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Operation: Turtle Rescue

Discussion in 'Turtles' started by NettleJellies, Jun 20, 2017.

  1. Kornel

    Kornel Active Member

    Don't forget turtles do need calicum for shell and bone growth as they can get metabolic bone disease .Make sure u get a UVB and UVA light ,heat lamp ofc or Mecury Vapor Bulb that provides all 3 in one . Definitely upgrade the tank and filter 2-3 times the amount of gallons in the tank.To test the temperature on the heat lamp u will want a Infrared Gun to make sure it's not to cold that they won't bask or that's it's not too hot so u don't fry your turtles. A heater with the adjustable temperature knob would be great. Ask for feeding feeder fish I would do it here and there but not often because feeder goldfish are kept in horrible cramped conditions breeding grounds for bacterial infections,internal and as well as external breeding grounds for parasites which can easily be transfer if ur turtles eat a infected fish . Analog temperature and humidity guages are really inaccurate .u can substitute gut loaded crickets ,mealworms,calicum worms( black soldier fly larvae),hornworms,bloodworms and many more insects in replacement of feeder fish.Dont use tap water always treat if dechlorinator even leaving tap water is left out for 24 hours evaporated their are still dangerous chemicals that need to be neutralized.Make sure they are not getting wet when they are basking too
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  2. NettleJellies

    NettleJellies Member


    Alright, kids-- I know I said I would update as soon as possible, but due to multiple complications it's been difficult. My hands, my birthday, volunteering...well, it's been a mess. But I assure you that I have been giving the turtles what they need through out the week despite my lack of updates here or on the tumblr blog. I just had lost motivation for writing because with hand pain and very few real updates to make, I felt that there was no need to continue the turtle logs until we hit a big break through. And what did we do? We hit a HUGE breakthrough.

    I was expecting to get through this checklist slowly but surely, with small amounts of progress and little bits of positive upgrades as I went a long. However, due to a HUGE sum of birthday money being granted to me and also me begging my mom to go shopping, we found something amazing. At PetSmart(I know, really bad company-- but this one is newer and I've checked their reptiles/supplies; they take care of them well compared to the rest of the PetSmarts I've been to), we found an amazing deal-- a 20 gallon, aquatic turtle starter tank filled to the BRIM with supplies and other really great items. There were also other starter kits for other reptiles, which almost lead to me pleading with my mom to get me a ball python again, but I held my tongue for the sake of the turtles. With two hundred dollars in cash and a careful internet search to look at reviews of the product, we bought it and went home to transfer them in. It stressed my mom out because she had no idea why I would ever want to use birthday money on pet supplies, but at least she let me buy it and continue working with them.

    We were going to make an unboxing video, but the house is a mess and it was tedious, so instead I took pictures of each of the products included!

    Here's a full view of the 20 gallon tank! It's much longer than the last one and has a sliding screen door. There needs to be more water, I know, but we decided to let everything settle first because the turtles were getting stressed.

    Top view, to show everything's placement. The tank will be too big for full water changes to happen easily, so I may have to order a pump to help get the water out, but for now spot cleaning and part changes will work.

    This is the new substrate we got for them, prewashed river rocks that were the perfect size for them to not swallow them! They helped to give a little more natural texture to the tank. This wasn't really a needed thing but I like them a lot and I think the turtles do, too.

    tumblr_osbpdxwhx01wsn9w1o4_1280.jpg tumblr_osbpdxwhx01wsn9w1o5_1280.jpg
    A dual, high domed light with both UV and Halogen light bulbs was included. Due to the high dome, it shouldn't melt the screen, but if it does I have a blue rack I can put them on to prevent it. Aquarium heater is still needed, but for now this light should help a lot.

    A temperature gauge is shown here, right on the side of the tank! This was something I was after from the very beginning. I'm not exactly sure how it works, but I believe the yellow marking indicates the high levels and the light blue indicates the lows? It's placed on the side of the tank lit up with the lights.

