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Feeding/Nutrition/How Much to Feed?

PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 10:32 pm
by Gerstein
Hello All! So I have been sort of trying to make slight changes to Shelldon's diet due to a variety of circumstances. Shelldon Leo Kooper is a female RES, that is about 9 years old (It will be her 9 year anniversary with us this summer, and she was likelya bout 1-2 yrs old upon adoption, due to her being about 4 in. at the time of adoption). She is about 6 In. SCL now.

Her old diet was as follows:

Monday-Saturday: 4 Pieces of Romaine Lettuce (Each piece being about 1 Inch), 4 Carrot Slices (Each Piece being about 1 Inch), both in the morning.
Then 5 Zoomed Maintenance Formula Aquatic Turtle Pellets in the afternoon/evening.
Sunday: 10 chomps of a calcium block (Zoomed Banquet Block)
Every Other Saturday: A piece of Shrimp replacing the veggies.

The first change came around last month, as I had trouble keeping the calcium blocks good after removing them after the 10th bite. Fungus would grow, and I obviously could not give Shelldon gross Fungus-Blocks. So I started an alternating Sunday type deal, where one Sunday is Calcium Day: With Veggies in the morning and a calcium block (A whole one) in the afternoon. Then the following Sunday is a protein day: With a piece of shrimp in the morning and pellets in the afternoon. Shelldon has adjusted to this fairly well. She pretty much destroys the whole Calcium Block in about 15 minutes (Granted the blocks aren't huge, they aren't exactly tiny either XD). It leaves quite a calcium-dusty mess, which I clean up afterward (Sunday is Tank cleaning day). This isn't exactly much of a change, as Shelldon usually eats half of it weekly in about 10 bites from the old paradigm, so eating a whole one every two weeks isn't exactly much of a change.

Then the second change came around yesterday and today. I heard about the E. coli outbreak connected with romaine lettuce, and got very worried about Shelldon (though her health has been fine, and I checked with the current provider of my lettuce and they said it was not affected, or connected to the area linked to the outbreak). Better safe then sorry though, so I looked into replacement leaf for the time being, and saw that green and red leaf lettuce was better suited than romaine lettuce, and that they should be the "main staple", with romaine and carrots being used moderately. ATM I could only find Green Leaf Lettuce (That was organic anyway, I really would prefer giving Shelldon organic veggies, which the nutrition section also recommended). In a month or so, we will be moving back to an area that has a Whole Foods so I doubt that finding those will be an issue. Shelldon took to the Green Leaf Lettuce very readily (I figured she might want time to adjust, but nope, she is not a picky eater).

So I figured the optimal diet when I can gather the supplies is 3 Pieces of Green Leaf, (Each 1 Inch), 3 PIeces of Red Leaf (Each 1 Inch), and 2 Carrot Slices in the morning, and the pellets in the afternoon, with the alternating Calcium-Protein Sunday paradigm as described above (And crickets on holidays, Shelldon loves to chase them around XD)

ATM though, for the next month, it seems like it will be 6 pieces of Green Leaf and 2 Pieces of Carrots in the morning

I figured Shelldon's old diet could serve as an emergency "Backup Diet" in case a situation occurs where green or red leaf lettuce is not available., or gathering another type of green to use in conjunction with the carrots etc. etc.

I guess since this is a change, I want to make sure I'm doing things okay, in both Nutrition and how much I am giving her. Shelldon does not seem to be too fat or too thin (Took her to a vet in March, and he seemed to think she was at a good weight), so I think the amount is okay (I tend to think of it like a Mini Salad Wrap that can fit inside her head every day, with lettuce, carrots and pellets kind of put together in a wrap?). I think this would also be better for nutrition wise, but I want to double check that there is not anything obvious I am missing. Thank you.

What is the water temperature? 78 Degrees F
Did you use a thermometer? Yes
Are you using a water heater? Yes
How much water is in there? About 23.3 Gallons
Current Tank: 40 Gallon Tank
Tank Width: 17 In. W

Total Tank Depth: Around 17 In.H

Water Depth: 10 In. (Add 4 In. to Carapace Length)

Length: About 48 In L

Are you using a water conditioner? Yes
Are you using any filtration? Yes

What is the basking temperature? 88.2 Degrees F
Is there a basking light? Yes
Is there a basking platform that is easy to climb on? Yes
What kind is it or what is it made out of? Oasis Turtle Ramp (Large)
Is there a UVB light? Yes

What have you been trying to feed it? Vegetables and Pellets
When was the last time your turtle ate? This afternoon

How big is the tank/pond/enclosure?
Is the tank near a window? No
Is the tank in a room with a lot of activity? No

Have you read the Basic Care section? Yes
Have you searched the forums for similar situations? Yes

Is there any other unusual activity/symptoms? No

Re: Feeding/Nutrition/How Much to Feed?

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 1:35 pm
by steve
You could probably continue skipping any sort of calcium block. You're doing a great job with the alternating, you can just go with one and rotate to a different one. From the description, you can probably cut back on the carrots and maybe add a different pellet into the mix. Overall, it sounds better than what I or most people do.

Re: Feeding/Nutrition/How Much to Feed?

