Turtle Tank: We Have Sump, Water and Turtles

The turtle tank basic sump plumbing has been completed.  I chose not to hard plumb and opted for tubing.  It all started with grandiose ideas of hard plumbing the sump with colored schedule 40 pvc.  Watched YouTube videos. I planned to purchase all the check valves and shutoff valves.  Realizing that I am not running a reef tank, I don’t need to have immediate fail-over of pumps.  My turtles need to have solid filtration with the largest volume of water footprint I can provide.  I watched some videos where the plumbing was a work of art.  Tanks that look good inside and under the hood are phenomenal.  I don’t think this turtle tank needs to have that kind of setup considering the cost and time to build it out.

Turtle Tank Sump Setup

For the sump, I just have vinyl tubing in and out.  It is more important to be able to move the sump a little.  I set out to have a large under cabinet space.  Mission accomplished. The plan was to  have space to work in the sump.  I have big plans, for future filtration.  I started with just the sump filtration.  My sump arrived with missing pieces.  The filter media and pieces for the last chamber were nowhere to be found.  I had to get creative and use light diffuser panel to create pieces that could hold the filter media.  I placed a strip of filter foam in the bottom and placed bio balls, that I purchased on Amazon.  added a top diffuser panel and covered it with a double layer of black filter media.  In the middle chamber, I have added a UV Sterilizer bulb.  I purchased wifi electrical plug outlets that allow me to schedule the times that the UV light is on. Right now, I am planning for 4 hours a day in the middle of the day.

Adding Water to the Turtle Tank

This is one of my daughter’s favorite things to do.  She loves filling new aquariums with water.  She slept in late and I had to wait to start filling the turtle tank. . I am never surprised that equipment has to be adjusted for small leaks.  It is worrisome when there isn’t a leak to start.  When you start filling an aquarium, you should put a little water in the bottom.  Wait 10 minutes to make sure the silicone seal is fine.  After thorough checking, fill up the rest of the tank.  Check the lines for the next hour for late appearing leaks.  Slow leaks and adjustments can make leaks appear after time has passed.  “Sure enough!” there were several in my plumbing.  I had an issue with the vinyl tubing connection to the return water bulk head.  To fix the issue, I cut the line again and made sure that the clamp was better placed.  The turtle tank went all night without leaking.

Unleash the Turtles to the Turtle Tank

The releasing of the turtles into the new turtle tank was awesome!  You could almost see the smiles on their faces.  The turtle tank gives them more room to move around.  The original tank was 60 gallons.  Moving into this 110 gallon home is a big improvement on space, depth and substrate.  Michael Phelps played in the sand for 30 minutes.  It took them awhile to go up into the basking area.  Every time we got close enough to take a picture, they jumped off the platform and into the tank.  I will try to get some good video over the next few days and post it.

The turtle tank is filled and the turtles added.  Over the next few days, I will be fixing little issues and filling out the filtration components!  In the next post, I will address some of the things that didn’t go well and required little changes and fixes.


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