New Turtle Setup

Discussion in 'Other Australian Reptiles and Amphibians' started by WolsD, Aug 24, 2020.

  1. WolsD

    WolsD New Member

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    Hi all. Have finished moving house so i thought I’d share a pic of my new setup. I managed to find an older Macleay for sale,which worked out really well for me. Didn’t realise turtles have so much character. They are constantly on the go and fun to watch do their thing. Wish I’d got one sooner.

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    Also a pic of the turtle
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  2. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Donator Donator

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    You've done a fine job. Just note that Macleay river turtles are primarily vegetarian and the bulk of their diet consists of aquatic plants, aquatic weeds and filamentous algae so don't be alarmed when your beautifully arranged and planted aquarium gets chomped up and you find bits of plants floating around everywhere. :p;) it's while unaethetically pleasing, completely normal.
     
  3. WolsD

    WolsD New Member

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    @flaviemys purvisi- thank you for the compliment. Noted on all the plants been torn up eventually. I’ll definitely enjoy them while they last :D:D. All the Val i had in there is almost gone already. Wasted no time pulling those up.

    Just out of curiosity, would they eat blanched zuchinni and spinach? It’s something i feed my fish a few times a week.
     
  4. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Donator Donator

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    Hi mate, definitely don't offer your turtle any Veges intended for human consumption, especially zucchini, spinach or peas. I'll elaborate on this further when I'm done with work. But by far the best thing for your turtle is val, elodea, azolla, duckweed and good old watercress.
     
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  5. WolsD

    WolsD New Member

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    Hi. Thanks for the reply and noted :). I’ll definitely hold off and not add any veg in there.
     
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  6. Silas Marsh

    Silas Marsh New Member

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    That's a great looking setup!
     
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  7. WolsD

    WolsD New Member

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    Thank you!!
     
  8. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Donator Donator

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    OK, long story short, you have one simple goal in feeding your turtle, learn what your species eats in the wild and strive to simulate this in captivity. Fortunately for you I spent 17 years on the Macleay river and have explored it entirely and thoroughly and can help you with this. :p;)

    For turtles, a diet with the correct calcium to phosphorus balance/ratio is important to maintain shell and bone integrity. If the turtle does not receive enough calcium in its diet to maintain the correct level in the blood, the needed calcium is taken from the bones. The bones are softened and the muscles weaken; the syndrome is termed Metabolic Bone Disease or MBD. For shelled creatures, the importance of maintaining good bone/shell strength is obvious. All you have to do is provide the foods that enable the turtle to maintain this balance, and it's not complicated. Avoid feeding exclusively foods that are high in phosphorus and low in calcium, these include grapes, bananas, mealworms, crickets and peas.

    With its oxalic acid content, spinach presents another problem. This combines with calcium to form an insoluble salt, calcium oxalate, which builds up in the kidneys. Spinach should NEVER be fed to any turtle. The ratio of calcium to phosphorus in the total diet, including any supplements should be a minimum of 2:1. Always check the nutrition labels on any commercial turtle food, pellets and or supplements for the proportions of calcium and phosphorus. :)

    The recommended aquatic plants, especially Vallisneria, Elodea, Azolla and native duckweed are very high in calcium. Other great sources of calcium and natural protein are silkworms, earthworms/compost worms, black soldier fly larva, whole live feeder fish, aquatic snails (aquarium bred only - NOT wild caught) and white moths which can easily be gathered at night in the warmer months by leaving an outside light on. Natural sources of keratin (for producing healthy scutes) include whole live freshwater shrimps and small crayfish or yabbies. The ultimate feeder insect for freshwater turtles is woodies (feeder roaches). :)
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Aug 25, 2020, Original Post Date: Aug 25, 2020 ---
    This is always one remark newcomers to turtles make... they are a great reptile to keep because they never do stop. Snakes will curl up and sleep for 2 weeks, dragons will bask motionless for hours on end but turtles never stop, they are always on the go and you'll never tire of watching it explore its habitat and the habitat you've created for yours is great. Little tip, if you want to create a couple of inexpensive caves for your turtle, take a raw unsealed terracotta pot and completely immerse it in a bucket of water for 24 hours and then saw it in half with a hacksaw or grinder.... you'll have 2 instant turtle caves that your turtle will greatly appreciate. Always choose a pot that's a good size larger than your turtle's shell so it doesn't accidentally wedge itself into the pot and drown. :)
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    Last edited: Aug 25, 2020
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  9. WolsD

    WolsD New Member

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    Hi mate. Thank you very much for that detailed response!! You’ve certainly made it easier for me to know what to look for. There is a tiny bit of duckweed left in the tank as the rainbow fish also like to munch on it. I did put some shrimp in there initially but i think they lasted a whole 2 minutes. I have a separate tub that im growing duckweed, azolla some endler guppies and glass shrimp in. These will be periodically transferred into the tank. Would it be better to feed the turtle the live stuff by hand? Also, regarding the woodies. How often would you feed them? Given that i will be feeding the shrimp and feeder fish is it worthwhile starting a colony or will they simply breed a lot faster that what the turtle would consume?
    I’ll definitely look into the terracotta pots also. I like that idea. I can grow some more java fern on them and blend them right in :D.
     
  10. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Donator Donator

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    It's always better to throw the live feeders in and let the turtle/s exhibit normal hunting behavior. Sometimes what I do is add the live feeders after removing all my turtles from the tanks for some outside sun time... It gives them a chance to settle and sort of disperse and hide a bit before putting the turtles back in their tanks... Good stimulation for them.

    What I do with the woodies is I catch a bunch from my bin and just pinch their heads with my feeding tongs so they're alive but completely immobilised and chuck them in the tank. Makes it easier for the turtles to eat them when they're not kicking and struggling to escape. Totally up to you whether you breed them or not, I have way more than I'll ever need but they're my home composters too so it's not a problem having extra.

    The other benefit of the terracotta pot caves is they provide another large surface area for beneficial bacteria to colonise on thus helping maintain the quality of your water chemistry which for Macleay river turtles especially is of the utmost importance as the species is notoriously sensitive to ammonia and nitrites and will break out in skin infections in no time at all.
     
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  11. WolsD

    WolsD New Member

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    Thanks again for your advice. I will look into getting a woodie colony established :)
     
  12. outback

    outback New Member

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    Flaviemys purvisi I note your turtles.net.au stickers on the tank, what ever happened to that site it was really good, I especially loved the forums on there, was full of really informative threads?
     
  13. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Donator Donator

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    The AFT forums are in suspended animation for the foreseeable future while the owner deals with drastic changes to his family life. When they will be back online is uncertain however they will be back.
     
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