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Hey guys. I got good news and bad news. :x


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#1 Hypnosis

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:29 AM

Good news: I just rescued a common snapping turtle; a kid I know down the block was about to release his captive bred snapping turtle into a lake, so when I was walking down the street comming home from my regular fishing days(when I'm not at work). The kid saw me and says that he heard that I have a strong interest in reptiles and amphibians. He then asks me if I could take in his 10inch snapping turtle(SCL).

I was a bit shocked, yet relieved he didn't release it... That would have been disasterous. I took the turtle to the vet the other day. He had a few worm problems and it's getting taken care off.

I managed to acquire a decent enclosure for now it's a 200gallon stock tank. I hope to upgrade it to a 600gallon aquarium(from makejunk parts)

Bad news:
1)The turtle has a few nicks on his shell. And a tiny tiny tiny little hole on the shell that has exposed bone to it. I was wondering how I could fix those? I heard people end up sealing them. I'm not sure what the heck this kid do to this creature... But I feel so sorry for it. Even under it's mouth it has a slight small hole like the size of a pencil point or so. It looks healed and quite old.

2)This turtle seems extremely defensive for a snapping turtle. I know all snappers are defensive. But even when I go fishing and I see a huge 2ft long one I can handle it with ease and it won't try to take a chunk out of me. But this guy/girl is fierce and defensive. I'm wondering if I can build a crane or something(sounds silly) but somewhat unaccostumed to her for the moment. He or she is pretty darn smart too which kinda ticks me off because Even for a small sized snapper it already bit my arm and drew blood. Her/his nails are dull which means they had gravel on the bottom or rocks. I've been feeding it fish I b een catching when I fish(I keep the fish alive in a tank for a couple of days and clean the water daily to let any pollution come out). I make sure I boil the fish for 10mins and yesterday I snuffed in a calcium pellet inside the fish so the turtle gets his calcium.


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But I really want to know how to handle this guy/girl properly for even the most aggressive snappers. So that when I NEED to take it out of the enclosure for say: check ups, bi-yearly vet check ups, etc. I can rest assure I won't get my finger ripped off or something.

I saw these gloves:

http://www.animal-tr...l-handling.html

Not sure if they would work. I already read the snapping turtle handling sheet. But she's pretty wild and tends to flail about whenever anyone comes near her. Even in the water if you come close she does that thing w here they lounge at you. I don't expect her to become a tame specimen. I just want to provide the best for this little fella. I'm sure it's a common snapping turtle because the kid said he got it from a guy in the same state who apparently breeds them out in a pond. He kept it in a 40breeder for a while. I'm not sure how long he had him/her there but yeah man I feel terrible for it.


I looked online for foods to feed but when I look at chelydra.org they said feeder fish, turkey, beef, etc.
Which does not look right at all to me.

I was wondering if this list is a better list:

Fish meats:

-Alaskan trout
-Salmon
-Tilapia
-Herring
-Bass(ocassional)

Invert meats:

-Prawns
-Mollusks
-Crab
-Lobster

Plant matter:
-Duckweed
-Anacharis
(if he/she doesnt eat em like that ill just stuff em in the fish meats)

Other:

Calcium powder or human grade calcium tablets stuffed in the fish
Vitamin powder/tablets(same)
Only bi monthly.

Cuttlebones will be supplied too

-Turkey meat(as a treat)
-Rabbit meat(My friend and I sometimes go hunting and if we hunt a rabbit could I give it a small piece as a treat?)


I have to admit I don't remember much about snappers since I read about them a long long time ago. All I remember is; they're opportunistic feeders; they like murky waters but in reality should be kept in clean waters with no substrate, they may not bask but still provide a platform anyways just to be safe with uvb lighting.

They need at bare minimum 300gallons and preferably over that.

They're very messy and the enclosure should be completely cleaned out weekly or bi-weekly.

they should only be fed as adults 2-3times a week. Careshould be taken when handling them. Their neck reaches 2/3rds of their shell. Their aggressive outside of water(defensive). Underwater they mainly shy away. Some individuals outside of water may just either pee, poop, or hiss at you before anything. Whilst others are just "snappy" and will face you, try to lounge at you, while hissing, bite and clamp down.

