General Care Discussion :: New to turtles, not sure if I’m doing this right

Taking care of your turtle's overall health.

Post Posted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 3:26 pm   Re: New to turtles, not sure if I’m doing this right

No I do not have a uv meter. Thanks for all the advice so far. It’s all greatly appreciated. These were all just quick buys to get him into something quick since I was not prepared in having a turtle lol. My plan was to keep this tank for about 6 months and upgrade to a more permanent size. Do you have any recommendations for online buying? My area does not have a lot of stores with big options so I’m fairly limited on purchases. Is “ATBA” an above tank basking area? I’ve been watching a lot of videos on making a DIY one, just want to wait for him to get more comfortable and possibly a little bigger.
Markmassey
 
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 3:47 pm   Re: New to turtles, not sure if I’m doing this right

Planning / homework that’s great !
Look for ads on used tanks in your area. Online look for reputable companies and there shipping policy. Being retired , an adult size glass tank’s been out my price range.
For about 40 years used stock tanks. Not from big box stores too thin and expensive. If interested look at tractor / farm supply stores and price trackers for sales. Much wider foot print than glass tank’s and so much more can be offered to a turtle. Piggley has some views in the photo gallery.
Yes on the "ATBA" .
litefoot
 
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2020 11:47 am   Re: New to turtles, not sure if I’m doing this right

Yes lots of planning and research. So far I’ve taken out the small gravel and increased its water by double. Last night he had fed out of our hands but way down below in the tank where he feels safe. I did purchase the reptomin 3 in 1 since Steve recommended to change the food. He won’t eat the pellets yet but the small shrimp, krill and crickets he enjoys. Still doesn’t seem to want to bask but I have caught him real close to the turtle dock ramp where it’s submerged. Today I’ll be purchasing a couple or few minnows/guppies. The Mopani log is being treated currently. It started turning the water yellowish in its old set up. I thought I treated it correctly the first time but I guess not.
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2020 2:40 pm   Re: New to turtles, not sure if I’m doing this right

Much nicer and much safer for a baby turtle.
Once the egg sack is off a baby they swim well even in deeper water than that and yours it been off awhile. I would put the log that was on the right side back in . Always better with two docks . No lights need be on it would be a dry dock and or extra place it can hang on to rest. Now if it sinks use some chop sticks or wooden dowels to make legs on it to rest out the water as the second dock.
Your turtle will love you for a few floating plants , they like to sleep on them lots of times when the lights are off at night. The warm water. Water lettuce , frogbit are good. Anacharis does well floating , does not need rooting , actuality grows better floating. If it did root at the bottom a turtle will dig it up just to see if anything is under it.
With the higher water what's the temps on basking dock now ? If around 90* -92* OK for a baby.
litefoot
 
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:58 pm   Re: New to turtles, not sure if I’m doing this right

Yes my plan is to get a few live water plants. I just have not found any yet. As for the log, it will sink. Currently it is boiling to get all the tannins out. The basking temperature increased to 91 degrees. When a local shop gets a shipment in on Thursday I’ll be purchasing a zoomed lamp stand. It’s kind of a hassle having to remove the lamps every time. The local store still is out of stock on feeder fish so that was very disappointing. But I did purchase earth worms and boy it loved it!
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:48 pm   Re: New to turtles, not sure if I’m doing this right

Being in this hobby 60 years and going I keep the cost down and now many years into retirement I DIY a lot. Light stands can go from $20 - $100 and to me way over priced for some so flimsy. For under $10 even under $ 8 make your own. PVC is to flimsy. CPVC is ok , plastic type electrical conduit is better but (EMT) metal conduit is strongest.
A short piece to go up , a per made short 90* ell or a long bend ell two half moon clamps a small piece of velcro.
Velcro two half moon clamps to lip on top and bottom tank rim ( or glue ), slide pipe down to length you want. Attach the per made ell to it with a $0.20 conduit sleeve then to have any adjustment if needed make a adjustable bridle for fixture out of wire or fishing line , all done , under $8. If you want paint it or use loom tubing to cover the pipe. Total time making it well under an hour. All I do and very strong for the light fixture. I also have a way to make it 10x's stronger if anyone feel's a need to.
Will swing back and forth as needed if needed and with the bridle adjust up and down if you ever change wattage on bulbs.
Many other materials can be used be creative , just make it safe.

