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xjudge xjudge
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  • Posted on: 31/1/2008 12:43
New terrapins #1
Hi there i just rescued some terrapins from a friend who was just going to let them go, problem is ive never kept them b4. i have the reptomin food and a water conditioner and some prawns to feed them. they have a heater and these heater pads on the tank too. but no basking light so i will need to get one. I was just wondering what temperatures i should put heater at, they have a filter, altho not vey big, and i know im going to have to get them a new tank but how big? i need as much advice as everyone can give me please. I dont know what type they are, they have yellow stripes on either side of the head...thank you =]
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  • Posted on: 31/1/2008 13:30
Re: New terrapins #2
And another question should i trim there claws, coz the front ones are quite long ?
felixflame felixflame
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  • Posted on: 31/1/2008 13:57
Re: New terrapins #3
Hi there mate!

Well your in luck, i know a fair bit about terrapins as my GF got three...

Firstly i need to know the size of them (lenght of shell)
also what tank do you have?

You wont need a heat mat only for land dwelling repatiles need them, set you heater to about 25c...

To answer about fitler i need to know about the sizes of you tank and the turtles...

a bask light isnt always nessesary but a vitamin D3 light (exoterra) is needed.

Also can you send pic so i can ID them, the one with the long claw is a male, you should go to the vet and get them properly clipped if your worried about the size..

from the description they sound like either Heirogliphic or Cumberland, possibley Yellow Bellied Sliders. a pic would be great!

Its good you have water conditioner, try to get some reptisafe solution as is safe to them to ingest.. aslo the food is suitable for the time being a more varied diet though will need to be implemented, but first the size of the tank and turtles are needs to give exact advise.

Phil
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xjudge xjudge
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  • Posted on: 31/1/2008 15:31
Re: New terrapins #4
Thank you very much the size of the tank is 3ft long and 1ft wide. One of the turtles is 13cm and one is 10cm...i only measured there shells. This is a pic of one of them,

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xjudge xjudge
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  • Posted on: 31/1/2008 15:32
Re: New terrapins #5
And here is one of the tank

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felixflame felixflame
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  • Posted on: 31/1/2008 16:11
Re: New terrapins #6
okey dokey, i think they are cumberlands, from what ime seeing.

Firstly you need a bigger filter something like a fluval 3plus, also a bigger tank about a 4ft long anf about 18inche wide.. and 18ichs deep

terrapins a very messy things but are very cute.... also the more water in the tank the longer itll be for the tank water qulity to fall, so fill about 2/3rd full..

there very little piont of having the gravel up on a slop as itll be tornaway and of those rocks could fall and trap one... so best lay it flat if not enough to cover bottom get more gravel...

have the heater horizontally this allow more coverage of the water to be heated....

these will grow quick and eat your wallet due to the amount of food they eat at this size...

ill try and post a few pics of my GF's tank so you can get an idea...

Water changes will need to be done once or twice a week, as they will stink up the place...

Feed witha variety of foods like blood worms, dried fleas, pellets and the occasional plian cooked chicken....

Be very wary to wash your hands before and atfer you handle as you get salmonella from them and give to them...

Make sure you handle with the turlte securely in you hands with hands on either sides of the top and bottom shell... as if theyre in your plams they will run out and if this is at a height the fall could break their shell..

If you have more question either post on the thread OR PM me.

HTH

Phil
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xjudge xjudge
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  • Posted on: 31/1/2008 16:54
Re: New terrapins #7
Thank you for the information. Im glad im getting paid 2moro so i can buy everything i need except the bigger tank wil have to wait 2 weeks. thanks again and i will be sure to ask you if i have anymore questions =]
longhairedgit longhairedgit
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Re: New terrapins #8
Looks like a Graptemys geographica (common map turtle) to me. Grows to over 10 inches in carapace length.

Consequently its a bit more temperature tolerant than most red eared turtles you see so often in the hobby, they have a huge range in nature, even as far as quebec, so while they will grow large, eventually they will have some potential as an outdoor pond turtle, even in the UK.

Normally I would be recommending spotlights for basking with a tropical turtle, the process of scute drying and achieving an internal temperature higher than 75f water temperature as an option usually has enormous long term benefits as regards normal shell formation and digestive health, consequently it aids avoidance of MBD, and a basking light spot is something that frankly more turtle owners should consider if they want their turtle to make its sixties, rather than die in its first decade of life, water temperature alone is usually not enough, and a temperature gradient should be given, but with this species you can probably skip it.

The UVB though, thats essential, id recommend you go and get a zoomed reptile bulb if you havent got one already, and mount it so that the turtles can get to within a foot of it, uninteruppted by glass or plastic, basically direct exposure to the bulb.

You will eventually find that using reptomin will become very expensive to feed an adult turtle with, an adult can pretty much eat a whole pot in a single sitting, so as the turtle ages you break away from the artificial foods, and go for pieces of freshwater fish,earthworms chicken, shellfish, and most of the green foods that green iguanas can eat, koi pellets, all topped up with extra calcium in either raw carbonate form, or cuttlebone that they can chew on ad libitum. Eventually most turtles will need a higher level of calcium and a better calcium phospherous ration of around 2-1 than most artificial foods for turtles can supply cost effectively.

