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Most common mistakes by novice keepers?

Discussion in 'General Turtle Care Discussion' started by Allan, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. Allan

    Allan Senior Turtle

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    Hi
    I would like to get some opinions on what you think are the most common mistakes by novice keepers that could prove fatal to newly acquired hatchlings.
    I'm starting to think that top of the list may be that hatchlings are put straight into tanks where they haven't allowed enough time for the good bacteria to become established. This of course leads to water quality problems which adversely affect the turtles.
    Anyone else have any comments?
     
  2. Brian Mercer

    Brian Mercer Adult Turtle

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    Hello Allan,
    By reading the posts and from my own experience I think diet is a big problem. Over feeding another. You don't see turtles in the wild eating red meat or fruit and veggies.
    You mention the the bacteria in a new tank. The other Alan told me to get a bucket of creek water to put in my pond to get the micro organisms started.
    Is there something available from pet stores that will introduce the bacteria needed straight away?
     
  3. Allan

    Allan Senior Turtle

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    Hi Brian
    yes, there is a product called Bio Start for ponds
    http://www.rockaroundtheblock.com.au/product.asp?pID=130&cID=60
    I'm sure there are similar products for aquariums, though I haven't used them. I put a few feeder fish in first to get things happening.
     
  4. elnhydra

    elnhydra Adult Turtle

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    I'd say drowning. I've heard of quite a few baby turts being held down by filter intakes and or elaborate decorative features within a tank.
     
  5. Craig

    Craig Administrator
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    That's a good one D. I've personally had to explain over the phone how to resuscitate turtles a number of times where intake strainers have fallen off and a turtles limb has been sucked in, effectively drowning the turtle.
     
  6. elnhydra

    elnhydra Adult Turtle

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    Hi Brian I use stresszyme or cycle for my tanks.
     
  7. elnhydra

    elnhydra Adult Turtle

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    I would like to expand on my example and suggest that new keepers be aware of the nature of glass and its lack of purpose for turtle feet. Watching turtles chase food or generally exploring a tank environment, it is easy to see how the little guys can get stuck between a glass surface and some other aquarium "furniture". Their ability to "reverse" or "muscle" their way out of trouble is greatly reduced due to not being able to grip the glass sides. I always suggest a boring but safe aquarium is better than a pretty but dangerous one. Turtles may be the cutest animals on earth but they can be a little thick at times. ;)
     
  8. poss

    poss Egg

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    Filter intakes for sure; I nearly lost one of my turtles a few years ago this way. Also freshwater muscles are a bit of a hazard, I had a few in my tank and my turtles would get their claws stuck in them when they closed and would struggle getting air with a weight attached to their foot (the smaller the turtle the worse I guess).
     
  9. Zaklaan

    Zaklaan Egg

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    Bad maintenance. Water not changed regularly enough. It implies the development of too many bacteria which can imply fungus and other disease as the turtle drink the water where they live.

    Tank too small, or disturbing for the turtle when she can't hide or where they are too much exposed to a human activity.
     
  10. jackj

    jackj Hatchling Turtle

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    Hi Allan,

    I have had my turtles a bit over 12 months, so I regard myself as still a beginner. I think a huge problem is lack of adequate filtration. Following this, inadequate water quality. It seems time after time, people ask for help/ advice with their turtles and it comes down to dirty water and or lack of exposure to sunlight.

    Thank you very much to Craig for the fantastic Care guides- YES, some of us do read them...:D.

    Merry Christmas

    Tracey
     
  11. Gaz

    Gaz Adult Turtle

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    From my own experiences, lack of research prior to getting the turtle home & incorrect information would have to be the two biggest mistakes.
    If people would only look into their purchases more & not take the word of a pet store owner, most of these problems could be avoided.
    When people buy a dog & the dog gets sick, they generally don't take it to the pet store for help, they take it to the vet.
    I just don't understand why the pet store is the first port of call with a sick turtle???
     
  12. Bubbles Mum

    Bubbles Mum Hatchling Turtle

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    I agree that ignorance is the biggest mistake - but then a lot of it is also down to mis-information from the point of purchase (unfortunately being pet shops for the majority of cases).

    I have been an owner now for 6 months and have educated myself with the care guides info on here (thanks!). Since then I have been back to 2 of my local pet/reptile stores and pointed them all in the direction of AFT website - I just hope that some of them have checked this place out.

    Also, I hear of people who know others with turts as pets and all say yeah - they eat those cube things don't they? I again point them into finding the correct information from here. It's just so frustrating that because this frozen food is manufactured and sold as turtle food, then realistically why would any typical parent who has bought one of these lovely fellows for their child then feel the need to question any information about the food etc when then feel they have been given all the info in the first place?

