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Pets Whether you prefer four-legged creatures, reptiles, or any animal in between, use this forum for any questions you have about your pets or pets you would like to have.

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Turtles and tortoises - May 18th 2022, 02:02 PM

I've been thinking of getting a pet turtle or tortoise. Has anyone got any experience in taking care of them?


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Re: Turtles and tortoises - May 18th 2022, 08:41 PM

I have thought about it myself 1-2 years ago, but decided not to pursue it. Totally would be cool to do! I'd just Google a lot on them like I did! Ask questions from the person you will get one from.

https://theturtleroom.org/learn/

https://www.matts-turtles.org/resources.html

https://reptiland.com/proper-pet-car...and-tortoises/

Also check out YouTube videos too.
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Re: Turtles and tortoises - May 21st 2022, 09:54 AM

Hi Sue,

I am not a reptile kind of person. I'm a dog, cat and bunny person. I wanted to help you with this. I found some articles on how to buy a turtle, and how to take care of them. They are, https://small-pets.lovetoknow.com/re...ng-pet-turtles, https://www.myturtlecam.com/choose.php, https://piscespros.com/turtle-food/, https://www.petmd.com/reptile/care/e...of-pet-turtles, https://pets.webmd.com/what-do-pet-t...%20and%20worms, https://small-pets.lovetoknow.com/what-do-turtles-eat Whatever kind of turtle that you pick, I wish you the best with this and I hope that you have fun taking care of your new pet.


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Re: Turtles and tortoises - May 21st 2022, 02:09 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfing girl View Post
Hi Sue,

I am not a reptile kind of person. I'm a dog, cat and bunny person. I wanted to help you with this. I found some articles on how to buy a turtle, and how to take care of them. They are, https://small-pets.lovetoknow.com/re...ng-pet-turtles, https://www.myturtlecam.com/choose.php, https://piscespros.com/turtle-food/, https://www.petmd.com/reptile/care/e...of-pet-turtles, https://pets.webmd.com/what-do-pet-t...%20and%20worms, https://small-pets.lovetoknow.com/what-do-turtles-eat Whatever kind of turtle that you pick, I wish you the best with this and I hope that you have fun taking care of your new pet.
I know there's a reptile community out there on the Internet. I'd maybe even suggest joining Facebook groups if you want/can. Sometimes they can provide some resources and advice.
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Re: Turtles and tortoises - May 21st 2022, 03:10 PM

I think I will put off buying a turtle for now, as I might be changing apartments in the next 2-3 months, so it would be problematic to transport the terrarium. Thank you for your replies nevertheless! I will look into the links you provided and consider everything more seriously once I am settled down.
If anyone else has something to add on the topic, I will be very happy to read more


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Re: Turtles and tortoises - May 24th 2022, 09:33 AM

I would love to own a turtle or tortoise!


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Re: Turtles and tortoises - May 29th 2022, 01:41 PM

I have both an aquatic turtle and a tortoise.

My aquatic turtle was a rescue as a hatchling, and he is fully grown now. An aquatic turtle is an investment, as they will need a large tank depending on the species and sex they get. They also need a heater, light fixture and bulbs that are changed twice a year, a place to bask, and a good quality filter. If you go this route, you'll need a large tank and I suggest the vacuums that attach to your sink or bathtub. I am good at buying things at lower prices but even then, it's still a large investment.

He's not bad in terms of maintenance. I do water changes weekly and I give him his calcium supplement afterwards, which he loves. He currently has some retained scutes so I'm upping his vitamins and lightly massaging his shell with a toothbrush. He gets put in a separate, water filled (they need water to push their food through their mouths) bin to eat his pellets, but I put his greens directly into the tank.

A lot of people do get creative with habitats for their turtle, such as a backyard pond or a kiddie pool in a basement but it depends on where you live. Depending on what apartment you're in I would ask someone how much the floor can hold, and keep in mind that filled fish tanks are extremely heavy. Even some empty ones are heavy. Some use large plastic storage containers but I would be nervous about them holding the water weight, and others use pond inserts.

People will get tired of them and sometimes release them into the wild which is not great. That's why the Red-eared Slider is an invasive species in some areas of the US.

If you decide on a turtle, I'd say to choose a species that grows into a smaller size so it will need less space. It's generally 10 us gallons per inch of shell. I'd get everything in advance as well, before the turtle. It is also more of a "look, don't touch" pet than a tortoise is. With that said, mine knows my voice and swims right to me when I enter the room. He enjoys being talked to. I attribute that to his initial condition when I got him.

My tortoise is also a rescue. He is currently small but will grow to be very large. I would make sure you get a species that doesn't get very large, as some (like mine) will eventually need to live outdoors fulltime. Some people have kept those large tortoises inside, but they usually do a lot of damage to their home.

With that said the most expensive thing he needs is his light fixture and bulb that is also changed out every six months. I soak him every few days to help with his humidity and bowel movements. Both turtles and tortoises enjoy eating in the mornings when they're most active. He eats a lot of greens, flowers, sometimes fruit as a treat, some pellets, timothy hay, and he has a cuttlebone (the spine of the fish has to be cut off so he won't choke on it). Sometimes he eats aloe I cut from the leaves or cactus pads. I use cypress mulch bedding. He gets outside time a few times a week if it's nice but since he is small I watch him closely.

He lives in a large plastic container. You can get tortoise tables and whatnot, but I saved money this way and it is easily changeable for when he grows. Tortoises (at least the species I have) generally do not like clear/cloudy walls because they can see the outside and will ram their heads into the walls and cause damage. My container is black because of this.

