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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so my bf's little brother brought home some turtles that he caught in the creek over the summer but they're marine turtles so we have no clue how they got there. They have food and a filtered tank and everything but the tank is pretty bare, just a 10gal with a floating rock (2 turtles 4-5 inches long) so is there anything they can be given as toys or anything? Any way to make the tank more turtle appropriate?
 

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When you say marine turtles, do you mean saltwater turtles? Or do you mean marine just to "say turtles that mostly live in water" as opposed to land living (terrestrial) tortoises or box turtle type chelonians? Is there anyway you could describe what they look like or better yet provide some photographs of these animals as they have specific dietary and space requirements, among other things, and different types of tortoises and turtles have vastly different needs. It is extremely important for you to find out what type of turtles these are and do plenty of research accordingly!

I very highly doubt they are marine (saltwater) turtles if you found them in a creek unless you live literally right next to an ocean or saltwater estuary where saltwater turtles are known to live, or someone else acquired them illegally and released them which also seems very highly unlikely, and even if that ever actually happened I dont think a saltwater turtle would be able to survive in pure freshwater for long. Of the seven species of marine turtles, five are on the ICUN red list, and all U.S. populations are listed as threatened or endangered. Based on that fact, if they really are saltwater turtles I'm almost certain they would be illegal to keep as pets, and you should contact your DNR or some such organization if in the highly unlikely chance they ever happened to be marine turtles. Some species of freshwater and terrestrial chelonians, such as the red eared slider or some box turtle species are illegal to keep as pets in certain locations, at least in the states due to factors like being threatened/ endangered or being an invasive species, so please be aware of your local laws.

Also commonly kept species of turtle such as red eared sliders have a live span of several decades, they can live for over fifty years, is your friends brother aware of this?

Based on the size of the turtles (4-5 inches) and the fact there are two of them, I dont think a ten gallon tank is big enough for housing them currently, and it likely won't be as they get even bigger. Turtles and tortoises are reptiles and need a basking lamp on one end of the land area but they also need a cooler area away from the basking lamp to help with thermo regulation. I would give you more specific info about diet and nutrition for them, but we don't know what species these are so until we know that that is all will say. Apologies for the long post, but I have seen too many people keep turtles and tortoises incorrectly or poorly and it is always the animal that suffers- either the animal ends up living miserably in improper conditions and very often end up with shell pyramiding or other shell and physical deformities due to incorrect nutrition, heat, lighting and humidity or it ends up dying decades before it should have to due ignorant owners and I do t want you or your friends brother to be in that boat:)

the tortoise trust has photos of husbandry related deformities if you would like to see what can happen, they also have good nutrition info for various tort types, but I can't recall if they have any info on turtles.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Marine as in water living, webbed feet. They did a little research and apparently the turtles are full size. (I forget what breed) They do have a heat lamp aimed at the floating rock. They think someone released their pets into the creek where Bren found them. The turtles are well fed and kept clean, but I think they're bored. They're also really responsive, since they love chasing my finger when I touch the tank. I think they're healthy, at least a lot better than they were in the creek. And they are gonna move the turtles to a 20 gallon once their last fish dies and they clean it out. The fish is 6 years old so this is temporary. I just wanna know what I can do to give them entertainment.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
It's 2 eastern painted turtles and they're being fed turtle pellets that the pectoral guy helped pick out (I asked Bren)

So I guess what I really wanna know is what plants I could put into the 20 and what toys
 

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"Single adult painteds would do well in a 75 gallon aquarium. Single adult females would need a minimum of a 125 gallon tank. This allows them plenty of room (quality of life) in addition to plenty of water to assist in good health and filtration. Basking areas can be made of dirt, sand, gravel, smooth rocks or flat rocks, driftwood or anything that will support their weight and is non-abrasive.

Adding additional sliders to a habitat requires that you increase the size of the tank accordingly by half (ie; 1 male = 75 gallons, 2 males = 110 gallons, etc). Stock tanks also make great alternatives to glass and acrylic aquariums."

and

"Throughout their lives, Eastern Painteds are omnivorous with the strong preference for being carnivores. This creates the opportunity for keepers to offer too much in the way of proteins. It is important to keep a check on the turtle's diet and ensure that it is getting a well-rounded feeding. In captivity, they do well on Mazuri and ReptoMin, Reptile/Pond 10, Cichlid Sticks, feeder fish, occasional ghost shrimp, aquatic plants (such as Water Lilies, Water Hyacinth, Duckweed, Anachris, Water Lettuce, Water Fern, Pondweed, Water starwort, Hornwort, Water milfoil, and Frogbit), veggies (such as Zucchini, Squash, Collard Greens, Beet Leaves, Endive, Romaine, Red Leaf Lettuce, Kale, Escarole, Mustard Greens & Dandelions) and some fruits, crickets, meal worms and blood worms."

So any of those foods. This is all off this site>> http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Care/caresheet-eastern_painted.htm

I think you'd better start upgrading. A 20 is way too small.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yeesh, I guess that's why they're bored after all. My uncle has a 100 gallon he could probably loan us, i don't wanna separate the turtles but maybe I'll try to get Bren to give up one. Oh and apparently I was wrong, they're in a 20 with a 40 gal housing an old fish. *sigh* glad I asked
 

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Most turtles are not bonded and will actually do well on their own. In the wild they come together to mate and to bask, but the latter only for lack of individual space. If Bren gives one up, do not put it back in the stream where you found it. It would have to be rehomed. But if you can get the 100g he can keep both. It wouldn't hurt to start planting the tank with native plant species, if not now then in the spring. You could catch little fish for them to eat too.
 

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No by "give up" I mean adopt out. And yeah I think I'll be able to get the big tank but maybe not until after Christmas. Thanks for the info everyone, and by the way I think the pellets "special" for their species should be good enough, no need to murder little fishies.
 

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As much as I hate killing things, when we take pets in under our responsibility we have to give them a species appropriate diet. Given that you took your turtles in from the wild, it is more important to feed them wild food as an occasional treat. Processed turtle bites should NEVER be their main diet. Turtles thrive on variety.
 

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No by "give up" I mean adopt out. And yeah I think I'll be able to get the big tank but maybe not until after Christmas. Thanks for the info everyone, and by the way I think the pellets "special" for their species should be good enough, no need to murder little fishies.
Most of the pellets for turtles probably contain fish meal,oil, or byproducts of some sort, so either way you feed- with live fish or with the bites- fish will die so your turtle can eat. And if the food doesn't contain fish it likely contains shrimp, krill, zooplankton or some other animal derived ingredient. Even Vitamin D3 is derived from lanolin (an animal product) so if you're feeding food made for a carnivorous or omnivorous animal it will contain animals. Betta fish foods often also contain fish, or krill, shrimp, etc. Like someone else said a varied diet is key, and while that might include live fish and/or turtle pellets neither should be used as the only item in a turtles diet.

Painted turtles are omnivorous, meaning their diet includes both plant and animal matter, and although their diet is not as studied as that of other chelonians and they often eat in the water making it hard to observe, so we don't know exactly how much of plant matter and animal matter they eat, they still need a varied omnivorous diet, containing things like insects, fish, and plant matter. If aquatic turtles are like many other reptiles you, may also have to supplement with a reptile calcium supplement, possibly using one calcium with Vit D and one without, as well as possibly a reptile multivitamin.
 
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