    It appears to be a vicious circle of ignorance. :(
     
  13. Bubbles Mum

    Bubbles Mum Hatchling Turtle

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    :eek: He doesn't deserve to keep a turtle or any other creature if he chooses ignorance over advice :mad:

    Maybe you could go to the pet shop and give them this website for THEIR information as they are giving out duff info that will endanger the pets they are selling...


    As an aside - do pet shops have to have training to sell the animals they stock over here? Is there a governing body who they can be reported to if malpractice is known?
     
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  14. samcooke

    samcooke Sub-Adult Turtle

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    Biggest mistake I have seen is lack of attentiveness. I have read countless posts of people saying their turtles were dead or dying because they 1. Did not listen to advice given to them on the forum which ultimately, lead to the turtles death and 2. Did not pay attention to THEIR TURTLE. People need to be constantly watching for out of ordinary behaviour, forgetting to feed their turtles and constantly checking the physical health of their turtles.
    Stress caused by too small an environment, varied size and species of turtles in one enclosure, lack of hides and areas they can escape our view in the enclosure are also major factors in the deaths of hatchlings.
     
  15. Atuin

    Atuin Sub-Adult Turtle

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    Hi Allan, As someone who has only recently realised my mistakes, I would have to agree with much of the previous posts. I certainly acted on very poor advice which came not only from pet stores, but a wide variety of sources. But I need to take responsibility for that. I chose to act on their advice without researching further. I would agree with Gaz that lack of thorough research and accurate advice was the biggest problem for me. Stemming from that, I made poor decisions relating to my turtles diet (overfeeding with inappropriate foods). I think also the importance of sourcing an appropriate and knowledgeable vet before purchasing a turtle cannot be underestimated.
     
  16. Allan

    Allan Senior Turtle

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    All great valid points....to expand a little on my original post I would add that one of the mistakes that first timers make is to skimp on the filtration side of things and use an internal filter rather than a good external canister filter, which of course does a much better job.
     
  17. Craig

    Craig Administrator
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    Most problems lies in the stress the turtles are subjected to, their incorrect diet and the fact that they are housed with predators that are larger than them. Large Glass-shrimp (being much larger than them), and fish larger than them would ALL be intimidating to your turtles due to their size.

    Turtles also need to be left to settle in to their new environment, especially as babies. Constantly picking up and turning over, and their every move being watched will not allow for them to behave naturally and only stresses them out!

    Feeding ELN's pelleted food, which is very rare for long-necked turtles to eat, is also not a good idea.
    I have never been able to get baby ELN turtles to start eating pellets, but have successfully trained an ELN 12 months old to eat them. If you only have a few small fish in your tank, ELN's being not that fast, would be lucky to catch them. Sometimes the energy used to catch one is less than the benefits of eating the fish that they catch, especially if there are only a few prey items to chase around. Obviously the more BITE SIZED live food in the tank the better!
     
  18. cycindahead

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    Thanks guys

    Boy, am I glad I read this first! My initial plan was a flat piece of driftwood on top of a pile of rocks as a "dock" I have always enjoyed the natural look of timber and rocks in my fish tanks, but if that is a trap for those who dwell-in-a-shell, forget it. Or is there a way around this? I would really like to keep the natural look, but its not all about me and my preferences. I am going to ask a million questions on this forum, such as is a 6x2x2 big enough for 2 fully grown yellow faced turtles? I want to start out with young turtles and let them grow. If not 2, is it big enough for 1 adult? Tony
     
  19. AMAZING AMAZON

    AMAZING AMAZON Adult Turtle
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    EXACTLY!!!

    People don't listen and although we give them verbal advice and a care sheet explaining everything you need at least 50% of turtles we sell go out the door without people purchasing the recommended foods and conditioners.

    Food is one of the biggest things. We usually recommend 4 different frozens, some whole river shrimp and some pellets for their diet. Time and time again customers just say"I will just grab 1 frozen for now". The other common line is"I think I have a 10% UVB light at home". This one baffles me as most people dont' even own another reptile so how could they possibly have a brand new 10% UVB globe laying around the house? I can only put it down to people perception that we must be overselling products required to keep a turtle.

    Although I agree that most problems are due to bad advice from the seller of the turtle (usually a shop) even when proper advice is given a lot of people still don't act on it.

    Paul
     
  20. Bronwyn

    Bronwyn Egg

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    Hello everyone. I am a novice. I have been searching the net for information. I have 2 Murray River turtles. They are gorgeous!!!! I have found so much conflicting information. Feed wise I have been giving them blood worms, plus I put some small guppies in with them and they were very quick to get the idea. Have put sliced zucchini in which they had a go at and meal worms (BOTH ARE BAD FOOD for turtles) which was a bit of a challenge but they soon got the hang of it. BUT these ARE NOT suitable for them!