Submitted by teenagegodmomma :
Hi! I was recently given this little dude and I need soooo much help.
I don’t know what he is to begin with.
I also need to know what to feed him, what to house him in, what the bedding should be, what kind of light to buy, how much light he needs and pretty much anything else I would need to know to care for this tiny guy.
Right now he is in a hamster cage that is about a foot on all sides and he has a water dish that is big enough for him to soak in (he spends maybe 30 mins every day just chiling in it). It has clay in it and some rocks that he climbs on. I feed him worms that I buy from Walmart. I have just a regular lamp on him when I’m home.
I know this isn’t a good set up but I wasn’t planning on adopting a little friend and I really need some help!
If you could please email me with some advice at email@example.com I would really appreciate it!
Hey there! So I did some asking around and thanks to @oceanshamen ‘s help it seems like you’ve got a young Chinese Golden Thread (striped neck) turtle hatchling. They aren’t native, but have been found a lot in Florida. A pond loving turtle that enjoys basking, so a pond/tank, basking platform, and some good UVB/UVA lighting is needed. Can’t be sure, not seeing him/her in person and not being a vet. I’d say if you acquired him/her you’ll probably want to take a trip to a vet that specializes in exotics to ensure he/she is healthy, parasite free, and verify the set up.
Anyone else have thoughts?? Answers enabled!
From Western Mass. Turtle Rescue:
SCIENTIFIC NAME Ocadia sinensis
ADULT SIZE Male 6” – 8” Female 10” – 12”
An omnivorous turtle, but hatchlings and males tend to be more carnivorous feeding on insects, larvae, worms, crustaceans, and carrion, but will take in variety of water vegetation.
Females and older turtles will be primarily herbivorous.
TEMPERATURE RANGE (°F)
Air Temperature: Low to mid 80s F
Basking Temperature: Mid 80s F to mid 90s F
Water Temperature: Mid 70s F to mid 80s F
Captive-bred specimens usually acclimate readily to proper enclosures and be fairly parasite-free. Imported wild-caught Chinese Golden Threads require deparasitization which may be outside the newcomer’s experience or desire and must consult a reptile veterinarian
An enthusiastic basking turtle that often spends most of the day basking. A heat lamp and UVB light source are essential. A submersible heater is recommended, but they can withstand cool temperatures when kept in an outdoor pond. It is recommended that they be over-wintered indoors. Some specimens may hibernate as well, but it is not recommended.
For adult males, a minimum 55 gallon tank or larger, while females should have at least a 75 gallon tank. They are reasonably good swimmers and the water should be fairly deep, albeit with driftwood or other ‘tank furniture’ to provide resting areas near the surface. Ocadia sinensis are excellent turtles for ponds habitats and easy to care for
Hatchlings will feed on insects, worms, dried shrimp, dried fish, turtle/fish pellets and water vegetation. Adults tend to be more herbivorous and will take in Anacharis, water lettuce, duckweed, other aquatic plants and varied leafy greens such as dandelions, romaine lettuce, kale, collards greens and etc. Always keep leafy greens or aquatic vegetation in the tank and feed turtle pellets sparingly two or three times a week to adults.
A hardy turtle and a prolific breeder. However, many imported wild-caught specimens have nicks and pitting from shell rot and/or fungus. Due to the stresses of transit in bad conditions, wild-caught turtles may arrive dehydrated and stressed, making examining the prospective purchase or dealing with a trusted vendor necessary. Deparasitization is a must for wild-caught Chinese Golden Threads, while captive bred specimens are fairly easy to care for similarly to other basking species (cooters, sliders and painted turtles). However, mixing species from distant geographical regions is discouraged since it will increase the likelihood of exposing new diseases.
Hatchlings are highly attractive with light grey/green carapace and orange/yellow discontinuous stripes on the three keels. The striking long-tailed hatchlings, are active and popular pet turtles in Asia comparable to the popularity and availability of the Red Eared Slider (RES) of North America.
Even more info here on the World Chelonian Trust site
Young box turtles eat mostly protein- think bugs, worms, occasionally chicken, eggs… you get the picture. They should also be offered veggies and some fruit but they aren’t likely to want them as fast. Fruit and veggies such as carrots, romaine lettuce, kale, blueberries, banana, strawberries.. ect.
Thee tank you have him in doesn’t sound too bad- keep in mind the turtle will grow and need more space- but it will work for the time being. What is the substrate? The soaking in water for 30 minutes a day really throws up the box turtle flag because they love to soak.
Worms are good to feed him, but you need to add variety to his diet. Also, a basking lamp is pertinent! A UVB lamp should be soon to come after it.