    This is the new dock piece! It's floating with a little ramp that they can use to climb up if they wish. Since they like to sit together, I'm happy about the fact that it is big enough to support both of them comfortably. I put it on the UVB side of the lamp, with their old land dock on the corner where the other type of light is. The old land dock will be handy in case on of them just wants one type of light and not the other.

    This is a nice little water conditioner that came with it.

    This is what I bought separately for the shell rot. I know it's not exactly what they need, and if this doesn't help fix up the shell rot then I will be sure to do what I can to get something made for it, but for now this should help just in case. I already put in the water. A couple of days ago I tried scraping some of the dead shell off with a razor blade, which went well, but I was too squeamish to do too much. They will still be land docked every other day, but I want to see if this solution works, so for now I will see if this can do anything.

    This will be good for later this summer, when I am at camp and I can't feed them! Should relieve a lot of the responsibility off of my mom's back.

    These awesome little floater treats are great because they don't sink into the rocks and the turtles love them! They also smell really good. :0c

    These treats also float and are fed in 'bulk', as the instructions say. They are small enough to eat in one bite, making it the perfect food for my picky little eater Jeff. He can finally eat properly without having to take a million years ripping it to pieces!

    tumblr_osbpdxwhx01wsn9w1o1_400.jpg tumblr_osbpdxwhx01wsn9w1o2_1280.jpg
    This filter is probably my favorite part of the package. Not only is it submersible, it's quieter, easier to clean, smaller, and MADE for turtles. It also has different cleaning settings and gives out a little current that the turtles can ride if they want to. The cleaning slots are so small that hardly anything gets it clogged(there are bits of shrimp left over on the outside, but I'm cleaning that up today). I just...I love it a lot.

    The final piece of hardware bought with this tank was a really nice little care booklet that I can look at if I need help on something! It should work great for if I get stuck on something that I might need.

    All of these items were ridiculously helpful. While I may not have a 75 gallon tank or a lot of the other things that we might need later on, for now the tank looks to be set with most of the things I was looking for. The turtles are certainly in better condition, and while I may need some help with things here and there, I believe the ultimate goal of this thread has been achieved. In a little more than a week's time, I have completely upgraded my turtle tank and made the lives of these turtles better. It took determination, money, and even my mom calling me 'obsessed', but the effort clearly shows this result to be much more promising than anything I could have thought of before. That leads me to the question...will this be the end of the turtle logs? Obviously, as shown in the past few days, it takes a toll on my hands to write these lengthy essays about updates on my turtles. I want to be able to continue, but busy schedules and other things get in the way. Plus, with such a big update like this one, there doesn't seem to be too much of a need to update the status of these turtles other than on minor things(behavioral problems, the shell rot, cleaning help, etc).

    All in all, I think these logs have been helpful. I'm not sure whether I should continue them or not, but I will still make the minor updates regardless of the decision. I have enjoyed being able to get feedback and being able to put my efforts towards something that matters. We will have to see what will come, and when I can truly say that I have done everything that I can for these turtles.


    [/] - 75 gallon tank or a rubbermaid container must be purchased for the tank(75 gallon will come later, when they need it. For now a 20 gallon will do.)
    [x] - Measure the turtles and figure out how much water is needed in the tank
    [x] - Fill tank with however much water is need
    [x] - More 'enrichment' items(substrate)
    [x] - More basking space
    [/] - Treat the shell rot on both turtles
    [x] - Clean the tank/turtles
    [x] - Buy something to track the temperature
    [x] - Get a working basking light(might need to improve upon this)
    [x] - Vary diets with greens and more protein
    [x] - Buy a submersible filter
    [ ] - Get an aquarium heater

    10/11 Completed


    @Jay1718 - Hibicleanse is a good idea, I'll have to check up on that when I can. For now I'll just have the water treatment do it's magic, but when I can I will look into it to see if I can scrub their shells. Using the razor blade didn't feel very good at all-- it didn't hurt them, and it got a lot of dead shell flakes off, but it felt...bad. :_I

    I have been keeping them in the tank at night per request, and due to the cool glowing rocks I believe they are doing well without the lights on at night. Thanks for the permission, and thank you for the happy birthday!

