Enrichment for reptiles

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Nero Egernia

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I personally like naturalistic enclosures. Sure they're more work, but they look nicer, and you get to see more interesting behaviours as you watch the lizards and snakes interact with their environment. I do it as much for my own enjoyment as for the reptiles.

Just about every week I take my snakes outside for some sun, a change of scenery, and to encourage them to defecate outside. These trips usually take an hour or so. I'm not sure whether they enjoy it or not, but they certainly like to check everything out. I've noticed that they seem to prefer drinking from the pond, in comparison to their water bowls. Sometimes they actively swim for 20+ minutes. It's always fun watching them.

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Iguana

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Interesting to hear everyone's opinions and stories! Thanks for sharing the article @Oshkii it's given me plenty of ideas. I think naturalistic enclosure are the way to go too, I'm looking at making my PTS tank bioactive/live planted. Great picture! Certainly looks like it enjoys the pond.
Amazing setup @Aussiepride83 those would be very happy turtles I imagine! Or a turtles equivalent of happy lol, seems they are more complex reptiles than I thought, to be destructive when board.
@Yellowtail I agree with your stance on tubs, I expected someone might mention it sometime. Can't see how a reptile would benefit in a small tub over a larger tank. I also like your GTP setup, seeing them in a large tank is very refreshing!
I agree with the 'closer to nature' idea @Harry89 , not only does it look fantastic, but provides so much stimulation for the animal. Would love to see a pic of your setup for him!
 

dragonlover1

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I used to breed black cockatoos and still have a few, they trash their environment if bored, turn 4 inch thick perches into wood chips in a few hours, throw bowls on the ground and can chew holes in aviary mesh.
I spend a lot of time in the bush collecting fresh banksia cones and hakea nuts which keep them busy plus I feed them lots of whole almonds, pecans and walnuts that take mental and physical effort to crack open. This also keeps them quiet.
haha they are good at chewing,we had a galah that used to chew through the bird wire and sit on the kitchen windowsill and swear at my wife,( she didn't trust the galah and the galah didn't like her much)
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Turtles will tear basking docks apart, pull heaters off the glass, rip the suction cups up, pull the strainer caps off filter intakes, bite at and tear the silicon beads off the inside of an aquarium, etc... it's basically just displacement rage. They need to be kept as natural as possible and highly stimulated with a lot of aquatic plants, assorted pieces of driftwood, river sand substrate and a lot of aquatic tank mates like snails, fish, shrimps, blackworms, yabbies, etc.
[doublepost=1515063889,1515063560][/doublepost]My indoor turtles are kept as naturally as possible in 600 litre heavily planted aquariums.
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My pythons are kept in sistema tubs on paper towel with an empty paper towel cardboard tube hide and a ceramic bowl for a water dish. Simple but all they require to be happy.
you think they are happy ,but are they???? Why do you think your turtles are any different to your snakes?
 

Imported_tuatara

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i feel even with snakes give as much space as possible, the common misconseption is they do badly with lots of space, but with lots of hides too are still very active, less so pythons, but that applies to elapids and colubrids for sure.
 

Flaviemys purvisi

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I am not discounting their happiness but just wanted to point out that animals don't breed because they are happy, they breed out of necessity and on instinct. Us humans and dolphins most certainly do it because we are happy, amongst other reasons.
Doesn't work like that with turtles. If it was that easy, none of them.would be endangered. Breeding snakes would be simple by comparison, breeding turtles is far more challenging, in the wild, they can go for a decade and not breed at all, necessary for survival or not. If those turtles weren't happy, they wouldn't even be looking at one another. Manning River turtles are critically endangered. Breeding them is no simple task.
 

Scutellatus

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Doesn't work like that with turtles. If it was that easy, none of them.would be endangered. Breeding snakes would be simple by comparison, breeding turtles is far more challenging, in the wild, they can go for a decade and not breed at all, necessary for survival or not.
Wouldn't that be more to do with the lack of suitable mates rather than happiness?
 

dragonlover1

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Doesn't work like that with turtles. If it was that easy, none of them.would be endangered. Breeding snakes would be simple by comparison, breeding turtles is far more challenging, in the wild, they can go for a decade and not breed at all, necessary for survival or not. If those turtles weren't happy, they wouldn't even be looking at one another. Manning River turtles are critically endangered. Breeding them is no simple task.
you're not getting the point Kev,you give your turtles all the love in the world but think snakes and lizards can just cop second rate stuff,where is the difference?All reptiles need to be given the same treatment.If we can't give them all the love we shouldn't keep them at all
 

