Box Turtle and Tortoise Discussion :: New box turtle!!

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Post Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 11:30 am   

Don't use a tank with clear sides they can see out---it will stress them.
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marisa
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Post Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 5:00 pm   

ok ok :D :D No aquarium for sure, now what i'll need is a rubbermaid plastic container. Thanks runninwideopen for all the advice the dirt was my biggest concern. :D but now I know!! Now any ideas on how big of a container i should get??
1 RES: Tortarita :-D
1 Box turtle: Squirt :-D
1 Chameleon: Neptune :-D

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Aqua8
 
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Post Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 5:13 pm   

If you're planning a single container, rather than connecting several together, go for a 50 gallon. They really don't take up that much room and your turtle will appreciate the space.
Napoleon - Western Painted Turtle
Apollo - Eastern Box Turtle
Moxie - Painted Turtle Mutt
RIP Hercules

Katie

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Post Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 10:15 pm   

Okidokie souds great, I'm already planning where to put it in my room... What type of lamp/lighting do you suggest and how often do you do clean-ups. Of the container that is!! lol :-D
1 RES: Tortarita :-D
1 Box turtle: Squirt :-D
1 Chameleon: Neptune :-D

Hope is the strongest weapon the heart can hold.
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Post Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 10:30 pm   

My dirt gets dry really fast, so we spray it down several times a day, and once a week we pour in about 8 cups of water and stir it up. I know that sounds like a lot of water, it may be much less for you, but that's what it takes to keep ours moist. With a higher ratio of moss and bedding to dirt it may hold moisture better. You'll have to clean out the water dish every day, they tend to poop in there. The dirt can be replaced every month or so.
Napoleon - Western Painted Turtle
Apollo - Eastern Box Turtle
Moxie - Painted Turtle Mutt
RIP Hercules

Katie

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Post Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 1:33 am   

I don't replace my substrate that often at all. The only reason I replaced my adults substrate is because they're being dewormed. The subtrate in my babies' tub is about....5 months old and I've got no reason to replace it yet.

I also spray down the dirt about once a day. But I have found that you can over saturate the dirt with water without realizing it. The lights dry up the top of the soil but there's still standing water at the bottom. It's not necessary to always keep the top moist, as long as it's moist underneath. The turtles dig. You will need to keep an eye on air humidity and make sure it stays up.

Make your substrate about 3" deep so your lil guy can bury himself. They love to do that.

You'll need both a UVB and a heat lamp. I like the exoterra UVB 5.0 and 8.0 coil bulbs. They are much much cheaper than tube bulbs, which I have on one of my aquariums. You can use a regular household bulb for the heat lamp. Put in the right wattage bulb so the air temp inside the enclosure is about 85deg right under the light, and 70-75 at the coolest place in the enclosure.

You will need to replace their water everyday. I just dump out their water into the tub and then refill. I keep live plants in the aquarium, and I also keep some of the smaller red wigglers crawling around in the subtrate. It provides for a more natural environment and gives the turtles something to hunt when they want to.
Tom & Ashley
(RES) Crush, Squirt
(3T Box) Manny & Isabella
(Dog) Ember
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 9:25 am   

That's a very cool idea, keeping live worms in the substrate. Their a natural composter too helping break down waste products and aerating the soil for the live plants. :) Plus natural food source for the turtles. That would be awesome if you could get them to reproduce in your setups too. Then you'd have your own renewable supplemental food source! :D I love trying to build mini-ecosystems with some abilities to sustain itself.
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:35 am   

Me too, it's been fun! :) Some of the worms are getting larger these days. I don't really know how to tell if they are reproducing though. I just dig around and make sure I can still find some. SO far I've not had to add anymore and it's been about 5 months.
Tom & Ashley
(RES) Crush, Squirt
(3T Box) Manny & Isabella
(Dog) Ember
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:38 am   

I'll bet they are reproducing or will be. You can add some leaf litter from outside to the soil occasionally to give them fresh compost to feed on too. That combined with the proper moisure content should encourage them to breed.
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 7:45 pm   

