Blanding's Turtles at Garden State Tortoise

Anthony P

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Swamps, bogs, and vernal pools

Hello TFO,

I grabbed these couple quick clips of Blanding's Turtles, Emydoidea blandingii, while visiting Chris at Garden State Tortoise a few months back. This is one of my favorite aquatics. They are rock solid and as cold tolerant as any other chelonian, for sure. A real unique turtle that is actually a lot like the Chicken Turtle, morphologically.
 

Markw84

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I love blandings as well. Definitely cold hardy, but really poor swimmers, like my spotted turtles. Also - one of the best personalities right up there with spotteds and diamond back terrapins as far a friendly. If kept outside and allowed to cool down in the winter - they do great, but you have to be sure they are in water with sloped sides where they can walk to the surface as the water cools down. They will drown in cold water. IF its cold enough to hibernate - they are fine and can extract enough oxygen directly from the water, and don't need to surface. But in 40 - 50 degree water they will need some air occasionally but will have slowed down so much they will not be able to swim to the surface. Unfortunately experience has taught me this before places like this forum where we can learn from others!
 

Markw84

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I love Blandings. Would love to get a couple now as my newer pond is now set up so it would be perfect for them as I built a whole section as a spotted turtle habitat. Never see any available though.

Here is my upper pond set up for my spotteds.. There are two streams that flow from here into the lower pond that is much larger and deeper. It's interesting how all my Suwanee cooters, Maps, Diamond Back Terrapins, Painted, and Razor Back Musk choose to stay in the lower pond, while the Stinkpots and Spotteds almost exclusively choose to stay in the upper pond. The Terrapins and Spotteds will visit the other areas regularly (not in winter though) but definitely prefer to stay in their respective areas!

Upper Pond.jpg
 
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Markw84

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For those interested, here's a picture from the lower sunken patio that has 5 - 6 foot windows looking into the lower pond. You can see the streams that feed into the lower pond from the upper pond shown in the previous post.

Lower Pond.JPG
 
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Markw84

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Here's another picture looking from inside the tortoise area towards the pond. (Sorry, guess I got carried away showing off the project once I uploaded that first picture. I built and did all the work totally by myself - took a year to complete!)

Tortoise area.JPG
 
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Anthony P

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Yes. It's insane. I will bother you for photos one day for a book I am working on, maybe sooner than later. You deserve to have your hard work and ingenuity shared for all to see, if that is your goal... We would all be in debt to you if you would, anyway.
 

Markw84

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Anthony. Yes, it is nice to have some turtle and tortoise people give feedback on what I've done. I got my first tortoise in 1961! Yikes!! 54 years ago now. I've had many setups over the years, and to undertake this project now was indeed quite a feat. But from what the years has taught me, I wanted to make a backyard I could really enjoy now and still have my turtles and tortoises around me. No contractors I could find knew how to do this, not wanted to tackle a pond with glass windows - so I did it all myself. Glad you appreciate it and approve. Would be honored to have it in your book.
 

Moozillion

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For those interested, here's a picture from the lower sunken patio that has 5 - 6 foot windows looking into the lower pond. You can see the streams that feed into the lower pond from the upper pond shown in the previous post.

View attachment 160232
OMG!!!!!! This is INCREDIBLY wonderful!!!! :):):):)
 

Moozillion

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Here's another picture looking from inside the tortoise area towards the pond. (Sorry, guess I got carried away showing off the project once I uploaded that first picture. I built and did all the work totally by myself - took a year to complete!)

View attachment 160233
WOWWWW!!!!!! :):):)
 

Anthony P

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So tremendous. We should all keep this in mind when we are providing husbandry to our animals. Not to replicate it, because that would be an exercise in futility, but to set the bar high and to inspire us all to do our best. Just saying...
 

Cheryl Hills

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Wow nice! I would love to do something like that. It would be hard to do here in Ohio, weather would freeze the pond in the winter.
 
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