My shelled family got bigger much bigger

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Marshall77

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You may know I found this forum when I got sick of my red foot's health declining.
I really should have taken before and after pictures because. She is doing so much better a ton of color has come out, she has so much more energy and even the valleys in between the pyramids seem to be feeling in a little.

So when the opportunity came up for me to get V box turtles. I thought I always have been better with turtles and my general reptile knowledge plus this forum, I should do okay.

Now for the laundry list of problems and things you can help me with.
1. Other than box turtle I don't know what they are? I hope to post a picture or too as this is obviously important to know for specific care that they may need.
2. I think they may be sexually dimorphic but if I have to closely related species that would be good to know.
3. I really don't think their enclosure is big enough but just how big would you recommend for five of them?

Now for other things that may show up in the pictures if I can post pictures that I plan on addressing if not immediately soon.

Water dish- Just wrong needs to be replaced. Yes it is also too full but as this is there first day with me I thought I would give them a soak. Which will be this stubs new job as the water dish is being replaced immediately.

Food dish- again wrong I will be replacing it with a terracotta dish. Could you imagine the juices from say them strawberries soaking into the paper as it has and then the turtles thinking the dish is a strawberry and eating it?

Them three heat rocks- I intend to replace them with a ceramic bulb 75 maybe hundred Watt depending on their heat needs.

And finally they need their nails trimmed something else I can do immediately.
Okay I think I'll post this novel and try to post the pictures I'm about to take as a reply to it. I thank you for your replies and of course anything that you might want to add.
 

Marshall77

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You may know I found this forum when I got sick of my red foot's health declining.
I really should have taken before and after pictures because. She is doing so much better a ton of color has come out, she has so much more energy and even the valleys in between the pyramids seem to be feeling in a little.

So when the opportunity came up for me to get V box turtles. I thought I always have been better with turtles and my general reptile knowledge plus this forum, I should do okay.

Now for the laundry list of problems and things you can help me with.
1. Other than box turtle I don't know what they are? I hope to post a picture or too as this is obviously important to know for specific care that they may need.
2. I think they may be sexually dimorphic but if I have to closely related species that would be good to know.
3. I really don't think their enclosure is big enough but just how big would you recommend for five of them?

Now for other things that may show up in the pictures if I can post pictures that I plan on addressing if not immediately soon.

Water dish- Just wrong needs to be replaced. Yes it is also too full but as this is there first day with me I thought I would give them a soak. Which will be this stubs new job as the water dish is being replaced immediately.

Food dish- again wrong I will be replacing it with a terracotta dish. Could you imagine the juices from say them strawberries soaking into the paper as it has and then the turtles thinking the dish is a strawberry and eating it?

Them three heat rocks- I intend to replace them with a ceramic bulb 75 maybe hundred Watt depending on their heat needs.

And finally they need their nails trimmed something else I can do immediately.
Okay I think I'll post this novel and try to post the pictures I'm about to take as a reply to it. I thank you for your replies and of course anything that you might want to add.
 

Tortuug

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For five box turtles you need a massive enclosure compared to that. No where near large enough. You'll need like 8+ square feet per turtle. It looks like they can't even access that water bowl, make it a large 12" diameter terra cotta dish. There are no hides of any kind and in such a small tank, there's no room for hides either. Those heated rocks are pretty bad when it comes to turtles/tortoises, they literally cook the turtle from the bottom. I'd recommend a radiant heat panel or a ceramic heat emitter. Also, what's the plan for UVB? Still, you need a much larger enclosure, much much larger. Like priority number one should be getting these turtles adequate space. That tank is arguably not even big enough for 1 turtle let alone 5.
 

Marshall77

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For five box turtles you need a massive enclosure compared to that. No where near large enough. You'll need like 8+ square feet per turtle. It looks like they can't even access that water bowl, make it a large 12" diameter terra cotta dish. There are no hides of any kind and in such a small tank, there's no room for hides either. Those heated rocks are pretty bad when it comes to turtles/tortoises, they literally cook the turtle from the bottom. I'd recommend a radiant heat panel or a ceramic heat emitter. Also, what's the plan for UVB? Still, you need a much larger enclosure, much much larger. Like priority number one should be getting these turtles adequate space. That tank is arguably not even big enough for 1 turtle let alone 5.
 

bella&george

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I agree with the above ☝️
That enclosure is wayyyyy too small, especially for 5 turtles. Like what Tortuug said, wrong water bowl, I don't recommend the rocks either. I hope you've been feeding the right diet for your little boxies, but if you aren't sure about that, I'll provide a care sheet at the bottom that will include some info on general care, and diet. (I'm always on the lookout for a good care sheet!) If it seems like a lot, just read a few sections. But, I would recommend reading it all a few times to get it down. You don't have to follow everything to a T and you can choose the best choices for you and your tort based on what you have access to, but some things will need to be focused on more, like the lighting, sometimes substrate, etc. If you have any questions whatsoever i'm sure many of us on the forum will be glad to help 😊 I hope you are able to get everything sorted out for your boxies, they are very cute!
 

Marshall77

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That's what I was thinking they're constantly in each other's way. On top of that probably 95% of the aquarium is occupied by something. If they're not on the stupid heat rocks they're in their food dish if not one of those they almost have to be in the water dish. I don't think it's physically possible given they're not pushing the food dish out of the way I don't think it's physically possible for all five Turtles just to sit on the carpet. I do like the idea of hides but I physically can't even fit one that's barely big enough in this tank never mind one for each of them.
The UVB bulb they have at least I think that's what it is. But as I don't know how old it is and it's time to get a new one for the tortoise anyway I will pick up three along with three ceramic heat emitters. One. For each tank and a spare.
So basically I agree with everything you said only I am prioritizing proper heat above all and then enclosure size.
 

