Feeding and Nutrition :: Welp..I've overfed my turtles now what?!

Turtle diets and eating habits discussed here.

Post Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:59 am   Welp..I've overfed my turtles now what?!

I feel completely horrible after reading everything on this forum. I have been a horrible mommy and I've given into to "begging" and have a chubby little turtle and a guilty conscious. I knew before that their housing situation isn't adequate for two turtles, but now I feel even worse about it.

All things will be rectified in time, but how do I correct the problem that I've created?

I've already been cutting back from when I didn't know better. I was going by the,"Yeah just feed them as much as they'll eat in 10 mins" Should I take them outside and make them run around? I keep a leaf of kale, collard green, and spinach (yes I now know spinach is BAD) a cuttle bone (I was unaware you had to remove the backing =( ) floating in their main tank. There are also 2 feeder fish that will probably take them a month if not longer to want to actually eat them. Having given up on a filtration system to keep the tank clean enough not to have to change the water every other day, we now have a feeder tank. In the feeder tank I drop a teaspoon of Fluker's Buffet Blend and a pinch of meal worms. Morla will either eat pellets or meal worms. There was like a whole week when she turned her nose at our pellets and would only eat meal worms. (I hadn't figured out how to feed her veggies because the pet store kept telling me to put them in a dish. I ended up getting rid of the dish and just leaving the whole leaves on the turtle dock. They drug it down into the water and munched which made me happy. I was told to starve them until they eat their veggies, which I had a HUGE problem with being that Morla begs so much) So anyway, they don't always eat when I put them in the feeder tank.(I waste a ton of pellets and they refuse to eat soggy ones) It seems like they're too distracted by being in a new tank and getting out? (I'm assuming that's what they're trying to when they swim against the glass) So lately I'll put them in there once or twice a day.(although I had a heart to heart with Morla this morning to let her know we'll be cutting back on her pellet intake) Captain Spaulding must innately know not to eat everything because he doesn't eat every time I put him in the feeder tank, he just looks at me like,"I wasn't the one begging for food, why do I have to come in here?" Once a week on Tuesdays I buy them 30 or so large crickets and feed them those with the pellets in the feeder tank and still have veggies floating around in their main tank.

They both do their own thing. It seems like Morla hogs the turtle dock. They have an indoor set up with a UV bulb and basking light, (not sure of wattage).
Depending on how busy I am, or how stressed they seem after the last trip outside I've been taking them outside 1-3 a week for 10-30 mins at time. I let them go where ever as long as they don't get too close to the neighbors fence, anything that looks like they have an opportunity to dig and escape or has spiderwebs. (Morla thinks its fun to plow right through them but then gets frustrated when she gets the web stuck on her face). They'll do good as far as moving around and walking a long way. Morla has warmed up to me and will now come to me and chill out under my legs, she even tried to climb in my pant leg a couple times. I don't know if this behavior is her way of bonding, or her saying,"Hey big thing, make us back at home." or if she just wants shade or what. This is a new behavior since she was very busy trying to make her escape before. When both of them end up chilling underneath me I figure they want to go home and so I bring them back inside. Do we need to be outside more?! Cptn Spaulding does his swimming exercises at night where he'll just swim to the top then swim to the bottom over and over again. He's seems to be my "I know the right way to take care of myself" turtle. He's the smaller of the two but he's the one that eats the veggies and makes use of his cuttle bone. For the first month it seemed he wouldn't take the pellets from the top of the water but would instead eat from the bottom and then make food stashes. He can't do this anymore because of the feeder tank. It seemed like one day he was showing me how he was training to be a strong turtle. He was upset after our towel incident, (i was worried about them getting dizzy from me carrying them outside, so I placed them in a towel and covered them) he looked at me then chomped down on his cuttle bone. It was like he was saying,"YEAH! You see this?! I'm going to have a strong beak!"
AmberEve
 
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Post Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:09 pm   Re: Welp..I've overfed my turtles now what?!

For veggies, the best ones that easily available are dandelion leaves, red or green leaf lettuce and romaine. Skip meal worms. Depending in her size/age, feed pellets once or twice a week. Learn to not give into the begging... they are not starving and you are not being cruel. Consider Mazuri turtle pellets as they don't get soggy very quickly, leave as many crumbs and is generally a superior product.

I'm not sure about their outdoor time. How secure if your yard? 30 minutes is OK but an hour would be better -- but that really depends on what you can manage. They are very fast on land/grass and are superb climbers and diggers.

What was your previous filter?
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steve
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Post Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:09 am   Re: Welp..I've overfed my turtles now what?!