OK Here's my 2 cents worth. This is my three toed hatchling. Many years ago I had a herp vet tell me to keep hatchlings in a virvarium so that they would get a sufficient amount of humidity. I kept my hatchlings in this set up for two years, and then they went outside. This is my three toed. She is about 7 months old.
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A lot of people will tell you not to keep them in a tank. But I have found that for hatchlings that is the best place to keep them for humidity. When they get older, that is a different story. They need to go outside. If you cannot keep them outside, then the best thing is the biggest virvarium you can get. Plenty of tropical plants, moss, and water. It workes for me.
Terry
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 7:57 pm   

Oh yeah....I also put a lot of leaf litter in the tank. Just make it the same as a forest floor would be. On one side of the tank I put a heat lamp with a hide box. On the other side nothing with a hide box. Sometimes I find her on the hot side, and sometimes I find her on the cool side. Of course I always keep a 10.0 UVB combination UVA on 14 hrs a day (by zoo med) I keep a lot of moss on the bottom so she can't dig under in the dirt. (a combination of bed-a beast, peat moss, topsoil, and unmilled peat moss.) There are plenty of dried leaves, and leaf litter if she wants to dig under.

Image

Nora...my Ornate Box

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Image
Terry
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Terryo
 
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 9:39 pm   

WOW! It doesn't mention in your signature that you had an Ornate!
2 Chinese Goldenthread turtles ~ Miso&Mafan
1 Chinese Box turtle ~ Chief Lemon
2 Redfoot Tortoises ~ Sheegua & Muugua
1 Toy Poodle ~ Pudding
3 firebellied newts ~ Cassandra, Mr.Poo, and Wiggles.

http://flickr.com/photos/the_naturalist
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Tenodera
 
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 9:48 pm   

When I re did my yard, they broke up the whole yard, and it wasn't finished for two years. I didn't have the money to finish it. So I gave Nora to a very dear friend who had two tortiose's, two ornate, and 1 three toed. She had a very large outdoor pen, and I am very close with her. She is the only one I would trust with her. Nora was 30 years old, and used to hibernating outside, and I had no place to put her out. The only time I kept her inside for the winter, was when she was sick..once. So after two years with my friend, we both decided it would be best to leave her there. I can see her any time I want to and know she is being taken care of by an experienced turtle mom. But I still miss her a lot.

This Friday I am getting a Cherry Head Red foot hatchling. I will post some pictures when I get her. She will also go into the virvarium. It is a 55 gal tank and there is plenty of room for both of them. Nickie, my three toed, and (?) (don't have a name for the cherry head yet) both need a lot of humidity so for now they can be together.
Terry
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:12 pm   

You all ROCK!!!!!!!!! 8) 8) :D You've given me soooo many ideas it's not even funny... But I'd like to know more about this virvarium thingy?!?!?! :D I googled it and it looks like those glass aqauriums they have at Reptile zoos. But is it simply an aqaurium with a top and plants growing inside, or is it a little more sophisticated?? lol :lol: But truly Terryo this virvarium sparks my curiosity!!!

And thanx Runninwideopen for all the substrate advice makes since to sprinkle the soil with water daily and the worms sounds AWESOME!! :D
1 RES: Tortarita :-D
1 Box turtle: Squirt :-D
1 Chameleon: Neptune :-D

Hope is the strongest weapon the heart can hold.
Aqua8
 
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:33 pm   

Oooh I LOVE redfoot tortoises!!

If I have to move to taiwan and I can't keep Roca, I'm getting a redfoot tortoise! The temperature and humidity there is just perfect for one! :D
2 Chinese Goldenthread turtles ~ Miso&Mafan
1 Chinese Box turtle ~ Chief Lemon
2 Redfoot Tortoises ~ Sheegua & Muugua
1 Toy Poodle ~ Pudding
3 firebellied newts ~ Cassandra, Mr.Poo, and Wiggles.

http://flickr.com/photos/the_naturalist
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