Meet "Tortellini" and some three toed box questions!

Steuern

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Feb 24, 2020
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Hi guys, meet Tortellini a hatchling three toed box turtle and my first reptile. I just got him today, warmed him up from the cold and have let him snooze in his enclosure. He likes to burrow pretty deep in the substrate, I actually thought I lost him for a minute earlier 😂. This is mostly an introduction but I also have a couple questions. I've seen a lot of differing information on his basking temperature. During the day he had high 80s to mid 90s on and around his rock and about 70 over in his cool humid side. Later around 11pm that crept up to a highest spot of 105 and 75 over in the cool side and everything in between and a very large pool for him to soak in (it's very shallow, he could not drown. I know they aren't considered great swimmers). Do I need to make a different basking setup? What would be considered too hot? He has such a wide range of temps i feel like he can just do whatever he wants and i can trust him but I'd like to double check.

My second question is, should I be concerned he hasn't eaten yet? He basked when I unboxed him after I soaked him and then he moved to his pool for some extra soaks and then has spent the rest of the day burrowed deep in the dirt for naps. I have offered him freeze dried cricket, freeze dried grasshopper, fresh earth worm, various organic greens, and some commercial land turtle diet and I'm pretty sure he hasn't sampled any of it. Any tips for enticing him to eat? The freeze dried insects seem too big and crunchy for him, should I soak them and make them into a paste? When should I be concerned if I can't get him to eat? I think he is probably just stressed from shipping and he was pretty chilly when I unboxed him, hopefully tomorrow he will eat something and move around a bit more.
 

Steuern

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After doing more research on the young ones, it seems my mvb bulb is not what I want and is way too powerful. I can find the reptisun bulbs for some uvb, but I'd like one that also provides just a little bit of warmth to encourage him to bask. Without any additional heat it gets down to around 67 at the coolest part of the day and that seems too chilly. Any recommendations for a better, mellower light setup? I'd really prefer a single bulb if possible.
 

Yvonne G

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Baby box turtles dry out very quickly because they're so small, so they need to be kept in a very moist and humid environment. Also, they are omnivorous, eating more live food while young then gradually changing to eating more vegetation as they get older. What foods are you offering this baby? Here's what I feed my baby box turtles:
I always have baby leopard tortoises because I have a leopard factory and they produce many eggs year round. For my leopard babies I chop up several different kinds of greens and veggies, so I take a spoonful of those chopped up greens into a bowl, add a tiny bit of chopped fruit, pour the juice off a can of cat food over the greens then add several live wax worms and mix it all up. I place this mixture onto a feeding tile and put the baby box turtles in front of it, quickly moving out of their sight.

My baby box turtle enclosure is well planted so there's plenty of shade from the hot light, but lately I've changed out all my lighting to the T-5 long tube fluorescent UVB bulbs, along with radiant heat panels for heat. This light is softer and not as desiccating as the Mercury Vapor bulbs I was previously using.
 

Steuern

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Baby box turtles dry out very quickly because they're so small, so they need to be kept in a very moist and humid environment. Also, they are omnivorous, eating more live food while young then gradually changing to eating more vegetation as they get older. What foods are you offering this baby? Here's what I feed my baby box turtles:
I always have baby leopard tortoises because I have a leopard factory and they produce many eggs year round. For my leopard babies I chop up several different kinds of greens and veggies, so I take a spoonful of those chopped up greens into a bowl, add a tiny bit of chopped fruit, pour the juice off a can of cat food over the greens then add several live wax worms and mix it all up. I place this mixture onto a feeding tile and put the baby box turtles in front of it, quickly moving out of their sight.

My baby box turtle enclosure is well planted so there's plenty of shade from the hot light, but lately I've changed out all my lighting to the T-5 long tube fluorescent UVB bulbs, along with radiant heat panels for heat. This light is softer and not as desiccating as the Mercury Vapor bulbs I was previously using.


I offered it some commercial tortoise/land turtle food (that kind of smells like fruit loops) a variety of organic spring mix, freeze dried cricket and grasshopper and a small earth worm.

Since the uvb from this bulb reaches pretty far I am going to try just having it up much higher and on for less time so it's more of a day light with a much cooler max temp. I am also misting pretty heavily and he has a nice damp hide that's always 70-80ish humidity that dropped to high 60s by the time I woke up and that's probably even higher actually in the dirt where he slept.

I will try putting him in an ice cream bucket and chopping/mashing his food options up and let him chill with it without any distractions for a bit, I never would have guessed they would be shy eaters.
 

bouaboua

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Hello and Wlcome to the forum. You have a cutie.

I been to Yvonne's place and I absuloly love how she setup for her box turtles.
 

terryo

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View attachment 286930


Hi guys, meet Tortellini a hatchling three toed box turtle and my first reptile. I just got him today, warmed him up from the cold and have let him snooze in his enclosure. He likes to burrow pretty deep in the substrate, I actually thought I lost him for a minute earlier 😂. This is mostly an introduction but I also have a couple questions. I've seen a lot of differing information on his basking temperature. During the day he had high 80s to mid 90s on and around his rock and about 70 over in his cool humid side. Later around 11pm that crept up to a highest spot of 105 and 75 over in the cool side and everything in between and a very large pool for him to soak in (it's very shallow, he could not drown. I know they aren't considered great swimmers). Do I need to make a different basking setup? What would be considered too hot? He has such a wide range of temps i feel like he can just do whatever he wants and i can trust him but I'd like to double check.

