Aquatic turtle question

Bubblesmom

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Winnfield, La. 71483
Ok.. so I too have suddenly became a turtle mom!!..and I’m so lost.. well… sort of!… I’ve spent well over $1000 getting this guy a great home as he was not cared for before..he is a 3 y/o Mississippi Map. He’s about 4 1/2 “ long so immediately moved him to a 55 gallon tank with a Penn Plax Cascade 1200 filtration system, large rocks on bottom and an above tank basking area. Water temp at 75-76.. basking at 85-90 and plenty of fake plants for hiding. All these things are from reading and reading and reading some more! But a couple of questions: 1) I never see any poop in his tank…yet I see him eat.. he is very active and he basks although not every day… he may bask for hours one or two days and not at all for a couple of days… so 2) is this normal behavior? 3) rarely does he eat from the top of the water… he waits till the pellets sink and that’s where I see him eating… is this normal? And last, for now, I have 2 bubblers in his tank..for my visual benefit as I understand he doesn’t have to have them… he is obsessed with the ends of these!… he will continually flutter his front feet at them and some days does not leave, whichever one he is at, he stays right there, fluttering and playing with it!… ok, is that normal? Also, I feed him a variety of food: 2 brands of pellets, mealworms, dried shrimp and crickets, wheat germ pellets , floating sticks, and at times chillid pellets. I just want the little guy to have a long, great life!… so help please!
 

maggie3fan

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Ok.. so I too have suddenly became a turtle mom!!..and I’m so lost.. well… sort of!… I’ve spent well over $1000 getting this guy a great home as he was not cared for before..he is a 3 y/o Mississippi Map. He’s about 4 1/2 “ long so immediately moved him to a 55 gallon tank with a Penn Plax Cascade 1200 filtration system, large rocks on bottom and an above tank basking area. Water temp at 75-76.. basking at 85-90 and plenty of fake plants for hiding. All these things are from reading and reading and reading some more! But a couple of questions: 1) I never see any poop in his tank…yet I see him eat.. he is very active and he basks although not every day… he may bask for hours one or two days and not at all for a couple of days… so 2) is this normal behavior? 3) rarely does he eat from the top of the water… he waits till the pellets sink and that’s where I see him eating… is this normal? And last, for now, I have 2 bubblers in his tank..for my visual benefit as I understand he doesn’t have to have them… he is obsessed with the ends of these!… he will continually flutter his front feet at them and some days does not leave, whichever one he is at, he stays right there, fluttering and playing with it!… ok, is that normal? Also, I feed him a variety of food: 2 brands of pellets, mealworms, dried shrimp and crickets, wheat germ pellets , floating sticks, and at times chillid pellets. I just want the little guy to have a long, great life!… so help please!
If I go live with you will you treat me like you do that turtle??? It sounds to me like he's wanting to breed those bubbler that what the fanning is...I have a Western Painted turtle also in a 55 gallon, I never see his poop either, you can also feed live food, crickets, goldfish, minnows, guppys,
 

crimson_lotus

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I also have a male Mississippi map that I didn't expect. They are actually worth around $5 and I have spent sooo much on him - vet visits, filter maintenance and equipment, etc.

He is PROBABLY eating his poop (not glorious but mine does...) and if he does, there should be some somewhat noticeable residue in the tank. but just to be sure - did he have any tank mates? Has he ever been de-wormed?

Good news is that you see him eating. When I brought mine home, he wouldn't touch a bite and he had a huge parasite issue. This is the worst case scenario but just keep an eye on him.

Also quick note that my turtle loves boiled chicken and tuna, if you ever wanted to give that a try. I also throw him some greens once in a while that he likes to chase around his tank - lettuces, escarole, radicchio
 

ZenHerper

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Your turtle sounds completely normal and healthy! Congrats!

Yes, it might be eating (recycling) his poo, but it may also be falling apart and sifting into the bottom of the tank.

You basically have an aquarium with a giant fish. Be sure to do a 25-30% water change weekly to insure that ammonia (from urine, stool, and leftover food) does not overtake the water quality. To help support water quality, you might try feeding in a separate container (with water in it - water turtles don't have saliva) so that food trash does not contribute to the habitat ammonia level. This only works for turts that eat right away, but it is worth a try since it makes things so much easier with regard to cleaning chores and tank odor.
 

