Turtles need good clean water!

Turtles need good clean water to prevent health issues from occuring. Their are 5 important things to water Quaility which are: Filtration, Ammonia levels, PH levels, Nitrates and Nitrites. Although Turtles do not breath through there skin or have gills, they still need the proper water quaility to ensure good health and less parasites.


Filters are the most important piece of equiptment you can get for your aquatic turtles! Turtles can produce enough waste one day to completely stink up your tank and get the water very yellow and cloudy. The best way around this hobbiest nightmare is to buy the best canister filter around! Don’t be afraid to buy a big one, the bigger the filter, the better!.

I use the Fluval 404 external Canister Filter. It has many benifits in aquarium space and water quality. First and foremost would be the media! It has 4 sponge filters, and 8 chambers in which you can put Charcol, ammo-lock, and ceramic media. These things are vital in creating the proper aquatic environment for your turtle. Here is the specs on this filter

  • Multi Stage Filter
  • Output: 340 U.S.g. (1300 l)
  • Recommended Maximum Aquarium: 100 U.S..gg. (400 l)
  • Designed to provide optimum aquarium ffiiltration
  • Versatile combination of mechanical anndd biological capacity
  • External Dimensions (without AquaStop CConnection):
    • 6.5″ (16.5 cm)D
    • 9.5″ (24.2 cm)W
    • 15.5″ (40.0 cm)H
  • Carbon

    [snip left][/snip]What does filter carbon do? Carbon has the ability to “catch” certain chemicals that occur in water (or air, for that matter) by “adsorption”. In aquariums, carbon’s chief role is to tie up the chemicals that cause discoloration and odors, which are then removed from the system periodically as the carbon is discarded.

    Are some carbons better than others? Yes, some filter carbons (the coarse, shiny black stuff) are no more than anthracite coal, and have very limited adsorptive properties. Other carbons are “activated”, meaning they were exposed to extreme heat and/or steam to increase their effectiveness. These dull, lighter, carbons may have hundreds of times the capacity of standard coal.

    Should everyone use the highest quality carbon? Probably not. Many hobbyists use low to medium grades of carbon, but either use it in large quantities or change it often. Others have high-flow filters that can grind the softer, high quality carbons to dust, which is then blown into the aquarium. On the other hand, some filters hold only small amounts of carbon, so better grades should be used.

    Do carbons get full? Yes, eventually the filter carbon has bonded all the chemicals that it can handle. How long that takes depends on the quality and quantity of carbon, the load of fish waste, and several lesser factors. If the aquarium water is taking on an odor or is yellowing, the carbon is full.

    Can carbon be re-activated? In a word, no. Heating carbon in a household oven might reclaim a tiny fraction of carbon’s power, but probably not enough to pay for the fuel to heat it. It is best to discard used carbon.

    How often should carbon be changed? Once carbon is full, it served very little purpose in the aquarium. (It does become a site for good bacteria to colonize and break down ammonia and nitrite, but there’s generally no shortage of such sites elsewhere.) Furthermore, some of the compounds adsorbed by the carbon will eventually break down and be released into the aquarium. Carbon should certainly be changed when colors or odors in the water indicate that it has become exhausted.


    How do I keep my pond safe from ammonia poisoning?

    Normally, Ammonia is consumed by two species of beneficial bacteria, Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter, referred to as nitrifying bacteria. Nitrosomonas convert ammonia to nitrite to relatively harmless nitrate. These bacteria comprise the biological filter and keep the pond free of harmful ammonia and nitrite.

    How do AMMO-ROCKS work?

    Ammo-Rocks are natural ion-exchange resins that act like sponges to attract ammonia and soak it up, which protects the fish. Ammo-Rocks are the perfect biological filter substrate. As ammonia is produced in the water, Ammo-Rocks attract the ammonia and “soak” it like a sponge. The growth of nitrifying bacteria is stimulated by the high surface concentration of ammonia on Ammo-Rocks. The nitrifying bacteria grow faster and produce larger and more active colonies for detoxifying ammonia, than with lava rock, gravel or bio balls.

    What causes ammonia in ponds?

    Pond fish continuously release ammonia directly into the pond from their gills, urine and solid waste. Uneaten food, decaying plants and algae also add ammonia to the water.

    How do I know if ammonia is in the pond?

    Ammonia in pond water is colorless and odorless. The only way to tell if ammonia is present is by testing the water with an ammonia test kit. The Ammonia Test Kit or Dry-Tab? Master Test Kit enables you to easily test for the presence of ammonia and other important water quality parameters.

    How do I use Ammo-Rocks?

    Ammo-Rocks are best used in filters as a biological filtration material. Filters come in many styles. Put as many Ammo-Rocks in the filter as possible. Ammo-Rocks will not filter out fine particles and is not intended to replace particulate filtration materials. Ammo-Rocks are available in 10 lb. Bags.


    pH is the measure of acidity and alkalinity of water. A pH reading of 7.0 is neutral, a pH lower than 7.0 is acidic, and a pH higher than 7.0 is alkaline. The pH should be tested weekly, since foreign material in the aquarium may cause changes in pH and severely stress the fish. You can pick up the PH test kits at any petstore! They last long and are relitely cheap. Below is a chart of PH levels in a turtles natural environment. It explains the range of PH and the acidity.


    Nitrite is a toxic waste material found in varying concentrations is most aquariums. It is produced by bacteria in the biological filter as it breaks down ammonia. Regular testing for nitrite is important because high levels of nitrite affect the red blood cells of fish and turtles, reducing their ability to carry oxygen. This could cause suffocation and death if it is at serious levels only.


    Nitrate is a waste material found in varying concentrations in most aquariums. It is produced by nitrifying bacteria in the biological filter as it breaks down ammonia and nitrite. As the biological filter grows, the nitrifying bacteria Nitrobacter feed on nitrite, converting it to less harmful nitrate. Nitrate levels should be maintained below 40 ppm. High levels of nitrate may also cause unsightly algal blooms in both fresh and saltwater aquariums.

    Turtle Clean

    It is made to solubilize turtle waste and deodorize all the fecal matter that is left behind. It works pretty good. You should give it a try!
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