Description: My tank is 125 gal 72 1/2 x 18 1/2 x 23 3/8. Bought tank recently from craigs list as just old stand and tank for $200. Built custom canopy and re-enforced stand, added some paint and lights and custom waterfall and home made overflow system (so if power goes out wont overflow onto my floor and will restart when power comes back!). Built a custom wet/dry filter using 5 gallon compound buckets and house hold insulation as filter media along with Grocery Store plastic scrubbies as bio media. Using a 1000 GPH pond pump in sump which returns the water through main return behind turtle platform and by means of waterflow and custom return lines under the bottom gravel with cross drilled holes to keep junk from collecting on bottom, I can ajust flow to blast extra up when getting ready for filter change so gets picked up by filter. Total cost invested around $400.
Advice: I am a new tank guy for the most part, seen it done for years as family has them so have picked up ideas over the years. I have had turtles for a long time but had to give away when was in college. Now I am married with kids so got two about a year ago. Started them out in 45 gal tank with internal filter but quickly realized they need a much more powerful system. Convinced wife to have it in living room so built a much nicer and approopriate system for them. The bacteria in scrubbies does most of the work and I just have to add water every two days along with every other week water changes ( 10 gal replacement). Heater doesnt run much as the heat lights keep air temp in tank around 78* and water about 71 - 73*. I also added plexi glass over floresent lights to protect against water damage and two high powered (but quiet) fans to canopy to suck air out of main cavety and blows air over floresents to keep them cool.
Fish Kept: two red eared sliders and about 6 fat head minnows and 6 gold fish. I bought them thinking they would eat them as my old turtles did but they are un interested, assuming I keep them well fed so the fish are safe for now.
Corals/Plants: They are currenly all fake plants in tank but in a few months I plan on putting some real ones in once tank is fully established. I also need to hide the overflow pipes as those are still exposed but the others have all been hidden.
About Yourself: Just been very interested in Turtles over the years, they have very neat personalities and seem to have bonded well to me and only me. I am in the tank almost every day so they have become very friendly with me and the fish even dont mind. I am a software engineer by day and I do home remodeling on weekends (grew up in the trade, went different direction in life though). I find my wife, kids and myself turing off the TV and just watching the tank for hours now.