Loops Planted Turtle swamp - The Planted Tank Forum
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Old 07-09-2019, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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Loops Planted Turtle swamp



Tank Specs
  • Setup Date: 4-14-19
  • Tank Size: 55g
  • Water Volume: approx 35g
  • Substrate: Thin layer of gravel. Planning on adding more
  • Lighting: 4ft T-8 basement lighting (Planning on upgrading)

Planning
  • Tank Style: Swamp/Lagoon planted with top water and floaties.
  • Planned Decorations: All natural. Rocks, sticks, plants, driftwood. No pre-made decorations or plastic plants. Except a skull x_x
  • Planned Fish: Small Livebearers, and some other small species.
  • Planned Fish Count: Heavy. Cant put a number to this.
  • Planned Inverts: Crayfish, shrimp, snails.
  • Top water Plants: duckweed, water lilies, water cabbage, and some other floaters.
  • Submerged Plants: To be honest, idk. Whatever looks good.


Note: This photo was taken before i removed 75% of the duckweed, a bi-weekly ritual now.

Current Stock List
Turtles
(1) Common Snapping Turtle - Chompy
(2) Red Belly River Cooters - Sam & Ela

Fish
(8) pairs of adult guppies, about many many juveniles and babies.
(1) pair of black mollies, with the male being the lone survivor from the very beginning moments of the tank.
(4) Flag fish bought as fry.
(2) Neon Tetras
(1) Pleco Algae Eater (although i dont think he does anything)

Inverts
(1) Lightning white Lobster - The Night King
(1) Rabbit Snail - Rabbit
(2) Giant Rams horn Snails





Introduction
This tank started off as just an upgrade for my sons turtle. We received a captive hatched common snapping turtle from a buddy some time around august of last year (2018). Shortly after receiving him, my son dubbed him "Chompy" and i started building plans in my head. Fast forward 8 months, one large critter keeper and we have our first upgrade, a 55g tank that's been waiting to be used. The plan was to give chompy as natural of a setting as possible. I knew i wanted to go planted, and i knew it was gonna be a mess. What this has become amazes me to the point were i sit in front of the tank for at least 2 hours a day just staring.


More updates will be coming shortly!

Thank you for reading.
Blue Ridge Reef and ipkiss like this.


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Old 07-10-2019, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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4-14-19

We set up the tank! My son picked out some black gravel with neon glow rocks. We added a large piece of driftwood i've had in my rock garden for 3 years, and we threw in some plastic plants to fill the emptiness. Unfortunately i made some bad mistakes. Rookie mistakes when i should have known better. I foolishly added a handful of rosies, a catfish, some mollies, and i forget the rest. The tank had water for roughly a few hours before fish were added. Note: i've had fish tanks my entire life, but have been out of the fish hobby for roughly 8 years now. The only fish to survive the heavily chemical water of redford was my male molly.


5-6-19
We added two more freshly hatched baby turtles. Time has passed and we've changed up the decord, added plants, and added new fish.


6-23-19
Tha tank has been heavily updated. We've removed everything that's not natural (besides the skull my algae eater loves). Everyone is growing happily, and i made a couple changes to how the tank looks.
WE HAD TO DISABLE THE NIGHT KINGS MAIN CLAW.
After a quick feeding session, we watched the night king move to a tactical position were it looks like he's been before. He grabbed a baby turtle by his foot, wrestled him into the rest of his claws, and quickly started running backwards pulling the turtle in to his cave. I immediately threw my hand in the tank, and dang near crushed him while reaching into the cave to pull him out. He was tugging the turtle from me, very adamant at eating this little guy.



7-8-19
We added more plants! Over the holiday weekend, i found some root sections floating in the lake by our cottage. I brought the section home in a garbage back, and added them to our setup. Not sure how well they're going to take, but i ended up with about 10 rhizomes from the one root section.



And now we're current.


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Old 07-10-2019, 06:56 PM
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Nice set ups! My own turtle tanks have always been hardscape only. Also love the names on those river cooters, very clever!

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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Old 07-10-2019, 07:16 PM
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2 neon tetras will not do well. They need at least 10, 15 is better though.

Bump: The tank looks really nice. I might do something similiar eventually.

Bump: What species are the baby turtles?

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'Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance you have to keep moving' -Albert Einstein


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'The best way to observe a fish is to become a fish' -(unknown)
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Old 07-10-2019, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ridge Reef View Post
Nice set ups! My own turtle tanks have always been hardscape only. Also love the names on those river cooters, very clever!
Thank you! I have a love for dad jokes, and that seemed to be the ultimate.



Quote:
Originally Posted by aquanerd13 View Post
2 neon tetras will not do well. They need at least 10, 15 is better though.

Bump: The tank looks really nice. I might do something similiar eventually.

Bump: What species are the baby turtles?
NEON TETRAS - We're adding more tetras soon, just ran in to some road bumps along the way. Planning on a 70g upgrade in 3 months since 55g became small rather quick. (unless i can find a nice 6 or 8ft tank before). So far i've just watched them twirl around and just stick together. I guess i should do some more research, but is it due to them being aggressive towards their own kind? More tetras means beatings are less focused on one fish? Or are they weak, and need numbers to school and survive from others.

Thank you! The decorations and style were just something i threw together. I've never added any plain ol' sticks to my setups before, and i am very pleased with the way it looks and holds my plants. I'm also happy with the driftwood i had, turned out to be perfect for the aquascaping. The only thing i wish was different is the depth of the tank. I wish i had more floor space to spread my plants and decorations around in.

