquaclear 110, Emperor Pro 400, and a fluval 305. This should keep the damage to a minimum. But it is always a little guess work when it comes to massive filtration
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Re: Hi There.

Postby Desert Aquariums » Sat Feb 20, 2010 10:36 am

Wow this sounds like a great project. I definitely would love to see some pictures and updates on your efforts. I am interested to see how you will use wood and steel in an aquarium. Thanks for posting.
14 Gallon Low Tech Planted with DIY CO2 system - DIY background to come.
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Re: Hi There.

Postby LaurieJoanna » Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:15 pm

Hi Joe,

I'm actually doing a similar project with a 135 gallon tank - 3' x 4' x 18" high. One thing you may want to consider is a land area for your females to lay their eggs. If they have no access to a sandy area, they many times retain the eggs which can then cause serious health problems and even lead to death. If you need information on this, I can dig through my bookmarks and post you some links.

With my tank revamp I actually measured everything out, went to a glass-cutter and had them cut me the pieces I needed to make a deep land area for my female to lay - depth is actually pretty important for larger turtles. I am going to attach a picture of the tank as it is now, even though I haven't begun the rock wall I plan to start up this next week. Just a warning for you - we had to purchase a second canister filter that just arrived today. I thought for sure that with more water the one we had would cut it, but it didn't... I'm currently doing 60% water changes every 3-4 days! Thankfully I rigged up a ball valve and (don't know what you call this, I just fumbled around the Home Depot plumbing section until I found something that would work) a spigot-type thing that I can push the tubing up onto to run the NASTY water outside by turning the handle! I also DO NOT recommend using ANY vermiculite or perlite in the land area, as it gets tracked into the water area and floats, making a mess of the tank. I did try this to cut down on the weight of all of the soil, but I'm taking it ALL out.

I have done tons of research and bookmarked many pages on various topics, so if you have anything you'd like to know about before doing something permanent, let me know and I'll post links for you. Best of luck and I hope anything I've said helps you somehow!

Best wishes,

Laurie
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Re: Hi There.

Postby Joe S » Sun Feb 21, 2010 1:22 am

Amazing Laurie! I am actually a regular on Turtleforum.com and I keep roughly 19 turtles, but have 22, 3 are my roommates. My female is not yet at an egg baring age. But I have considered it. Your tank looks good, once you have it completed, I am sure those on TF would love to see this! they really would. If worst comes to worst, Ill rig a DYI bioflter for the tank. For draining I use a 250 GPH pond pump with 35 feet of hosing on it. IT runs to my shower and visevera for filling. I have been slightly worried as to the filtration, but I think this will be enough. Considering I have the 4 subadults in a 75 with 140 gallons of filtration currently running (emperor 400 and 200) the water is clear as can be. It will be a work in process.

FOr the glass did you just use some aquarium silicon to fix them together?
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Re: Hi There.

Postby LaurieJoanna » Sun Feb 21, 2010 1:31 pm

Hey Joe,

I'm so glad to learn about TurtleForum.com! Can't wait to really check it out! I'm a full-time mom & college student, so I'm spread pretty thin most of the time, but I look forward to the wealth of information that I'll surely find there...

On the silicone I used, I found through a bit of research that the GE Silicone I (Window/Door/Attic/Basement) is safe for the little critters and is MUCH cheaper than "aquarium" sealant - and, yes, I did use that to attach the pieces of glass.

I'm new to all of this, as I never had an aquarium before - never kept turtles, either. Once I tamed my two turtles, I knew I would have to keep them - they're warped now. The female even knows hand signals... I do love them. I had no clue what to do with turtles, and my hubby wasn't taking very good care of them, so I had to step in. HUGE learning curve!

I LOVE what you said about how you have your drain set up to discharge down a pipe! I wish this tank fit anywhere near my bathroom, as I don't like draining the funky water out into my yard - I just don't have the know-how (or time) to learn how to rig something like that up! Actually the big hold up on the rock wall has been me trying to figure out where I need to plan for future hoses or any other tank add-ons... So much to consider, and I only want to do this ONCE! lol

I will check out TurtleForums very soon, and if you really think anyone would enjoy/benefit from me posting my project there, then I most definitely will.

Wish me tons of luck with this - I'll need it!!
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Re: Hi There.

Postby Joe S » Tue Feb 23, 2010 2:57 pm

Oh yes the whole TF crew would love to see what you are doing. What type of filters are you using? I generally go 2 times the filtration of the tank. so a 150, needs about 300 gallons filtered. Thats not per hour just how much the filters are rated for. I love HOB filters, aquaclear are my favorite, they are pricey but work great. As for my draining go to a Lowes or a Homedepot this summer and get a 200-250 GPH pond filter, just the filter and make sure the 'out' end is threaded. Then get a threaded hose connecter and some tubing. Thats how I do it. its slow, but much better than say, lugging 5 gal buckets around. I did that too much. And yes I plan to start on my project here soon. I am actually designing the basking area to sit on the right side of the 150, but outside, so ill need some bracing to keep it up. then the rock wall, sides, and floor come into play.

As For TF. we can teach you what ever you want to know and didnt need to know easily. there are some highly experinced folks on there. My name there is Joe S as well so feel free to shoot me a line. Yes GE I is much cheaper than aquaruim stuff. I also learned the hard way, killed a bunch of fish that reading the labels helps. I got GE II rather than I when i was patching a 30 X aquarium. What types and gender of turtles do you have btw?
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Re: Hi There.

Postby LaurieJoanna » Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:57 am

The filter I've been using (as well as the second I purchased) are Marineland Magnum PROs.

I have 1 male and 1 female red-eared sliders.

I will definitely shoot you a line on TF as soon as I'm done studying/taking my upcoming test!

Sorry if this seems short - I'm trying to get out the door this morning! Will write a bit more about how I have the drainage set up in the next few days! Gotta run1 Thanks for all of your help and suggestions, Joe!!
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