Macleay River Turtle advice

Discussion in 'Other Australian Reptiles and Amphibians' started by cassie2019, May 8, 2019.

  1. cassie2019

    cassie2019 New Member

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    Hi guys,

    I purchased a baby Macleay from Amazing Amazon around 5 years ago, and have followed the care guide from Australian Freshwater Turtles as closely as I could (except the width of her tank is a bit smaller than advised, and she’s the fussiest eater you’ve met). I had great plans for her and I, but my health has deteriorated a lot and I’m struggling to care for her. Cleaning her tank takes me half a day, and leaves me wiped and in pain for the next couple. I had been hoping to rehome her with someone from the AFT forums but obviously they have closed. I want her to go to someone who knows what they’re doing, and will take good care of her. Any advice?

    She’s currently around 16cm SCL (I forgot to weigh her). She hates being handled. She’s not looking and she’s always had issues shedding. She basks in her tank, out of her tank under her light while I’m cleaning it but hasn’t been getting enough outside time (cold here in Melbourne). GH, KH, PH, Nitrates etc are good, there’s the right amount of turtlegrit and salt, and the water is the right temperature (all checked weekly). She’s got a constant supply of guppies, tetras and thin val/elodea to eat, the occasional washed prawn, and exoterra adult aquatic turtle pellets when she won’t stop insisting she’s hungry. We’ve tried worms, crickets, silk worms, moths, those tiny wriggly black worms you buy by the spoonful. She will try them the first time then never touch them again.

    While I try to find someone to take her, what can I do to improve her life/health? Have attached multiple pictures for reference. Her shell is my biggest worry. It’s hard, there’s no signs of rot, but I don’t like the patchiness. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. MaccasReptiles

    MaccasReptiles New Member

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    Going off those photos., "she" looks like a "he" :) I know you weren't asking the sex but that is my opinion any how, could be because of the angle the photo was taken but that is my opinion.

    Now, he does look slightly overweight. How often do you feed him? Adult turtles should be fed every 4th-5th day, as well as, as you mentioned, constant supply of feeder fish and aquatic plants. The more feeder fish you have in his tank the easier it will be for him to catch them, therefore he'll eat more. A lot of turtle owners make the mistake of feeding their turtle every time they do the "I'm hungry dance". DO NOT as they will eat and eat and eat. You can also try him on Duckweed, which you can buy off of gumtree and also facebook marketplace. My Macleay loves it.

    Do you have a heat light or does he bask under just the UV? What kind of UV do you have and when was the last time you changed it? Have you got photos of your set-up by any chance?

    May I ask you to share your water temps and parameters?

    His shell doesn't look very normal and could be worth a possible vet check-up to be sure that there is nothing serious going on.
     
  3. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    It is definitely a female. For 1, the tail clearly indicates this and 2... Male Macleays do not grow to 16cm SCL. It is also completely normal for female Macleay River turtles to carry extra weight on them, all female turtles do.
    --- Automatic Post Merged, May 11, 2019, Original Post Date: May 11, 2019 ---
    Macleay River turtles are predominantly herbivorous hence the sharp parrot like beak, they are grazers and 80% of their diet consists of aquatic plants, aquatic weeds, freshwater sponges and filamentous algae. In captivity the best aquatic plants to offer are Duckweed, azolla, Elodea, thin vallisneria and watercress. the other 20% of the diet consists of small aquatic invertebrates like aquatic snails, shrimps, yabbies and terrestrial and aquatic insects. Your turtle is getting way too much complex protein in its diet.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  4. MaccasReptiles

    MaccasReptiles New Member

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    Might have been because I was looking on my phone that it looked male. I didn't have my glasses on! Upon looking on my laptop it's definitely a female so my bad!
     
  5. cassie2019

    cassie2019 New Member

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    Hi guys, thanks for the feedback and questions. It’s been hellish healthwise so I haven’t been able to respond. Here’s a photo of the aquarium at the moment.
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    Unfortunately the filter sprung a leak last week so I’ve had to pull out most of the plants while I wait for parts. I’ve also ordered new bulbs - a t10 and a reptiglow for light. She has a basking lamp as well as the reflector tube. She loves to bask on her platform, or to hang around on one of her pieces of wood.

    At the moment she has 3 thin val plants (floating as she’s a fantastic gardener). She usually has at least 6 plants, a combo of val and elodea. I’ve tried to include duckweed and azolla, but she tends not to eat either and then they take over the tank. Milfoil has had mixed results.

    There are also 10ish guppies, a similar number of tetras, and a lone danio in the tank as food, and 2 catfish who are too big for her to eat so are company.

    Do I cut the pellet feeding altogether? And just let her live off what’s in the tank? I’ve already cut back to like twice a week. I’m probably going to keep giving her the occasional prawn as it’s the only time she likes me, but that’s like every 2nd month in a week where she hasn’t been given anything else.

    Also, does anyone know if Healesville or the zoo take turtles? I really don’t know what to do with her. I’ve been reduced to tears trying to keep her tank ok without her filter.
     

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