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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-14-2015, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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Turtles!

I am coming into the care of three aquatic turtles and will need plenty of help setting the tanks up before I get them on Friday! I've got a seventy five gallon tank a sixty five gallon, a fifty five, and a fifty that I've gotta set up for one 8 inch red eared slider, one 8 inch yellow bellied slider, one 5 inch painted turtle (not sure what kind yet) and I need to do it all with minimal cost as I'm... Basically broke right now.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-14-2015, 05:56 PM
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Then you will want to get one of those kids pools like one foot tall by about 3 foot in diameter from Loew's or the Wally World. Put them in it when you feed them as soon after that they will mess and it won't harm the tank water that way.
Long term you will need to provide the proper light for them. Something about UV light
and they need for you to provide it as they normally get it from the sun.
Doesn't need to be over the whole tank. Just over their basking place.
Getting one of those tank vacuum things to use on the tanks will help quite a bit also
to clean up after them.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-14-2015, 06:24 PM
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Why do people think healthy Reptiles are cheap to care for?

Got a bait shop nearby?

You didn't mention which turtle.

Best suited for a pond not an aquarium. Be prepared to see the aquarium rearranged daily. Like tanks they will think they can go anywhere.

You want a filter to handle all the dung they produce and can easily be cleaned.

You will want to do this every few days. Pondmaster 190 is a good small filter. Adapt the fountain to a tee fitting or flex hose.

Like a dog, as soon as they eat, they will go poop.

Go to Lows and get the big bags of river rock gravel $5. Smooth and they won't injest them. Just enough to cover the bare glass.

Plan on a few dozen minnows and earthworms. Worms will last underwater. Goldfish are horrible. The Snappers (serpentina serpentina) I had stopped eating them after being fed other fish.

Reptomin can be the staple food as long as they have live foods. Live food = calcium and proteins.

Ask everyone for their unwanted floating plants.

Lighting- UVB is necessary for a hard shell. Desert fluorescents are ok for illuminating the enclosure. At least one 100watt Power Sun lamp at least 12" over the basking spot.

Heater isn't necessary except for Winter time. Below 50F their bodies will stop digesting and they will want to hibernate.

Find a Herpetologist Vet in your area. When the health goes south or males bite each other, he will become your best friend.

Cheers!

-PhilipS

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-14-2015, 08:32 PM
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I agree, these are pond turtles not aquarium turtles. It's ok to keep the in aquariums when they are hatchling since they need shallower water and don't have that heavy of waste, but when they are your size they need alot of area to swim, eat a lot of food, need uvb and a heat bulb. I have 3 turtle hatchling that are about 3 to 4" I just moved to a 1300g pond. They seem alot more happy now.

Pros to doing this.

Less feeding. Add duckweed and mosquito fish the pond along with insects,frogs,worms and whatever else falls in will feed them. Along with turtle food every few days.

Don't have to buy uvb and heat bulbs for 3 tanks. Let the sun do it all!

1300g versus 200g divided by 3 tanks?

Cons of doing this.

Turtles can't be left in the pond during cold winters.

Can be costly to build a pond depending on materials and size.

Last edited by somewhatshocked; 10-26-2015 at 07:21 PM. Reason: typo again I hate predictive text
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 03:14 AM Thread Starter
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ok, so here's why i'm not doing a pond, i live in northern oregon, it snows and freezes most winters, and also, i'm renting a house right now, and can't afford to build a pond currently. however, i have several large tanks, i'm rescuing the turtles from one communal tank that they are rapidly outgrowing and i already have several largeish filters, and a huge sand filter i'm converting to bead, like people use for koi ponds. i have a 75 gal, a50 gal, a 65 gal, and the turtles are currently living in a 55 gallon tank. this is how i'm currently planning upon setting it up. there's one res that's 8 inches, one yellow bellied slider that's 8 inches, and a painted turtle(the owner didn't specify which kind) that's five inches. i have light fixtures i can use for the basking area, water heaters i can set up, and i already have a breeding colony of feeder guppies. i've done the research on what they need nutritionally and such, as well as about the lighting. doesn't mean i can afford it yet but i get paid 2 days after i get the turtles, so the more expensive lights can be bought then, they're going in an outdoor greenhouse setting, that will be insulated and heated during the winter. sorry for the lack of information in the original post, i just didn't have much research yet and i was falling asleep.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 03:31 AM
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Ok I get it.

By Halloween start prepping them for hibernation.

2 weeks no food before it gets down to 50F. Put each in 5 gallon buckets with about an inch of water up to the plastron (no higher than the carapace).

Anymore water than that forces the animal to hold its head up until Easter.

Basically, if you eat a bacon burger the day before you go into hibernation, it will sit there and rot, probably kill you as it will the turtle.

FYI- I brumated my tortoises and crotalus snakes in the wine fridge. Never had a bottle stolen. Haha.

Cheers!

-PhilipS

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 03:38 AM Thread Starter
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oops! pump input on feeding tank. or feed them in a separate container maybe, but that's rough on space, and money. are you sure they should hibernate? i can keep it heated through the winter, and i get the feeling this guy never put them into hibernation or anything before, and i'm not sure if that's a good idea for them to suddenly start doing when they're pretty much adults?