I'm not sure if common snappers can actually remove a finger. But after seeing this guy completely maul a 1ft bass; i'd rather not take a chance. Especially since I saw it disembowled.

Common parasites they have are: Leeches, tapeworms, and such.

As youngsters they FEED on leeches, insects, small fish, and tadpoles. As adults in the wild they feed on anything they can catch that includes but not limited to: Large/small fish, Frogs, Toads, snakes, smaller turtles, carrion, Ducks(I think ducklings), crayfish, plants, etc. etc. Their head shape suggest they may also eat mollusks. Their power strike is quite effective but not all the time. In fact they have that because they're not super fast. Even underwater. People say they are. But they're relaxed to the core and generally lazy.


They tend to prowl at dusk to night but some during day time. They may bask by floating on water, or on land with shallow water. Reason they don't leave the water much is because out of all turtles these dehydrate quickly. As well as they're not fast on land and are more of a target.

Their predators consists of large fish, bullfrogs, snakes, raptors, racoons, and larger snappers(these are just for anything under 6inch) over that; the predator they only have are humans.

They have an excellent sense of smell as well as vision. They're not easy to spot when underwater and purposely hiding. Infact for the most part only time you see them is if: 1)Basking. 2)Walking on land to their mating grounds. 3)Hatchlings. 4)They're wandering around. 5)If you have an excellent pair of eyes.

Their jaws are ment to cut; not crush.

They're very very strong even as juveniles. Their nails can obviously draw blood and make a sever wound.

They like any type of habitat but depending on the size of the individual smaller ones, shallow water, medium ones, water up to 2-4ft deep and large ones water from 3-6ft deep or more. That's a speculation. They love to hide on the muck. IF you see a place with lots of debree, rocks with ton of muck, plain muck you may actually find one. You may find them near drainage holes, muskrat/beaver nests, near catfish holes, they're very nomadic in my opinion and tend to not stick around to one area. They're called lazy but they're really not. Once they're active some individuals like to cruise around and can reach miles away in one night/evening or even day.

The whole they're only nocturnal isn't really true. Not all are nocturnal and it varies between specific individuals and their reasons.

For a turtle they're pretty darn smart. Their necks are meant to shoot out like a bullet and retract easily. Kinda like a snake. So their whole neck/and head area could be thought of like a snake. And maybe that's why it has the serpentina in the latin name.

When their young they have many bumps on their shell and as they age it starts to smooth out and their shell becomes flatter to some extent.

They have a tolerance for brackishwater, heavy metals, and even contaminants. Doesn't mean they should go on that

They may mate during mid spring to early summer and lay the eggs in the summer and the eggs hatch around autumn(I think).

#2 Hypnosis

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 05:36 PM

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#3 Hypnosis

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 07:36 PM

No reply? :/ sigh...

#4 CLAWS

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 01:49 AM

Hi,
I'll answer you a little later when I have more time. I've got to get some shut-eye soon. I see you have done a good job in the research dept.

#5 Hypnosis

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 08:09 AM

Thanks I just want more in depth advice and correction. I do not want to mess it up. I know I'm human and bound to make mistakes and these are animals that possibly tend to forgive.... But I will try my best to avoid any, and if possible all mistakes. I hear alot of people say these guy gets to be 24inches. But something tells me that's more of a floridian snapper. I highly doubt chelydra serpentina serpentina gets anything over 15-18inch or if so would take more than 40years for that. Reason being. Only large individuals I'ved seen are a 15inch old female the other day. Others just like around a little less than that. Most I see are around 8inch to 13inch. After that their shells are superbly smoothed out and look older than myself.


Also. I'm not sure on this and that's why I wanted to test this out. But can chelydra serpentina serpentina actually remove your finger when fully grown? I hear that alot and that they can break a broom stick. I don't think it can because yeah I seen em snap fish in half. But the density of a fish isn't that thick. And the actual thick ones take's em a long time to break through. I gave him/her a nutra sausage made for dogs that have duck meat, potato and such. It likes it but it took it a few times to even try to bite it through. Whilst that's a possibility.

