Baby Box Turtle HELP!!

Discussion in 'Turtles' started by Melaniexreanne, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. Melaniexreanne

    Melaniexreanne New Member

    i have a baby box turtle, not even a year old she wont eat greens, or fruits, not will she eat dusted or sprayed worms, so i know shes not getting to nutrition she needs, when i first got her she barely ate anything, now all shell eat is meal worms, wont touch crickets, ive even tried cutting up worms in her fruit, she just picks around it or wipes it off with her foot.. she lives in a 10 gal tank, has UVA & UVB and they are both on for 8-12 hours daily depending on the season, im wanting to try the liquid calcium and vitamins, but ive read some horror stories with the calcium, can you put that in their water when you soak them? im just trying to do whats best for her the last thing i want is her to have deformities, please help.

    JEFFREH Administrator Staff Member

    I'm going to try to get someone on deck with more turtle experience, but can you give us some additional, more specific information on your husbandry?

    -What is the brand of UVB producing bulb you are using? Some are better than others...some are worthless. How old is the bulb (UVB output in flourescent bulbs decays rapidly after 6 months).

    -What are the temperatures in the cage? These need to be measured with a digital thermometer or tempgun, not a plastic 'stick on' thermometer. Reptiles have specific temperature requirements for proper daily function.

    -One red flag I see now is the enclosure. A 10 gallon is far too small, and I don't think most land turtles and tortoises fare well in aquaria. Consider either a) getting a LARGE plastic storage container to keep it in, or b) build an an enclosure for the animal out of wood or some other material. I think I've even seen people keep them in large metal feeding troughs... these guys cover a LOT of ground in nature, and although the turtle may seem small, its space requiremwents are far greater than a 10 gallon. I can't say with certainty (more of a snake guy) but I would wager you want to shoot for at least 4 square feet of floorspace, preferably more.

    Aquariums are meant for fish, and while they can certainly be used for many herps, they have detrimental flaws that make them entirely undeal for others. They are heavy, expensive, do not hold heat or humidity well at all, and they do not provide any security to the animal whatsoever. The clear glass can be a major problem for animals who are more shy as they make them feel exposed, which can be a major stress factor.Other herps have difficulty processing the fact they cannot pass through a translucent border and will spend the better part of their days slamming themselves against the walls incessantly.
    Melaniexreanne likes this.
  3. Melaniexreanne

    Melaniexreanne New Member

    i have to get a digital thermometer, the only reason shes in the 10 gal is because shes not even 1 1/2 and its hard for me to keep humidity in the plastic due to my house being cold. it fluctuates way to much, i just replaced it, i dont remember what brand the bulb, its desert, 13 wt. its a coil, im trying to get one of the mercury vapor, but theyre hard to find and quite honestly i dont know that wattage im looking for, i have all but one side open i have black construction paper on all the other three sides so she feels more safe, i have a large container but im worried that it will fluctuate to much and stress her out to the point of not eating at all. i just dont get why she wont eat fruit of veg.
  4. Cammy

    Cammy Administrator Staff Member

    Hello, and welcome to the boards.

    Definitely work on getting her set up in a larger enclosure. As Jeff said, turtles cover a lot of ground, and they need a lot of floorspace to feel comfortable in captivity. It's also very unlikely that she has a proper temperature gradient in such a small space.

    Were you able to pick up a digital thermometer? It's imperative that you know the temperatures in your turtle's setup. Without the correct temps, they cannot digest properly, and are likely to refuse food or eat very little. A box turtle should have a warm side of about 85F and a cool side of about 70F. Make sure night temperatures don't drop below 65F as this can also cause issues.

    I would also strongly suggest getting a better UVB bulb. The coil fluorescents are very weak and burn off incredibly fast. The animal also needs to get within 6 inches of the bulb, which is likely not possible for a terrestrial animal in any typical enclosure. carries the MVBs which produce both heat and UVB. I'd switch to the bigger setup and order one of these: Like heat, proper UVB is essential to reptiles' metabolism and appetite.

    Hopefully if you get those couple things fixed she will be enticed to eat more of a variety. Box turtles are usually fairly voracious eaters as long as their husbandry is correct and they are healthy. If all of the above changes are made and she still is unwilling to eat anything else after a week or so, it would probably be best to find a qualified herp vet in your area. Let us know when you have an update and I hope she eats more for you soon. =)
    Melaniexreanne and JEFFREH like this.
  5. Melaniexreanne

    Melaniexreanne New Member

    what would be the best fluorescent bulb to get if you had to pick that? my dad is giving me his 55gal tank and ill probable set her up in that or get a 55gal tub at walmart
  6. Melaniexreanne

    Melaniexreanne New Member

    what would be the best fluorescent bulb to get if you had to pick that? my dad is giving me his 55gal tank and ill probable set her up in that or get a 55gal tub at walmart

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