Unexpectedly caring for 4 baby turtles for friends - HELP

Mrs.Jennifer

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They are officially in the new tank! I’ll have to clean the old tank tomorrow and get the new filter and heater in it before I put the snapping turtles back in there. View attachment 320532 View attachment 320533 View attachment 320534 View attachment 320535
I commend you on your diligence to help these little guys. It can be overwhelming to set up new habitats, even more so when in an emergency. Best of luck to you and the turtles. I just LOVE little snappers!
 

Brittany1006

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I have a bit of a dilemma. I don’t think the turtles can get up to the top of this rock filter to bask and I fear they aren’t getting warm enough basking down lower. Do I fill it up with more water so they can swim to the top of it? I feel like if I add more rocks it may become dangerous stacking them up that high if they fell. Rock filter is farthest right in the photo.

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maggie3fan

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The water level needs to be higher. Water turtles like to swim, dive and bask. They can climb also, so you maybe can make the basking rocks at different levels so maybe they can climb them
This is my little water turtle...the first picture shows his basking spot, the top of a midevil castle, there's one more spot on the castle, out of shot...
100_6467.JPG
His name is Red and he will eat anything he can get his mouth around. I feed him live fish from time to time, but he always leaves one or two so now he has 6 freakin pet goldfish. He swims around with a live goldfish hanging out of his mouth.
100_6685.JPG
 

Toddrickfl1

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maggie3fan

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The water level needs to be higher. Water turtles like to swim, dive and bask. They can climb also, so you maybe can make the basking rocks at different levels so maybe they can climb them
This is my little water turtle...the first picture shows his basking spot, the top of a midevil castle, there's one more spot on the castle, out of shot...

His name is Red and he will eat anything he can get his mouth around. I feed him live fish from time to time, but he always leaves one or two so now he has 6 freakin pet goldfish. He swims around with a live goldfish hanging out of his mouth.
 

maggie3fan

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The water level needs to be higher. Water turtles like to swim, dive and bask. They can climb also, so you maybe can make the basking rocks at different levels so maybe they can climb them
This is my little water turtle...the first picture shows his basking spot, the top of a midevil castle, there's one more spot on the castle, out of shot...
View attachment 320583
His name is Red and he will eat anything he can get his mouth around. I feed him live fish from time to time, but he always leaves one or two so now he has 6 freakin pet goldfish. He swims around with a live goldfish hanging out of his mouth.
View attachment 320582
 

Brittany1006

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Lancaster Kentucky
I need some suggestions on basking light bulbs? Both lamps I have came with bulbs in them (one the owner sent and the other is the one that came with the used tank) so I'm not sure they are the right kind of bulb.
 

Walnut's_pet

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Hi there. A lot of good advice and info provided above. I just wanted to comment based on some experience with eastern snapping turtles. One thing you should know is, ironically, snapping turtles are not good swimmers. Certainly not as good as sliders or painted turtles. While the latter can freely swim in a full tank, the snappers will not. Common rule of thumb for snappers is to keep the water as deep as their shell is long. From experience, i usually go slightly deeper because they have LONG necks and will often float their front legs off the floor. Because of the differences, i'm not sure its advisable to keep the snappers and painted together, unless you decide to keep the tank sufficiently shallow.
Also to consider, unless they have been handled continuously while growing, those snappers will bite. Its not bad when they're just little guys, but at several months old they'll certainly catch your attention. They will also be aggressive with other turtles. Based on your location, I'm guessing they are eastern snappers and not alligator snappers which tend to be less aggressive (based on what I've read and been told). If they do try to bite, you can use an adequate net or bowl to fish them out of the tank. If you pick them up grab as far back as you can on the shell (like i said they have LONG necks). Just please dont pick them up by the tail.
Turtles are very messy, as stated above so make your life easier and limit the amount of decorations. I would still do (large) rocks as substrate to give the turtles some kind of footing. Feeding outside the main tank (maybe in that 10) is advisable to limit cleanings in the main tank. I wouldn't recommend undergravel filter for a turtle tank. A canister filter is best but a filter with changeable pads and/or hang on the back filters will work for a full tank. Shallow tanks sometimes requires an in tank filter (not unlike what you had) but just know cleaning those can be a pain. For food... pellets and subsidize with live (fish, crickets, worms). I didn't worry too much about additional greens because i kept floating plants in the tanks. Once last word of caution... if adding decorations... ensure they are anchored or glued w/ silicone to avoid falling over and injuring or pinning a turtle. Avoid space under or on the side of decorations where the turtles can get themselves wedged (and they will because they are almost as stubborn as tortoises). rule of thumb for that is allow 2x the width of their shell between decorations and/or side/bottom of the tank. Dont mean to throw so much out at you. Snappers are near and dear to my heart. I wish you the best.
 

Walnut's_pet

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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.
Just an FYI... snappers will do just fine without a water heater. They are from temperate zones and will do fine at room temp. You can add a basking light over a land area or rock, but in my experience they will seldom use it. Painters and sliders on the other hand love to lounge under basking lights
 

Walnut's_pet

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Location (City and/or State)
Connecticut
I need some suggestions on basking light bulbs? Both lamps I have came with bulbs in them (one the owner sent and the other is the one that came with the used tank) so I'm not sure they are the right kind of bulb.
As a heat source, a standard flood light (maybe up to 50-70 watts depending on how far over the tank you hang it) or, in a pinch, a regular old incandescent bulb. Like most amphibians and reptiles, you'll need a UVB bulb too. Best solution is a small florescent strip light with a UVB emitting bulb. You can hang it over the tank. If I may offer a couple of words of caution with the lights 1) hang them using stands or fasten them by chain etc... just dont rely on clamps (I found this out the hard way) 2) for the basking lamp, raise it high enough to avoid getting splashed by water
 
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