How do I care for my turtle?

Midorikawa

New Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2020
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
AZ
So just found out from these forums that I accidentally adopted a box turtle, pretty sure of the desert variety.

Currently I have it in a glass tank with wood chips (soft kind) as the flooring and he has a shelter, water dish, and food dish. And of course a heat lamp.

Considering he’s a turtle and not a tortoise like I thought, I’m assuming he needs a larger thing of water, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m doing everything wrong.

I feed him things like spinach and lettuce everyday and change the water daily as well.

Also found out it is not legal in my area. Trying to find out what to do. I certainly don’t want to just put him outside when it’s winter and I live in a complex where everyone has tiny patios, and we found him in the complex on the sidewalk. Simply thought we were helping him considering the environment. I’m currently doing research about what to do as as much as I want to keep him and give proper love, I don’t want to be breaking any laws. So if anyone has advice on this part too, it would be much appreciated.
 
Joined
Mar 26, 2018
Messages
19
Location (City and/or State)
Corpus Christi, TX
Recommend you post a picture and at least say what state you are in. Not trying to get you into trouble but knowing your state will help not only with legality but also climate and recommendations. For example, I am in Texas and my Orate and Eastern Box Turtles are still very active this late in the year. That might not be the case for example if I lived up in Michigan. Reptiles in general are more resilient to temperature than many assume. For example, unless the outside temp is mid 50s for successive days, nature doesn't 'tell' them to hibernate (brumation). Some will disagree but that is my experience raising them for many years and observing them in their natural environment.
 

Hamiltondood

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Mar 8, 2019
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248
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Richmond, Texas
Recommend you post a picture and at least say what state you are in. Not trying to get you into trouble but knowing your state will help not only with legality but also climate and recommendations. For example, I am in Texas and my Orate and Eastern Box Turtles are still very active this late in the year. That might not be the case for example if I lived up in Michigan. Reptiles in general are more resilient to temperature than many assume. For example, unless the outside temp is mid 50s for successive days, nature doesn't 'tell' them to hibernate (brumation). Some will disagree but that is my experience raising them for many years and observing them in their natural environment.
theyre in az, theyve already posted pictures here:
 

Midorikawa

New Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2020
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
AZ
Recommend you post a picture and at least say what state you are in. Not trying to get you into trouble but knowing your state will help not only with legality but also climate and recommendations. For example, I am in Texas and my Orate and Eastern Box Turtles are still very active this late in the year. That might not be the case for example if I lived up in Michigan. Reptiles in general are more resilient to temperature than many assume. For example, unless the outside temp is mid 50s for successive days, nature doesn't 'tell' them to hibernate (brumation). Some will disagree but that is my experience raising them for many years and observing them in their natural environment.
I’m in southern Arizona.

Currently the only positivity on it is that it’s a box turtle.

65BAC139-1F99-4A54-B225-A12A35BCA2E8.jpeg
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1CD4594E-FF37-4A8A-8C98-FD32AFE78E14.jpeg

If different pictures are needed I can certainly try to get them. I also plan on going up to the store today. I’m going to for sure try to find something bigger for water, just currently unsure of what else it may need.
 

Yvonne G

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When I said Gulf Coast, I was going by the size of the turtle in your hand. It looked too big to be an ornata or a desert ornata (indigenous to Arizona). But now I can see a sort of pattern on the carapace. So maybe it IS an ornata, just a very, very old one who has lost the vivid pattern. At any rate, since you've had it so long, I still think it's ok to keep it. I'd bet he would just love some live food.
 

Midorikawa

New Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2020
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
AZ
When I said Gulf Coast, I was going by the size of the turtle in your hand. It looked too big to be an ornata or a desert ornata (indigenous to Arizona). But now I can see a sort of pattern on the carapace. So maybe it IS an ornata, just a very, very old one who has lost the vivid pattern. At any rate, since you've had it so long, I still think it's ok to keep it. I'd bet he would just love some live food.
I’m assuming crickets. But what other live food is good for it? And is okay to feed it stuff from outside or should I only do store bought?
 

PJay

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Jul 20, 2016
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Location (City and/or State)
Virginia
Insects from outside are ok if you can collect them from an area you know hasnt been exposed to chemical treatment like insecticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers. Otherwise you can buy a wide range of insects online or go to walmart and buy earthworms from the sporting goods area. Just be sure to open the container to inspect the worms before buying. I've found containers with dead worms in them. My favorites to feed box turtles are earthworms, black soldier fly larvae, hornworms, dubia roaches and occasionally superworms.
 
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