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Question about Malayan Box Turtle

PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 11:15 am
by aeo
I just have a Malayan Box Turtule ( look like the one in the photos below )




I read that it is semi-aquatic. Does anyone have information about this turtule ? What can I do to care it ?
Thanks alot

PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 11:22 am
by jenaero
You just got it? They're semi-aquatic, requiring a half land/half water habitat. I had one briefly. They really are gorgeous animals. Here's a care sheet. Is it a baby or adult? How did you acquire it?

PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 2:30 pm
by DavidY
Ooh, nice looking turtle. One word of advice...if at all possible, you should always do your research on an animal before buying it so you can know ahead of time if you will be able to properly care for it. ;)

PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 11:43 am
by aeo
Thanks all. I've read all. there's some thing I don't know.
- My turtule shell is ~ 20cm, so how old is it ?
- The webpage says that it is curious and action but mine is too shy, when out of water, it not move and keep silent for a long time. In water, it just looks around and do nothing special. What can I do to make my turtule happy ?
- Does this turtule swim as well as the RES ?
By the way, I'm from Vietnam so there's not many people has turtule as a pet here --> no information.

PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 11:58 am
by DavidY
I found this care sheet on the internet that may be helpful...

- It's very difficult to tell a turtle's age, but at that length, I would say it's more than a couple of years old. They can live over 30 years.
- That caresheet also says if the turtle does not seem active or keeps trying to dig it may not be warm or humid enough. But since you live in Vietnam, I don't think that would be a problem since this turtle comes from your area. It may just need to get comfortable with its new home and will become more active and happy after a week or two. Have you been able to get him to eat yet?
- Malayan Box Turtles are good swimmers and should be given a home that is half land and half water. The water should be deep enough for the turtle to swim around freely.

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 9:31 am
by aeo
that link is the same to the above. But thanks anyway.
-I have no room for it. So I put it in a small tank ( 40 cm x 30 x 30 ). It seems uncomfortable because it's so big.
- At weekend I intend to buy a new tank for it. ( 120cm x 50 x 60 ). The land area will be 50 cm, the water is 70 cm and 30 cm deep. Is that ok ?
I put some lettuce in the small tank and it eats a bit. That sounds good ^__^

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 9:55 am
by jenaero
Read the care sheet for what to feed. Lettuce is not enough. If you have no room for it, why did you get it?

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 12:59 pm
by aeo
jenaero wrote:Read the care sheet for what to feed. Lettuce is not enough. If you have no room for it, why did you get it?

I'll find more food beside lettuce.
I have no room for it. I already have 2 RES, 2 elongated tortoise. And it's illegal to sell tortoise in Vietnam. Only the breeder can sell it legally.But last Sunday, when I went out, I saw a group of people selling illegaly wild animals included the Malayan box turtule ( also called Vietnam box turtule ).So bad that It had a very bad treatment ( no food, no water, and the seller put the turtule up side down all day to keep it not move). I could not stand that and I decided to buy it to give it a better treatment. If I did not, it would die sooner or later I think. I got 2 elongated tortoise in the same situation. And now they live happily out door in my garden. Thanks god.
Now I am preparing a new home for it. Hope it will be happy.

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 1:40 pm
by jenaero
I know that's the way they're stored when they're sold for food. It's sad, but we can't save them all. Set this guy up and then stop buying turtles ok? I know how it feels and I've just recently realized I can't help them all. Give the turts you already have the best care you can, and feel good about that.

As far as tank size, bigger is always better. I'd suggest a minimum 80 gallon (wide) tank for him, or a large rubbermaid bin. Good luck. Btw, if you google 'malayan box turtle' you can find a ton of info.

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 7:01 am
by aeo
I have put my malayan box turtule into a new tank ( 160cm x 50cm x 70 cm ), the water is 30cm deep and I have a basking area. I meet an unexpected situation: the malayan box turtule does not know how to swim like a RES. It can " walk " in the bottom of the tank but it can not swim up to breath. DaviY said that it can swim well but I see it can't. What can I do now ? I am very confused.
Can the malayan box turtule swim ? If it cannot, I must lower the water deep ( 15-20 cm ) or it will die.

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 12:51 pm
by DavidY
According to the care sheet that I linked to, the turtles tank should be half dry land and half water. It also says the water should be at least 6" (15cm) deep, but 30cm is probably too deep. The tank size sounds nice but it should not be set up like a RES tank where the turtle swims to the basking area. It should have a gradual slope from the bottom of the water area to the dry area and the dry area should be as large as the water area (50/50).

Here are some excerpts from the site I referenced:

    - It is the most highly aquatic of all species of box turtles in the world.
    - The Malayan box turtle requires an aquarium that provides a water area and a land area in approximately a 50:50 ratio.
    - Make sure to provide enough water for swimming, at least 6" deep.

If the turtle is unable to swim, it might be because it has never had the chance to swim before, and it may take a little time before it gets the hang of it. In the mean time, lower the water level to about 15cm deep. Even aquatic turtles (like the RES) that have grown up in shallow water need to slowly adjust to deeper water to learn how to swim.

I hope that helps. :)

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 12:20 pm
by aeo
Yeah, that really helps. I do as you say, I have set up a slope in the tank. At day time, the turtule is in the water but it climb to the " land area " at night. I also lower the water deep to 15cm and slowly increase. And so good that she can swim now. Thanks a lot DavidY !!!
But as she can swim fluently, I see that she is not gentle any more. Yesterday, she ate my 2 bala shark ( 12cm ) . I can't belive it because the bala shark swim very fast, how can the tur eat them ????

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 12:30 pm
by DavidY
Sorry to hear about the bala sharks. But it sounds like your turtle is much happier now. Eating is always a good sign. :)

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 10:45 pm
by aeo
Yes, she's really happy and act like a boss in the tank 8)
Thanks again DavidY :D

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 10:59 pm
by Andrew7769
well just remember turtles got nothig but time in captivity so i bet she ate the fish for entertainment as well as for food lol...i wouldent put and fish or frogs in with them unless you dont mind if it will get eaten :lol: