Unexpectedly caring for 4 baby turtles for friends - HELP

Brittany1006

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Hey guys, so I've never owned a turtle but have done lots of research over the past couple of days. My husbands friends home was destroyed due to recent historic floods in our area and he volunteered to take their turtles so they wouldn't have to worry about taking care of them while renovating their home. All four of them are 6 months old, 2 painted and 2 snapping. They were sent in a 10 gallon tank with a filter CAKED in mud from the flood waters, a lamp and food. After researching I have ordered a 30 gallon tank, a filter for turtles, a shatterproof heater, thermometer and water conditioner. I have everything but the heater and filter they will be delivered tomorrow. I am going to transfer them to their new tank with all of the new stuff tomorrow night when it gets here. I have lots of questions I'm praying someone can help me with.

1. How do I transfer them to the new tank?
2. Should the basking area have a gradual slope or can it just be rocks stacked up?
3. Does the filter run at all times?
4. How often do I feed them and how much?
5. Do they prefer light at night time or should I turn the lights off?
6. Should the bottom of the tank be empty? (they currently have small pebbles all along the bottom)
7. Should I feed them lettuce with their normal food? If so what type?
8. I've read they like hiding spots, they have 3 smaller fake plants, how many do they need? Where should I put them?
9. How often does the tank need cleaned? What do I clean it with? Do I take them out while cleaning it?

I think that's all I have for now but I'm sure I'll come up with more.

THANK YOU GUYS IN ADVANCE!!!!
 

Lyn W

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If you look in this section there may be some answers to your questions there until a turtle keeper comes along.

Can't your hubby's friend come and help set them up?
 

Toddrickfl1

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Hey guys, so I've never owned a turtle but have done lots of research over the past couple of days. My husbands friends home was destroyed due to recent historic floods in our area and he volunteered to take their turtles so they wouldn't have to worry about taking care of them while renovating their home. All four of them are 6 months old, 2 painted and 2 snapping. They were sent in a 10 gallon tank with a filter CAKED in mud from the flood waters, a lamp and food. After researching I have ordered a 30 gallon tank, a filter for turtles, a shatterproof heater, thermometer and water conditioner. I have everything but the heater and filter they will be delivered tomorrow. I am going to transfer them to their new tank with all of the new stuff tomorrow night when it gets here. I have lots of questions I'm praying someone can help me with.

1. How do I transfer them to the new tank?
2. Should the basking area have a gradual slope or can it just be rocks stacked up?
3. Does the filter run at all times?
4. How often do I feed them and how much?
5. Do they prefer light at night time or should I turn the lights off?
6. Should the bottom of the tank be empty? (they currently have small pebbles all along the bottom)
7. Should I feed them lettuce with their normal food? If so what type?
8. I've read they like hiding spots, they have 3 smaller fake plants, how many do they need? Where should I put them?
9. How often does the tank need cleaned? What do I clean it with? Do I take them out while cleaning it?

I think that's all I have for now but I'm sure I'll come up with more.

THANK YOU GUYS IN ADVANCE!!!!
I try my best to answer your questions. First you should know that the snappers should be separate from the painted turtles. If you keep them together it won't be long till the painted turtles don't have tails anymore.

1 No real special way. Just make sure the new tank is setup and running then put them in it.

2 Gradual slope if you can.

3 Yes

4 Once a day. Whatever they consume in about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes if there's still food floating around your feeding to much which will dirty your water quicker.

5 Lights on during day off completely at night.

6 It's entirely up to you. Bare bottom is easier to clean but less aesthetically pleasing IMO. If you do use rocks, don't use any small ones that the turtles can swallow. River rocks work well and your can get them at the hardware store.

7 While they're young they probably won't eat it but wouldn't hurt anything, any dark leafy green.

8 They will definitely appreciate plants. Its entirely up to you how you arrange them.

9 This one depends on how good the filter you purchased is. Can you post pictures of it?
 

Brittany1006

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Lancaster Kentucky
I try my best to answer your questions. First you should know that the snappers should be separate from the painted turtles. If you keep them together it won't be long till the painted turtles don't have tails anymore.

1 No real special way. Just make sure the new tank is setup and running then put them in it.

2 Gradual slope if you can.

3 Yes

4 Once a day. Whatever they consume in about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes if there's still food floating around your feeding to much which will dirty your water quicker.

5 Lights on during day off completely at night.

6 It's entirely up to you. Bare bottom is easier to clean but less aesthetically pleasing IMO. If you do use rocks, don't use any small ones that the turtles can swallow. River rocks work well and your can get them at the hardware store.

