Geoemyda spengleri, worlds easiest hatchling setup?

PA2019

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I've become totally hooked on these guys. I am planning on growing up a group of this awesome species when hatchlings become available later in the spring but am having trouble wrapping my head around how ridiculously simple their setups can be during their first year.

Plastic container, 1/2" water (high humidity appears to prevent scute curling), couple pothos clippings/sphagnum moss, small plastic hide, cooler temps (70-76 F), +/- UVB, lower kelvin ambient light, feed 1-2 times/week and most importantly, keep them individually.

I've watched Anthony Pierlioni's TTPG talk last month, ordered his book (arrives in a couple days), watched the video's where Charlie Moorcroft discusses and shows his hatchling setups and researched all the care guides I can find.

Seems like the hard part will be feeding a diverse mix of foods as they can be picky eaters. Anyone on here raised their black-breasted leaf turtles from hatchlings using the above methods? Really excited to hear how others how found success, thanks.
 

JamesAC

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I didn't see any replies to your post (was here searching the latest on female maturity size/weight) so thought I'd add what I've done.

3 Hatchlings from 2014/15 (from Betsy in OK) all turned out to be female
Deep end or sloped container that barely covers the top of their shell (I used an exoterra with a gardening weedguard bottom)
Long strand sphagnum
Lots of leaves
Hides
With healthy hatchlings they are a pretty easy keep. Just maintain the humidity and, for me in TX at least, low enough temps. Picky eating is definitely a thing in my experience (both imports in the early 90s and today with CB)
They slow down significantly in the winter - to the point that my wife is convinced every year that there is a problem.

I also have two cb (1.1) that I received as adults from someone in the midwest. I paid only shipping - a sort of rescue I suppose. Clearly curled and misshapen carapaces but otherwise very healthy.

You'll love working with these guys!
 

JamesAC

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I found a photo showing a bit of their youngster setup. I actually had them in my office so I could feed them when they were active during the day (home with me on the weekends). Container, moss, leaves and a couple of hides for easy cleaning. I failed to mention above that I always feed outside their enclosure.


1621983187723
 

PA2019

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Thanks for responding and the detailed information! I actually just stumbled onto a 18 month-old that I’ll be getting in several weeks. The turtle is F2 from Betsy line as well. Could you tell me more about what you feed and the tub size you use? I ordered dwarf isopods and springtails and will pickup some worms this week as well. Ive read lots of mealworms can cause impaction and still am learning about the different commercial turtle diets out there.
 

JamesAC

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They love earthworms which I feed in a container with water. I also feed the hornworms, silkworms and the largest BSF larvae in the container, dry. I've had a hard time with fruit over the years. Pellets are off and on.
 

ZenHerper

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If their set up is not Exactly Right!-TM they are very "picky" and do poorly.

During a rocky acclimation period, I started using a drop of Nutr*cal in warm water to maintain calorie and nutrient status. This caused an (accidental) easy cross-over to Omega One Juvenile Pellets (they're wee pellets for wee turtles) as the nutrient paste contains fish oil and the OO pellets are fish-based. Once s/he scents them in the water - bam!

Our routine is Nightcrawler on Sunday, then 4 pellets Wed, Thurs, Fri.

I'm going to try baby food fruit in the water starting next month to see if I can accidentally give 'em a taste for fruit.
 

JamesAC

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what are you doing for lighting/heat?
I'm not sure if this was to me or PA2019.

For me, LED planted aquarium "Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED Plus" with RGB. At the end of winter, once they start really stirring, I use a MegaRay 100W positioned so it's about 28c/82f at the moss. The room goes through natural fluctuations from Mar through about Nov most years though this winter we were famously cold in TX. They are also outside (along with A.radiata and T.kleinmanni) in spring and fall when the weather here is appropriate.

I'm sure there are others here with much more success and experience :)
 

ZenHerper

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what are you doing for lighting/heat?
CHE set over one side of moss nursery pan, but thermostated to 78*F at center of mossery.

This monster LED well above entire set up for plants and ambient.

You need whopping high humidity...I keep my mossery like a marsh. They're not rumored to swim, but s/he likes to sit on barely-submerged moss.

IMG 0264 IMG 0265 Maple 052621b
 

PA2019

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2 weeks now, and she is settling in nicely. Hasn’t tried fruit yet, but loves anything that moves! Such a wonderfully strange species.
 

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ZenHerper

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Nice size!

Mine has started to let me know s/he's hungry by running out under the water stream when I soak the plants. Little smarty pants. lol Growing into a really nice red color on the neck.

