Having a turtle is a great joy. Trying to understand is fun by itself. This, in combination with some other facts, makes them a good option for a pet. Having them is great, but you should also make sure that you keep them healthy. Ensure that they are always happy and in a good mood. One way to do this is to ensure that the turtle lives in a clean and proper environment. This will improve their health as they will swim in freshwater, and the water they drink will also be clean.
For first-timers, cleaning a turtle tank might seem like a huge task. It is because turtles do mess a lot. You should clean the tank at least once a month. Knowing that you should clean the tank regularly is overwhelming.
Well, this should not worry you that much because I have a solution for all of you. Today I am going to share with you one of the best ways to clean the turtle tank, but before that, let’s look at why cleaning the aquarium is essential.
Let us now look at what is the fastest and best way to clean a turtle tank.
What Is The Best Way To Clean Turtle Tank?
The first step is to get the turtle out of the way. I am pretty sure you still have the little tank where you place the turtle when you first buy him. That tank is beneficial when you want to clean your tank. If you don’t, you can use any other container as long as it is wide enough. It is just a temporary place to place him as you clean his tank. Once he is out of the way, the next step is to remove the filter and the heaters. These also require cleaning, so you should remove them and put them in a sink for cleaning.
Remove plants, tank décor and any other arts in the tank.
The next thing is to remove any decors such as plants, rocks, plastics, or pieces of wood. Once done, take the tank to a cleaning area that suits you. I recommend a bathtub or outside on the grass. When doing the cleaning on the grass, I would not recommend using cleaning solutions such the chlorine bleach and vinegar. Stay tuned to know the reason why.
Drain the tank.
To clean the tank, you first pour out all the existing water then replace the water to about a quarter tank full. Pour the water again. Repeat these steps for around five times or until the water is much cleaner than when you started.
Use a cleaning solution; either vinegar or chlorine.
After this, get a cleaning solution for thorough cleaning. You can make the turtle tank cleaning solution yourself. Just get 0.1 L of chlorine bleach for every 3.8 liters of water. You can also use 0.1L of distilled white vinegar for 3.8L of water. Just remember not to use these solutions when cleaning the tank around any vegetation as they will kill the plants. Instead, you can visit a pet store to get a plant-friendly solution. After getting the right solution, Get a course rag and scrub the tank thoroughly. Clean all the corners and any spacings. Scrub the bottom as well. Once clean, move to the decors, the filters, and the heaters. Rinse everything thoroughly and make sure that there is no smell left. Let the filters, heater, and decorations dry as you dry the outside of the tank with a towel.
Refill the tank.
The next step is to refill the tank. Remember the water should not be cold as cold water is not suitable for turtles. Why read here. Return the container to its position and replace the filters and heaters. Places all the decors and try to replicate the original arrangement as this may disorient the turtle’s mind. Fill the tank with water and use a dechlorinate to ensure that the water has no chlorine levels that may be harmful to the turtle.
Again, check the temperature of the water, which should be around the room temperature 21-26 degrees Celsius. After this, test the water for any chemical substances.
I personally use API Freshwater Master Test Kit by API – see here. You can also buy a test kit from your local pet store. For more protection, you can mix in some salt to keep the bacteria away. This should be one teaspoon of non-iodized salt for one gallon of water. You are now pretty much done. What is left is to return your turtle to his favorite resting place and reward him for his patience with a worm.
Below are some products to dechlorinate the water.
- API pH UP. This product raises the pH of the water with a phosphate-free formula. See on Amazon
- API AMMO-LOCK freshwater and saltwater Aquarium and Ammonia detoxifier. This is good at reducing ammonia levels that are emitted continuously by fish and turtle. The next product is
- API 5-IN-1 TEST STRIPS Freshwater and Saltwater Aquarium Test Strips- This product monitors the pH levels of water, the hardness of water and also controls the levels of nitrite and nitrate carbonates in fresh and salty waters. Buy here.
- The Tetra EasyBalance. This product can reduce the number of water changes in the tank. It monitors the number of nitrates and phosphate, thereby controlling algae.
- The last product I recommend is the Tetra Nitrateminus Liquid- This product is useful in reducing the amount of nitrate, which in turn reduces algae. See the details here.
Why is cleaning a turtle tank necessary?
There are different reasons why cleaning a turtle tank is essential. It all revolves around the health of the turtle. A clean environment keeps the turtle healthy and happy. Cleaning the container removes the algae from lining the interior and also prevent bacterias and disease-carrying animals from sheltering in the tank.
How Often Should I Clean My Turtle Tank?
Cleaning of the tank should be done each day as you try to remove any leftover foods and droppings. You should also keep test the PH of the water every week and replace some of the water. Testing the PH is vital as you can never know whether the water is acidic or basic just by looking. After 3 to 4 weeks, clean the whole tanks and refresh all the components of the container. Remove all the cloudy turtle tank water and replace it with clean water. By doing this, you will have gone the extra mile to ensure the health of your turtle. Just keep in mind not to use detergents or soaps to clean the tank. They are harmful to pets. After cleaning, make sure you also clean your hands thoroughly. This is for your safety.
How Do You Clean Algae Out Of A Turtle Tank?
The simplest way is to scrub the algae off. You can get a rough cloth or brush and scrub the algae out of the decors or the glass. Be careful not to harm the glass. Lastly, I found great API Hand Held Algae Pad which very quickly removes unsightly algae from glass aquariums. Check the price.
If the algae growth is much on the decorations, you can remove them from the tank and scrub them thoroughly. You should also vacuum the gravels at the bottom of the tank. This is done using a turtle tank vacuum available in pet stores. The good news is that there is also a chemical that is meant to remove the algae. Another method is to use plants that take up all the nutrients that algae consume for their growth. That way, they will be starved to death. A great product that is good at controlling the growth of algae is the Tetra Easy Balance, which controls the algae by reducing the number of nitrates and phosphates. You can check this product here.
Can You Use Vinegar To Clean A Turtle Tank?
White vinegar is among the best turtle tank cleaners. This is an excellent choice for many, as it is readily available. Vinegar, as we all know, is some acid that is great at dissolving build-ups. Once the unwanted dissolve, you can finish off the remaining by scrubbing with a brush or a rough piece of cloth. The only time when you should not use vinegar is when you want to clean your tank near vegetations. It will kill plants. Otherwise, vinegar is a good option when choosing a cleaning solution. Turtle safe tank cleaner can be used when you are doing the cleaning around vegetations. They are friendly to human beings as well.