7 While they're young they probably won't eat it but wouldn't hurt anything, any dark leafy green.

8 They will definitely appreciate plants. Its entirely up to you how you arrange them.

9 This one depends on how good the filter you purchased is. Can you post pictures of it?
 

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Toddrickfl1

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Those filters aren't the greatest unfortunately. They do look cool and make good basking platforms though. Turtles are really messy, you need a lot of filtration. With that filter you'll probably need to do some water changes weekly. You might even have trouble keeping the water clear. I used canister filters when I had tanks. If I was you I'd look into one of them. Especially with 4 turtles. Think of it this way, they live in their toilet 🤢
 

Brittany1006

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Those filters aren't the greatest unfortunately. They do look cool and make good basking platforms though. Turtles are really messy, you need a lot of filtration. With that filter you'll probably need to do some water changes weekly. You might even have trouble keeping the water clear. I used canister filters when I had tanks. If I was you I'd look into one of them. Especially with 4 turtles. Think of it this way, they live in their toilet 🤢

I appreciate you helping me! I’ve spent $100 of my own money on them 😕 I don’t have much extra money but I’m trying to help them out as best I can while they’re on my home. I looked up the canister filters but they are just too far out of my limited budget. I feel bad that I can’t do more for them but their owner has a $8 filter in there so I’m at least improving things a little bit for them.
 

Brittany1006

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Those filters aren't the greatest unfortunately. They do look cool and make good basking platforms though. Turtles are really messy, you need a lot of filtration. With that filter you'll probably need to do some water changes weekly. You might even have trouble keeping the water clear. I used canister filters when I had tanks. If I was you I'd look into one of them. Especially with 4 turtles. Think of it this way, they live in their toilet 🤢

Do you have a canister filter recommendation?
 

Toddrickfl1

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Do you have a canister filter recommendation?
They have some decent ones on Amazon or eBay. I understand you wouldn't want to spend too much on turtles your giving back. Something like this would help a lot, and it's fairly reasonable. You could run both filters.

 

Brittany1006

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Also this is the tank I picked up today. I bought it from a FB group and it has hoses with it that I’m not sure what they do. It also has these papers with it. I’m so lost on what all of this stuff is. 09EC56F7-7E97-4915-98D3-322A09D8FC81.jpeg B2C38798-B069-40D8-8220-6F20FF7E8957.jpeg EE4F28FA-18AB-4FBC-8111-B619E9DB8F56.jpeg DE7110F1-B57F-413B-8E5A-C2783160A315.jpeg
 

AgataP

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I have read somewhere that it’s a good idea to take turtles out into little containers with a bit of water for feeding time. That is reduces the mess in the tank. I am not 100% sure if that is the truth. Seems logical. I have no big knowledge if it comes to this water creatures. Good luck!
 

Toddrickfl1

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Toddrickfl1

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I think it is too! What is the thing with the tubes? Does that go to the filter?
No, that's a siphon to clean it. The picture with the plastic piece your holding is a piece of an ungravel filter.
 

crimson_lotus

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the tubes will be your best friend. with mine (python water changer - you might be able to catch a youtube video of it in action) I can attach it to the utility sink in my basement and clean out the dirty water/poo (or half tank water changes every week).

4 turtles gonna be messy! are you housing them in all one tank? I am not familiar with snapping turtle husbandry but are they OK with other species?

I bought a tetra whisper when I unexpectedly received my water turtle and wasnt sure what the heck to do. It wasn't super great but it's better than nothing. Maybe it will work better with babies.
 
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Brittany1006

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the tubes will be your best friend. with mine (python water changer - you might be able to catch a youtube video of it in action) I can attach it to the utility sink in my basement and clean out the dirty water/poo (or half tank water changes every week).

4 turtles gonna be messy! are you housing them in all one tank? I am not familiar with snapping turtle husbandry but are they OK with other species?

I bought a tetra whisper when I unexpectedly received my water turtle and wasnt sure what the heck to do. It wasn't super great but it's better than nothing. Maybe it will work better with babies.

From what I’ve read and have been told, snapping turtles shouldn’t be with any other turtles at all lol. I just bought a larger tank yesterday and was thinking about keeping the snapping turtles in the smaller tank since they aren’t nearly as active as the painted turtles. I as of now have a total of 3 filters (2 tetras) and one heater. So I’ll still need to buy another filter and heater before both tanks would be 100% ready for them.
 

Toddrickfl1

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Brittany1006

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That's the undergravel filter. The plastic piece your holding in one of the pics attaches to the corner. There's usually two, one in each corner. You hook an air pump or power head to it and it pulls the debris to the bottom of the tank.

I'm so thankful for all of your knowledge and your willingness to help me out!
 

Hutsie B

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definitely keep the snappers separate from the others and you may have to separate them from each other. I have raised snapper babies and it is amazing how fast they grow and eat other turtles. I don't know about eating each other. You are doing a great thing taking care of the turtles for your friend.
 
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