General Care Discussion :: turtle growth relative to tank size?

Taking care of your turtle's overall health.

Post Posted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 5:37 pm   turtle growth relative to tank size?

sorry if this has already been asked, I couldnt find it.

I have heard recently that turtles will only grow as big as their enviornment, so if they are kept in a smaller tank they will stay small, yet most info in this forum seems to contradict that. Any opinions? (don't worry, I am already moving my res kids into a huge tank for quality of life - I just want to know for my own future reference)
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 6:06 pm   

It's not true and that's fact, not opinion. Unless there is a health problem (genetic, disease, malnutrition, etc) they should grow... and grow.. :)
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:13 pm   

it's a myth...
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:17 pm   

Goldfish growth can be stunted based on tank size. The more room they have, the more they are found to grow. I think people have a tendancy to take info like this on some aquatic beings and apply them to others.
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Post Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 2:04 pm   

I'm going to have to disagree with that a little bit. If the circumstances are right, they will grow according to the tank size. I have known some people to have turtles for years, in a 5 gallon tank, and they stay under 3 inches. They feed it probably 3 pellets a day, which is the reccomended amount for turtles that size. I've known other people who keep their turtles in 10 gallon aquariums, and they stay under 4 inches. They feed their turtles the reccommended amount. I've known other people whose turtles get much larger in a 10 gallon tank. So it really depends on a variety of factors. And trust me, I've talked to hundreds of people about thier turtles. They are a little like people. Not everyone gets as tall or fat as everyone else.
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Post Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:42 pm   

Inadequate diets and a poor habitat will contribute to an unhealthy lack of growth. Illness and genetic defects are also possible causes, though rare in most cases. A 3" turtle in a 5 gallon tank is extrememly inappropriate.

Sure, "circumstances" may affect the growth of a turtle - but that is through the application of negative conditions.
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steve
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Post Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:22 pm   

There's ways to stunt people's growth too. Coffe is one of them. People also stunt the growth of their feed by wearing small shoes. Nobody complains about that! I'm not saying it's natural for them to stay that size, I'm saying it's possible to stunt their growth if you want to. They may not be happy about it, but they can still be healthy and active.
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Post Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 1:17 am   

echopulse...dude what are you smoking? you tell people death bowls are ok for 6 months and that tank size dictates turtle growth??? Please stop giving out that bad info.
From the homegrowers soul, straight to his lungs. That's the method that I myself find fun. Start from seed and then you'll see, just how fun homegrowing can be.
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Post Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 2:01 am   

I'm actually quite offended that you would think I would intentionally mislead people. I have both seen and heard first hand evidence that my info is correct, I have seen it in hundreds of cases. I don't need to rely on some message board posting to tell me if I'm correct or not. This site has a lot of good information, and I have relied on a lot of it, but it's not the be all end all source of turtle information. Some of it is based on anecdotal evidence, or books that were sold in pet stores back when it was legal to sell turtles under 4 inches. I haven't seen any scientific evidence to suggest that I'm completely wrong, other than what's on this site.
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Post Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 3:37 am   

echopulse wrote:...books that were sold in pet stores back when it was legal to sell turtles under 4 inches.

Not exactly a reliable source of information.

I'm not exactly disagreeing with you, Echopulse, but I think it is misinformation. Keeping a turtle in too small of an enclosure is going to effect it's health in other ways, many that will result in an unhealthy turtle.
And there is no guarantee that the turtle will stay small. It may grow anyway or it may just die.
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Post Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 5:10 am   

fishandcandy wrote:Keeping a turtle in too small of an enclosure is going to effect it's health in other ways, many that will result in an unhealthy turtle.
And there is no guarantee that the turtle will stay small. It may grow anyway or it may just die.


QFT.
From the homegrowers soul, straight to his lungs. That's the method that I myself find fun. Start from seed and then you'll see, just how fun homegrowing can be.
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Post Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 2:20 pm   

Google Turtle, Size, Tank, Myth. You'll get several pages from established and reputable sites regarding this topic. It's also an active topic on other turtle discussion boards if you haven't checked.

The cases you have seen it... is that through customers or local hobbyists and enthusiasts? Also, not all old turtle care books should be considered reliable. Turtle care back then was extremely basic and often incorrect. Consider the fact that the 4" regulations were put into effect because people were mishandling their turtles and not exercising basic hygiene only enforces the idea that there was a lot of misinformation and misconceptions.
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Post Posted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 4:34 pm   

I've heard it from our own customers, people who bought their turtles in the early 90's, from game wardens, from zoo employees. I see a lot of people from various backgrounds, and they all back up the information that turtles can be kept small in the right condidtions. I've seen nothing else here to contradict that. Notice I said "right conditions". Small enclosures are just a small part of the equation.
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Post Posted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 5:14 pm   

I assume that small enclosures are a necessary part of the equation. And as far as I'm concerned, that's enough to make it unacceptable.
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Post Posted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 5:43 pm   

This is about goldfish, but it sounds like it could apply to turtles, too.

"That said, it is a myth that a goldfish will grow only to the size of their tank. If a goldfish is kept in a small tank, fed only a small amount once daily, and the water changed regularly, it will grow only very slowly and may live for several years, reaching a maximum size of maybe eight to ten centimetres. It is true that the growth of a goldfish may be somewhat stunted in a small tank - a high nitrate level is known to stunt growth - but growth is slowed, not stopped altogether. However, if fed too much, or if kept in a tank that is not sufficiently filtered or maintained, a goldfish will simply grow to the point where its tank will not support its wastes and will succumb either to poisoning as a result of waste build-up or to disease caused by poor water quality. "
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