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Just acquired a really special turtle

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Posted by: macefish at Sun Jan 18 18:44:08 2009  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by macefish ]  
   

Hi all,
I had a few questions about a turtle I purchased at a trade show that was referred to as a Giant Asian Leaf Turtle (hardly a good trade name :P because a lot of turtles seem to be described as such), anyway I have Identified it as a Heosemys Grandis - known as a Giant Pond Turtle. The man who sold him to me told me that he would attain 22 inches (and that is fine because his adult cage will be nothing short of huge). He's probably wild caught and that bums me out, but maybe not.

First have I made the correct identification? Hopefully my pictures will help.

So basically he resembles an American Map Turtle like the ones in the Ozarks where I live in shell design and color, but with a more terrapin-like head that resembles a tortoise. Also this hatchling is very young and a map turtle this size would be like a year old in my opinion. So far I'm keeping him in a temporary ten gallon with a nice substrate and an easy to clean lagoon (i've noticed that eating in this lagoon is choice in his opinion) but I would like to know more about "him" to design a more appropriate enclosure that is still temporary.

He is eating. That's for sure. I've found a list that is specific for his species but it is limited. He likes lettuce, cherry tomato (no seed stuff, heard it might not be good), apples and zoomed aquatic turlte food pellets that are dropped into his pond.
My question about his diet is does this turtle eat grass as a tortoise would? I grow (by coincidence from another hobby) wheatgrass in an indoor pot and I gave him a small piece - he loved the very idea of it. Can I feed him this regularly or as a substitute for lettuce? How about cucumber? I just kind of like cucumber so that would be nice! I'll try collards with him soon. what kind of meat should I try? calcium suplement or cuttlebone?

My last question is about lighting, I've already noticed him basking in the sun and he has a 60w bulb (I figure Asia isn't too incredibly hot all the time) in a basking light. does he need anything else? and should he bask on land or in water? I am a saltwater hobbyist normally and I tend to care too much about lighting, but I've kept enough reptiles to know that some should really have some artificial UV.... turtles too?

Sorry if this is a lot, actually it's a ton, but any input would be totally appreciated!

Here he is, the cardboard thing will be replaced soon but I think it's adequate
















   

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>> Next Message:  RE: Just acquired a really special turtle - Chrysemys, Tue Jan 20 05:28:56 2009