Habitat - Indoor :: My turtle loves to eat his landings--options?

Turtle tank setups and other indoor configurations.

Post Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:09 am   My turtle loves to eat his landings--options?

Hey gang!

I have an 8-9 in RES who is too curious for his own good. He's in a 40 gallon breeder (so the tank is 18" wide instead of 12"). I had a long cork bark platform I cut down and wedged in there but he kept eating pieces. So I replaced it by cutting down the Zoo Med Pond Dock to 18" long and wedged that in instead, but after 3 weeks of loving the thing he started pulling off chunks of that, too.

Image

I have been thinking of solutions involving PVC pipe and egg crates (will Home Depot cut these down to size for me, or do they have access to a cut-it-yourself?), however I have seen some reports of turtles eating egg crate. Has anyone else experienced this?

One solution I've thought of us to cut several pieces of PVC to 18", wedge those into the tank like steps, and then have them lead up to the landing and going under the sides--effectively blocking the edges that the turtle bites. Like this:
Image
(If I do this the cork platform would be adjusted to be mostly flat, unlike the angled-down Zoo Med platform in the aquarium photo. The incline would be solely from the PVC steps)

What do you think of this idea? Any other options for a bite-happy RES that do not involve creating an above tank basking spot?

Thanks for any help!
anthonyammo
 
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Post Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 12:32 pm   Re: My turtle loves to eat his landings--options?

This is just my opinion , you could try it. I've been through this. He needs something to occupy himself with. He's bored. To make some room I would move basking area to the far right , with ramp part to the left for easier access , under it I would cut /break a clay flower pot in half to make a cave or just use it round. Then place it under the basking dock. He could go in it or sit on top of it still being under basking dock. Maybe glue some small plastic plants on the top rim of the pot. He can play hide and seek. You say he's 8-9" looks to be 5-5 1/2" to me in picture , measure shell only. Doesn't matter get a pot bigger enough he can get in. To the left make a thin forest for him to swim in , plastic ok. Leave a little room behind it so he can hide or play hunting. In the middle place some river rocks for him to move around , they are very curious and will want to see what's under them. Right now he is unoccupied , give him something to entertain himself with. Worked for me !
litefoot
 
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Post Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:50 pm   Re: My turtle loves to eat his landings--options?

For PVC or egg crate, you will have to cut it yourself there or at home. I'd also consider an acrylic platform. Have you tried cleaning the cork? Also, are you feeding any veggies?
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steve
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Post Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:40 pm   Re: My turtle loves to eat his landings--options?

I will definitely consider some distractions, though since he bites everything I'd be cautious about anything that isn't thick, hard plastic. And yes, if the measurement should be purely shell then he is likely closer to 6 and a half inches.

As far as cleaning the cork, I have definitely tried that but as soon as it goes back in he's all about biting off hunks of it. He doesn't really go after the filter tubing, for whatever reason, but he does go after the second artificial platform.

He does get veggies. I was hoping they would be distracting enough for him but he still goes back to chomping on the platform, unfortunately.

Have you heard at all of bite-happy RES ingesting egg crate pieces?
anthonyammo
 
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Post Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:59 pm   Re: My turtle loves to eat his landings--options?

Egg crate is hard for a small turtle , an adult yes they can.
Today the cork to me is more of a problem , it can one day cause a blockage and a big Vet bill. That's why I offer distractions ! Also try some floating plants , more veggies will not hurt. He should be on a diet away way that's 50-70% veggies at his size. Water lettuces is a good one and will taste better than cork ,may even help stop him from eating the cork. If NO on the floating plants before you go to work put a leaf of red lettuce in tank for the day. Let him eat that instead of the dock.

Steve mentioned Acrylic haven't seen a turtle eat that , plexiglass works too but I like Lexan myself.
litefoot
 
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