I've been using a blob baby food fruit (pear or berries) and drop the worm or pellets onto it. Right now the interest in protein is quite strong.

Congrats - enjoy!!
 

PA2019

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Nice size!

Mine has started to let me know s/he's hungry by running out under the water stream when I soak the plants. Little smarty pants. lol Growing into a really nice red color on the neck.

I've been using a blob baby food fruit (pear or berries) and drop the worm or pellets onto it. Right now the interest in protein is quite strong.

Congrats - enjoy!!

Great idea to get her used to the taste of fruit. I’ve heard beets can intensify the red coloration, might try some down the line.
 

ZenHerper

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The baby food occurred to me since the rumor is they prefer over-ripe fruit, and pear is apparently accepted with frequency. I can split a jar into a bunch of smaller jars (or one could use ice cube trays) and it lasts a looooooong time in the freezer. lol
 

Tom

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I've become totally hooked on these guys. I am planning on growing up a group of this awesome species when hatchlings become available later in the spring but am having trouble wrapping my head around how ridiculously simple their setups can be during their first year.

Plastic container, 1/2" water (high humidity appears to prevent scute curling), couple pothos clippings/sphagnum moss, small plastic hide, cooler temps (70-76 F), +/- UVB, lower kelvin ambient light, feed 1-2 times/week and most importantly, keep them individually.

I've watched Anthony Pierlioni's TTPG talk last month, ordered his book (arrives in a couple days), watched the video's where Charlie Moorcroft discusses and shows his hatchling setups and researched all the care guides I can find.

Seems like the hard part will be feeding a diverse mix of foods as they can be picky eaters. Anyone on here raised their black-breasted leaf turtles from hatchlings using the above methods? Really excited to hear how others how found success, thanks.
Nothing about this species sounds easy to me. Temperature sensitive, moisture and humidity sensitive, diet sensitive, light sensitive... Not a species for me.

They are cool looking and I wish you all the best of luck.
 

ZenHerper

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Speaking of...

...I have tried a wee pinch of this:

Poured a few tablespoons of hot water over 1/4 of a biscuit, then let it cool to turt temp. Added more warm water for soaking/eating with a few Omega pellets on top, and WHAM! S/he eats it, fruit and all. Nice training wheels food.

Happy summer, all!
 

PA2019

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Hit the 50 gram mark this week. Love the growth showing on the shell. Such a cool species!
 

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PA2019

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Time for an update. My spengleri has reached the 80 gram mark, and is a confirmed male :) Overall, my experience with raising him has been one of the easiest hatchling growing experiences ever! I’ve raised some of the more delicate species of tortoises, Pyxis, elegans, nabeulensis, kleinmanni, and spengleri are by far the easiest.

I house him in a Rubbermaid tub with 1/4” spring water, some plastic plants, and a bit of sphagnum moss to keep the water slightly acidic. He eats pellets, worms, isopods etc…with gusto. I also dust his worms with a pinch of ground-up herb mix that I use for my tortoises. Not sure if it’s necessary, but I figure it helps with fiber intake etc… There is no UVB or basking light over him.

Half of his tub is near a window, and in the early morning, the light hits the side closest to the window. Sometimes he sits on a pile of rocks in the morning, enjoying the sunlight.

I feed him in another tub, as he poops after eating usually. I will place a UVB over him feeding 1-2 times a month, honestly just so I feel better. His pellets contain d3, and I dust his food 2x/month with calcium with d3.

Once he reaches the 100 gram mark I will transition him to a soil substrate instead of water. I wanted to make sure he grew grew smooth, as a lot of these guys get curling of their spiky ends. I’ve been growing dwarf white isopods for a year now and will seed the substrate for hunting/enrichment and bio activity.

I can verify that the only thing they seem to be easily stressed by is temperature. I notice he is way more active when temps go above 78. I think it’s because he is looking for a cooler area to hide in. He seems most content around 69-75 degrees. I also noticed when trying to feed him in temps under 65 he is sluggish and will do a quick ‘head twitch’, or not feed at all. I’ve read online that others have seen similar behavior.

Without a doubt this species is my favorite, or a very close second to my Pyxis. After spending tons of time/money building/engineering sophisticated PVC close-chamber setups with automated LEDs, UVB, basking/CHE bulbs etc…it’s so refreshing to just have a plastic tub that you can setup in 10 minutes with no electrical and have a happy, healthy animal.

If anyone has any questions feel free to ask, and just in case, I’m always looking for more of these guys, PM me if you have any leads thanks :)
 

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