Tank cleaning and rocks

Discussions about turtles.
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Fillmore
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Hi
I have an RES who\'s about 5 years old. His water gets pretty dirty really fast, even with my Fluval 3Plus I change the water every 2 weeks or so. I just read the water turtle care sheet on this site and I guess this is common. I was wondering how often all of you change it, thanks.

Also, I never used rocks before at the bottom because I thought they\'d be hard to clean, but his nails are getting ridicously sharp and I have to do something. Is this hard?

One more thing, whenever I stick one of those calcium blocks in he tries to eat it, is this really bad for him?

Thanks, Fillmore
Herbertluver
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I change my water everyday since I don\'t have a filter. My RES doesn\'t produce alot of wastes, he does his business about once every three days or once a week. I feed him every other day to avoid overfeeding him. How often do you feed your RES? My RES is two and half years old.
mariza
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I change my turtle\'s container (55-gallon Rubbermaid half full) weekly. I use smooth river rocks slightly larger than his head for substrate, but I don\'t have them covering the entire bottom, just about half of it so he can have something to push around (makes cleaning easier). His front claws are extremely long, but he\'s a male and meant to be that way. As long as the length doesn\'t prevent him from walking around, that\'s the way they\'ll remain.

The calcium block you\'re using won\'t hurt him but is not a form of calcium that\'s very readily available to your turtle. To supplement his calcium intake, it would be better to break up some pieces of cuttlebone (the stuff for birds, take off the hard backing/shell before breaking it up) and leave some floating in the tank. Most turtles really like it when they realize it\'s edible (doesn\'t take long for them to figure it out).
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