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 3:17 pm
by Gerstein
I'm sorry, but I am a tad confused by that response.

1.Are you saying that it is okay to alternate between Calcium Day and Protein Day? I'm not exactly "skipping" the calcium block, just giving one to her every other Sunday. Is that what you meant by alternating? Or did you mean alternating with the lettuce? I suppose I could alternate between Green and Red, but I would prefer giving them to her at the same time (like 3 and 3). Though in a pinch, I could also buy a thing of Green Leaf Lettuce, go through that, and then purchase a Red Leaf Lettuce Etc. and Etc. We will see.

2. When you say cut back on the carrots, do you mean what I had planned with the 2 pieces per day instead of 4? If not, what would you recommend? I was thinking of spacing out the meals like: 1. The lettuce for "Breakfast" (Sometime in the morning, 8-12ish), 2. The pellets for "Dinner" (2ish-6ish), 3. The two carrot pieces for "lunch" (Anytime between the lettuce and pellets, though depending on time constraints and whether Shelldon is basking or not, the carrots may be given at the same time as the lettuce or pellets) Shelldon tends to bask during normal lunch hours XD

3. I understand what you mean about maybe a different type of pellet into the mix. I was considering mixing 3 Zoo Med Pellets with 3 Pellets from another brand per day. Which other brand would you recommend? The nutrition section seems to recommend Mazuri or Omega, but I have seen a lot of usage of the Tetra ReptoMin. The key is that Shelldon is an adult, which is why I'm very fond of the Zoomed "Maintenance Formula", so if there is a brand that has a similar formula (While keeping it slightly different for variety), that would be nice.

Sorry, when it comes to Shelldon, I tend to overthink XD. And I tend to get confused via communication rather easily XD.

Re: Feeding/Nutrition/How Much to Feed?

PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2018 5:45 am
by steve
I think you can skip the calcium block altogether. As for alternating lettuce, you can go through one head, then switch to another. That's really up to you as both have similar nutritional content.

Carrots are not something that is usually offered daily. I don't see a problem with it in small amounts, that is also up to you. I would offer it with the 'breakfast'.

Omega One is probably the best one now and I would make it your primary. I'll also sometimes get Mazuri pellets. Some people add in koi pellets (HIKARI Wheat Germ brand) into the mix as well.

I don't know much about the maintenance formula pellets, I generally avoid the Zoo Med brand.

Re: Feeding/Nutrition/How Much to Feed?

PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2018 3:19 pm
by Gerstein
Okay I understand what you are saying. I have formulated a plan based on what you have said and is as follows:

I don't want to COMPLETELY cut out Romaine Lettuce from her diet (Although obviously I will ATM with the e.coli stuff going on) but when the e.coli stuff settles down, (I'm thinking of waiting four months after the CDC gives the okay), I was considering pairing one carrot slice with one romaine lettuce slice. So her 'breakfast'/'brunch' would consist of 3 green leaf lettuce pieces, 3 red leaf lettuce pieces, one romaine piece, and one carrot piece (or possibly the green/red leaf lettuce on rotation and giving her 6 of whichever one I currently have plus the romaine and the carrot). This would be the "optimal" situation (though it may not always be, It makes me feel better having an "optimal plan" to go for)

As far as pellets go I think I'm going to try a pellet formula of 3 Omega Pellets, 1 Mazuri Pellet, 1 Zoomed Pellet, and 1 Reptomin Pellet/day. This would make Omega the primary, while offering a variety

I would still prefer giving Shelldon the calcium block. Shelldon seems to enjoy nibbling at it (or, more accurately, destroying it), it seems to keep her beak in tip top condition, and its like a little scavenger hunt for her. There are even little pellets in the block! It also serves as a good counter for the shrimp. I understand that I probably "can" skip the calcium block, but I would rather not. Is there a potential disadvantage to doing so?

What do you think (Thank you for all of your help BTW. I understand that Shelldon isn't exactly picky, and that I am likely overthinking it, but my credo is to always do my best when it comes to Shelldon)

Re: Feeding/Nutrition/How Much to Feed?

PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2018 7:19 pm
by steve
I think your plan is fine and better than most. The Zoo Med block seems ok, there are worse out there.

I would consider some other veggies/fruits on occasion, to give Shelldon a treat.

Re: Feeding/Nutrition/How Much to Feed?

PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2018 8:25 pm
by Gerstein
So I did a little more research, and I am thinking of adding Anacharis to the "treat" menu. I found a petco that sells Anacharis so that would be good as an occasional treat (sort of like the plant equivalent of the live crickets, both would be mainly for holidays, no more than once a month), and I figure that a live aquatic plant would be a good way to increase variety in Shelldon's diet. Do you have any advice regarding this?

I will also look into other varieties of vegetables and fruit to give her on occasion, as per your suggestion.

Thank you for all of your help. I apologize, I should have posted this topic in the "Nutrition and Feeding" board. Brain-Fart and all of that.

Re: Feeding/Nutrition/How Much to Feed?

PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 4:40 am
by steve
Anacharis can be used more than occasional treat status. Not sure how much your turtle will like it though, but it can't hurt to try it.