Before we get to the turtle tank, my family and I just got back from vacation. One of my favorite places to go is Sea World in Orlando. My family has the annual pass. My pass is the Guy Harvey Commemorative Pass , which cost me an extra $5.00 bucks, which I like to remind people, that it goes towards the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation. His foundation supports scientific research and innovative educational programs to protect sharks and encourage ocean conservation and best practices for sustainable marine environments. I know that Sea World has had bad press in the past and they have had issues, and I am optimistic that they are working towards conservation, so I will support them. Here are some of our photos while we were there:
Turtle Tank Disaster
While I was on vacation, food had gotten stuck in the guard of the drain pipe. It should not have happened. The first time that I fed the fish after setting up the aquarium, I noticed that the gaps between the teeth of the overflow were big enough for food to get through. I purchased some green mesh that is sold to create moss walls. I used silicone to attach a fence in front of the teeth. The mesh was perfect! Until the turtles ripped some away while getting food.
The disaster was that the food was not being eaten by the turtles. It was accumulating and wreaking havoc on the water conditions in the tank. My brand new pristine tank was now one giant slime ball of nastiness. The sump looked like crap and was covered in slime as well. The white sand was now an ivory color. It was bad!
How Bad Was the Turtle Tank? Sunshine and Cheeto had Ich!
I freaked, my new fish got Ich. If you have been following on Twitter, my girls wanted to name the two Ruby Red Oscars Elsa and Anna. I convinced them that Sunrise and Cheeto were better names. Score one for Dad! Back to the story… I may never go on vacation again. Did I mention that I freaked? The consensus is that the medicine to cure Ich will also hurt the turtles, so I don’t want to use medicine in the new tank. The old tank would be ruined for someone buying it if I quarantine Sunrise and Cheeto using it. The medicine used to cure Ich contains copper. Most people who have saltwater tanks, would never want a tank that had used copper in it. This is very true if they are planning a reef tank. I needed to find another way.
Clean Water and Temperature Increase to the Rescue
I added a third heater to the sump to increase the temperature to 84 degrees. I got the sump and filter to work smooth and efficiently. After the tank cleared up, I did a partial water change. After 3 days of this, I am happy to say that the Ich has cleared and the tank is looking clean again. My research found that water changes and higher temperatures combined with salt would clear up the Ich. I did not add salt. The Ich started clearing up before I got to adding it. I can only guess that catching it early and reacting quickly made all the difference.