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I'm New Here and I Need Help Please

Discussion in 'Tortoises' started by TinyTigerShark, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. Can someone please help me Identify this guy? He was given to me by a neighbor who knew noting about him. I want to give him the best home but I can't do that if I don't know what he is!
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  2. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    welcome! Can you take a shot of his belly and his full body please?
     
  3. Thanks for the welcome and the prompt response. Here are the other pictures. DSCN0874.jpg DSCN0872.jpg DSCN0867.jpg
     

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  4. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    well it isnt exactly a tortoise...Congratulations you have an eastern box turtle! And it looks like its already full grown.
    have you noticed that the bottom of his shell has a hinge and is flexible so that when he withdraws into his shell it kinda closes? That is what gives box turtles their name. Also his back feet give it away as well. See how they are kinda webbed?
     
  5. Thank you! I was told by 2 different people that he was a box turtle and then a tortoise! Ok so now I know. What exactly does he need? Right now he's in a 10 gallon tank. I was told he needs a 20 gallon long. He needs heat lamps and special food. I will go and get everything he needs tomorrow morning.
     
  6. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Well no. He needs a much bigger enclosure than a fish tank can provide. I keep my box turtles in a 500gal enclosure which I know is impractical for most people so for yours look at some sort of container that is 4x4 ft or equivalent. At some pet stores they have tortoise hutches and you can connect 2 of them to make a good sized enclosure or find an old table that is a good size. Then you can cut some wood sides for it, like it with a tarp or other water tight plastic. Put in some soil a small pond and some rocks or plants. And you would have an approrpriate sized enclosure.
    For lights a MVB are best for these guys as it will give heat and uv at the same time.

    There are pellets that you can feed him but mine don't like them instead I give them a diet of salad, fruits, superworms, and earthworms.

    I have to run to the vet now but when I get back I will get on my computer and type up more detailed info on care and husbandry. For now here is a pic of how my tank is set up: image.jpg
     
  7. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Ok let's see how well I can do on care advice. Lets start with basic things you will need:
    tank: you can use a variety of items. there are tortoise tables that you can buy, or tortoise hutches, or a bookcase laid on its back and you can either remove the shelves or make doors in them, large rubbermaid containers can work if you get the largest size available or if you connect several together, any fish tank that is 250+ gallons can work as well.

    for decorations a garden supply is the best place to shop. Organic soil (without added fertilizers) or sphagnum peat moss (this is what I use) are the best substrate and you will need about 6in of it atleast since box turtles like to dig down and bury themselves. random rocks should be placed in the tank to give the turtle something to walk around (its a form of enrichment), if you take flowerpots and half bury them they make great hides. You can also buy preformed pond liners at the garden center- they dont need to be very big, they just need to be easy for the turtle to get in and out of. I made my pond easy access by stacking rocks in the water to give a sort of stairway out. You will also want a flat rock or tile placed under your heat lamp for the turtle to bask on.

    here is a good link to a box turtle diet: Box turtle diet but to sum it up: Recommended diet is 60 % animal matter and 40% plant material. Earth worms, red worms, wax worms, crickets, grass hoppers, slugs, silkworms, roaches are all good animal matter. Grated carrots, grated squash, blackberries, kiwi, apples, bell peppers, blueberries, dandelion leaves, kale, pumpkin, strawberries, mulberries, tomato, zucchini, mango, papaya, collard greens, mustard greens, romaine lettuce, and endive are good plant matter.

    For supplements I use Miner-all indoor formula that i bought here: Sticky Tongue Minerall INDOOR formula and i just sprinkle this on the turtles favorite foods.
     
  8. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    That's common. To many people the deciding factor in referencing it is that a turtle lives in water and a tortoise lives on land.
     
  9. Thank you for the info. Gamera is now in a 50 gallon Rubbermaid container and he seems happy. He wasn't interested in crickets or any other creepy crawler. He doesn't eat apples. He LOVES tomatoes! He's not a digger either. He spends his daytime in his "pond" and at night he sleeps on his rock. I'll take pictures soon and post them. Thanks again.
     
  10. Katsura

    Katsura Elite Member

    I never knew that. Awesome!
     
  11. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Have you tried earth worms or superworms? That's what my boxies love the best.
     
  12. Sorry it's been so long since I've been back. My mother in law is in the hospital so I've been a bit crazy. Gamera LOVES slugs! Ewwwww. He's doing really well. On nice hot days I bring him outside and let him walk around the yard. We even went out front and waited for our boy to get home from school! Gamera is fast for a turtle he runs through the yard and goes right for the ivy that we have growing wild.
    Is it ok for him to eat oregano and parsley? He seems to like the oregano the best. Of course he still loves tomatoes and sitting in his "pond"
    Thanks for all the help I really do appreciate it!
     
  13. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Sorry to hear about your mother in law! But yes it's safe for him to eat oregano and parsley. He might also like basil but try to limit how much of the herbs he eats. Collard greens, mustard greens, kale, and endive are all healthier greens to eat.
    If you make a salad give him some as well. Any fruit you have give a bit to him. This will give him a good mix.
     

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