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Starting setup for turtles

Discussion in 'Turtle Supplies & Equipment' started by TurtleHound, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. TurtleHound

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    Hello!

    I've been reading up on the forums on how to care for Australian freshwater turtles and would love to own one myself and provide it with all the necessary conditions for it to leave a long and happy life. :)

    I'm trying to find out exactly what I would need to buy to start the setup for my very own turtle!

    I'll obviously cycle the tank for 6-8 weeks as mentioned on these forums with all the steps and goldfish etc, but in terms of equipment such as the tank and filter, what would I need? (I'll probably start with the full size tank from the get go so I don't need to buy more).

    Thanks
     
  2. Craig

    Craig Owner/Administrator/Public Officer
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    Hi and welcome to AFT.

    Have a read of the following thread. This will be very helpful. :arrowright: The following is essential reading Quick Reference Guide :arrowright: How To Set Up An Aquarium For Turtles and Feeding Guide


    Below are some of the standard posts and threads we also ask new members to have a look at:

    Please read the 'AFT Turtle Care Guide' :arrowright: AFT Freshwater Turtle Care Guide

    Why you Shouldn't Keep Two Turtles Together :arrowright: Keeping Two Turtles Together

    To understand why we make the recommendations that we do in the Care Guide
    please read this informative post :arrowright: Why we make the recommendations that we do here on AFT Part 1

    Also, it would be best to familiarise yourself with the skin infections care sheet located here :arrowright: Skin Infections

    After that, you can read the Most Common Mistakes made by novice keepers thread here :arrowright: Common Mistakes

    If your turtle is sick or injured and needs dry-docking :arrowright: Important Tips for Dry-Docking Sick Turtles

    If you have any questions about why we recommend Calgrit/Turtle Grit and River Sand instead of pebbles and small rocks, please read this thread as well :arrowright: Gravel Blockage-Very sick turtle!

    How to measure the
    Straight Carapace Length (SCL) of a Turtle's Shell :arrowright: Measuring the Straight Carapace Length of a turtles shell

    If you have any specific questions after that, please go ahead and ask. If you want to search a particular subject, look at the top of the page for the Advanced Search link and type in the word or topic you wish to learn about.
     
  3. Aussiepride83

    Aussiepride83 Administrator
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    G'day mate and :aftwelcome:

    What species of turtle are you interested in keeping yourself?
     
  4. TurtleHound

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    At first I was thinking Macleay because I like the way they look, but apparently not a beginner turtle? Too aggressive too many problems etc. I know ELN is supposed to be good for beginners but I would prefer a short neck as I like the idea of lots of plants in the tank, so not sure right now.
     
  5. Craig

    Craig Owner/Administrator/Public Officer
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    If you have a short-necked turtle you won't have many plants in your tank if any. They love eating aquatic plants like Vallisneria/Val/Ribbonweed, Elodea, Azolla and Duckweed. An ELN will forage in plants looking for food but won't devour them leaving your tank bare.
     
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  6. TurtleHound

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    Ah OK! What are two or three different species you would recommend then as well as the ELN? Thanks
     
    #6 TurtleHound, Aug 6, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2017
  7. Aussiepride83

    Aussiepride83 Administrator
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    A Saw-shelled or Hunter River turtle if you could source them.
     
  8. Craig

    Craig Owner/Administrator/Public Officer
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    Hi, apart from Eastern snake-necked turtles/ELN's (Chelodina longicollis) I'd recommend a Saw-shelled turtle (Myuchelys latisternum), a Krefft's turtle (Emydura macquarii krefftii) or a Manning River turtle/Purvis' turtle (Flaviemys purvisi).

    4603-1502007078-2b66d5fd36d99fa8e2bbbf1f20121655.jpg

    4604-1502007120-c824a0e3506e36bd953bca6dd443bd8d.jpg

    4605-1502007158-d1fb716ae9b749c1d701bc5a04212ce2.jpg

    4606-1502007196-6cf9e293f0a5eec3d7067bbf54cea5f3.jpg
     
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  9. TurtleHound

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    What size tank would I would need for these as adults? The Saw-shelled turtle caught my eye. :)
     
    #9 TurtleHound, Aug 6, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2017
  10. Aussiepride83

    Aussiepride83 Administrator
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    For a beginner??
    --- Double Post Merged, Aug 6, 2017, Original Post Date: Aug 6, 2017 ---
    6×2×2.
     
  11. Rodney

    Rodney Juvenile Turtle

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    Hi Craig and Kevin, are Manning River turtles available ? I have never seen them for sale.
     
  12. Craig

    Craig Owner/Administrator/Public Officer
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    If you had 1 male Saw-shelled turtle a 4ft X 2ft X 2ft tank would be adequate. If it was for 1 female Saw-shelled turtle a 5ft X 2ft X 2ft or 6ft X 2ft X 2ft tank would be ideal.
     
  13. Craig

    Craig Owner/Administrator/Public Officer
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    Hi Rodney, they are for sale by a bloke in QLD at the moment although he keeps them until they can be sexed, and will only sell one sex. That we he has a lot to gain long term $$$$ wise. It's also one of the most 'anti-conservation' practices I've ever heard of.

    I'm hoping Kev starts breeding them in the next year or so.
     
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  14. Craig

    Craig Owner/Administrator/Public Officer
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    Absolutely. They have the right temperament and don't stress like a lot of turtle species do.
     