I've been taking them outside the last couple days for 15-30 mins a day. (they usually park themselves under me when they've explored enough) We live in a townhouse so we share a yard, the area I've been bringing them out to is just a side yard with a walkway then dirt by the building. They like to go in opposite directions. Spaulding likes to go through the grass up the hill and then he gets picked up and put by me with the other turtle before he can make it to the chain link of the neighbor's fence. Morla likes to go along the dirt next to the building. I watch her very closely so she doesn't dig. (I spent half an hour in a reptile store listening to this lady just go on and on about the different lights and her turtles and one of the things she mentioned was how quickly they can dig.)

OMG the filters!! So we started out with just a little one (I don't know the brand). Then we bought the 2nd turtle (Spaulding) and realized that one little filter wasn't going to cut it. So then we bought a 2nd one that was a little bit bigger (an employee at Petsmart recommended it) that wasn't working. So I took that one back and got a Fluval something or nother (again it's what an employee at Petsmart recommended). When that didn't work I took that one back and got a Tetra Whisper 10i for up to 40 gallons (our tank is 40 gal). When that one didn't work, I researched canister filters and how to make one yourself, but then we'd have to buy a power head (which I thought was the same price as the Tetra filter I just purchased). When I went to go get crickets again, I explained to the woman that we've tried all these filters and asked if we could bring two back and ugrade to a canister filter. She said that yes they could do that, but turtles are just messy and no matter what filtration system I put in there I will still have to change the water every couple days and advised a feeder tank. I was going to spend 40 bucks on a little 10gal brand new at the pet store, but found a 10 gal tank on craigslist for 30 bucks. She had a filter that is exactly the same as the Tetra except there aren't little plastic fingers in it, a heater, and some plastic plants. Which was wonderful because our turtles lacked a hiding spot other than under the turtle dock and the heater was better than the little dinky one we had.

I've had the heater out of their tank the last two days because their water was too warm. I read this forum and another person was keeping their tank at 80 degrees and said she noticed her turtles were more active at that temp. I noticed the same thing about my turtles, but also that they are shedding excessively, and that when the water is warmer they don't bask as much.

I realize that their housing isn't adequate for two juveniles (judging by their claws, one is female and a little over 4 inches, the other is male and a little under 4 inches) but we're working on that. =)
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Post Posted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:41 am   Re: Welp..I've overfed my turtles now what?!

I would recommend creating temporary enclosures for them... check out this great idea viewtopic.php?f=7&t=32365

Take some time to think about what you want to be their forever homes, and then work towards that. This will save you time and frustration when dealing with larger tanks and filters.
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Post Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:39 pm   Re: Welp..I've overfed my turtles now what?!

Well.. we have to work towards our house first. LOL.. We would like to buy a home with a backyard big enough to put a turtle pond in and perhaps one day breed them.
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:04 am   Re: Welp..I've overfed my turtles now what?!

AmberEve, if you're still active on the forum, can you provide an update on how your turtles are doing now? I feel like I'm in the same situation you were in back when this was posted and I'd love an update.

I'm brand new to pet ownership and dived in with two hatchlings... I live in an apartment in NYC without access to a yard (easily), but I do have a balcony (a true luxury here - haha) so today I'm going to create some sorts of yard/area for them to play in. I have definitely been over feeding and their shells have started to create that pyramid shape, so I'd love to know if that eventually goes away. I feel awful that I may have been doing more harm than good to these guys!
shiren
 
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:53 pm   Re: Welp..I've overfed my turtles now what?!

Hello, shiren whatever you build make it safe , turtles are great climbers !
Feeding : look under topics for the informational stickies . Feeding and Nutrition advice also feeding list for some ideas and read any comments or advice that goes with them. If pyramiding not to bad could clear up after a couple sheds. Won't happen overnight , in time would get better with a well planned balanced diet for a happy and healthy turtle. If not sure it's always better to under feed than over feed ! Don't give in to that begging , they always beg and are very good at it !
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Post Posted: Thu May 04, 2017 7:37 pm   Re: Welp..I've overfed my turtles now what?!

litefoot wrote:Hello, shiren whatever you build make it safe , turtles are great climbers !
Feeding : look under topics for the informational stickies . Feeding and Nutrition advice also feeding list for some ideas and read any comments or advice that goes with them. If pyramiding not to bad could clear up after a couple sheds. Won't happen overnight , in time would get better with a well planned balanced diet for a happy and healthy turtle. If not sure it's always better to under feed than over feed ! Don't give in to that begging , they always beg and are very good at it !


They got me with the begging!!

Thank you for the advice and it's good to know the shell might level out :) Much apprecaited!!
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