New 3 toed Box turtle

reec

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Hay guys,

So i just rescued a baby 3 toed box turtle, around 3 months old, he's tiny. I just got him home and he dug right into his substrate (which is moist, no worries) deep in his hide, after a quick warm soak. My question is, do I just leave him there? and if so, for how long? I dont want him to miss meals, I know his former owner was not the best. And when should I start wit the UVB? I dont really need a heat light because the temp in my house is around 74. I plan on building him an outdoor enclosure in the spring, but im on Long Island so that wont be for a while.
 

Loohan

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My experience with a baby 3-toe is he preferred around 80 degrees.
If he's always buried he won't benefit from UV yet.
 

Loohan

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I'm surprised no one else has replied yet.
If you don't keep him warmer and have some kind of light on (need not be bright; i use a 7.5w incandescent) for 14 hours/day he will not eat and will want to hibernate.
I'm not sure about the warmer bit as regards hybernation, but he should have a spot at least 80 degrees.
 

lisa127

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For a baby, keep daytime temps in the range of 75 to 90 degrees (under heat lamp). I like to provide gentle heat at night as well. I always provide the uvb myself, for about 13 hours per day.
 

reec

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Thanks so much guys! He's had a really long day of traveling, so Im just going to let him sleep it out for today/tonight and ASAP in the morning im going to put the heat on him and then maybe gently wake him after a few hours of heating up. I think hes scared as well. He got shipped to her from somewhere and then her kids didnt want it, and she was basically just throwing him away -__- i hate people lol but thank God i saw her ad on CL and got him right away. So although I do know a lot about adult care, baby care, is something Im trying to learn as much as possible quickly to give him the best care he deserves. If anybody has any tips at all about "hatchlings" idk if 3 months is still considered a hatchling but you know what I mean, PLEASE let me know!
 

Loohan

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Well thanks for rescuing the little critter. 3-toed boxies tend to make excellent pets, much lower maintenance than many other chelonians. And they tend to be very gentle, docile, and usually friendly.
How anyone can fail to adore them is beyond me.
I have 2 and they seem very content and trusting.
3 months is still very young, a baby.
Warm baths in the 90-100 degree range are good for babies. You want to keep him pooping, and that will help.
And don't get him a companion! That will lead to territorial stress in a limited enclosure.
 

Yvonne G

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Yes, you really DO need a heat light. If your house is around 74F degrees then your baby turtle is around 74F degrees. Consider this: your natural body temperature is 98.6F degrees. That is the temperature that makes your body work. Same thing with turtles and tortoises. If they can't get their inner core temperature up to AT LEAST 80-85F degrees then their bodily functions don't . . . well, . . . function! So warm that baby up. I would soak him daily then place him in front of the food and quickly step out of sight. Then throughout the day, every time you walk by the enclosure, dig him up and place him in front of the food.
 

reec

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Well thanks for rescuing the little critter. 3-toed boxies tend to make excellent pets, much lower maintenance than many other chelonians. And they tend to be very gentle, docile, and usually friendly.
How anyone can fail to adore them is beyond me.
I have 2 and they seem very content and trusting.
3 months is still very young, a baby.
Warm baths in the 90-100 degree range are good for babies. You want to keep him pooping, and that will help.
And don't get him a companion! That will lead to territorial stress in a limited enclosure.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR RESPONDING!!!
 

reec

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what about under the tank heat? because the ambient air is 85ish with the heat light but hes always burrying himself deep within the substrate that is only 76ish - is it okay to put a temporary heating pad under the tank until he gets more comfortable in his new enclosure where he can benefit from the heat from the light
 

reec

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Yes, you really DO need a heat light. If your house is around 74F degrees then your baby turtle is around 74F degrees. Consider this: your natural body temperature is 98.6F degrees. That is the temperature that makes your body work. Same thing with turtles and tortoises. If they can't get their inner core temperature up to AT LEAST 80-85F degrees then their bodily functions don't . . . well, . . . function! So warm that baby up. I would soak him daily then place him in front of the food and quickly step out of sight. Then throughout the day, every time you walk by the enclosure, dig him up and place him in front of the food.
what about under the tank heat? because the ambient air is 85ish with the heat light but hes always burrying himself deep within the substrate that is only 76ish - is it okay to put a temporary heating pad under the tank until he gets more comfortable in his new enclosure where he can benefit from the heat from the light
 

RosemaryDW

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Welome!