When I used glass tanks I made them longer than needed to fit any size tank and just made bridle longer and or adjustable if needed. One size fits all. Plan think measure two three time's before any cutting if needed.
Last edited by litefoot on Thu Apr 09, 2020 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
litefoot
 
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Post Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 12:13 pm   Re: New to turtles, not sure if I’m doing this right

Unfortunately that’s not ideal for me at this time considering my workload currently. I do definitely plan on doing some diy things eventually. So an update for my little guy. He is doing fantastic. He has a pretty big appetite and keeps on eating out of my hands. He’s had banana, strawberry, green leaf lettuce, turnip greens, carrots and cantaloupe. He also enjoys his reptomin sticks, krill, and shrimp along with his live crickets and earthworms. Soon I’ll be trying to get some minnows or guppies If the store will keep them in stock. Unfortunately I have still not seen him bask.. but who knows maybe he is doing it while I’m at work. I just don’t want him getting sick or any bacteria growth on his shell.
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Post Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 12:15 pm   Re: New to turtles, not sure if I’m doing this right

Put a camcorder on him while at work , bet he's basking.
Or use a web cam.

May help to temporarily cover/block view on sides and back of tank. Do not cover the "HOT " light fixture. Some are more skittish than others. Works with birds to make them feel more comfortable. Turtles eyes and smell are better than ours , the hearing not so but plenty good enough. Piggley has learned when it's me opening the door. But If a neighbors is coming in I hear a splash. Goes to safety of the water.
He must learn you and your habitats first , some just takes longer than others .
Today if I enter the room making lots of noise and Piggley is sleeping on basking dock I just get the look ! Head tilts one eye opens , Hey someone’s sleeping here !!! That day will come for the both of you.
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Post Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:13 pm   Re: New to turtles, not sure if I’m doing this right

I certainly hope so. I have an old iPhone that I can just charge up and record in time lapse or something. That would be a good idea. I did get aquarium background just not the sides. I’ll put some cardboard on the sides just to see if it helps.
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Post Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 5:41 pm   Re: New to turtles, not sure if I’m doing this right

Understand about time.

When you do have some use it for things in the tank like those floating plants. Drilling four holes adding legs to that other wood for a second dock , as a dry dock. The more you make tank turtle friendly the faster it will adjust. You are off to a very good start.

Observe well your turtle will tell you what he wants by his actions.
litefoot
 
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Post Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:26 pm   Re: New to turtles, not sure if I’m doing this right

Update

The turtle is doing great! I never did actually catch him basking on video it seemed to cut off after a couple hours. Recently when I walk in to my home I’ll catch him on the dock or the mopani log. When I reach about 4-5 feet he sliders right on in. Overall health he is full of energy and always swimming around. The rosy reds I purchased 6 and he’s eaten 3 of them. Never on his own though. I catch them and hand feed them to him. He’s even had some bites of veggies. Mainly carrots and cucumbers. A couple weeks ago I decided to dig my own pond for when he gets bigger. I’ll send pictures of the progress of both his tank and pond.
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Post Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 11:55 pm   Re: New to turtles, not sure if I’m doing this right

Woohoo, can't wait to see more progress pics on the pond. Is he going to be in there year-round or is it his summer pad?
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Post Posted: Fri May 01, 2020 9:25 am   Re: New to turtles, not sure if I’m doing this right

Yeah absolutely! I’m not too sure I was thinking year round. It doesn’t get very cold here in west Louisiana. My only issue with the pond is finding natural rocks for the rocking process lol, but I believe I just found a company.
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Post Posted: Fri May 01, 2020 9:55 am   Re: New to turtles, not sure if I’m doing this right

What's the rocking process? Is it substrate, goes around the perimeter, or used for structural - like a waterfall?
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Post Posted: Fri May 01, 2020 10:29 am   Re: New to turtles, not sure if I’m doing this right

Yeah both
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