Need help with reacued African side-neck turtle - Page 2 - Turtles and Turtle Care
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 04:12 AM
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The ceramic type heat basking bulbs are good for her. And hopefully the UVB bulb is at least a 5.0 , a 10.0 is better myself I use Mega ray. Read up on UVB’s cheap cfl type only offer usable UVB rays for 6-8 months. Yes still produce light just not UVB rays . They are not a regular bulb but a speciality bulb ! Good UVB’s like Mega Ray produce usable UVB rays for 18 months or longer. I have my own meter to read to know for sure so not to waste money when not needed to replace. Reading on the not liking light is true to a point. They still need to bask ! They have two sets of eye lids to protect them on this. One is thin and can still see the pupil then a regular lid closes the eye all the way. For beginners I don’t recommend a double fixture because both bulbs require a different distance to be adequate. Placement is important for both , read on box what each needs. They don’t make one that does both with no light on the heat side of them. The reason she's not going on basking dock with the 60Wt heat bulb may not be warm enough to entice her onto it. May need to adjust the distance . But not close enough for her to touch it. A bigger wattage may be needed.

Some also use kent black water treatment and or use good driftwood to use the tannins to darken the water to keep things in water on the dark side. She would like driftwood it’s something she would find in her natural surroundings. You can cook the driftwood if you don’t want all the tannins and that removes any hitchhikers that may be in it too. I rather do two things at once. To darken the water the largest basking area you can make will block the light in the water , then use some accent lighting to view her better while in the water. The main reason most make too small a basking area ! It’s hot all the time with no were for a turtle to just dry off if needed. I normally keep two docks , one with heat and another as a dry dock no heat. In stock tank you can do this due to the dimensions on them. Or one very big dock with varying temps. To read temp most types used are very inaccurate , I found the IR type gun work best and read’s all. Aquariums are to me just to narrow to offer all a turtle needs even the 18” wide ones. Piggley’s stock tank is 3’x5’ at 150 gallons , I can offer so much more ! If not two docks in what you have make main basking as big as possible but still able to get on it easy ! Then instead of just one hot area it will have cooler areas she can choose just to dry off on. Piggleys area ranges from 78* to 90* and he chooses what he wants when.

Last edited by litefoot; 03-10-2019 at 04:24 AM.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Again, thank you so much for your time and help! I really appreciate it!
I did put a fake stump at the other end of the tank to let her get up on without heat and she seems to like it. At first when we would put her on it she would jump right back in the water.. it was only by peeking around the corner quietly that we started to catch her enjoying it. Haha! I definitely need to get more plants amd things so she feels more secure and hidden in these areas.
So the driftwood.. would i want to secure it overhead so its not floating around to knock into her but provides shade? Or just let it float around? We have a spray bar with our filter and I thought that might just make wood tumble around too violently.
I need ro get a new heat bulb. I'd like to do that asap. I feel like lowering the one we habe so that it provides enough heat (which would mean putting it undee the screen tank top) would make it so she could reach up and get burned. Shoot. Of course i bought that bulb at the aquarium shop so it was over $32.. i thought by reading how hot it gets from what distance was right and i got a 60 watt. Wish i would have gotten a stronger one. So i should get a combo heat and day light? Right now she only has the uvb and heat.. my son was under the impression that our uvb bulb was good enough and provided the uva daylight too. And once we removed that halogen bulb she wasn't running from the light anymore.
In under 2 weeks she has become a crazy active turtle who gets out of the water and under the lights now. She was just a lump who barely moved when we got her. Now she is like a toddler. I found her on hwr back this morning in her basking area from trying to climb the wall and falling over. It is terrifying! I am always so worried. This is so new to me and I want to give her a safe and best life possible.
Oh also.. and I haven't been able to check all the links you so kindly sent yet so if this is covered then never mind.. i have been really caught up on the heat bulbs that are mercury.. i almost ordered one but then amazon said it couldnt be shipped to my area.. but maybe that is good because it doesn't seem like they are splash proof and should i just get a standard combo day/heat instead? And get a higher wattage so it gets up and not worry about getting a mercury?
Oh and i looked at the box and our uvb bulb is a 10! We also have 2 repti tuff halogen bulbs that we haven't used. One is a 75watt and the other is 90 watt. So these are just day lights right? And we should be using one of these, plus our uvb and then get a more adequate heat bulb for her basking or a combo bulb that heats and provides the day light? Do all these bulbs need to be over the basking area only or can we put the heat over her basking and the day and uvb in the middle or another combination?
Sorry for all the stupid questions!
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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Also.. it was confusing when those halogen bulbs also say in the box they are basking lights.. they aren't an adequate heat source are they?
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 04:30 PM
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The driftwood let it sink or on a safe angle so she can climb on it underwater and or sleep on it under water. Thats if its large enough to do that. Just not too close by basking area so she don’t hit it when diving into the water. Not overhead were it could fall and hit her. In water , let her play on it.
Don’t lower that heat bulb “under” the screen unsafe ! Yes will burn her since turtles are so curious to checking things out.
Try that 75 halogen bulb for the heat may work to reach the temp you need , if not the 90 try. If 90 to hot you can always raise it. You must have both bulbs over basking dock! When she get more comfortable with basking dock and her new home she will bask with you in the room. That takes more time !
Note : bulbs called basking bulbs are only heat for general reptiles. For turtles you also need that UVB “speciality bulb” to be adequate ! Both must be over dock. Use what you have now , later get into the ones that do both and only one fixture is cheaper. Mega Rays now make a small 70 watt which is great and last 18 months or longer producing usable UVB rays. Would work with your setup. I use this site : Self-Ballasted Lamps : ReptileUV, Products
Yes $46.95 but with loyalty code 25% off. You would have to buy three cheap ones to last as long as one Mega Rays making mega rays cheaper. Also not splash proof but they are "not" suppose to be that close anyway for placement ! 12-18" yes some even 20" or more so to spread out the UVB ray . Too low usable UVB ray would only be in an area about a few inches round serving no good. Read up on UVB placements , that site I gave has good info too ! And that link.
Crazy activity is good , that's normal for a turtle !
Keep basking area away from the side’s of the tank , turtles use it as a ladder to try and escape. Screen tops only help to prevent escape if clamped down. Turtles are very strong ! I use chop stick’s to space it away for safety. You may see how in my video , I think you may see it (just 2-3” out is enough). Another reason I don’t like glass tanks especially small ones, to narrow to do all truly need for safety. A good adult tank for her would be a 75-90 gallon part full or filled with an “ATBA”. You may want to Google above tank basking areas for the tank you have now then you could fill it all the way. Would buy you time before next upgrade. If you watch my video it a stock tank on the ground so to view from the top easy next to my chair. That’s so Piggley and I can play all the time.

Note what are you using to read the temp on basking area. Is it accurate ?

Also take notes will help you a lot. I'm old school and have 57 years of note books.

Last edited by litefoot; 03-10-2019 at 04:40 PM.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 07:21 AM
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Confusing not really with proper homework. You took in a turtle rescue , not the easiest or cheapest pet on the initial setup . That's if you want this living animal happy and healthy and have a long turtle life. Losing interest already? Overwhelmed ? Sorry but lot's more to learn. You will become a lighting specialist , ecologist on habitat's , hydrologist on water , herpetology for illness , dietitian , mechanical engineering and a safety technician just for this living animal. It would of been easier if one studies before they take a pet in but understand with rescues. Sometimes the heart is willing but when true life kicks in not possible. Been a few days without any reply . If having second thought's please find her a good home and or a rescue center nearby .
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