The turtle does need it's own tank . I have had them before and they are messy critters .
Some more info is needed to answer this question properly . I have never used a sand substrate , so I do not know if that would have anything to do with it but it looks like you have an African cichlid in there . They like to redecorate there tanks , mine were always moving their gravel around piling it the corners and what not , so they may be stirring the sand up .
Your tank is not cycled through. You can use tap water, but you need to buy conditioner (such as Seachem Prime) to treat it before putting it in the tank. I advise you do daily water changes to keep the ammonia levels down in order to save your fish from dying. You may also want to use some Tetra SafeStart to quicken your cycling process.
At this point, do a 50% water change and test for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates.
Search this forum or Google "aquarium nitrogen cycle" Without spending to much time on the subject a new tank will begin to build ammonia in the water from the waste of fish and food etc. Your filter will begin to build up good bacteria that will convert the ammonia to nitrites. A short time later your nitrites will be converted to nitrates. Fish can live with nitrates (nitrites and ammonia are toxic). The best thing to do is to cycle the tank before adding fish. This takes several weeks to a couple months depending on how you do it. Since you already have fish and turtles in your tank you will need to do water changes daily to keep the ammonia levels down until the tank cycles. Tap water is fine but you have to add Prime or another water conditioner. If not the chlorine in the water will kill the good bacteria and it will never cycle. Another good thing about Prime is that it detoxifies the ammonia in your tank for 24 hours so it will not harm the fish but it is still available for the bacteria to feed on. You can consider your tank cycled when you can do a water change and test the water 24 hours later and the ammonia and nitrites are 0 and the nitrates are between 10-20.
One last thing, is there any type of driftwood in the tank. Some woods will release tannins into the water which will turn it a yellow color. It shouldn't harm the fish, some people like this look.
Ok I have one more question I have a submersible filter should I get another filter and clean one at a time to keep the good bacteria because right now with only that one filter everytime I clean it it's like starting over withthe bacteria buildup what should I do?
Hi...Just a bit of info I was told from my expert aquarium guy, dangerous nitrates/nitrites can get trapped under the sand (picture a bubble of gas under the sand) and releases all at once sometimes causing the gas to fill the water and can cause a very dangerous enviornment for your fish. I would think that to keep that from happening you would need a different substrate. Pebbles or rocks would b ideal. Also, about the filter: If you have 2 then I would put a new 1 in every month alternating them and periodically rinse them just to keep the levels down. A good 50% water change would help and I would continue to change it 25% once a week. If you keep the sand then you might need to change it every other day...stir the sand a little to make sure you dont have those gas pockets that I was referring to earlier. I hope this helps! P.S. They make this stuff called Crystal Clear and it works great! cheap too..
I did a 30-40% water change, but this time I did not clean the filter. I think that may have been my problem every time I did a water change I cleaned the filter losing all of the good bacteria. When should I test the water again? I was going to wait till tomorrow. Is that too soon???
IMO....Honestly If I were you I would start completely from scratch....from the looks of your tank you really dont have alot of money invested in it yet...(fish wise)...every one talks to cycle it...I've started over plenty of times in my life and have never lost any fish from not cycling...sure they may stress a little but just make sure you add the needed chemicals and you should do fine.I use Start Right...and stress coat every time I change or start over. The sand needs to go, and so does the turtle...I have good reasons to believe that if you do what I tell you...everything will be A OKAY....
Plenty of people use sand without issue, so I don't see why it needs to go. Also the sand does not look that deep. Now if the turtle is messing around on the bottom kicking up lots of sand, then ya I could see replacing it. If it isn't sand making the water cloudy, then keep the sand
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