Update on my Box Turtle

clsanchez77

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Hey all, just wanted to upload a few shots on my turtle. He spent this winter outside as I had enough maple and live oak leaves to make a nice thick bed. Winter was mild so he actually did not spend too much time underground.

This winter, I changed out the small shallow pond with a preformed 120 gallon pond. I lined the sides with small retaining blocks. Since the temps have come up, I can't keep this fellow out the water, especially when the sun is on it in the morning. It has a small filter but I plan to drain it and refill every few weeks. The retaining blocks makes it pretty easy for him to get in and out.

The small ferns really filled in since winter was so mild. He has a preferred shelter spot between two of them right by the pond.

For food, I have been giving him scraps on my cat's food each morning. Twice a week, I mix up some Box Turtle Food pellet with a can of cat food and a can of insects (crickets, etc). It all gets mixed together and dumped in a pile on the leaves. He usually eats this up over 2 days. Pretty soon, I will stock the pond with some mosquito fish.

Now as a surprise, I now have a small red ear slider turtle in the pond. No idea where from or how, but he is in there. Not sure what to do with him.... I would say that currently, the slider is about 20% of the box turtle in size and stays away from him. When the box is in the pond, the slider dives below the submerged leaf litter. Otherwise, he is perched on some buried driftwood. Time will tell on this one I guess.

Enjoy,
Chris

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wellington

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Nice. If I were you though, I would not let him share the pond or enclosure with the RES. Very unhealthy for both, but more so for your Boxie.
 

wellington

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Species should never mix. Different pathogens diseases etc they could pass to each other that they would normally never come across except for human error.
 

clsanchez77

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The more I am looking into this, it seems the two turtles I have are from the same habitat, at least locally. Sure, box turtles are land and sliders are aquatic, but I live in a state that is almost all swamp, so its all gray anyway. Am I missing something?
 

Berkeley

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No, you're not missing anything. Those two species live together in the wild anyways. And as you mentioned, they are split by land and water usually.

Generally speaking, Wellington is correct, but more specifically, that statement applies to turtles that would not normally encounter one another in the wild (e.g.-like housing a Russian tortoise and a Gopher tortoise together)

In your case, it is totally fine. I see you are in the Southeast- we have dozens of turtle species that live together in the waterways around, and no issue. The issue Wellington is referencing is, again, species that wouldn't normally encounter one another in a wild situation.

--Berkeley
 

Yvonne G

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I love that turtle! What a colorful shell. And the skin!!! She's a beauty for sure.

Had she been a "painted turtle" at one time? What a shame to paint and cover up that pretty shell. I'm glad the paint's wearing off.

It looks like your turtle has a very nice habitat to roam around in. Box turtles are right up there at the top of my 'favorite turtle' list.
 

clsanchez77

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Thanks guys/gals. Wellington's advise is well heeded for sure, but I have no interest in exotic turtles, so I will file that in case I see someone else asking. In the meantime, I will report in how this develops. So far, reception has been cold.

Yvonne, yes his shell was painted. I was give the turtle as a rescue pet for my kids a year ago and the shell was painted with some kind of white primer. I have wire brushed off as much as I could a year ago. I could not get it out of the grooves and a few other patches. Once the turtle took to his new home, we noticed the paint is not coming off on its own. I take that as a sign of health. The turtle also had some kind of soar on the top of his head and this is also now gone. The turtle is cautious with visitors but now seems to be perfectly comfortable with me, provided he does not like to be picked up.

The red ear slider on the other hand, I have yet to see him up close, much less catch him. His shell is probably about 4" in length, as opposed to the 10" box turtle. He keeps his distance from the box and from me. I have caught him sun bathing on driftwood, but as soon as I am in his sight, he is underwater. Amazingly fast. I am feeding him frozen freshwater fish food from my aquarium. I plan to stock the small pond with some small feeder fish and grass shrimp to supplement.
 
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