My second question is, should I be concerned he hasn't eaten yet? He basked when I unboxed him after I soaked him and then he moved to his pool for some extra soaks and then has spent the rest of the day burrowed deep in the dirt for naps. I have offered him freeze dried cricket, freeze dried grasshopper, fresh earth worm, various organic greens, and some commercial land turtle diet and I'm pretty sure he hasn't sampled any of it. Any tips for enticing him to eat? The freeze dried insects seem too big and crunchy for him, should I soak them and make them into a paste? When should I be concerned if I can't get him to eat? I think he is probably just stressed from shipping and he was pretty chilly when I unboxed him, hopefully tomorrow he will eat something and move around a bit more.
Baby box turtles are rarely seen in the wild. They hide under leaf litter and eat any little bug or worm that comes along. The only greens they eat are maybe tiny little sprouts the will start coming up in the Spring.
They need a warm moist environment with places to hide
I keep any babies I find in the turtle garden in a 20 gal vivarium. Lots of leaf litter on one side. I throw in pill bugs, tiny red wiggles. I haven't been on here in a while, so don't know if this is allowed
But the best place to see pictures of baby turtle set ups is turtletails.com
 

Madame Terrapene

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May 31, 2019
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Houston, TX
After doing more research on the young ones, it seems my mvb bulb is not what I want and is way too powerful. I can find the reptisun bulbs for some uvb, but I'd like one that also provides just a little bit of warmth to encourage him to bask. Without any additional heat it gets down to around 67 at the coolest part of the day and that seems too chilly. Any recommendations for a better, mellower light setup? I'd really prefer a single bulb if possible.

Hopefully no one throws stones at me but I actually don't use UVB for their first year of life. My babies grow to be juveniles just fine with only a basking light for heat. Once they're juveniles they go to the outdoor juvenile pen.

OP, I'm so glad you're here! I have some tips for you and I hope that you trust me on this. I've raised dozens of box turtles from baby to adulthood so please believe me when I say The absolute two MOST IMPORTANT things for raising a baby box turtle to healthy adulthood (aka, not killing it as a youngster or cursing it with a lifetime of bone disorder) are PROPER DIET and HUMIDITY.

There's a care sheet sticky on this group's North American Box Turtles forum, check it out. For my personal tips, please read below:


#1.) Diet
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Diet - Staples should be more protein-based with fruit/veggies coming second. I have two staples that I use from 0-6 mos; Blue buffalo canned puppy food (chicken and vegetable dinner, must be PUPPY food for the calcium content, babies in the pic are chowing on it) and calcium dusted live food of any sort. At hatchling stage they get mostly dusted live food and then I add in the puppy food and fruits/veggies as they get bigger. For convenient live food, I feed my babies calcium and Repcal multivitamin dusted superworms (tiny superworms, you can buy them online and keep them in a container of old fashioned oatmeal). You can also go catch some pill bugs or isopods, but small superworms are way easier. Hatchlings are indeed shy eaters so you may just want to put the worms plus baby in a little plastic shoebox (bare shoebox, no substrate, easier for them to catch worms!) and leave the baby alone with the worms for an hour. Petsmart sells tiny porcelein bowls as well and these can go in their habitat. Porcelein helps keep the worms from crawling out as they cant grip the sides. I avoid putting crickets in the habitat where the hatchling sleeps as crickets can chew on hatchlings.

Why is diet my #1 for baby turtle health? Aside from them dying young from malnutrition when diet is inadequate, MBD can happen and curse a turtle for life with crippling disfigurement.

Here's a pic of a normal turtle (top) vs one with metabolic bone disorder (MBD, bottom). MBD is caused by improper calcium supplementation and is permanent. MBD turtles can have abnormal shells, nails and beaks and may have difficulty walking or eating depending on their disfigurement. Their quality of life is reduced greatly, along with their lifespan, so it's super important to make sure that babies get the proper diet.
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#2.) Humidity - It's good that you're misting. Wanna know a secret? You can make it easier for yourself by making the substrate work in your favor...try adding sand to the bottom and pouring water straight into the substrate. Yep, that's one of my tricks: I never mist, I just Pour water in as needed to keep the substrate damp, not soaking. For babies, I use 1 inch of sand topped with like 2 inches of coco coir. You can add lettuce seeds and watch them sprout. If it's too dry to sprout seedlings, it's too dry for a baby eastern box turtle. Box turtles require species-specific humidity for healthy lungs and body. Adult easterns have the highest humidity requirement of all box turtles, about 80% above the substrate and like 99% below it. Babies have higher humidity requirements and can sicken quickly from dessication, which is why this is my #2 most important thing for raising baby box turtles.

I'm very glad that you posted on here to say hello. I'm not trying to scare you, but I need to warn you that baby box turtles are really easy to mess up on. I've frequently seen people kill or maim them with improper care. Please don't hesitate to continue posting here on the forum (no question is a dumb question).

Good luck!
 
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