Why Does My Turtle Tank Water Look Oily? (2 Reasons Why + What To Do)

The water in your pet’s tank is meant to be clear and have no impurities, so if the water in your pet turtle’s tank starts looking odd, if there is oil in your pet’s water, then you may start to worry

This article looks into why the water in your pet’s tank is oily

Why does my turtle tank water look oily?

The health of your pet is determined by a lot of things, including the health of it’s environment, and if the water in your turtle’s tank seems oily then you may start to worry

Here is why the water in your pet’s tank looks oily:

Water is not aerated:

One reason why there may be an oily film on top of your pet’s water is that the water is not aerated.

Organic waste, like oil, floats and collects at the top of water that is still, not moving, and not aerated.

What to do:

The solution to this is to agitate the water, you can easily do this by adding a bubbler to the tank or by adding a spray bar to the filter.

The water that sprays out of the spray bar will agitate the water.

A perk of adding a spray bar to the filter is that this feature is generally quiet so your pet may enjoy having this feature in the tank.

You can also use an air stone in your pet’s tank to help with this

Excess protein:

Another of the reasons why there is an oily film on top of the water is that there is excess protein in the water.

If protein is left to accumulate in a body of water then the particles will stick together on the surface of the water. This collection of particles will form an oily layer on the surface of the water.

This is more common in saltwater aquariums than freshwater aquariums but both types can develop this problem all the same.

The situation can happen if the turtle is overfed. If food is left uneaten then the protein in the food may collect and from the oily layer

This can also happen if the tank’s filtration system is inefficient, if the filter is not large and powerful enough for the tank then protein may build up

What to do:

You can remove the oil from the surface of the water using paper towels, this is a short-term solution

If your tank is large then you can use a protein skimmer, or multiple pumps in your pet’s enclosure, long-term

Making sure that the tank is big enough will minimize the collection of protein in the water through dilution.

Make sure that your tank is big enough for the turtle, the ratio of tank size to turtle size is 10 gallons of tank per 1 inch of turtle shell length, bigger is possible.

You’d also need to get a stronger filter, a canister filter is usually recommended for turtle tanks. Use a filter that is meant to be used in a tank that is 3 to 4 times bigger than your pet’s current tank.

Removing any excess food from the tank, only feeding your pet the amount of food that it can eat in 5 minutes, only feeding your pet as much food as can fit in its head if it were hollow, or feeding your pet in a separate container can also help with this.

If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other turtle/tortoise related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: Why Is My Turtle Eating Rocks?Why Does My Turtle Tank Lose Water? Why Is My Turtle Water Slimy?Why Does My Turtle Like The Filter?Why Is My Turtle Tank Growing Algae?Why Is My Turtle Tank Slimy?

Why Does My Turtle Tank Water Look Oily? (2 Reasons Why + What To Do)
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