Bubblesmom

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Winnfield, La. 71483
If I go live with you will you treat me like you do that turtle??? It sounds to me like he's wanting to breed those bubbler that what the fanning is...I have a Western Painted turtle also in a 55 gallon, I never see his poop either, you can also feed live food, crickets, goldfish, minnows, guppys,
Lol!!! Yeah, even I have to admit this little guy is living large!! I’m so glad to hear someone else doesn’t see poop! As yucky as it sounds!… I just read all these other forums where people complain about the “waste “ and I’m thinking well not my turtle!! Ok.. I think I’ll get him some guppies or maybe minnows. Yes, you would not believe the hours a day he spends playing or whatever he’s doing with this bubbler! I put two in there and no matter if I switch them around he always goes to that same one.. I mean one is a lighter blue than the other so I know he’s always at that same one!! Well, leave it to me to have a psychotic turtle!! Thanks!
 

ZenHerper

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This is a recent discussion about some issues with feeding (live) fish:
 

Bubblesmom

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Location (City and/or State)
Winnfield, La. 71483
Your turtle sounds completely normal and healthy! Congrats!

Yes, it might be eating (recycling) his poo, but it may also be falling apart and sifting into the bottom of the tank.

You basically have an aquarium with a giant fish. Be sure to do a 25-30% water change weekly to insure that ammonia (from urine, stool, and leftover food) does not overtake the water quality. To help support water quality, you might try feeding in a separate container (with water in it - water turtles don't have saliva) so that food trash does not contribute to the habitat ammonia level. This only works for turts that eat right away, but it is worth a try since it makes things so much easier with regard to cleaning chores and tank odor.
Thank you for helping my mind to be at ease! I do a, probably or close to, a 60% water change weekly. I have just recently installed the canister filter so with that being I just do a 60% or so. Before I was running an hob along with an internal filter so I was doing a 100% change weekly. That was running me about 220 gallons of water a month and I was changing the filters every week… so, I was working my butt off and I now realize I was killing a lot of good bacteria by replacing filters. So, I changed that! I have actually tried feeding him in a separate container but he won’t have it! This little guy seems to be an all day nibbler! I watch when I feed him and he will wait until his pellets sink and then he goes to town eating! Sometimes I’ll see him grab from the top. But I know he’s eating cause his aquarium is in my living room where he is always in my view of vision. He’s not a very shy guy cause he basks no matter how much I walk by his tank! So, anyway, thanks for relieving my worry!
 

Bubblesmom

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Joined
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Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Winnfield, La. 71483
I also have a male Mississippi map that I didn't expect. They are actually worth around $5 and I have spent sooo much on him - vet visits, filter maintenance and equipment, etc.

He is PROBABLY eating his poop (not glorious but mine does...) and if he does, there should be some somewhat noticeable residue in the tank. but just to be sure - did he have any tank mates? Has he ever been de-wormed?

Good news is that you see him eating. When I brought mine home, he wouldn't touch a bite and he had a huge parasite issue. This is the worst case scenario but just keep an eye on him.

Also quick note that my turtle loves boiled chicken and tuna, if you ever wanted to give that a try. I also throw him some greens once in a while that he likes to chase around his tank - lettuces, escarole, radicchio
Yeah, I mean this guy has cost more in a few months time than all three of my pups in a year!! But I’m not complaining cause he is very entertaining to watch! No, he doesn’t have any tank mates and never has… no fish or anything. A young relative of mine found him on her driveway when he was about the size of a half dollar coin and, well, of course she kept him. So, as usual, after about 3 years of caring for him she wanted to get rid of him so, well, I took him. I knew no one else would take care of him like I would cause I am a 100% animal, of all kinds, lover…. To a fault!! I live in a very very small town in the central part of Louisiana and I cannot find a herp vet anywhere around. I’m sure New Orleans may have one but I’m 6 hours from there!… so, I don’t know about parasites and don’t know how to know. But, I do know he is eating. I boil chicken for my dogs every couple of days so I’ll try throwing him in a small bite. I did try tuna but he ignored it!..to my surprise! I keep romaine lettuce floating or attached to the tank… I’ve seen him bite it a time or two but not often…. But it’s always there. So, thank you for helping my mind at ease…
 

