tank starting to smell!!.... and other questions

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gotaturtle
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My 3 year old RES lives in a 20 gallon tank, and his water has been starting to smell these past few weeks. I\'ve never noticed a bad odor before but now I almost can\'t stand it. I can smell it when I enter the room that he is in, even when my windows are open. I use a Magnum 350 cannister filter and a underwater Powerhead filter w/ a foam filter attachment. I also use charcoal in both filters. He has a basking area w/ a UVA basking light. I know he needs a UVB light and will get one soon. He recently just finished shedding all his scutes. After a water change yesterday, the smell was still there today but not as strong. Today, I cleaned out his tank, used a mild bleach solution to wash everything in his tank, cleaned and changed his filters, and bought a plant to put in his tank. The newly cleaned tank was smell-free. Around 3 hours after reassembling everything in the tank and adding my turtle back in there, the tank and water started to smell again!!! The odor is new, in that I never smelled it before with him. The smell is like the morning ocean near the piers. Kind of stinky but smells like it can occur in nature (not toxic smelling.) My second concern is regarding the UVB light. I plan to buy one, but was wondering why dietary vitamin D3 was not enough for my turtle. The ZooMed Aquatic Turtle food I feed him has calcium and vitamin D3 in it, so is the UVB light source still necessary?? My 3rd and final question was about the proper pH for turtle water. After a water change, the pH is around 7.2, but after a couple of days, his pH is always 6.2. IS this normal?? Anyway, any advice would be appreciated. Thank!
sbturtlegrlz6
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yes! your turtle needs a uvb light it is neede for them to grow no matter how much u feed them hope this helps!
TurtleSue13
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try giving the tank a really good wash. and wat kind of turtle is it? and yes definetly get a UVB bulb. they love it
mariza
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Regarding the smell, how big is your turtle? Do you use any substrate like gravel in the tank? Do you feed your turtle in the tank? Do you keep fish in the tank with your turtle? How often do you change the filter media? Do you add anything to the water for ammonia, etc.?

Regarding the UVB light, your turtle still should have one, especially since winter is coming and if you`re where it gets cold, you cannot take him outside for unfiltered sunlight. I know ZooMed Aquatic turtle food has Vit. D3 (I feed it to my turtle sometimes too), but I`ve read that turtles get Vit. D more efficiently through their shells (it`s how they would get it in the wild).

Regarding proper PH levels, different species have different requirements, but I`ve read that in general the PH level should be between 5.5 and 7. I don`t know if the change in PH level you described is normal or not, but it would seem that some change would take place due to the waste that is eliminated, etc.
gotaturtle
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My turtle\'s shell lengthwise is about 5 inches long, and is growing. I don\'t feed my turtle any feeder fish and I don\'t use gravel. His tank is very clear and clean, just one big rock and a place for him to bask made out of plexi glass. Yes, I do feed my turtle in the tank though. I just changed the filter media yesterday (for both the submersible filter and the cannister filter), so that is why i\'m surprised the smell is still there. The one thing I though might be causing the smell was the fact that he was shedding his scutes, so maybe there was mold or something under his scutes, so perhaps that was the culprit. And interestingly, if i look at his shell closely, it seems like he is ready to shell another layer of scute! The shell looks a little flakey (not fuzzy) and under the flakes looks like healthier shell. Is that normal? And I do add Reptisafe and another similar liquid to remove nitrites and chlorine and ammonia with water changes. I felt like i\'ve eliminated all possible sources of odor yet he still smells! And it is a new problem.
Anyway, thanks again for any replies!!
preciousbabihien
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You might want to let your turtle sit in a seperate container and take your rock and your other stuff out of your regular tank. Take your tank to the bathroom and put it in the tub. If you have a showerhead use that to spray HOT water into the tank. Hot water cleans out bacteria and might help with your odor. Just dump out all the water scrub your tank with dishwashing soap or any soap and your rock too. After that is done just fill it up with water and your good to go! -Love always Helen
mariza
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You should never use soap to clean your turtle`s tank or his things. It leaves a residue that is difficult to get rid of and could be harmful. If you want to clean with something, use vinegar Put a few capfuls in some water and scrub out the tank, then rinse well. You can do the same for his rock, etc.

Do you actually see mold under his scutes that are shedding? Sometimes water/bacteria can get trapped under the scutes and cause problems. It`s important that your turtle be able to get out and fully dry off. Basking area should be 85-90 F. You really should get that UVB light for his shell; it would help him shed. Since the UVB light doesn`t give off heat, you still need a heat source (can be a basking light or regular lightbulb) to keep the basking area in the temp range above.

BTW, if your turtle is 5 inches long and growing, he needs to be in at least a 50-gallon, not 20-gallon tank (general guide: 10 gallons of tank/container per inch of shell). It would seem a turtle that size in such a small tank would foul the water very quickly, especially if he`s fed in it as well. Rubbermaid storage containers and stock tanks make good alternatives to tanks if money is an issue.
gotaturtle
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The strangest thing is, the smell problem resolved all on it\'s own! starting 2 days ago, there was no longer any bad odor, even though i didn\'t really hvae a chance to change anything yet. He is back to the normal clean, smell-free turtle that i\'ve always known. I don\'t really get it. I still have to get that UVB light and a bigger tank though. Thanks for your concern and advice.
sbturtlegrlz6
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no prob try to get that set up though asap!
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