New EBT owner

TracyP

New Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2014
Messages
1
Hello!

I recently received a new adult male EBT, Burton. I've never owned a EBT but did have a Russian Tortoise (who I mistakenly got from Petco, wild caught, and had a lot of health issues I wasn't aware of at the time pf purchase...he sadly passed away after 5 years in my care). Burton was captive breed, purchased from a breeder for a gift for a small child (that just was a mistake so I got him), but is showing all the signs of a healthy, active turtle.

Now I'm having new turtle mommy anxiety all over again. I am keeping him indoors because I live in an apartment complex, and because I have major depression and working with animals is therapy to me. I know keeping him outdoors is the best for him, but I am unable to until I get a house of my own. So I want to make the best indoor enclosure I can for him.

Right now he's in a guinea pig cage. I blacked off the sides so he's no trying to get past the wires all day. Only "nice" thing is, it has a deep pan for him to burrow in and airflow is good. It's just too tiny.

My dad is currently building me a wood turtle table 4 ft l x 2.5 ft w x 1 ft sides. I have a mixture in his temporary cage of coconut fiber (the expandable brick type) and sphagnum moss. I've been misting him every 3-4 hours making sure his humidity levels are keeping up to 50-60%. I have a UVB/UVA light above his cage that's on for 12 hours. I have a basking light, but have not been using it because of the small area he's in and the temps in my apartment have been around 72-75 throughout the day. Only dropping to 68 at night.

I soak him everyday for 15-20 minutes in a dish pan with luke warm water because once again his temporary cage does not have room for a soak dish. I haven't taken him outside yet for exercise because I'm still a little wary about disturbing him out of his burrow.

I have not been able to feed him yet. After soaking I've been putting kale and black raspberries in his food dish, but all he likes to do is bury himself in the moss. I tried feeding him a super worm and he looked interesting but I "spooked" him back into his moss. Maybe he's still adapting to the new environment and me?

I just want to make sure once I move him to the bigger turtle table that I'm doing everything correctly. And in a few days will he be ready to eat? Or should I move him out of the cage onto my kitchen floor and try and put a worm near him? Or would that stress him out too much??

Any advice I would appreciate! Its the best to learn from more experienced owners!

Thanks,
Tracy & Burton ;)
 

Attachments

  • Screen Shot 2014-06-28 at 11.34.26 AM.png
    Screen Shot 2014-06-28 at 11.34.26 AM.png
    432.2 KB · Views: 38
  • photo1.jpg
    photo1.jpg
    684.6 KB · Views: 39
  • photo2.jpg
    photo2.jpg
    964.2 KB · Views: 36

johnsonnboswell

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2012
Messages
2,239
Hi and welcome.

Those triangular litter pans for rabbit & ferret cages don't take up much room since they fit in the corner, & can be used as a water dish. It makes a difference to have water available 24/7.

The proposed habitat your dad will build needs higher walls. Add an extra 2" at least. Boxies are good climbers. Factor their height at full stretch plus 4-6" of substrate to get the height of the walls.

What are you using for a bulb?

Mine won't eat kale. Offer overripe fruit, windfalls, bugs, slugs, worms, fresh or lightly steamed vegetables.

50 gallon Rubbermaid tubs are cheap and offer more space. You can even attach several together.
 

Saleama

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2013
Messages
1,501
Location (City and/or State)
Irving Texas
You will not find a better way to combat anxiety and depression than taking care of a turtle or tortoise and here is why I believe that. With turtles, you soon become interested in gardening to feed them, crafting to make hides and wood working to make tables and pens for them. So, some feeding advice. Go get some earth worms, super worms, and crickets for live foods. I place my guys in a glass fish tank (petco is having a $1.00 a gallon sale so you can get one pretty cheep) so the crickets can't climb out and dump about 10 - 15 in there with them. Cover the tank or move away from it until he is used to you and let him hunt. I also make a "dry" omelette (an omelette without oil or butter) or hard boiled egg with the yolk removed and chop up boiled chicken, boiled carrot, boiled sweet potato ,chopped spring mix and some chopped fruits like strawberry and mango. Serve it on a reg dish. I use the tops to my plastic containers.
Box turtles are semi-aquatic. When ever possible, put him in a warm tub of water about half way up his shell if you can't watch him. Even better if you can get a plastic tub from Wal-Mart, put about 2 -3 inches of water and put him outside with part sun part shade. let him soak and swim as long as he wants. Boxies will happily lie in water with just their heads out for HOURS! His home should be a big tub that you can keep a wet and a dry end. Boxies do not need night heat so do not get a CHE or dark heat lamp for him. They require a cool down time so it is important he get cool at night and total darkness. They also do not need the basking spot like tortoises. A UVB and a 60 watt bulb placed about a foot over the "pool" is all I use for mine. For a pool I use a 12 - 16 inch terra-cotta saucer I bought at Wal-Mart.
Box turtles are also hunters and opertunistic feeders so turn lose a few tubs of worms in his cage (After you get a new one. Worms will escape your current set up) and he will hunt them down happily and move the food dish around to different spots.
If I can, I will post some pics of my set ups tonight and tag you so you can see them.
By the way, I was able to stop all my meds for social anxiety and stress after taking care of my babies for about 3 months. of course, I checked with my doctor first, but it was wonderful to stop taking all those pills and start gardening and building stuff for my little buddies.
 

