Map Turtle Setup In Plastic Tub - Help!

Post any questions you have about a turtle indoor setup here. Or if you have a link to your indoor setup picture we would love to see it.
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poddys
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We had our 3 map turtles in a 10 gallon glass tank, but after 9 months they are too large and we have (as a semi-temporary measure) now moved them into a 30 gallon clear plastic tub.

This has a turtle ramp for a basking deck, and on top of the tank we have a mesh screen with both sun and heat lamps.

Question 1. The depth of the water is a good 4 inches, which means the turtles have to swim up to the surface. Is this too deep for them, should it be shallower or do they prefer more room to swim in?

Question 2. Problem we are having is that the lamps are not heating the water enough - it\'s chilly to touch. I\'m not convinced that a bigger heating lamp will do the trick - we have about 10 gallons of water in the tub. Are there submersible heaters that could be used in a plastic tub? We live in Northern Indiana (Chicago area) so it gets pretty chilly in the winter - it\'s already down to mid-30\'sF.

Yes we could switch to a glass tank, but right now that\'s a huge expense.

Thanks for any help you can give.
mariza
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At nine months, how big are your turtles that they have to swim to the surface in 4 inches of water? Map turtles are supposed to be good swimmers, so the depth you have it at should be no problem. You could probably make it deeper.

I have my turtle in a plastic container, use a submersible water heater and have had no problems with it melting the plastic. Many heaters come with suction cups that keep the heater from directly coming in contact with the plastic. You can also buy heater holders if there are no suction cups. (You could also buy a heater guard to protect your turtles from getting burned if you`re worried about that. If you can`t find one drill holes in PVC pipe cut to the size of the heater to let water circulate.) Ebo-jager and Tronic (they also make guards for their heaters) are two reputable brands, but there are others.

There`s nothing wrong with using a plastic container. Rubbermaids, Sterlites, etc. make good alternatives to tanks. Space for your turtles is more important that having them in a tank that`s too small for them.
poddys
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Thanks very much Mariza. Your reply has given me confidence that maybe I can get a fully submersible heater. I would definitely want to make certain that it didn\'t come loose and touch the sides of the plastic tub, causing meltdown - not only of the tub mut also my wife - 10+ gallons of disease ridden turtle water on the floor would not make her too happy - the turtles neither...
Maybe a PVC pipe is a good idea. Suction cups stick well to our Sterilite container, but if the heater got knocked off...
I will look up the Ebo-jager and Tronic heaters you recommended.
We also need a better filter. Ours was bought for the 10 gallon glass tank they were originally in, but it now can\'t keep up with their output...
Will keep you posted on how we get on.
mariza
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For information on some heaters and filters, take a look at http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Community/review.htm#F

A more thorough discussion of filtration principles and types of filters can be found at http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Articl ... ration.htm

Let us know what you choose.
poddys
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Thanks again Mariza for a fast and very informative reply. Does Austin have an amazingly clear description of what filters / heaters to use or what! This has helped a lot.
Off to buy the necessary goods tomorrow.
Thanks for you help once again.
mariza
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Glad the links helped.
sbturtlegrlz6
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what are the best types of underwater heaters? im getting a 150 gallon tank.
poddys
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UPDATE...

Following a lot of research and advice, I looked up prices on Tronic Heaters and Fluval Filters at both Petco and Petsmart at the weekend, then went into Petco (as my 1st choice) to buy them.

SHOCK HORROR!!!

The prices were WAY MORE than on the web sites for the same stores...

The Tronic, which I had to get since the water temperature was way too low without it, cost $29 at Petco instead of $22 online.

Biggest shock of all was the Fluval 404. At Petco this was on sale (ha!) for $179. At Petsmart it was $169. On the Petsmart web site it was only $107, however on the Petco web site it was $106 plus if your first time shopping you got FREE shiping. Ordered Fluval 404, 2 x Foam refills, 2 x Charcoal refills, 2 x Pre-filter refills, and still the total only came to $154. Ordered Sunday night and it arrives Tuesday evening.

Moral... beware of shopping at a store when they have a web site - you could get a much better deal online - but you have to figure in shipping of course...

So, our 3 Map Turtles - named The Irish Turtles - Anthony, Ronan and Finbar after The Irish Tenors - my 3 year old daughter loves them - have a warmer habitat to swim around in. We also bought them a new friend to help try and keep the tank clean - Mr Paddy O\'Pleco... He is a fast little fellow - does about 0-60 in 1/2 second... I somehow think he will be safe in there. They are happy to sit up against him under the heater, but haven\'t had a go at him yet as far as we can see.

Will keep you posted on how the filter install goes.
mariza
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Yes, ordering on-line will save a lot of money. It`s good you were able to order what you wanted and get it so quickly. :)
rfox
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Ordering on-line is great if you don\'t have an emergency. Then the store gets your money. The shipping is figured into the store price and we all tend to forget that. I know that I have.
poddys
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Of course the stores have to include not only the shipping costs but also the cost of maintaining inventory and operating the store, but they have central warehousing (presumably where the items ship from as well if you buy from their web site) and also they ship by the truckload to their stores. A difference of $179 as against $106 has to be a lot more than just the cost of runnng the store. Maybe it\'s the naivety factor - for those who don\'t know you can also buy online!
poddys
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We finally got our Fluval 404 set up in the new tank on Sunday, and just to make sure it was ok put the 3 Irish Turtles (Maps) and Paddy O\'Pleco in the old tank overnight.

Sadly, and for an unknown reason, poor old Paddy was found just lying on the bottom of the tank last night, stiff as a board. I don\'t think that the water was too cold, but it was murky in there. Since we had only had him a week, it could have been the temperature, water quality, disease, or maybe the traumor of moving him into the tank the night before. One disadvantage with a plastic tub is that the edges are not flat and square like a glass tank, therefore trying to get a fish out with a net is a real challenge - I\'m hoping I didn\'t scare him too much doing that. Will have to get another Pleco and see if we fare any better...
sbturtlegrlz6
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what was paddy o\' pleco,a snail,a fish?
mariza
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Sorry to hear Paddy is gone.
poddys
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Paddy O\'Pleco was would you believe a Pleco...
sbturtlegrlz6
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haha im really stupid but what\'s a pleco?and im sorry he died.
snoopy
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I also have a map turt, Snoopy. Good luck with your lot. I was wondering where you got yours, I was thinking of getting a few more.

I keep Snoop in a plastic tub over summers and school breaks (she is in a tank at the school where I teach during the rest of the year.) I have not had a problem with a heater burning through. I always double the tub (1 inside another) just in case there is any problem with a leak. But in my opinion, the plastic tubs are better, much easier to maintain. I have a low wattage heater, fully submersible, a filstar xp2? (i think) filter and both a UVB and Basking lamp as part of my \"rubbermaid setup\".

Good Luck
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