Bump: i mean i'll ask when i get them, but i just really get the feeling this guy was overwhelmed with the turtles and really cannot afford a new tank for em.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 03:44 AM
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It's nature.

Contact your local Herp Phd at the University.

I was late in hibernating my Snaps the first time and pulled them out of 20F water in the pond. Don't underestimate a lethargic Snapper. Yup, I can still type.

Just was glad to take a break from feeding them for several months even though they caught birds, frogs, and squirrels outside.

RES are carnivores.

Feed in same tank. You are thinking of snakes. Some get territorial in their cage. Glad you are getting them before they go to the wrong place.

Cheers!

-PhilipS

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 03:46 AM Thread Starter
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also i can get danio cloud minnows or rosy reds for cheap and i have other tanks i can set them up breeding with, if the guppies are too fast(i've read they're good at escaping the clutches of turtles and slower fish) but rosies are cold water, and cloud minnows look fast, though i haven't ever kept them. i also keep goldfish, have daphnia and vinegar eel cultures, and an axolotl. the other big reason to keep them inside, not in ponds, is that we have raccoons, and sometimes coyotes out here, as well as neighborhood cats and dogs that i just really dont want either trying to eat the turtles, or giving salmonella to the owners of.

Bump: alright, i'll figure out a way to keep them just the right temp during winter then.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 05:31 AM
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I get the setup now too. Very clever. I keep white clouds and yes they are very fast swimmers. They will elude pretty much any agressive fish.

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 01:32 PM
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Hi Sparhawk! Turtles are great pets when you are prepared and informed. However, like fish, these ARE wild animals and not domesticated like cats, dogs, people.

I do urge you and recommend a separate feeding enclosure as @Raymond S. has suggested. If you are not going to utilize a separate feeding spot then good ol' fashioned undergravel filtration with the river rocks suggested by @webskipper for a substrate is a great and easily maintained set-up. This way you can still utilize your overflows with minimal modification! Did you find out what species of Painted turtle you have yet? Southern are the easiest to identify as they have the line across dorsal ridge of their carapace. Generally speaking painted turtles are smaller than sliders(especially male painteds) and MUCH smaller than river cooters. Make sure your yellow belly is in fact a slider and not a cooter!! Also, adult painteds are more herbivorous as adults than sliders - even sliders will benefit from some greens in their diet. Also, the fish you mentioned besides guppies are much to fast during lights on for turtles to catch and eat but, will demolish them after hours. I'd stick to the guppies. Austin's Turtle Page is a great place to start regarding turtle care. If you've done any serous research you've come across this page already. Regarding lighting. You will need the proper type of UVB lighting and a heat lamp/bulb of sorts to help with heat thermoregulation. Do remember that all Chelonians live a VERY LONG TIME when healthy and properly cared for - be prepared to have these guys for life!

Stock lightly and carry a big filter. - I don't have aquariums. I have ecosystems in a glass box. - Hygrophilaholic and hoarder of Anubias.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 02:58 PM
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No under gravel filters!

Just poop scoop with gravel cleaner.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 02:58 PM
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That(turtles) would be the only modern day application I'd use an under gravel filter on.
Using pea gravel as the sub so that there is actually some room between each "grain" of
the sub. It would also be easier to vacuum.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-31-2015, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparhawk817 View Post
are you sure they should hibernate? i can keep it heated through the winter, and i get the feeling this guy never put them into hibernation or anything before, and i'm not sure if that's a good idea for them to suddenly start doing when they're pretty much adults?
Since hibernation is their natural instinct the real question is are you sure that keeping them from hibernating any longer is a good idea?

I was in your exact situation about a decade ago with 3 captive bread box turtles. They came to me in a 20gal plastic tub as full grown adults. That was their main enclosure. It was depressing. I already had another turtle so I built a 100+sq.ft enclosure in my back yard for the four of them. When the temp started to drop the first year, I went out to collect them to bring them in and found they had all already buried themselves a foot underground.

The next spring I found a baby turtle crawling around their enclosure. I kept finding babies for a couple of years after that too.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-31-2015, 05:06 PM
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The only reason to hibernate reptiles is to induce your herp to be amorous; come spring. It'll happen when they are ready.

So unless you have at least two of the same adult species, have the resources to incubate the eggs, a Herp Vet on speed dial, and can mute out the sounds of smitten turtles, don't. It sounds like two coconuts knocking, and the grunts will travel far.

The Desert Tortoise reaches puberty at 70, other at least 7 years for fertile eggs.

Forced hibernation is anything other than the animal being triggered by nature.

If they fit in the wine cooler, turn it off before starting to chill down to 40F.

Lessen the food over the next 2 weeks, starve for 2 weeks.

Below 50F their bodies will not require nourishment.

Don't feed outdoor turtles anymore this year. Undigested food will rot and kill during hibernation periods.

Worse than eating a burger before bedtime.

Cheers!

-PhilipS

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