StarSapphire22

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2013
Messages
2,688
Location (City and/or State)
Fargo, ND
You will not find a better way to combat anxiety and depression than taking care of a turtle or tortoise and here is why I believe that. With turtles, you soon become interested in gardening to feed them, crafting to make hides and wood working to make tables and pens for them. So, some feeding advice. Go get some earth worms, super worms, and crickets for live foods. I place my guys in a glass fish tank (petco is having a $1.00 a gallon sale so you can get one pretty cheep) so the crickets can't climb out and dump about 10 - 15 in there with them. Cover the tank or move away from it until he is used to you and let him hunt. I also make a "dry" omelette (an omelette without oil or butter) or hard boiled egg with the yolk removed and chop up boiled chicken, boiled carrot, boiled sweet potato ,chopped spring mix and some chopped fruits like strawberry and mango. Serve it on a reg dish. I use the tops to my plastic containers.
Box turtles are semi-aquatic. When ever possible, put him in a warm tub of water about half way up his shell if you can't watch him. Even better if you can get a plastic tub from Wal-Mart, put about 2 -3 inches of water and put him outside with part sun part shade. let him soak and swim as long as he wants. Boxies will happily lie in water with just their heads out for HOURS! His home should be a big tub that you can keep a wet and a dry end. Boxies do not need night heat so do not get a CHE or dark heat lamp for him. They require a cool down time so it is important he get cool at night and total darkness. They also do not need the basking spot like tortoises. A UVB and a 60 watt bulb placed about a foot over the "pool" is all I use for mine. For a pool I use a 12 - 16 inch terra-cotta saucer I bought at Wal-Mart.
Box turtles are also hunters and opertunistic feeders so turn lose a few tubs of worms in his cage (After you get a new one. Worms will escape your current set up) and he will hunt them down happily and move the food dish around to different spots.
If I can, I will post some pics of my set ups tonight and tag you so you can see them.
By the way, I was able to stop all my meds for social anxiety and stress after taking care of my babies for about 3 months. of course, I checked with my doctor first, but it was wonderful to stop taking all those pills and start gardening and building stuff for my little buddies.

Such good info Stephen!

Also, he is totally right about about anxiety and depression. I tried a dog, he stressed me out more with his energy and neediness. I tried fish, they weren't interactive enough and weekly water changes etc. were just too much. A tort/boxie is the perfect middle ground, at least for me. I still have bad moments, but I do soooooo much better now.
 

lisa127

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2012
Messages
4,323
Location (City and/or State)
NE Ohio
My boxies do bask, so I always provide a basking spot. Temps range from low 70's to upper 80's in my boxie enclosures.

I have chronic major depression and anxiety as well. On top of that, I experienced a horrible tragedy in my family a few weeks back. The only time I get it off my mind is when I'm working in my reptile room.
 

lisa127

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2012
Messages
4,323
Location (City and/or State)
NE Ohio
Such good info Stephen!

Also, he is totally right about about anxiety and depression. I tried a dog, he stressed me out more with his energy and neediness. I tried fish, they weren't interactive enough and weekly water changes etc. were just too much. A tort/boxie is the perfect middle ground, at least for me. I still have bad moments, but I do soooooo much better now.
So sad for your dog. I hope he found a great home.
 

StarSapphire22

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2013
Messages
2,688
Location (City and/or State)
Fargo, ND
So sad for your dog. I hope he found a great home.

He did! It was a very hard decision, but it was what was best for everyone involved. We tried to make it work for three years because we loved him very much, but it was just too hard and I was really not doing well. We're considering trying dogs again when we have a house and I have a better handle on everything and we're really truly ready and able to have one.
 

Saleama

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2013
Messages
1,501
Location (City and/or State)
Irving Texas
My boxies do bask, so I always provide a basking spot. Temps range from low 70's to upper 80's in my boxie enclosures.

