Gus and Pricilla Move In!

Well there is good news and bad news today. The good news was that this morning the tank was clear! The bad news was that the leak was back.  It was smaller but still there.  I have tried everything so I will have to take it all off and try again….next weekend. I decided to go ahead with the move in-spite of the leak.  Clearly this will be an on going project!

So I moved over all of their stuff.  I decorated the platform and everything!

New Platform

I moved over the light as well.  I did have to make some modifications to the filter. It was moving too slow. I took it apart which was much harder with the water flowing.  I will need to make some adjustments there as well. The light fixture also needs some work, but for phase 1 we are good to go.

So here is the final setup.

Final Setup

After this I put Gus and Pricilla in. At first they were totally freaked out!  After a while they settled down. I am actually a little worried they could get out!  We will see.  Not sure how they would fare with the dogs.

So far they want nothing to do with the basking platform.  I did give them a turtle chaser treat which they did enjoy.  Here are a couple of short videos of them in their new home.
The turtles have their own YouTube Channel!


In the home stretch!!!

So yesterday when I was getting ready for the setup for this weekend I moved the new turtle basking area and the ramp fell off!! Sheesh -can I get a break!  So back to home depot for more serious glue!  I did that this morning and it seems to be better!  I will let it sit over night to be sure. Would not want a turtle accident, there is no way we are going to the turtle emergency room!

After our road race this morning I can bake and took the plunge.  I filled her up and no more leaks!! Happy Dancing all over the room, me the dog and the turtles!  So I filled it up plugged in the heater and she is off and running!  The water is not clear. I have to get more clarifier.  I did put some of the coral in there I got from the guy I bought the tank from.  The water is now about 72 degrees too cold for Gus and Pricilla so I hope by later on tonight or in the morning it will be a bit warmer.

Here is the current basking platform and ramp setup:


Turtle Basking Platform


Here is the full loaded tank – full and not leaking but cloudy 😦


Full Cloudy Tank

I think we are in the home stretch!  I am off to petsmart to get some new furniture for the new turtle house!  Think of it as a house warming gift!

Putting it all together

So today was the big day!  I went to home depot yesterday to get the final supplies (hoping it would be the last trip -sadly that was not to be). This morning I got up early to being the project.

Step 1.  Put the platform together. Of course I thought this would be easy but it took 2 you tube videos and several attempts before it went-but it finally went together.

Basking platform

I have also added some tiles to keep it cool. I will show the final basking platform in the next post. Was also able to make a ramp and got to use a blow torch! That was not as much fun as I had hoped.

Step 2.  Assemble the filter part.  I used a set of stacking drawers from the container store.  They needed to be drilled and cut to fit.  All of the filter media was installed and the drawers were set up. This took another trip to home depot to get something to raise it up.

Filter parts


Here is what it looked like set up in the sump pump.

Filter setup


We then glued the pipes together and started filling! It was so exciting!  We will filled and filled and filled!


Filling it up

And then when it got to the top…. it LEAKED!  Uggh. So I pulled out some of the water and am now trying to seal it. The seal takes at least 24 hours to hold so the turtles cannot move in this weekend. So now I have to clean the old tank for them to give them a few more days….

New tank moves in the house!

With a little help from Victor Jr we got the new setup in the house!


You can see the old tank is MUCH smaller than the new tank.  Still a lot of work to be done.  I need to get all of the filter media and setup the wet/dry filter. I need to connect the pipes for the overflow and I need to build a basking platform for them!  Whew!  Most of the supplies will arrive this week. I hope to have the basic components working next weekend so they can move in!

Getting All the Parts

I decided to go with an used 125 gallon aquarium and stand I found on CraigsList.  I got it from a guy named Steve that had been using it as a reef tank.  He setup was great -but I needed something totally different for the turtles.  This required a lot of research to come up with a plan that would work.  So the first think was to get the stand in better shape so it would look good in the sun room.  Here is the before:


I decided to use Chalk Paint to give it a distressed look.  This is what it looks like now!

StandAfter StandAfter2

I think it turned out great!  Now waiting to get the tank on top and the filter below!

We all settle in……

The new home worked well. The turtles were happy! They water was clear. I could do a 1/4 tank change every weekend and a full tank change one a month or so.  The turtles got really friendly! Then they started to beg!  Every morning at breakfast time they scratch the glass until I feed them!  So feed them I did, until I read that you can over feed them! I think I was. They started to get a bumpy shell so I back down on the food and got them several different kinds. I even gave them cichlid pellets -which they love!  So what do you think happy turtles do? They GROW!  So Gus and Pricilla are really really happy! They are now about 4 inches each.  I have had them for about 6 months and they are getting big and strong. So now think back to how much room a turtle needs, 10 gallons for every inch. I now how about 8 inches of turtles and only 30 gallons of water!  So it is happening again! The water is getting yellow much sooner. I am having to do 1/2 tank changes every week rather 1/4 tank and a full tank change every 3 weeks.  So back to the drawing board I went.

My nephew wanted me to get a custom tank like this from All Glass Cages. A square table top model with a built in tank for only $700 and I had to drive to pick it up! What a deal!  it looks cool but just way too much money! Gus and Pricilla do not have jobs!

So I kept Looking and they kept getting bigger!2013-06-21_11-31-41_258 2013-06-21_11-32-09_609

Turtles move into their first condo!

Considering I work full time and have 3 dogs and a small business I did not have time to change the turtle tank every 3 days!  The water was just too disgusting for me to live with so they had to get a bigger home.  I went out and got a 30 gallon tank. This also meant I needed a bigger filter!  For turtles you need a filter that is twice as big as the tank. Turtles are dirty little creatures! They also needed a heater! I realized that that water was too cold for them and that is why they would not eat. This time I went to ebay to get what I needed. I got a Fluval F4 filter and a Halgen Heater both used. Both work fine.  I also got some plants and a proper platform.  I set it all up and moved them in!

Current Home

Again they were in heaven. So much room to swim and play. I got them the floating log which they love to hide in.  I got them several kinds of food.  They are supposed to eat fruit and veggies along with the turtle food, but they really just like the food. At one point I had some sticks and I could get them to take them right from my hand.  Even the dogs like to watch them!