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Old 02-12-2011, 12:54 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Oklahoma
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Builing New Turtle Tank 55g

Hi Ive had an aquatic turtle(yellow bellied slider) for about 1 year and 2 months now. He has been in a 10g tank and I knew he needed a larger one fast! So I found a 55g tank on craigslist. While I was looking for the tank I did a lot research on the most ideal turtle tank setup. I opted to go with a wet/dry trickle filter.

Let me try and explain the way my tank will be setup:

My turtle is in a 10g tank right now. This 10g tank I will be using to create the wet/dry filter. I want to use an internal/submersible pump my tank im going to use is 55g.
Will a 350gph sump/pump be suitable for my tank?
My overflow will be internal with 1 3/4 in PVC pipe running into the internal overflow to create the siphon. I will be creating a pvc only overflow/siphon system

Here is the view of the finished PVC overflow from the right side of the tank.

Here is the view of the finished PVC overflow from the rear of the tank.

Here is the view of the finished PVC overflow from the left side of the tank.


To make it a little easier to refer to specific parts of the overflow, I color coded them in the diagrams. The blue section is the intake section of the PVC overflow. The yellow section is considered the reservoir area. For a typical DIY overflow, this is usually some kind of open container like a specimen container or a water pitcher. We are recreating the same effect in a much simpler way by using PVC pipe. The green section is where the water overflows into and drains into the sump. The red section is the only section of the PVC overflow that does not have water flowing through it. Instead, it server a few important purposes:

1 - It acts as a siphon break.

2 - It serves as a hanger to hang the PVC overflow on the back of the fish tank.

3 - Because the elbow on the inside of the tank is not glued, it can be turned up to allow the filling of the yellow/blue chamber.
credit for this overflow this goes to Keith Pardee on aquariumlife.net

My returns for this will be:
1. A pipe that runs over the middle of the tank into a old whisper filter that creates a waterfall for water movement/cycle on the surface.
2. Pipes underneath my river rock substrate with holes in them to push the water out and push debris up.
3. PVC pipes are all 3/4 inch
4. I have 3 ball valves.2 for returns and 1 for the inlet.
Any suggestions or advice on my returns will be great!

Next I want to separate my tank/sump into 3 parts
1. A filter
2. Refugium
3. Sump

Now my filter system will be using a drawer organizer that i bought from Walmart for 7 dollars to fit inside my 10g sump tank for easy pull out and replace filter media
like this one Walmart.com: Sterilite 5-Drawer Mini Desktop Organizer, White, Set of 4: Storage & Organization
1. The pvc pipe will be feed into the top of the organizer and holes will be drilled throughout to create the trickle
2. First drawer will be filter pad
3. Second drawer will be filter balls like bio-balls
4. I need suggestions on what my other drawers or all drawers should be?

The refugium part will hold a hang-on filter, a heater and I'm not sure what else?
I may op-out on using a refugium since it may be useless in a turtle tank.

The sump area will just hold the sump
I need help on what I should use the separate my tank Those screen dividers for tanks or Plexiglas silicon-ed in?
Also what is the best way to connect my sump to my pvc? Use a barb-fitting and a hose? Links to products will be helpful!
Things I have not yet purchased
1. A internal/submersible pump
2. A 220 watt heater
3. Hang-on filter to go inside my refuguim part
4. My filter media
5. Dividers to separate my tank/sump
6. Hose's to connect my sump to my return PVC pipes

For connecting my actual pump to my return pipes. Whats the best way to connect that? i.e. using a barb fitting and a hose to attach it to the pvc via glue? what type of glue would I use? PVC or the silicon?

All links to products/info will be greatly helpful.
Also I live in a small college town with only Wal-mart and Lowe's closest aquarium store is about 45 minutes away

Also anyone have good links on how to build a canopy?

My turtle basking and future sump/tank

future tank preparing to build

Natural stone for basking area. Don't if I want to use the stepping stones to build. Also the lighting grate that will distribute the weight of the substrate and basking area

My return pipes setup that will push water up

Thanks for all the help!!!


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Old 02-15-2011, 02:46 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Miami Beach, FL
Posts: 275
Looks very interesting but for a turtle tank have you looked into one of the DIY canister filters???? I feel like the sump might not really be necessary....IMO

One DIY i found i'm sure theres bunches:

Live & Let Live!
SAAVE853 is offline   Reply With Quote

55 gallon, tan, turtle

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