I have chronic major depression and anxiety as well. On top of that, I experienced a horrible tragedy in my family a few weeks back. The only time I get it off my mind is when I'm working in my reptile room.
I have only seen my adults and one or two of my juveniles bask and that was under a light that was a lot higher than my tortoise basking light. I keep a basking light as well but it is way up there and the temps usually don't get over 88 - 90 according to my temp gun. I find that a 60 watt regular bulb about a foot or so up is about all they will tolerate. Box turtles usually avoid teps that get too high. Over 90 and they tend to head for the hills. My temps are about the same as yours. They go down at night when I turn the air down to 70 but the proximity of the tortoise's table leaks a little more warm air onto them and keep it about 2 - 3 degrees higher than the rest of the room.
So sorry to hear about your family.
 
Last edited:

Saleama

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2013
Messages
1,501
Location (City and/or State)
Irving Texas
Such good info Stephen!

Also, he is totally right about about anxiety and depression. I tried a dog, he stressed me out more with his energy and neediness. I tried fish, they weren't interactive enough and weekly water changes etc. were just too much. A tort/boxie is the perfect middle ground, at least for me. I still have bad moments, but I do soooooo much better now.
Wait till you start doing stuff like raising your own live foods and gardening to grow your own veggies! I have 27 shelled friends in my direct care and another 13 with my Uncle. He uses the garden to combat his being bipolar and anger issues. The difference in his mood is night and day compared to the before. In the winter when the adult bale is hibernating, he cares for a few of the babies indoors or plans out next years garden. I have torts that do not hibernate to care for in the winter.
 

StarSapphire22

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2013
Messages
2,688
Location (City and/or State)
Fargo, ND
Wait till you start doing stuff like raising your own live foods and gardening to grow your own veggies! I have 27 shelled friends in my direct care and another 13 with my Uncle. He uses the garden to combat his being bipolar and anger issues. The difference in his mood is night and day compared to the before. In the winter when the adult bale is hibernating, he cares for a few of the babies indoors or plans out next years garden. I have torts that do not hibernate to care for in the winter.

I've tried growing veggies but I'm not very good at it, hahahaha...
 

Saleama

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2013
Messages
1,501
Location (City and/or State)
Irving Texas
I've tried growing veggies but I'm not very good at it, hahahaha...
Neither am I but the fun is in getting my hands dirty and trying new things. My brother and uncle could grow tomatoes on the moon. My tomato plants are six feet tall and I only have four little tomatoes so far.
 

StarSapphire22

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2013
Messages
2,688
Location (City and/or State)
Fargo, ND
Neither am I but the fun is in getting my hands dirty and trying new things. My brother and uncle could grow tomatoes on the moon. My tomato plants are six feet tall and I only have four little tomatoes so far.
I tried growing a mesclun lettuce seed packet and they got like 2-3 inches tall, were super leggy, and then just died.
 

Saleama

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2013
Messages
1,501
Location (City and/or State)
Irving Texas
I tried growing a mesclun lettuce seed packet and they got like 2-3 inches tall, were super leggy, and then just died.
LOL! Mine are about two feet tall with a real thick stalk and hardly any leaves. I feed them to my Russian tortoises. I got the spicy and they seem to love it.
 

lisa127

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2012
Messages
4,323
Location (City and/or State)
NE Ohio
He did! It was a very hard decision, but it was what was best for everyone involved. We tried to make it work for three years because we loved him very much, but it was just too hard and I was really not doing well. We're considering trying dogs again when we have a house and I have a better handle on everything and we're really truly ready and able to have one.
When you are ready, you might want to try fostering first instead of adopting. That way, you can give and receive the love without making the commitment. Then if you find it's right for you you can adopt.
 

lisa127

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2012
Messages
4,323
Location (City and/or State)
NE Ohio
I have only seen my adults and one or two of my juveniles bask and that was under a light that was a lot higher than my tortoise basking light. I keep a basking light as well but it is way up there and the temps usually don't get over 88 - 90 according to my temp gun. I find that a 60 watt regular bulb about a foot or so up is about all they will tolerate. Box turtles usually avoid teps that get too high. Over 90 and they tend to head for the hills. My temps are about the same as yours. They go down at night when I turn the air down to 70 but the proximity of the tortoise's table leaks a little more warm air onto them and keep it about 2 - 3 degrees higher than the rest of the room.
So sorry to hear about your family.
I don't use spot bulbs for basking. I just use the regular black nightglow bulbs. So it's not the intense heat, but they do hang out directly under them at times. Not often, but mostly first thing in the morning.

And thank you.
 
TortoiseSupply.com

New Posts

Top