Turtle Setup Help - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-26-2017, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Turtle Setup Help

Hello, to start off I want to apologize if this is in the wrong section or not even supposed to be in this forum! I have just been searching for active forums that might be able to help and I cam across this one! So here are my questions!

1.) I just got a baby alligator snapping turtle and I am about to put him in a 15 gallon tank. I have an idea of how I am going to set it up, but I heard you should not use plastic plants because Kidd (my snapping turtle's name is Kidd) might eat them. I was wondering what aquatic plants are easy to find/buy and are safe for my turtle to munch on if he does want to and will grow in the tank!

2.) I wanted to have fish swimming around not only for the aesthetic, but also so he could hunt a little for his own food! So I was wondering what kind of fish would be fine? He is a new hatchling also! Just a couple days old!

3.) Can any of these things be bought at petsmart and if you have any tips or ideas let me know please!

Also, yes I am fully aware of the risk of owning a snapping turtle when they reach a larger size. I also am fully aware of how long they live, the size they can reach, and that he will need to be switch to a new tank in about a month or two!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-27-2017, 01:54 AM
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I would recommend elodea as a good plant, also called anacharis. Turtles like to munch on it from time to time. As for the potential feeders, I?d say maybe a dozen rosy red minnows or feeder guppies since they?re cheap and easily replaced.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-27-2017, 07:18 AM
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Would be more tempted to offer small bit's of frozen krill/shrimp/beefheart/earthworm's than feeder fish which could introduce any number of pathogen's.Feeder tanks often riddled with disease.
The turtle is not particularly fast growing, but small 15 gal tank will require frequent water changes with afore mentioned foods to keep it from going stank/funky.
Used to be a site..Tom's turtle page (I think),that might could offer more info on the care of various turtles.

Correction.."Austins turtle page"
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-27-2017, 07:47 AM
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You should join TurtleForum.com (a part of Austin's turtle page) right away. I'm a member there (I have 4 red eared sliders) and the people are very helpful.

I'd suggest hornwort, as a good floating plant. Also guppies are fun to raise, and if in a big enough aquarium they will be able to breed even when living with your snapper (at least for a few years).

Good Luck!

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-27-2017, 08:51 AM
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Umm like a 70lb minimum future turtle? It will require a minimum of like 200+ gallons as an adult and something like nearly 700+ gallons recommended. You will struggle to have fish in the tank because the turtle WILL eat them and it will mount high expenses in food as time goes on. In my opinion I'd look to give it to a conservation group because it will likely outlive you (like 70years old) and will need allot to live a good life. Also you cant touch it and be always aware of its mouth because it can bite through bone, and Ive heard of fingers being eaten before. Unfortunately for you unless you have pond ready you shouldnt keep it. Furthermore it is illegal to own in several states and countries, some have permits but they are difficult to get. I dont mean to be a kill joy but honestly it is an extremely expensive and expansive undertaking for an animal that is considered dangerous at minimum to own not even touching difficulty and endangered in some states and vulnerable in the rest.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-27-2017, 12:06 PM
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I hope you live in this turtle's native range, because you will need to construct a pond in your backyard.

You should never ever ever have a pet that you are not at this very moment able to fully accommodate all future growth. The fact that you only currently have a 15 gallon scares me.

I agree with Robin Conor Sallade: this is not a suitable pet.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-27-2017, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiddtheturtle View Post
Hello, to start off I want to apologize if this is in the wrong section or not even supposed to be in this forum! I have just been searching for active forums that might be able to help and I cam across this one! So here are my questions!

1.) I just got a baby alligator snapping turtle and I am about to put him in a 15 gallon tank. I have an idea of how I am going to set it up, but I heard you should not use plastic plants because Kidd (my snapping turtle's name is Kidd) might eat them. I was wondering what aquatic plants are easy to find/buy and are safe for my turtle to munch on if he does want to and will grow in the tank!

2.) I wanted to have fish swimming around not only for the aesthetic, but also so he could hunt a little for his own food! So I was wondering what kind of fish would be fine? He is a new hatchling also! Just a couple days old!

3.) Can any of these things be bought at petsmart and if you have any tips or ideas let me know please!

