How should you set up a 55 gallon long fish tank to accommodate a 5-year-old Spiny Turtle?
Place your tank in a desired location (preferably near a window)
Have some gravel on the bottom of the bottom of the tank so that
when your turtle poops, it isn't so obvious. Get a brick or a
floating log or something so that your turtle can get all the way
out of the water (it doesn't have to be huge, leave some space for
your turtle to swim). Have the water deep enough so that your
turtle cannot touch and is able to swim freely (give your turtle
plenty of swimming room) Make sure you have a heater that is
appropriate for the amount of water in the tank and a filter to
circulate the water and keep it clean. That's about it!
A window won't provide even a little adequate lighting! Glass
blocks UV, which a turtle NEEDS. Land should be about 1/4 of the
cage and should be under the UV and heat bulb. For UV and heat, use
a mercury vapor bulb, like Zoo med's Powersun. The cheapest you'll
find any mercury vapor bulb that emits UV is $30. Any lower and
it's the wrong one. If you think that's too expensive and your pet
will be fine without it, then first of all, it may seem fine...
until it dies! Really that's how it works. Also, if this is too
expensive, that's not what being a pet owner is about. Pets are a
commitment monetarily and timewise, treat them like one. Also, you
need a good filter (for a 55 gallon, that will be about $75. Don't
force it to swim in its own feces. Just because you can't see the
feces in gravel doesn't mean it's not infecting your animal. Be
prepared to spend a good amount of money on this pet, it's not just
a glass tank with some water.