I have a baby 2" red eared slider turtle and feeder minnows in a 50 gallon water barrel with a pump attached to a bottom suction system. There is a 150 watt submersible tank heater enclosed in a 3" PVC tube with a screened cap on each end to keep the nosy turtle out of there. That heater keeps the tank water at a nice even 68°F.
I pump the water from the bottom of the tank up about 5 feet to a system of 3" PVC pipe and 'Y' fittings that allow 3" hydroponic baskets to sit inside. There are dandelion plants growing in the system because red eared sliders love the greens of the dandelion and their flowers also. There is a grow light over the plants that goes on in the morning and off in the late evening. It seems to be working well because the dandelions are producing flowers and their root system is filtering the water very well.
Well all this water goes up and feeds the plants, they clean the water and that returns through a pipe back to the tank. I have an aerator pump supplying O2 to the water because the minnows and the plants both absorb O2 from the water.
In the past had to change out the water weekly during the summer but now I replace about 2/3's of the water every 6 weeks. This system has cut down on Turtle maintenance very nicely.
All of this sits in a corner of my basement we call "The Turtle Amusement Park".
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