crimson_lotus

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Yeah, I mean this guy has cost more in a few months time than all three of my pups in a year!! But I’m not complaining cause he is very entertaining to watch! No, he doesn’t have any tank mates and never has… no fish or anything. A young relative of mine found him on her driveway when he was about the size of a half dollar coin and, well, of course she kept him. So, as usual, after about 3 years of caring for him she wanted to get rid of him so, well, I took him. I knew no one else would take care of him like I would cause I am a 100% animal, of all kinds, lover…. To a fault!! I live in a very very small town in the central part of Louisiana and I cannot find a herp vet anywhere around. I’m sure New Orleans may have one but I’m 6 hours from there!… so, I don’t know about parasites and don’t know how to know. But, I do know he is eating. I boil chicken for my dogs every couple of days so I’ll try throwing him in a small bite. I did try tuna but he ignored it!..to my surprise! I keep romaine lettuce floating or attached to the tank… I’ve seen him bite it a time or two but not often…. But it’s always there. So, thank you for helping my mind at ease…

If you ever do catch your turtle pooping, just take a look to make sure it's a good size and doesn't have any worms or parasites in it. Usually you can see the parasites when its a really bad infestation. There is a possibility due to him being wild caught but again, if he's eating and if he has been for the past 3 years, he is probably fine and I wouldn't stress him out too much.

My turtle was vomiting and pooping blood in a pet store and was with another turtle that was attacking him. He would not touch any food but bloodworms (which quite frankly wasn't enough) until he was de-wormed and that was so nasty. But he is alive and happy. I think we lucked out because they are so tiny and easily accommodated :) The bigger turtles need a lot more room and food.

Very surprised your turtle didn't like tuna. Did you try sardines in water? Seems the smelliest foods are the favorites
 

Bubblesmom

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Aug 2, 2021
Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Winnfield, La. 71483
If you ever do catch your turtle pooping, just take a look to make sure it's a good size and doesn't have any worms or parasites in it. Usually you can see the parasites when its a really bad infestation. There is a possibility due to him being wild caught but again, if he's eating and if he has been for the past 3 years, he is probably fine and I wouldn't stress him out too much.

My turtle was vomiting and pooping blood in a pet store and was with another turtle that was attacking him. He would not touch any food but bloodworms (which quite frankly wasn't enough) until he was de-wormed and that was so nasty. But he is alive and happy. I think we lucked out because they are so tiny and easily accommodated :) The bigger turtles need a lot more room and food.

Very surprised your turtle didn't like tuna. Did you try sardines in water? Seems the smelliest foods are the favorites
This little guy is so enchanted with this bubbler that I put in his tank until I’m not sure he leaves it’s side long enough to poop!! It’s amazing how he plays and from what I’ve been told trying to mate with it! He’ll stop when he sees me walk by and swim to the top and beg for food but as soon as I’m outta sight he’s right back at it fluttering his feet and pushing it up with his head! When I found out that I didn’t need a bubble wand I just couldn’t take it from him! He rarely eats from the top of the water… I’ll watch him and he waits till the pellets sink… then I see him eating…. Every now and then I see him grab a pellet from the top. But no, he wouldn’t touch the tuna!… I think I might have a strange turtle!!
 

Bubblesmom

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Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Winnfield, La. 71483
I just need to know if I need to add or take away from my maps home. Just upgraded to a canister filter… the water where I live has always had a yellow cloudy appearance and it shows in my tank…so, that’s as clear as it will get. Also, the rocks in the bottom are way too big for my little mad to get in his mouth… I’ve made sure. I know I do t need bubblers but he actually plays with them and from what I’m understanding about the fluttering he does with his feet…trying to mate with them. So, I think he enjoys them. I built the basking box and added greenery because he is in my living room where there is traffic although this does not seem to bother him at all! He does swim around at the glass a lot but my water temp is 74, basking is 86-88…he eats well and basks often . All I’ve read is he would swim like this at the glass because something in his environment is not right but I can’t figure what that would be. So, any advice, suggestions??? image.jpg
 
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