As for the baby turtles, i am not sure. I was told they were red belly river cooters, and the michigan ID page seemed to support the idea. But they dont have red bellys, so i'm not sure. I could provide better photos if anyone would like to give a better identification. My IDing skills are completely wrapped up with insects, and very minimal on reptiles so i'm no help.
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Old 07-11-2019, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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Question. Aside from my fun substrate, would this be considered a black water setup? I saw a thread labeled "Blackwater tetra options" and it got me googling. I gotta say, i LOVE the blackwater idea, and it seems like the type of setup i've been aiming for.

Does this seem accurate to anyone else?


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Old 07-11-2019, 03:33 PM
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Nice tank! I always find tanks that mix fish with other species to be fun. I am thinking of adding a floating log to my next tank for a newt. How are you keeping your log above water? Has it just not waterlogged yet or did you take any special precautions?
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Old 07-11-2019, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Nice tank! I always find tanks that mix fish with other species to be fun. I am thinking of adding a floating log to my next tank for a newt. How are you keeping your log above water? Has it just not waterlogged yet or did you take any special precautions?
Thank you!


This particular log was collected from a beach, and used as a rock garden decoration for roughly 4 years. So it baked ontop of lava rock under the sun every day for that time period. The log floated pretty well at first with even the dip it has staying above water. Over the course of time, i've noticed she's sitting much lower, with the dip now staying wet enough to support java moss on the top side. I have a single stick that helps support the log, and keep it centered towards the back of the tank, but that'll only work for a short period.

The plan is to eventually drill a couple small holes in the bottom, and hollow out as much of the log as i can. I'll then fill the log with some kind of foam or styrofoam pellets, and re-seal the holes with wood plugs. This should help keep the wood from completely submerging and sitting on the bottom. How much will stay above surface is hard to tell, but i wouldnt mind it sitting about 1" lower as i'd then be able to plant something on top of the log. Right now i only have the far ends and the dip that are submerged enough, all of which will not make a suitable place for a surface plant.


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Old 07-11-2019, 06:08 PM
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I too was thinking of using expanding foam in hollowed out driftwood, glad someone else might beat me to it 🙂 please keep us updated!
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I too was thinking of using expanding foam in hollowed out driftwood, glad someone else might beat me to it 🙂 please keep us updated!
Any and all projects concerning the tank will be in this thread, so i promise if i do it, you'll see it =D I'll continue to use this once i upgrade as well.

I have been looking in to future predators for the tank. Chompy, Sam, and Ela are quickly going to be too big for any aquatic setup i want to do in a fish tank, so i may look in to some other kind of aquatic predator. The newt idea has me thinking, and i might look in to something like that. Do you have any other suggestions or ideas?


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Old 07-11-2019, 08:26 PM
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You should put the turtles in the pond when they get big, and you could do a paludarium with dart frogs.

'Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light' -Albus Dumbledore


'Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance you have to keep moving' -Albert Einstein


'When in doubt, water change it out' -Nikolaus(Fishlore)


'Give me a fish and I eat for a day. Teach me to fish and I eat for a lifetime.' -(unknown)


'The best way to observe a fish is to become a fish' -(unknown)
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:36 PM
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Aquatic newts are pretty spiffy but I don't know if they would be considered predators. Other then bugs they are pretty chill. I like them because you don't need live food to feed them.

Bullfrogs are popular but you will need a true land option to house one properly. You already have crayfish which is the other popular option. Sorry but those are my two best ideas ;P
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Old 07-12-2019, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquanerd13 View Post
You should put the turtles in the pond when they get big, and you could do a paludarium with dart frogs.
I actually have plans on doing a paludarium. Since i joined this forum, i've learned a LOT. And in the pali, i'll most likely have some darts as i've never had them before.


Quote:
Originally Posted by minorhero View Post
Aquatic newts are pretty spiffy but I don't know if they would be considered predators. Other then bugs they are pretty chill. I like them because you don't need live food to feed them.

Bullfrogs are popular but you will need a true land option to house one properly. You already have crayfish which is the other popular option. Sorry but those are my two best ideas ;P
I'd be ok with them not being quite the predator that i normally go for. And idk, my insect side is thinking perhaps a giant water bug or something.

And i like my cray fish, but i might go with something else. He's pulling up and eating my grasses, and i'm not happy with him.


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Old 07-12-2019, 12:57 PM
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Interesting setup, but if you have to keep the crayfish from doing what comes naturally by tying up his claw I agree you should move him.


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Old 07-12-2019, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting setup, but if you have to keep the crayfish from doing what comes naturally by tying up his claw I agree you should move him.
Well, i'd happily remove him but i fear he wouldnt be alive for much longer at the LFS.

When i bought him, he was in a group tank with many other crayfish. He was missing a claw due to fighting in the over populated tanks these guys are kept in.
And i'm quite happy with him having only one claw bound, as i feel he has no need for it's un-bound purpose in my tank. What his main claw is "naturally" used for is killing and crushing, and he's quite capable of doing so without. Crayfish don't naturally find bits of chicken meat, or other prepared offerings, so he has zero need to kill a turtle. Also in the wild, his main claw would be used for fighting. Another thing that doesnt happen in this tank.

He does however still use his bound claw for many other reasons. The claw allows him to climb, wedge, dig, weave through weeds, and still appear large for his threat display. He's given a better life with a bound claw then i feel most crayfish get to experience naturally, and it's a MUCH better alternative then the way i received him.


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