  15. Aussiepride83

    Aussiepride83 Administrator
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    They definitely have the right temperament but I imagine their sensitivity to water chemistry to be up there with Macleays and any other species from NSW's pristine rivers/waterways like the Bald rock creek turtle or Bellinger River turtle.
    --- Double Post Merged, Aug 7, 2017, Original Post Date: Aug 7, 2017 ---
    The last article I read about said bloke stated that he's not selling any of his hatchlings to hobbyists, however, he may in the future consider selling some to zoos and animal institutions across Australia. John Cann then went on to mention that the bloke would be able to obtain special permission to release his hatchlings into the wild in a re-population effort (which I believe would be futile given that the Manning River is being overrun by non-native Murrays which is one of the main causes of decline for this ancient species.)

    The bloke has 2 adult pairs of Manning River Turtles and has had them for some 20 years and has only had 50% success rate in breeding them with many of the newly hatched turtles dying within hours of hatching.
    My own sub-adult pair is still not quite ready for breeding with my male at 14cm SCL and the female at 16cm, although the male is having a fair crack at it. They can grow to 24cm SCL.

    Rodney, I'm hoping for a better success rate than this other joker who, like Craig said, is doing nothing for this endangered species by keeping all the turtles he's bred to himself. Craig bred hundreds of endangered Jardine River (Painted turtles) do you know how many he kept for himself?? 0. That's how you get a species into the captive trade and ensure their future.
     
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  16. Rodney

    Rodney Juvenile Turtle

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    Thanks Craig and Kevin.

    Disappointing so few Manning River turtles form the pool of captive reproductive turtles. Presumably this may lead to a genetic bottleneck should any become available.

    Small mindedness is then placing a species in peril. Within the fish hobby several species exist through the efforts and skill of the hobbyists while the wild populations are now extinct. As a species not wild but completely extinct.

    Logically this bloke then would have only made the males available whilst retaining the females.It could still be worthwhile in the hope of obtaining the other gender later and to enhance the gene pool if non-related turtles subsequently become available. A bit of a concern though with many of the hatchlings dying within a few hours of hatching.

    Waiting with anticipation Kevin on the success of your Manning River turtles.
     
  17. Craig

    Craig Owner/Administrator/Public Officer
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    Believe me, if that other bloke is breeding them I can assure you the water chemistry quality thing isn't that much of an issue, and nowhere close to like it is with Macleays and George's turtles. Bald Rock Creek turtles are not sensitive to water issues. I've dived in areas that were considered polluted and found Bald Rock Creek turtles.

    That was purely for the benefit of the Newspapers and was BS. He was advertising them and someone we both know enquired and they were for sale for $600 each, albeit 1 sex only. They were being advertised on an online reptile trading site at one time.
     
  18. Craig

    Craig Owner/Administrator/Public Officer
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    That was simply a husbandry issue Rodney.
     
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  19. Rodney

    Rodney Juvenile Turtle

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    Thanks Craig. At least it is a husbandry issue rather than a genetic problem.

    I don't know enough about the pricing of non common place species and $600 seems a bit steep but online sites and with retailers, Macleays still command an elevated price (granted not in that league). Certainly for the purchase of say 3 Manning River turtles at $600 each becomes prohibitive.

    It would certainly put the brakes on impulse purchases by parents or spouses and housing the turtle in a goldfish bowl complete with a rock and gravel on a turtle dinner diet.
     
  20. Aussiepride83

    Aussiepride83 Administrator
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    He's bred how many half clutches in the last 2 decades?? I think jagging a few here and there every 4-5 years is an indication that the species is sensitive to less than optimum water chemistry and husbandry techniques... He's probably getting them to breed successfully right after every time he performs a water change... every 5 years. lol

    My understanding is that a serious percentage of the Bald rock creek turtle population (particularly above the escarpment in the tablelands of NSW) in sheep and cattle grazing country suffers a widespread eye condition that's left most of the turtles blind. That's where I came to the water chemistry sensitivity conclusion with this species. Like with recent catastrophic events in the Bellinger, the local ELN's and introduced Murrays weren't affected, only the George's turtle.


    This I do believe when I think about it. $600... Damn!
    --- Double Post Merged, Aug 7, 2017, Original Post Date: Aug 7, 2017 ---
    Hence why I guarantee any I can successfully breed will become available to keen hobbyists like yourself. I cannot keep any hatchlings myself as they will all be directly related.
    --- Double Post Merged, Aug 7, 2017 ---
    It's definitely a husbandry issue, his incubation technique would be incorrect.

    The price of Macleays is driven purely by demand. People want them because they're the smallest Australian species allowed to be kept in captivity. Simple. The higher the demand for anything, the higher the price. Also, there's more effort for the breeders to get Macleay hatchlings to the point where they can be sold to the public. They are very hard to raise successfully from hatching, Craig had it down to perfection and was knocking out hundreds of them every season.

    You would be surprised... Forget turtles for a minute, my sister-in-law spent $1,200 on the best Bull-Terrier pup she could find and she has never taken it to the vet for shots once and it's now 4 years old. It gets the cheapest crap dog food they can find and it's not once had a solid bowel movement since she's owned it. It's always throwing up in their house too... Common sense cannot be bought unfortunately, you either have it or you don't.

    Craig and I know somebody who forked out thousands of dollars for tens of albino pig-nosed turtles... where are they all now??? Frozen solid in a commercial freezer because they all died because he hadn't the faintest idea how to look after them.

    There's plenty of people out there with more $$$ than brains.
     
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