Some do enjoy being held if you get them used to it and will enjoy sitting with you in time. It's a bit of a process, getting a bond with one and depends on the species. My species tends to enjoy being "pet" or "scratched" on the top of its shell.

If you get a hatchling, just know that hatchling care is often more different than adult care for tortoises.

For a clear comparison I'd say both are beautiful creatures. Aquatic turtles need a large tank and more supplies which can cost more. They tend to be "look don't touch" kind of pets though some people do let them walk around their homes. Tortoises can bond or are more likely to than an aquatic turtle, but it is still possible with an aquatic one. That is all in my experience though. Tortoises can cost less, depending on what you do for their habitat and other needs. Both live a long time. Some tortoises live 80 years or more and are a commitment.

If you have any specific questions or want to talk on Discord let me know. I can send you pictures of my turtles and their setups if you'd like. If you decide to get one, see if you can go with a rescue and get one that has already been rehabilitated.


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Re: Turtles and tortoises - May 29th 2022, 01:58 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by cynefin View Post
I have both an aquatic turtle and a tortoise.

My aquatic turtle was a rescue as a hatchling, and he is fully grown now. An aquatic turtle is an investment, as they will need a large tank depending on the species and sex they get. They also need a heater, light fixture and bulbs that are changed twice a year, a place to bask, and a good quality filter. If you go this route, you'll need a large tank and I suggest the vacuums that attach to your sink or bathtub. I am good at buying things at lower prices but even then, it's still a large investment.

He's not bad in terms of maintenance. I do water changes weekly and I give him his calcium supplement afterwards, which he loves. He currently has some retained scutes so I'm upping his vitamins and lightly massaging his shell with a toothbrush. He gets put in a separate, water filled (they need water to push their food through their mouths) bin to eat his pellets, but I put his greens directly into the tank.

A lot of people do get creative with habitats for their turtle, such as a backyard pond or a kiddie pool in a basement but it depends on where you live. Depending on what apartment you're in I would ask someone how much the floor can hold, and keep in mind that filled fish tanks are extremely heavy. Even some empty ones are heavy. Some use large plastic storage containers but I would be nervous about them holding the water weight, and others use pond inserts.

People will get tired of them and sometimes release them into the wild which is not great. That's why the Red-eared Slider is an invasive species in some areas of the US.

If you decide on a turtle, I'd say to choose a species that grows into a smaller size so it will need less space. It's generally 10 us gallons per inch of shell. I'd get everything in advance as well, before the turtle. It is also more of a "look, don't touch" pet than a tortoise is. With that said, mine knows my voice and swims right to me when I enter the room. He enjoys being talked to. I attribute that to his initial condition when I got him.

My tortoise is also a rescue. He is currently small but will grow to be very large. I would make sure you get a species that doesn't get very large, as some (like mine) will eventually need to live outdoors fulltime. Some people have kept those large tortoises inside, but they usually do a lot of damage to their home.

With that said the most expensive thing he needs is his light fixture and bulb that is also changed out every six months. I soak him every few days to help with his humidity and bowel movements. Both turtles and tortoises enjoy eating in the mornings when they're most active. He eats a lot of greens, flowers, sometimes fruit as a treat, some pellets, timothy hay, and he has a cuttlebone (the spine of the fish has to be cut off so he won't choke on it). Sometimes he eats aloe I cut from the leaves or cactus pads. I use cypress mulch bedding. He gets outside time a few times a week if it's nice but since he is small I watch him closely.

He lives in a large plastic container. You can get tortoise tables and whatnot, but I saved money this way and it is easily changeable for when he grows. Tortoises (at least the species I have) generally do not like clear/cloudy walls because they can see the outside and will ram their heads into the walls and cause damage. My container is black because of this.

Some do enjoy being held if you get them used to it and will enjoy sitting with you in time. It's a bit of a process, getting a bond with one and depends on the species. My species tends to enjoy being "pet" or "scratched" on the top of its shell.

If you get a hatchling, just know that hatchling care is often more different than adult care for tortoises.

For a clear comparison I'd say both are beautiful creatures. Aquatic turtles need a large tank and more supplies which can cost more. They tend to be "look don't touch" kind of pets though some people do let them walk around their homes. Tortoises can bond or are more likely to than an aquatic turtle, but it is still possible with an aquatic one. That is all in my experience though. Tortoises can cost less, depending on what you do for their habitat and other needs. Both live a long time. Some tortoises live 80 years or more and are a commitment.

If you have any specific questions or want to talk on Discord let me know. I can send you pictures of my turtles and their setups if you'd like. If you decide to get one, see if you can go with a rescue and get one that has already been rehabilitated.
Cassie, thank you so much for your fantastic answer! This is what I've been looking for - someone speaking from experience
I have decided that I would like a tortoise. Due to my lifestyle I would like a pet that doesn't need as much daily care as a dog or even a guinea pig/rabbit. It seems to me that tortoises are less demanding than turtles, so I reckon it's a better choice for someone with no experience in taking care of reptiles.
I will gladly contact you with more questions when my apartment situation is settled. xx S


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Re: Turtles and tortoises - May 29th 2022, 02:32 PM

I'm glad it was helpful! Tortoises aren't bad in terms of maintenance as long as you feed them daily and soak them/do their other things accordingly.

One thing I thought to add - young tortoises (especially if they are a species with shorter legs) are prone to flipping. Once they flip, they cannot right themselves and they will die this way. To avoid this, it might help to get one that is a bit older and to keep bowls and other accessories in their enclosure lower to the ground.

I look forward to hearing from you if you have any questions once you're ready for a tortoise.


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