Baby box turtle in water all the time

wampum

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Hi everyone, I adopted a baby eastern box about a month ago and he has made great progress in general but I still have a few concerns about his health in the long run. My main concern right now is that spend almost all his time in the water. I dont think its bad for him since I have seen the water method everywhere for boxies. But could he get too cold if he is almost always in water at 24°c to 26°c (75F to 80F). The land section was getting a bit to hot (35°c/95F) in the afternoon and maybe that is why he doesnt stay there? I only see him basking sometimes in the morning before feeding but he never stays in the land area. I now have his heatpads on timers so I can set it properly. His habitat is a plastic bin that is inclined on a heated ceramic tile with fake plants for cover, a water side and a spagnum moss side with a hide. I have attached pictures of his enclosure and his new food mix to supplement his varied insects. Thanks for reading!
 

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wellington

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Get rid of the moss. It can cause entanglement inside and outside his body.
He should not be heated from underneath, they get their heat and uvb from above, the sun, not from under them.
 

mark1

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i've raised a lot of hatchling turtles on sphagnum moss , it's actually the only thing i've ever raised them on ...... make sure you don't keep her/him too hot , or too dry ...... temperature gradient from 75-90 is probably pretty good, they need to be able to cool off, hot and dry can be a death sentence ...... live food is something you should provide some times , small worms , maggots, bugs .....

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DoubleD1996!

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Agreed. I raise mine in water until they reach a decent size.The moss is fine. At this stage in life water is crucial. I always say you want grapes not raisin. You can literally see your box turtle dry out from lack of moisture. The sphagnum is fine. Just be sure your turtle has a warm side and a cool side.
 

jeff kushner

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Wampum, welcome to the club!

You have just heard from some serious talent, I'd suggest listening....like those old EF Hutton TV commercials(dating myself).

"When EF Hutton talks, people listen".....some things just get burned in...LOL

These guys gave me a ton of help with my box turtle when she was a baby now she's 3 and doing great...

We "learn" Turtle=Dry and it's not only wrong, it can be dangerous when a box turtle is kept in Tort conditions.

Good luck and again, WTTC!

jeff
 

wampum

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Wow thanks to everyone for the help. I will try shutting off the heatpad that is under the land section. But should I keep the one underground the water side? It is a small 8W that currently runs from 6am to 9am and at night for 30min every 2 hours. This setting currently keep the water at 75 all day and lets it drop around 71-72 at night wich is about my room temperature. I also checked my turtle's surface temp (if that miens anything?!) and it was 74F. I'm concerned that he might develop problems if he does not heat up more sometimes?! And what is your opinion on the green reptile mats? I've had them in there for about two weeks because he had trouble moving around and looked stressed not being able to grab on to the ground but I have heard they are not the best bacteria wise. I rince them out every two days but they are starting to smell a little and this sounds like bad news. Lots of info again but I think people here understand I am concerned and want to give my little baby all he needs. Thanks again!
 

wampum

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I just thought of something elle, always something else to learn for a new turtle dad😅 If I shut off the heat under the water completely will it push him to go toward the lamp more? Or would it just make it cold and dangerous if he decides to stay in there for a long time? And for all you that did the water method, did your turtles stay in water for more than 23h a day or most would spend time dry?
 

jeff kushner

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You have to remember, Turtles/alligators (not sure about lizards) need 82-85F to digest food. If he eats and it sits too long w/o digesting, it will rot in his gut, not good. The light or CHE can give him a chance to self-regulate by wandering under it or not. It will also warm from the top in a natural way.

We really have some world-class talent here, don't be afraid to ask. Nearly very Mod here is also like your neighbor and they act like they don't know how smart they are so it easy to get info!

LOL

This is when Matilda was 1 yr old.
The big "bell" in front is the CHE. She did well with this setup but I could have offered her a hide in the moss . The dry end of this setup is 1" above the wet end. A book took care of that part. LOL

She's had several different homes....she's back in her outside home now, turtling....


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wampum

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Location (City and/or State)
Montreal, Canada
You have to remember, Turtles/alligators (not sure about lizards) need 82-85F to digest food. If he eats and it sits too long w/o digesting, it will rot in his gut, not good. The light or CHE can give him a chance to self-regulate by wandering under it or not. It will also warm from the top in a natural way.

We really have some world-class talent here, don't be afraid to ask. Nearly very Mod here is also like your neighbor and they act like they don't know how smart they are so it easy to get info!

LOL

This is when Matilda was 1 yr old.
The big "bell" in front is the CHE. She did well with this setup but I could have offered her a hide in the moss . The dry end of this setup is 1" above the wet end. A book took care of that part. LOL

She's had several different homes....she's back in her outside home now, turtling....


View attachment 360543
Indeed there seems to be very knowledgeable people here and it is reassuring. As suggested I turned off the heat pad and found my turtle sitting under the coconut hide in the land area right after breakfast, so happy! As for food digestion, he always pooped regularly so I felt like he was able to digest, maybe because his water was getting up in temparature in the afternoon. But im really happy to see him moving to the dry area a little more already wich shows he his able to regulate better with the new settings. Btw this Darwin (adoption photo) and he thanks you a lot from his new coconut hide🐢

🐢
 

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Joined
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Hi everyone, I adopted a baby eastern box about a month ago and he has made great progress in general but I still have a few concerns about his health in the long run. My main concern right now is that spend almost all his time in the water. I dont think its bad for him since I have seen the water method everywhere for boxies. But could he get too cold if he is almost always in water at 24°c to 26°c (75F to 80F). The land section was getting a bit to hot (35°c/95F) in the afternoon and maybe that is why he doesnt stay there? I only see him basking sometimes in the morning before feeding but he never stays in the land area. I now have his heatpads on timers so I can set it properly. His habitat is a plastic bin that is inclined on a heated ceramic tile with fake plants for cover, a water side and a spagnum moss side with a hide. I have attached pictures of his enclosure and his new food mix to supplement his varied insects. Thanks for reading!
Do you know where I could find a baby box turtle ?
 

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