I've yet to introduce my sliders! I have 4 deformed Red Eared Sliders. They came from a breeder (who breeds turtles by the thousands) and I originally had about 30 of them. Being deformities, some died, I rehomed others, and I kept 4 for myself. They were all hatchlings when I got them and now, they are about 3 years old (I have the specific date written down, but I can't find that piece of paper at the moment). I've been a reptile keeper for over 15 years, and a fancy goldfish keeper for over 8 years.
Recently, I lost my last goldfish and had a variety of anubias plants in an empty 55 gallon aquarium. I would have sold the plants, but they had contracted a mild case of rhizome rot, making them unsellable. So I had started feeding bits of the plants to my turtles. The largest turtle (who you'll meet later) ate them completely. The 2nd largest (who you'll also meet later) ate some leaves, but wasn't too interested. The last two (Heket and Mernah, who are dwarf turtles) hardly touched the live anubias plants.
Since I was setting up a new 75 gallon aquarium for the 2 dwarfs, I decided to try and aquascape the tank with all the remaining anubias plants. And so far, it's worked. The plants and turtles have been in the aquarium together for about a month. There are some nibbles, but most plants seem to be growing new shoots and roots. The secret to keeping live plants with goldfish, is to plant heavy, in order to spread out the abuse, thus, giving the other plants time to heal. I'm hoping this is the case with my dwarf RES. Worst case scenario, the turtles make a nice meal out of the anubias . . . I'm ok with that too.
Anyway, here are photos of the setup. It may not stay planted forever, but I hope to enjoy it for now. There are still rubber bands on the plants, holding them in place until they root onto the wood and rope. I've used a "floating turtle log" as the basking area. It is held down by marine rope that is attached to suction cups under the sand. An incandescent UVA bulb and compact fluorescent UVB bulb are about 6" over the basking log. The basking lights are held up by a tension rod that is reinforced with closet rod holders that are screwed into the wall. In the back, an aquarium light is over the tank for the plants and to illuminate the tank for maximum viewing pleasure. I've built an acrylic frame around the basking side, to prevent turtles from escaping. The other side has half a 75 gallon screen lid over it (not in the photo). To finish things up, there is a heater and a fluval filter.
Front view showing full setup.
Photo taken from the left side.
Photo taken from the right side.
Close up of Driftwood.
Close up of log (they like to push this around).
Close up of floating basking log and rope (notice turtle hidden inside).
Full tank (with one turtle swimming, and one in the floating log).