    @Darkbird - Hello! It's okay that you didn't see it until now. That tank set up sounds pretty good too, so when I start looking for the 75 gallon tank I will consider it! I'm happy with the tank I have for them now and I feel like that they'll be good with this tank for at least a year before we need to get a bigger one, so we'll see how it goes.

    Yes, Jay has been doing a nice job of informing me! Thank you for your sympathy about my mother situation. She seems to have backed off, especially since it was my sixteenth birthday and she really wanted to be nice, but we'll just have to hope. She wasn't very happy about me trying to use my birthday money on turtle supplies, but I am really glad that she let me do it anyways. Pictures from your set up would be great! I'd love to see more tanks, that way I get an idea about how I should run mine.

    @Kornel - The lamps were taken care of, and the calcium with the little red shrimps. I don't have an infrared gun, but since these lamps were literally made for turtles I think they should be good? I still will need a heater though. They are definitely basking, which is a good sign. They also are not getting wet while basking, so they should dry off completely! Thank you for the heads up about feeder fish, I'll make sure to keep that in mind when we are looking for them. The water levels will be raised when possible. I always use a conditioner to help add the right minerals to the water, but thank you for the warning about the chemicals, anyways!

    Thank you to everyone who replied, and sorry for the super late log. I will try to keep replying and updating when my hands allow it! Don't forget to check out the tumblr blog, which will soon have more updates. This log will be posted and I will try to make daily picture updates of their status as well, since those take less typing and such.

    I appreciate all of the effort you have put into helping me rehabilitate my turtles, and while this still isn't perfect I think it's a lot better off. Now that I have made so many things better for them, things will hopefully go smoothly from here. The next turtle log(if I end up continuing this series beyond minor updates) will most likely be when I am able to get a new heater for the aquarium or when I have further updates on the shell rot problem.
  3. Kornel

    Kornel Active Member

    Good job your doing good so far with what u got.u have learned alot and seem to be good at animal Care .However , banquet block food is really not worth it .I heard they are a good way to spike up nitrates and Nitirites as they keep releasing food into the water which brings water quality down .How long do u go to camp for because turtles can last a while without eating
  4. MyImmortalWolf

    MyImmortalWolf Elite Member

    A submersible heater isn't really necessary unless it's cold where you live, as long as you have proper basking lights- and on that subject, halogen bulbs from a hardware store are so much cheaper and less fragile than your typical basking bulbs. Kudos to you for helping these little guys out though!
  5. NettleJellies

    NettleJellies Member

    Small updates and reply time, since nothing super big has really happened that requires a full Turtle Log.

    First off, I went on a two week mission trip thing and had the banquet food replaced each week simply because I felt the turtles needed to do more than just 'survive' without food. They seemed to enjoy the banquets enough, and luckily it didn't make the tank too blurry because mom had placed this fuzzy 'moss' ball in there that apparently helps filter out the water. So that much is good! Thank you, @Kornel , for telling me that anyways-- I will keep that in mind.

    However, a new cleanliness problem has come up-- the turtles are...shedding? Maybe it's because of the treatment stuff I put in there every day for shell rot or something, but they have a lot of dead skin floating around that gets caught in the filter every once in awhile. I scrub off their shells every couple of days just to make sure that they are getting help with that, and they seem to be doing's just a bit confusing. I don't know when the shell rot will heal up completely or how to even tell if it has done this. Hopefully I can get answers soon.

    I cleaned their tank a day after I got back from the trip, and for some reason some of the green algae stuff won't come off of the glowy rocks?? concerning... I have also been keeping everything in tip top shape with daily feedings. The floater food is still a pretty messy option for them to eat, and Jim seems to eat a LOT more than Jeff(I may have to start feeding them separately again ;-;). Today I added a little bit more of variety for them by cutting up some strawberries and grapes and putting them in with them. They seemed to like both of them a lot more than the vegetables loll.

