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Box Turtle Hatchling Care Sheet

Discussion in 'American box turtles' started by StarSapphire22, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. TortsNTurtles

    TortsNTurtles Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Thanks. I might take you up on trying both instead of one or the other,
  2. terryo

    terryo Well-Known Member 10 Year Member!

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    That's a 40 gal. breeder with plants on each side of the vivarium. No hides. The plants are real and are still in their little pots. To be honest, I never check the humidity. If it has condensation on the glass I know the humidity is high, if not I spray a bit. There are two hatchlings in that tank. When they get bigger, I replace the real plants with silk ones. I don't put them outside in the turtle garden until they are at least 3 years old. I put leaf littler all around the viv. and lots of pill bugs, which multiply and lots of worms. They have never eatten the plants but have messed them up a lot. Now the tortoises are a different story....they would eat certain plants.....not the box turtles. I would think that the real plants would hold the humidity better, and I do usually use them with the hatchlings.
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  3. TortsNTurtles

    TortsNTurtles Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    That sounds like a game plan. I am using all fake plants at this time and I am needing to spray every few hours to keep up with the humidity so I will try the live plants and late go to the fake.I wish I could find some pill bugs. The first day it warms up I will try to find some.
  4. terryo

    terryo Well-Known Member 10 Year Member!

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    All you need is a few pill bugs and they multiply like crazy. When I use real plants I use small house plants and I keep them in the little pot they come in. I just bury them right up to the top of the pot. Them I water them in the little pot. Just sayin what I do.
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  5. Sanchez

    Sanchez New Member

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    Are CFL bulbs really blinding? This is the first I've heard of this. A quick google search didn't turn up much on the subject. I've been using a CFL uv bulb on my Florida box hatchling for the past two weeks.

    This is the real Sanchez

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  6. Sanchez

    Sanchez New Member

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    Ok so I'm now reading that the cfl issue was taken care of years ago. When they first came on to the market they caused eye problems but they are now safe.
  7. Dean Wirth

    Dean Wirth Member

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    "It should be noted that there are some types of bulbs should not be used with boxies. First off, the spiral coil (CFL) UV bulbs. Do not EVER use these bulbs with any kind of turtle or tortoise. They can burn the eyes and cause severe eye irritation for your little ones, and have been linked to blindness. Secondly, MVBs - they are too hot for any box turtle, adult or hatchling. They also have an extremely drying effect and can effectively zap the moisture out of your enclosure. Reptile spot bulbs are also very drying and create “hot spots” that can be dangerous for your little one."

    I use coils for adults and one i raised from young, if these are bad what uv lights should i use?
  8. Dean Wirth

    Dean Wirth Member

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    "Ok so I'm now reading that the cfl issue was taken care of years ago. When they first came on to the market they caused eye problems but they are now safe."
    Okay i skimmed and answered my own question, the first post is informative but should be edited as not to alarm any turtle keepers. Great thre
  9. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Supporter

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    Yes, the manufacturers supposedly took care of the problem. Trouble is, the originals were never pulled from the shelves, so you might be buying one of the old, harmful ones.

    In my opinion, the chance of harm is not worth taking the risk
  10. Gordi

    Gordi New Member

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    We have had a lot of dodgy UVB coils coming into the UK from China mainly through eBay and traders selling them in kits. They have been found to produce either too much very little or none at all. So only buy a recognised brand if you are using them.
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  11. Dean Wirth

    Dean Wirth Member

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    Good advice, better not to take a chance.
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  12. locolou

    locolou Member

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  13. locolou

    locolou Member

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    Terryo,
    Can you please tell me the name of plants in tank? Are they real? I have 4 Eastern Box hatchlings, they are 6 mos old now. They eat wrigglers, floating food sticks and moist puppy food. I see moist Cat food is mentioned, shud I change to Cat food?
    I am moving them to a larger tank now, and want to add real plants, any suggestions? I use loose coconut fiber substrate. Use a Coconut Shell hide and water dish. When I change them to bigger tank tomorrow, they will get 2 water dishes and 2 .hides.
    So far, So Good ?
    I have 6 adult boxings in a big pen outside. One of the females is their mother. I have 2 males, one mates all the time and the other has never even tried. The other male is bigger and the Alpha.
  14. terryo

    terryo Well-Known Member 10 Year Member!

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    Sounds good to me. I start off hatchlings with the floating food sticks too and blood worms. I put them in a separate water dish to feed. As they get older I gradually add some ground venison with sweet potato (cooked sweet potato) and mashed carrots. As they get older I start adding chopped greens, and fruit to the mix. I buy Wellness venison and sweet potato (dog food) I have a little Gulf Coast that's just starting to eat the greens with the venison. I chop the greens (dandelion, grape leaves, kale ...spring mix (red leaf and green) etc. really tiny so when they eat the venison they will get some greens too. Just how I start them off..
  15. terryo

    terryo Well-Known Member 10 Year Member!