No advice on heat mats; I will let an expert reply.
 

reec

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From what I have learned, they need the overhead heat.
I know, but he's such a baby still, he burrows into the substrate and doesnt come out, I put a thermometer deep in the soil, where he stays and its in the 75's, the light heat doesnt warm the soil up that deep....see he's teeny tiny. I just decided to make the substrate really moist, so he doesnt become dehydrated and I have like a regular heating pad (for people lol) under the tank, for now. The soil is around 87 now. I hope im doing whats best for him. I understand he needs an above heating light and I have one, but to really keep him warm, this is my technique. If its bad will SOMEONE pleeeease help me out lol im trying my best over here! Like I said, I rescued him, and wasnt expecting to have a hatchling. I only know of adult husbandry Screenshot 2018-01-13 14.25.07.png
 

lisa127

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what about under the tank heat? because the ambient air is 85ish with the heat light but hes always burrying himself deep within the substrate that is only 76ish - is it okay to put a temporary heating pad under the tank until he gets more comfortable in his new enclosure where he can benefit from the heat from the light
75 in substrate is just fine. You do not want it in the 80s in the substrate. No heat mat needed. This is how they regulate temperature. Cooler underground, warmer above ground under the "sun". The temperatures in the enclosure should range from 75 to 90.

The temps of mid to upper 80s should be where the heat lamp is in the warmest part of the enclosure. He also needs those cooler temps in the 70s.

Also, damp not wet substrate. It should be damp enough to hold it' shape when squeezed but should not drip streams of water. Do not, however, allow the substrate to dry out. Also always provide a very shallow pan of water for soaking.
 
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reec

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75 in substrate is just fine. You do not want it in the 80s in the substrate. No heat mat needed. This is how they regulate temperature. Cooler underground, warmer above ground under the "sun". The temperatures in the enclosure should range from 75 to 90.

The temps of mid to upper 80s should be where the heat lamp is in the warmest part of the enclosure. He also needs those cooler temps in the 70s.

Also, damp not wet substrate. It should be damp enough to hold it' shape when squeezed but should not drip streams of water. Do not, however, allow the substrate to dry out. Also always provide a very shallow pan of water for soaking.
okay got it! the substrate is perfect and so is the enclosure then! i took the heat mat off! thanks so much!
 

Cheryl Hills

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He is so cute too! I have one three toeboxie that I rescued from a 1 foot by 3 foot aquarium being feed only dog food. They also had no real substrate. I think they were using shavings but I don’t remember. She now lives in a large enclosure and eats about anything I put in there. I even fed her some deer meat the other day, just a couple bites and she munched them down real quick. In the winter, I do have her with my original Russians, I know it is not recommended, but she does very well and they don’t mess with her. In summer, they are all in an outdoors pen. I think this year, I am going to try and make her a small pond.
 

reec

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He is so cute too! I have one three toeboxie that I rescued from a 1 foot by 3 foot aquarium being feed only dog food. They also had no real substrate. I think they were using shavings but I don’t remember. She now lives in a large enclosure and eats about anything I put in there. I even fed her some deer meat the other day, just a couple bites and she munched them down real quick. In the winter, I do have her with my original Russians, I know it is not recommended, but she does very well and they don’t mess with her. In summer, they are all in an outdoors pen. I think this year, I am going to try and make her a small pond.
thats so awesome i would love to make a pond! Im deff making him an outdoor pen for the summer! I cant wait. Thats horrible, I hate people sometimes. I just dont understand why you would have an animal just to torture or ignore it?!?!
 

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