    The temperatures on the tank are still a little worrying, usually being in the upper 80s, especially since I know they should be in the 90s. I plan on getting an aquarium heater as soon as humanly possible. And while I'm at it, I have still been thinking hard about getting another pet. My dog isn't very cuddly and my turtles are still very nippy, meaning I have literally no animals to be able to hold or cuddle with. That may not be a problem for a lot of people, but I am still in desperate need of being able to hold something and interact with it that way I will be able to deal with the stress of school and other things. Of course, the animal comes first, so if it ends up being that we don't have enough to keep a new pet then that's fine-- but we already have the most expensive part of the whole thing, which is the tank(the old one from the turtles).

    Since my mom is still completely against snakes, I have found the new best option, which is a leopard gecko! I think I have proven myself worthy to be a responsible pet owner by improving the lives of our turtles, and this pet would be more than perfect because:

    - We've had one before and my mom understands them not to be dangerous or scary.
    - We know the basics of taking care of them, and with the joint knowledge from my research sprees I know just about everything on how to take care of them.
    - They are pretty docile and easy to handle.
    - My mom already said she would be open to getting another one and has expressed admiration for other geckos we have seen.

    So, I mean, this is pretty perfect. I want to wait for now though because somehow I have lost my IPad, and we still haven't even paid that off so there is no reason to try and convince my mom to pay for ANOTHER expensive thing.

    @MyImmortalWolf Thank you for telling me this, but I think I should get a heater anyways. I live in Missouri, and while I do have proper heat lamps, the water is still relatively cold for reptiles and I'm not sure I am comfortable with leaving them like that. Thank you for the suggestion on the bulbs and the kudos!

    Now that I have minor updates down, here's a photo shoot of Jeff being cute




    Jeff got scared of the camera and started backing up really quickly lol


    Back to say hello, with the fuzzy filter ball next to him!


    Jim wanted to be in the photoshoot too


    Climbing and exploring!


    They like to find left over bits of food in between the rocks lmao


    Hanging on the edge of glory


    Getting a breath of air!


    And finally the newly cleaned tank from four days ago. Looking good!

    That's all of the updates for now. See ya!
  6. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    Remember, only the basking site needs to be that warm, the water temperature is kind of a separate issue. These guys will be fine with a water temp of 75-80, with the basking site at 90 or so. The skin shedding is normal, and is part of the reason it is so important for them to at least have the option to get out and bask and dry off completely.
  7. MyImmortalWolf

    MyImmortalWolf Elite Member

    Also, turtles do shed, especially young, growing turtles! It means you're doing something right and they're getting bigger :)
  8. NettleJellies

    NettleJellies Member


    Long time no see, everyone! I'm working hard to keep taking care of my turtles and helping them get better. We recently invested in a water vacuum, so cleaning is so much easier! I am getting the hang of using it. We also just recently got a bunch of guppies that my mom insisted on getting, but the turtles aren't interested in them like they usually are. I wonder why...usually they tear into them like candy. I'm not sure whether the shell rot is getting to them or if they just are more used to getting normal pellets everyday. Hopefully it's just the pellets...

    With school started up, it's hard to keep up with everything, but I promise I am still doing my best to keep them healthy and happy!

    @Darkbird Oh! Alright, then their water should be fine. Nice, thank you!

    Thank you, I'm glad to hear that the shedding is normal. The only thing I am worried about is that their shells are still having chips come off...I'm worried that, despite my effort, they still have shell rot. Perhaps I need a better source of calcium to help their shells grow stronger...

    Any suggestions on sources of calcium for them?​
  9. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    A varied diet is the best option for getting the most calcium into your turtles. Healthy greens, like collard, mustard, turnip, and dandelion, are what I use, along with kale and a few others. Avoid any type of lettuce, and stay away from spinach except in very small quantities. It can actually prevent the proper absorbtion of calcium. Some also have success with using cuttle bone with their turtles, but I've never tried this myself.
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  10. NettleJellies

    NettleJellies Member

    Thank you! Sorry it's been so long since I've been on this thread. I'll definitely try those out when I get the chance!

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