Marshall77

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That sounds like a good idea! I would also look into substrate as well.
I kind of like the two carpets that came with it. I can swap one out and wash it well the other one is in the tank. Of course depending on when they go into one of the 55 and I think they will just as soon as I can get over to get one the carpet would probably not fit as well anymore. The 55 won't be a complete fix but it will give them two more feet of room. Which is something and will make me feel a little better while I do research into what exactly they are and what they need. I know doing research first is the smart thing to do. Butin a rescue situation it's rarely an option. If I thought that if I didn't take them somebody more qualified to care for them would I might have left them. I don't think that's the case if I didn't take them they would probably live the rest of their lives in that tank. I wouldn't be surprised if it was a okay kid I got your turtles shut up now type up a case. Hopefully I'll be able to identify them soon but for now general box turtle care it is.
 

bella&george

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I kind of like the two carpets that came with it. I can swap one out and wash it well the other one is in the tank. Of course depending on when they go into one of the 55 and I think they will just as soon as I can get over to get one the carpet would probably not fit as well anymore. The 55 won't be a complete fix but it will give them two more feet of room. Which is something and will make me feel a little better while I do research into what exactly they are and what they need. I know doing research first is the smart thing to do. Butin a rescue situation it's rarely an option. If I thought that if I didn't take them somebody more qualified to care for them would I might have left them. I don't think that's the case if I didn't take them they would probably live the rest of their lives in that tank. I wouldn't be surprised if it was a okay kid I got your turtles shut up now type up a case. Hopefully I'll be able to identify them soon but for now general box turtle care it is.
Luckily you are taking the iniative and have the option to look into their proper care now, even if you weren't able to before you took them in. I think you'll be able to do an amazing job at caring for them as long as you look into the right stuff. I mentioned the substrate because it can be important in maintaining the proper humidity, allowing them to dig, and giving them a comfortable ground level to live on. For now I think the carpet is alright, and I know that most people aren't able to give their turtle or tortoise the best living situation right away, as it can take a while to get everything ready and working out all the kinks with costs, availability, and research and such. It might take a while, but I hope it goes smoothly for you.
 

Marshall77

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Oops going from a 30 to a 55 gallon fish tank would only add one foot. It's an improvement but I need to get supplies and build. And now I need two.
 

bella&george

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Have you considered any other kinds of shelter for them? I've heard of people using horse troughs, rubbermaid tubs, or large storage boxes if it's any help.
 

Marshall77

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Have you considered any other kinds of shelter for them? I've heard of people using horse troughs, rubbermaid tubs, or large storage boxes if it's any help.
I'm thinking of building a couple of 8 by 3 enclosures that stack on top of each other. One for the tortoise and one for the turtles. I know both could probably use more room but I'm getting a lot of pushback from my housemate about how big they can be. Even though getting the turtles was his idea initially. Seems like everybody wants to keep their pets in enclosures that are too small, at least dogs and cats tend to get the run of the house.
 

jeff kushner

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Marshall,

Congrats on all the box turtles! Wow. The guys are right of course about the spacing and I know you are considering options. I've got faith that you will zero in on a space solution that works.


One note, Tortoises are different and often like arid climates. With box turtles, think 80-87F "bog" instead....they like it wet and humid....they will thank you!!!


Good luck with the extended fam!

jeff
 

ZenHerper

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Three-toed box turtles, and possibly a few intergrade with Eastern.

They require substrate - they burrow and need the humidity of cool, damp earth beneath them. They need large water features for soaking and swimming that are safe to get into and out of. Their set ups and diet will be similar to Redfoots, but more meat-based and cool overnight temps. They need overhead heat (like the sun) and not heat rocks. UVB as well if staying indoors 24-7.

Males will have red eyes and indented plastrons. Females are larger, have brown eyes on average, and are flat on bottom.

Serious male-male aggression has been reported.

This is the American Box Turtle sub-forum:
 

wellington

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I second Yvonnes post. They need to be outside not in an indoor enclosure. You would have to dedicate a large room to be their enclosure if kept inside.
Unfortunately you did this backwards. Enclosure space and all that goes with it should be done and running for at least a few days so everything can be tweaked before the animals arrive. Its summer and I doubt it's too cold for them. Priority should be space asap!
 

MichaelL

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Nice box turtles! You do need something outside, but while that is being built or the time in between, I would really change the reptile carpet to something like soil, several inches deep. I'd be surprised if those boxies even ate in that tank. I feel like that set up would stress them out a ton. A good substrate would allow them to feel more secure.
 

Marshall77

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Three-toed box turtles, and possibly a few intergrade with Eastern.

They require substrate - they burrow and need the humidity of cool, damp earth beneath them. They need large water features for soaking and swimming that are safe to get into and out of. Their set ups and diet will be similar to Redfoots, but more meat-based and cool overnight temps. They need overhead heat (like the sun) and not heat rocks. UVB as well if staying indoors 24-7.

Males will have red eyes and indented plastrons. Females are larger, have brown eyes on average, and are flat on bottom.

Serious male-male aggression has been reported.

This is the American Box Turtle sub-forum:
Three-toed huh. That makes a lot of sense. The hybrid idea makes sense to. Red who just got his name within the hour reminds me of a cherry head red-footed. Of course this is just a comparison I don't think there's any tortoise in these turtles. The other one with red didn't get nearly as much. It's a starting place ill look up both with a focus on the three toe as that seems to dominate. Assuming three toed are typically lighter in color.
 
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