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    IMG_2304.JPG IMG_2295.JPG Here's the little Gulf Coast. He's 1 1/2 years old and still likes to eat in the water. I took out most of the plants to give him more room to roam now. I bring him outside during the day but take him in when it gets dark. IMG_2304.JPG IMG_2304.JPG IMG_2304.JPG IMG_2295.JPG IMG_2295.JPG IMG_2295.JPG
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  16. TortsNTurtles

    TortsNTurtles Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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  17. bokilink

    bokilink New Member

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    Hello, I am new here, and recently I obtained three baby Three toe box turtles they are about the size of a quarter. I now know after reading a little bite I totally went about this the wrong way and I should have done more research before obtaining them. however I am trying to do the right thing and make sure they have great care. I currently have a tiny heat pad in one corner of a 20 gallon long tank and a light bulb that is a uvb 60 w solar heat lamp thing, they have a clean water pool about 1/2 inch deep. and I have piled up eco soil for turtles in one side far away from the light, the water is in between, I plan to venture out to get mosses from the local organic nursery tomorrow and I will be laying that down, I need to up the humitdity and I want to put som plants in there for them to be adventurous around. what plants are ok for them to eat without being sick?

    I also have been feeding a tiny meal worm every day, is that to much? I have the reptile with D3.

    Thank you all in advance.
    Rebecca
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  18. Pamela Rodela

    Pamela Rodela New Member

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    thank you for sharing your expertise with us I have so much to learn, the one thing that came from you that has helped my donates is soaking in a Gerber baby food of half sweet potato and water, it had been a GOD send she is doing so so much better now we are working on her eyes to open after hybernating...again thank you
  19. GIJohnny

    GIJohnny New Member

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    Help!

    We never planned on being box turtle or any kind of turtle owners. Our daughters have asked for turtles over the years and we always said no as we already have 2 cats, a dog, a hedgie and bettas, besides, my wife is not a fan of reptiles.

    This morning we took our middle daughter, who is 11, for major teeth extractions and brought her home in a post-anesthetic stupor. On the way down the walk from driveway to the house, she stops and says, "ooh, a urle" (her mouth is still stuffed with gauze). She bends over and picks up a tiny silver dollar sized turtle and proceeds to bring it into the house.

    On the way in, we hear "'e're eeing it is ame is ael" (We're keeping it, his name is Bagel). I look at my wife and utter famous last words, "why not, how hard can it be"? I stay with my daughter while my wife heads off to Petco to get supplies. My daughter, who is supposed to be sleeping off the anesthesia is now completely awake and goes outside and finds a hole with eggshells at the bottom and two more tiny turtles outside of it! I text my wife, "and then there were three..." and she tells me later I almost gave her a heart attack.

    My wife comes home after spending over $200 at Petco for supplies (time for my heart attack). She has a 15 gallon aquarium, a screen cover, a bag of substrate, a fancy water dish/pool that looks like it's made of rocks, a food dish, a half log hidey spot, a fake plant, a long flouresent looking UV light, a heat lamp looking light, a bag of 15 baby crickets and a container of 500 baby mealworms.

    We built the environment to the best of our ability, put 10 mealworms in the food dish, set loose the crickets in the aquarium and placed the baby turltes (we looked at pictures online for close to an hour and have determined these little guys are ornate box turtles - one of the 2 species of box turtles here in Missouri). We then placed the little guys near the mealworms in the food dish thinking these must be starving. They all proceeded to burrow into the substrate and haven't been seen since.

    Will they come out at some point?

    Will they be able to find their food and water when they do come out?

    Have we set up the habitat correctly? Is the substrate deep enough? Is the water pool accessible enough?

    Should we dig them out tomorrow and place them in the water?

    Can we clean them up and what is the safest way to do so? They are covered in mud from coming out of the ground.

    Attached are 2 pictures, one of the habitat we built (the 3 hatchlings are in there just buried in the substrate) and one of the 3 hatchlings in a box top with a small saucer of water and some lettuce leaves - this was us guessing before my wife went to Petco. Interesting note, we found if the water was warm , they stayed in it, but as it cooled, they all booked for the corners of the box top.

    We were clueless going into this and are now confused by conflicting info we find online with what the Petco people told my wife. WE find various opinions about diet, how long to give them light/heat (Petco says the UV light stays on 24/7 and the heat lamp for 12 hours a day, other sources including here have much different info).

    We really want these little guys to survive their first days and thrive. Please help us figure out what is best for them.

    Thanks in advance.

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  20. jakskillz

    jakskillz Member

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    I have a desert ornate box turtle and I take him out of his dirt hiding spot. Fill a bowl with about an inch of tepid water and slowly rinse off the dirt. Then I empty the bowl and at first only placed one small waxworm or earthworm at a time. they get distracted by too much at once. They may not eat at first but will react more to moving food. Mine didn't quite like mealworms at first so maybe look for waxworms or earthworms. Eventually start mixing some veggies or pellet diet with the live food and be patient. It can take an hour or two for them to eat.
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