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Terabyte the Turtle

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Some pics of my turtle, Terabyte. I got her as a hatchling. She was smaller than a quarter back then. Now she's 4.5 years old and 7 inches! She's still growing, too. I expect she'll be 10 inches, but she could surprise me. Females can be 12 inches, and some get to be 14.

Terabyte's Tank (120 gallons)


Terabyte "shaking" at her ceramic frog (a territorial dance)


Attempting to open a bag of feeder guppies


Basking


Terabyte showing her shedding scutes


A VERY angry Terabyte. We had to travel cross country for 4 days. She spent most of it in a travel carrier. She figured out how to open the lid.
post #2 of 17
HE HE HE I love the angry pic, I can feel the anger lol She is a very pretty turtle I love her stripes.
You said you got her as a hatchling, how do you care for them when they are soo little? Does she eat the Guppies? What else do turtles eat?
post #3 of 17
I like the angry picture too Not happy at all!!

Me & my college roommates had a baby painted turtle our last year of college - they are fun to have!
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chichismom
HE HE HE I love the angry pic, I can feel the anger lol She is a very pretty turtle I love her stripes.
You said you got her as a hatchling, how do you care for them when they are soo little? Does she eat the Guppies? What else do turtles eat?
I know, her racing stripes are pretty. She was neon green and yellow when she was a baby. I like the golden brown color her shell turned though.

You have to raise hatchlings very carefully. Most hatchlings are from unreputable dealers and live in poor conditions, so they die in their first year. I was lucky that she was healthy when I got her, and she didn't get a fatal infection while I was keeping her in a 30 gallon tank. When she got a minor skin infection, I found Happy Turtles Pub Forum and corrected her habitat. A single hatchling should live in a 55 gallon tank by itself. You have to raise the water level slowly in their first year while they build up strong swimming muscles and get a really expensive filter so they don't get sick.

She eats the guppies when she can catch them. They're very fast, but she's very persistent. If I put in over 20, she will get the population down under 10 within half an hour.

For the protein part of the diet, she also eats minnows, crickets, and an occasional crayfish. She eats pellets once a week for the vitamin supplements, plus a little piece of cuttlebone. The bulk of her diet is veggies and water plants. Anacharis, water hyacinth, water lettuce, dandilions, carrots, and squash are the best foods.
post #5 of 17
I did not know turtles ate fish, cool! I thought they only ate vegetation and a few bugs. I learned something new today She looks very well taken care of how old do you think she'll live to? I know some large tortoises live over50 years.
post #6 of 17
Don't take this wrong, but I never knew turtles could have so much personality. She is amazing!
post #7 of 17
I didn't know that they ate fish either! I learned something new today too! How fun to have a turtle like that!
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chichismom
I did not know turtles ate fish, cool! I thought they only ate vegetation and a few bugs. I learned something new today She looks very well taken care of how old do you think she'll live to? I know some large tortoises live over50 years.
I've heard of pond turtles catching cockroaches. Mine doesn't get the opportunity for that. She does like the crickets though.

Her species lives about 30 years in captivity without hibernation. In the wild, they make it up to 40 because they hibernate. She might not make it to 30 because of her first couple years of life though. If she makes it to 25, I'll be satisfied.

The large tortoises, like sulcatas, will actually live over 100 years. They are a family responsibility. If you get one, chances are that your great-great-grandchildren will be taking care of it. For this reason, you have to put them in your will, and it's not a good idea to keep one unless you have a lot of family property.
post #9 of 17
That last pic is great! What a pretty turtle!!
post #10 of 17
Do you occasioanlly put water plants in there for her to hide in, and eat. I know turtles sometimes like to hide in a dark cave. By me there are some of those turtles swimming in a public park, but they were all from people releasing them. She is very good looking, your taking great care of her. Another food she may like are these:

http://www.petdiscounters.com/catalo...p-1125087.html
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Actually, shrimp based foods are awful for turtles. They're like feeding kids candy. Turtles can get addicted to them, and there's zero nutritional value. Most turtles have to be starved off of shrimp. Literally. You have to just give the turtle correct foods, and they refuse to eat it for days. After one or two weeks, they finally are so hungry that they give in. I had to starve Terabyte off of a pellet-only diet. Luckily she gave in to yams after 5 days. After that, I had to go through 3 day starvations to get her to eat other new foods. I was lucky I never gave her shrimp. It's so hard to watch your pet begging for food and not eat what you give them.

Most turtles do love caves. Terabyte is weird. She refuses them. She likes sleeping out in the open. Very odd.

She does eat lots of pond plants, but I can't leave them in there. She won't eat them in any nice way. Turtles will just rip plants apart and make a large, rotting mess. If I fully stock her tank with 3 garbage bags of plants, it only lasts 3 weeks, and it's a filtration nightmare. In a pond, you have more space though, so it's a little easier.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by squirtle
Don't take this wrong, but I never knew turtles could have so much personality. She is amazing!
Same here. I never realized that there is so much to know about turtles. Thank you so much for educating us!!

You've just given me a newfound respect for turtles!!
post #13 of 17
She looks hysterical! I love her!
post #14 of 17
She's great! I don't know much about turtles, but they seem like neat pets.
What's "shedding scutes"?
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by pushylady
She's great! I don't know much about turtles, but they seem like neat pets. What's "shedding scutes"?
scutes are the plates that make a turtles shell, as she grows the old ones are shedded and new larger ones growing underneath take their place... sorta like snakes shedding their skin. The scutes look like oddly shaped transparent shells.

I have a male southern painted turtle--- the one y'all are loking at is a red eared slider --- and I found him near a pond in georgia as a hatchling almost five years ago. Also a quarter in size. Mine also eats fish and bugs and loves the same foods as the RES. Luckily as a male mine won't grow past 5-6 inches. the males have much longer and softer fluttery front nails which they use to tickle the sides of the females face as a mating behavior. My turtle has a mirror which fascinates him and makes him feel less alone in his tank. when he first saw himself he tried to flutter his reflection's face.

Turtles can have great personalities and behave very comically. Mine does the back stroke when really excited at dinnner time. And they learn to recognize their owners. Not as cuddly as a cat, but great pets.
post #16 of 17
You know, I've never thought about how turtles' shells grow! That's really cool!
I can't imagine a turtle swimming the backstroke, that's too funny!
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Oh, I've always thought that my next turtle is going to be a male southern painted! I'd need a second setup though, since Terabyte is aggresive and would be twice his size when she's full grown. Painteds are much sweeter in general. Sliders are a little more territorial, but also more comical. You're right, they do learn to recognize their owner's scent.

For some reason, Terabyte just stares at mirrors. But she does shake at little figurines in her tank. Hey, you gotta explain to everyone else who the alpha turtle is!
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