Flaviemys purvisi

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you're not getting the point Kev,you give your turtles all the love in the world but think snakes can just cop second rate stuff,where is the difference?All reptiles need to be given the same treatment.If we can't give them all the love we shouldn't keep them at all
While my 2 pythons are only barely 50-60cm I see no need for a lavish setup. When I feel they've outgrown their current accommdation and are reaching maturity and going to be roaming and wandering and wanting to explore the big wide yonder... I'll give them something more suitable... while they're still wee little tapeworms just eating and hiding and pooping (repeat) I'm satisfied that they're tubs are keeping them happy. For now.
[doublepost=1515152135,1515152037][/doublepost]I don't have an adult spotted python and adult Stimsons crammed into a shoebox sized container. I'm assuming that's what you're thinking? Lol
 

Imported_tuatara

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i remember when i was younger and would watch brian/snakebitesTV keep almost all his animals in small racks(even his leopard geckos, no light anything) and thought that snakes were thriving in such conditions, he kept retics in 8 foot enclosures, 4-5 foot gators in kiddy pools, but over time my opinion has changed, and i hate the idea of keeping any animal in a very small space at all unless helping them thrive, if i don't have enough space to keep animals in large-ish enclosures i won't get the animal, simple, nor do i believe anyone should, just my 2cents on the topic.
 

Wally

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The whole tubs/enclosures debate has been thrashed on here over the years with everyone having strong opinions one way or the other.

My conclusion is that they'll survive in either if they're looked after correctly. What one prefers to look at is the issue.
 

dragonlover1

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While my 2 pythons are only barely 50-60cm I see no need for a lavish setup. When I feel they've outgrown their current accommdation and are reaching maturity and going to be roaming and wandering and wanting to explore the big wide yonder... I'll give them something more suitable... while they're still wee little tapeworms just eating and hiding and pooping (repeat) I'm satisfied that they're tubs are keeping them happy. For now.
[doublepost=1515152135,1515152037][/doublepost]I don't have an adult spotted python and adult Stimsons crammed into a shoebox sized container. I'm assuming that's what you're thinking? Lol
NO I know your pythons are little buggers,it's your attitude I'm referring to.you seem to think snakes need no enrichment but turtles need heaps of cuddly feely time!! All reptiles deserve enrichment.
 

Flaviemys purvisi

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NO I know your pythons are little buggers,it's your attitude I'm referring to.you seem to think snakes need no enrichment but turtles need heaps of cuddly feely time!! All reptiles deserve enrichment.
Turtles don't need any cuddly feely time at All, no turtle likes to be handled whatsoever. You always see people on here wanting to know about handling their snakes, when, how long for, etc... how many people ask about handling turtles?? Drop a snake, no big deal...drop a turtle... well you either have a broken foot or a broken turtle... also, Let a few turtles grab you and you'll soon forget all about snake bites. Lol

Snakes may well need enrichment but snakes by nature are extremely paranoid creatures and seek security more than anything... a turtle carries its security on its back... big difference. My attitude is fine.. my turtle's needs are met as are my python's... i take my snakes out into the sun a couple of times a week for a crawl around while the turtles bask.
 
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Scutellatus

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Turtles don't need any cuddly feely time at All, no turtle likes to be handled whatsoever. You always see people on here wanting to know about handling their snakes, when, how long for, etc... how many people ask about handling turtles?? Drop a snake, no big deal...drop a turtle... well you either have a broken foot or a broken turtle... also, Let a few turtles grab you and you'll soon forget all about snake bites. Lol

Snakes may well need enrichment but snakes by nature are extremely paranoid creatures and seek security more than anything... a turtle carries its security on its back... big difference. My attitude is fine.. my turtle's needs are met as are my python's... i take my snakes out into the sun a couple of times a week for a crawl around while the turtles bask.
I think it is more the other way around in regard to being paranoid and seeking security. A basking turtle will quickly retreat into the water at the first sign of human movement. A python on the otherhand will bask until disturbed.
 

Wally

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I think it is more the other way around in regard to being paranoid and seeking security. A basking turtle will quickly retreat into the water at the first sign of human movement. A python on the otherhand will bask until disturbed.

Essentially you are saying the same thing about both.
 
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