Feeding and Nutrition :: Noob Questions

Turtle diets and eating habits discussed here.

Post Posted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:28 am   Noob Questions

So far with Lightning, this is what I've been doing (it's been just over a week since he moved in).

He is about 2 years old; shell is about 6". I feed by tossing food in a bit at a time. I also put a fave food on his basking log occasionally.

Monday: pellets - about the size of his head but I give them throughout the day; lettuce
Tuesday: just a very few pellets (a reward for swimming near my finger) and grapes, tomatoes, lettuce
Wednesday: same as Monday...changing lettuce to find a type he likes
Thursday: same as Tuesday but with different veggies and fruits (I always try to feed more veg than fruit)
Etc etc

My concerns are:
- because I am home during the day, I am able to feed him a little bit every couple hours. I'm assuming that's how he would eat in his natural habitat...but am I wrong? Is it okay to feed this way? It's also nice to be able to reward him with a pellet or two when he gets my attention (throwing rocks around) and swims up to see me). I will eventually require him to take the food from my hand as he becomes more comfortable.
- should he have a cuttlebone or calcium block in the water at all times? The lady at the local pet store said to put calcium drops in the water. Is there a 'best' way to address calcium needs?
- i have been cutting fruit quite small but was wondering if it might actually be good for him to have to bite into larger pieces: a grape cut in half, for example,movers us quarters. True?

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Post Posted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 3:59 pm   Re: Noob Questions

Are you sure Lightning is a male?

For everyday use of pellets, this sounds good "just a very few pellets" from Tuesday. You can feed him whenever, but might help to be consistent. I use veggies in the morning, and a small amount of pellets at night.

Cuttlebone is worth a try, not a calcium block. Be wary of turtle-specific products. Larger pieces of fruit or veggies should be OK too, just keep an eye on it. They sometimes eat too fast.
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steve
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Post Posted: Fri Oct 31, 2014 12:47 pm   Re: Noob Questions

I'm assuming he's male only because his previous owner said so. Time to do more research methinks.

Why do you ask? I'm just wondering what I said that prompted your question.

Do turtle pellets inlcude enough calcium and other minerals so I can feed only what is listed in my original post? Do I need to supplement at all? There seem to be so many extras - little turtle-shaped blocks; drops; etc - I just need to know if pellets plus fruit/veggies as a diet is adequate. I would like to add mealies as a treat, as well but realize they're very high in fat.
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Post Posted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 9:36 am   Re: Noob Questions

6" @ 2 years is pretty large. Males don't usually get that large either. What brand pellets are you using?
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Post Posted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 11:34 pm   Re: Noob Questions

steve wrote:6" @ 2 years is pretty large. Males don't usually get that large either. What brand pellets are you using?


I just checked the info and he does have really long front claws. Perhaps he's older than two years? I'm his third owner, so if both previous owners rounded up, he may be older than I think.

His pellets are 'Fluker's Buffet Blend for Aquatic Turtles'. There were no other options. :( I can order some online, if you recommend a better brand. He seems to like these better than the pellets he arrived with.

I also feed him greens (with no luck, so far) and live mealworms; tomatoes and strawberries are both favorites. I will keep trying different veggies and will be using live plants soon.

I saw in a post some turtles like tuna...canned, people-food tuna? Can I feed dried shrimp? He is ignoring the small goldfish who lives with him but I may buy a couple ghost shrimp for a treat.
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 8:02 am   Re: Noob Questions

Good pellets... Mazuri and Omega One are probably the best now. Since he's probably at his final size, you probably don't need to add more calcium. Cuttlebone is good... sometimes they just like to have something to bite.

I would cut down the mealworms. Canned tuna is good for a treat, but not necessary. The shrimp... used for cooking or the ones for reptiles? I'd limit shrimp regardless.

With greens, try using a veggie clip to hold it for him (look for it in the fish section of a pet store).
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 9:26 am   Re: Noob Questions

What kind of a turtle is this?

My eastern painted turtle, which I'm virtually 100% certain is a male, is 15 years old and isn't even 6" long. He grew pretty rapidly for about 5 years, and hasn't really grown at all for the past 10.

My yellow belly slider , which I think are quite similar to Red Eared sliders, is about 7" long, I always thought it was a female, until recently and now I think it's really a male. This turtle 13 years old, again, it grew at a rapid pace for the first 5 to 7 years, but hasn't grown much since then. It probably took this turtle a good 3 years to be anywhere near 6" long, maybe more like 4 or 5 years to get that size.

So, I think your turtle is very likely a bit older then 2 years.
Long time turtle owner (15+ years).
One Painted turtle, one Yellow Belly Slider, 120 Gallon tank filled to maybe 80 Gallons
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