Dont worry about the water quality too much, as long as you ditch it out to stop bacterial overdrive happening, the filter will mostly be there to keep the water smelling fresh, the ammonia and nitrite levels are irrelevant, frankly, a lot of turtles are happy in mud, lol, but you should make a real effort to take old food out and make sure substrates are well vacuumed, since shell infection is always a risk. Turtles are filthy creatures and a filter actually capable of keeping their water sparkly clean for them would be quite an expense, the equivalent of a fluval fx5 or a pro 2 or 3 eheim external. Not really worth the money IMHO when you can just ditch out the water and not even worry about water conditioners.

The question of what aquaria is suitable for turtles of this size quickly becomes irrelevant when you realise the expense a humane habitable aquarium can incur, as adults youd really be wanting over a 100 gals at least a 250 gal would be better, and so it can become quickly apparent that its much cheaper to have them in a conservatory, or cold acclimated as adults, with available spotlighting in big jiffy tubs, and land areas. An open topped indoor pond is ideal, with Uv fitted and spots.

Dont need Uv if youre going outdoors though, but again , cold acclimating a turtle for the uk s godawful climate is not something to be taken lightly, certainly this time of year and for the next 4 months it will impossible, and while many turtles do survive outdoors in the uk, many can be killed outright in the attempt, so even if you try thats usually only as full size adults, they are thermically much more efficient, and the only turtles it should be attempted with have a winter brumation behaviour available to them. Yours probably arent ready for that yet. You might always have to be prepared to bring a tuertle indoors if temps get to harsh, this winter for example, my red ears are in the lounge, I had to make a judgement call that the weather this year was too severe and the winter season too prolongued. You see its not the cold during winter they cant take, its the duration of it. Turtle brumations should be kept short.

For easiness, id go for a big plastic pond, island in the middle, clip on spotlight for basking, zoomed striplight for UVB and give them as much room as you can eventually. Unless the budget is huge, drop the idea of glass aquaria as suitable, their orientation for turtles suck, turtles have actually got their shells jammed and drowned. If you have both sexes its also worth mentioning that females should not be forced to lay eggs in water, many die doing that , so a significant land area with a soil or sand that can serve as a nestsite should be considered for that ultimate vivaria. Turtle accomodations should really be thought of more as large scale paludaria, ponds or vivaria than aquaria really. Turtles needs are not really well catered for in most aquaria, especially not when the shell gets to nearly a foot across. In aquaria the land portion of accomodation required is often poorly represented.

Your setup (lighting type permitting) is fine for now, but youll need to be planning on something else fairly soon.

The temp and water temp thing with turtles has lots of people confused. Turtles can take surprisingly cold water for periods, as long as theres a basking option. Turtles arent designed to run on flat temperatures like fish do.

You can actually get away without heating water and using a basking spot instead, because a basking spot will cause the reptiles blood temperature to rise above 85F and therefore the turtle can digest its meals efficiently, grow, and heal and resist disease, conversely , if your only source of heat is the water, which is usually set for around the mid seventies, peak digestive temperature is never reached, and the digestion partial throughout its life, therefore affecting its health, vitamin uptake and tissue replacement rate, usually causing a long term health issue or two. Also without temp peaks the UVB light becomes only partially effective for d3 production. Basically blood temps must be reached, less important when truly mature, but very important for the turtle generally under 10 years old.

Trouble with water heating is that while it will keep them active, you cant go higher than 78f or so as a flat level without causing them some distress, they do need to cool down sometimes, so you set it to around 75f. Therefore, most turtles will need some supplementary lightbulb based heating to get the blood temps up to true digestive efficiency levels.

Ultimately the way a turtle should be kept at the peak, should be some water heating, some basking facility, and some UVB exposure from a specifically formulated reptile striplight. Just warm water doesnt really do the job.

Turtles should be allowed to cool and warm, moisten and dry at will, so you accomdate something that will enable them to do that for maximum longevity and health. Like I said though , your species is more temperature tolerant than most , but if you want the best for them, its better to have the full kit rather than rough it with only one source of heating.
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xjudge xjudge
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  • Posted on: 1/2/2008 8:00
Re: New terrapins #9
Thank you LHG. Im going to buy the basking light and UVB light today. I will probably just keep them in a tank so i will save for a 100 gallon aquarium,which will probably take me 4 months, how fast do they grow just wondering if they are going to be ok in tht one for 4 months =] Could you give me a list of foods i can feed, i know some one has given me a few. They like there prawns as i found out this morning lol =] =] =]
longhairedgit longhairedgit
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Re: New terrapins #10
From their age on shell growth under optimum temperatures propably goes an at about an inch to an inch and a half a year, then when they get to about 5=6 years the shell growth per year is somewhere in the region of about 5 mm, slowing to a stop. Those with previously retarded growth due to insufficient temperature may have a small growth explosion for the first year and continue to grow later into life than one thats had normal development from day one. Most reptiles continue to grow all their lives , right until their final year of life, but usually only a tiny amount year on year as they get old, often a matter of a mm or two.

When fitting spots make sure the tank air doesnt break 86f generally, and the area underneath the bulb at turtle shell height need be only about 90f. You could thermostat it, but seeing as with turtles you can a bit less specific than with lizards its probably easier to have the spotlight on a clamp ir stand that be raised and lowered so you dont have to keep changing bulbs. Often helps to have a smaller spotlight with a focused beam, rather than one that spreads the beam over a wide area, although if you turn the water heater off the turtle can always retreat to the water as his cool place.
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