Also, yes I am fully aware of the risk of owning a snapping turtle when they reach a larger size. I also am fully aware of how long they live, the size they can reach, and that he will need to be switch to a new tank in about a month or two!
It was an alligator snapper that got me into fish in 1980. My then to be brother in law got one out of the Hudson River while fishing. Went and got a 10 gallon for the turtle. And another for fish.
Had him for over 15 years in multiple tanks before getting rid of him. Last tank was a 45 long. back then there were no "turtle tanks" of any merit. I used Whisper filters since they could pull water from half empty tanks. Unless power went out. Not sure if this is still true but at one point you could not keep a turtle under 3". Back in the days of the red eared slider they were sold all over the place and kids didn't take care of the tanks properly. And they used those damn shallow "turtle islands". Well that caused an outbreak of salmonella and keeping small turtles got banned. Truth is if the parents had changed and filtered the water properly, and made kids wash hands after touching turtles none of that would have been a problem.
I used to have to take a toothbrush to get the algae off its shell and it did nip me a few times. No broken skin however much less a broken bone. But that was just that turtle. As has been said I go along with the recommendation to let that turtle go back where you got it from.
You really need to check the laws of your state however.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 11:01 AM
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It was an alligator snapper that got me into fish in 1980. My then to be brother in law got one out of the Hudson River while fishing. Went and got a 10 gallon for the turtle. And another for fish.
Had him for over 15 years in multiple tanks before getting rid of him. Last tank was a 45 long. back then there were no "turtle tanks" of any merit. I used Whisper filters since they could pull water from half empty tanks. Unless power went out. Not sure if this is still true but at one point you could not keep a turtle under 3". Back in the days of the red eared slider they were sold all over the place and kids didn't take care of the tanks properly. And they used those damn shallow "turtle islands". Well that caused an outbreak of salmonella and keeping small turtles got banned. Truth is if the parents had changed and filtered the water properly, and made kids wash hands after touching turtles none of that would have been a problem.
I used to have to take a toothbrush to get the algae off its shell and it did nip me a few times. No broken skin however much less a broken bone. But that was just that turtle. As has been said I go along with the recommendation to let that turtle go back where you got it from.
You really need to check the laws of your state however.

The thing that OP should notice here is that you had to "get rid of" the turtle eventually. Maybe this is something that people did in 1995, but in 2017 this is no longer considered expectable behavior. Animals raised among products and other animals bred in the aquarium industry can acquire exotic diseases. Like smallpox, these diseases can wreak havoc for native populations that have never encountered the disease before.

If you can't take care of an animal for the entire duration of its life span, you should not have it as a pet.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 12:34 PM
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Boiled,then breaded/ deepfried Snapping turtle with some cornbread and sweet tea.
Was the turtles misfortune from trying to steal bait from Trotline's.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 12:45 PM
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Boiled,then breaded/ deepfried Snapping turtle with some cornbread and sweet tea.
Was the turtles misfortune from trying to steal bait from Trotline's.
This is why they are threatened in many states.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 02:09 PM
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The thing that OP should notice here is that you had to "get rid of" the turtle eventually. Maybe this is something that people did in 1995, but in 2017 this is no longer considered expectable behavior. Animals raised among products and other animals bred in the aquarium industry can acquire exotic diseases. Like smallpox, these diseases can wreak havoc for native populations that have never encountered the disease before.

If you can't take care of an animal for the entire duration of its life span, you should not have it as a pet.
You may have made an assumption however that I let it go in the wild. I did not. I gave it to a friend that had other turtles in ponds. I have never, and will never, let a captive animal go in the wild.

And we agree on your last sentence.

Dilution is the solution for the pollution.
Quote me as saying I was misquoted.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 02:15 PM
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Also, yes I am fully aware of the risk of owning a snapping turtle when they reach a larger size. I also am fully aware of how long they live, the size they can reach, and that he will need to be switch to a new tank in about a month or two!

Being aware and fully understanding are not the same thing. I can't imagine the food cost when this thing gets large. I know a guy with 2 large tortoises and it costs him hundreds every month. 7 heads of lettuce a day but that's a lot cheaper than the meat that you would be feeding.

Keeping a large, dangerous, exotic animal, because you accidentally captured it is never a good idea.

"Due to their potential size and specific needs, they do not make particularly good pets for any but the most experienced aquatic turtle keepers." I found this quote on line. You don't sound very experienced
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 02:49 PM
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This is why they are threatened in many states.
Nope,not really.
Biggest threat is from egg predation by other wild critter's and habitat loss .
Some farms breed them like fish farms that raise fishes for sale or food.

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 05:33 PM
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Nope,not really.
Biggest threat is from egg predation by other wild critter's and habitat loss .
Some farms breed them like fish farms that raise fishes for sale or food.

Quote:
Originally Posted by National Wildlife Federation
Conservation Status: Alligator snapping turtles are declining due to habitat degradation and overharvest for their meat. They are not an endangered species, but some states have imposed bans on collecting them from the wild.
And even if it weren't a leading cause, eating a species that is feeling pressure from other forces isn't super helpful.

There are government funded farms that breed alligator snapping turtles for rebuilding wild populations, and there are farms that breed them for the misguided-pet-owner industry. Similar farms exist for tigers, but I assume you wouldn't approve of hunting them in the wild. Tigers are actually a great example: the United States has ~5,000 tigers, the highest population of any country. Russia is second. That's no consolation for ecologists trying to save the remaining 3,200 that are struggling in the wild. Alligator snapping turtles are not nearly as endangered, but my point is that the captive population of an animal doesn't really matter in terms of conservation goals. It's the wild population that needs attention.
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