There are "specialty" gloves out there made to be highly cut resistant; such as kevlar and some other brand I forget. Gloves used to dealing with sharp knives, cooking, etc. etc. I was wondering how much protection do these give? These turtles do not crush, they cut. I even noticed that myself first hand. But some of these gloves also offer good traction so it doesn't slip. I say this just in case I ever need to handle it. Not that I'm afraid but I'm a very cautious person as it is. So I want to prevent any injuries the most I can(if it happens; it h appens). I mean I DID pick it up before without any protection and I was fine cause the nails were dulled out. Plus I don't care much for scratches. I get scratched often times by thornbushes and the like.

This guy shows some high intelligence and level of curiosoty FOR a turtle. It likes to look at people that walk by. He/she doesn't seem fearful of them. Just curious.


I just bought him/her a rare treat. I went all out and went to the supermarket. Yesterday they got their shipments and I ended up buying a swordfish steak for it. I saw something called shark steak, coho salmon, atlantic salmon, king salmon, etc. etc. But I heard not to buy atlantic salmon(for myself) because containing more contaminants than other fish.

I haven't fed it to him/her yet. But possibly today or tommorrow I'll feed it to it.


I just want to know the ins and outs. I mean I did alot and I mean alot of research. since I first joined here I always loved them and dreamed of one. But I knew I couldnt. So I just looked up the info constantly and articles and scholarly articles and even since I was 13 I used to do this. Now I'm 20. I end up having some luck finding one. Though it was badly beat it up. I guess he/she was lucky to find me. Thing wouldn't last int he wild one day. It was heavily infested, Had and has some nicks. Has a tiny tiny small wire sized hole.Everythings getting better for it now. He's been eating frequently. He's been slightly active occassionally.


------------------------

P.s. I'm going fishing today and I will be catching a couple of fish, whatever I catch and deem to be good for it. I'll make sure to chop the head off. Boil it, and let it bleed out.Freeze it. Then yeah.

Edited by Hypnosis, 21 April 2012 - 08:10 AM.


#6 CLAWS

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 09:24 PM

Hi, Had a real busy day, so most of my free time is in the late evenings. I'll try to answer all your questions. I dont know if you have read some of my posts, but i've been a member several years. Right now I just own one common snapper I bought as a hatchling. She will be 10 years old this coming july. She's a big girl at 65 lbs. Her shell length is 18.83"(SCL) as of last month. She should be right at 19" come her 10th b-day this July. The world record male common snapper is 19.5" and female 14.5". As you can see captive raised common snappers can get quit large. She lives in my basm't turtle room in a 400 gallon stock tank with three Rena XP3 canister filter and a auto drip system that takes care of water changes evaporation and keeps the nitrate below 20ppm. I can go three months before filter cleaning is necessary. Shortly i'm adding three more canister filters to last through the winter without filter cleaning out in the cold. I use a hose end sprayer to clean all the media. I try to bask her once a week for several hours soon to be a 300 gallon stock tank. I use a 160 watt mega-ray mercury vapor UVB bulb. She loves it and will lay stretched out under it for hours.

Snappers have a tendency to get fat. So I have her on a measured balance diet. I don't like to feed her any live food or resently alive because of parasites. Here is her present diet. All the food is chopped is small bite size pieces for easy of swallowing without making a mess. I feed her in her living tank. Filters get shut off during feeding because I use no strainer on the inlet piping. There are basically three medium size holes on the inlet piping. This allows for max large waste cleaning. I use only mechanically filtration in my filters. The nitrifying bacteria are colonized on the inside wall of my stock tank so the filter can provide max efficiency. The media I use have five different pore size for proper waste management, including four pads of filter floss for crystal clear water. She is really very easy to take care of. The only things I do is clean the filters every three months and feed her every six days. All the rest is automatic.

Ok, back to her diet. Depending on your turtles weight the volume of food will vary to my menu for my 65 lb. snapper. My snapper gets fed every six days.

Aquamax pellets = 260ml or 39% Cut up boiled chicken gizzards = 30ml or 4%

Romaine lettuce = 130ml or 19%

Combo of squash, apple, banana, and cantilope = 200ml or 30% Boiled carrots(microwave for one minute) = 55ml or 8%

I supplement some calcium that contains D3 by placing it in capsules and gut load the boiled gizzards.

My snapper used to bite at me out of the water for about the first five years. Now she justs gives a long deep hiss if she gets irritated, which isn't to often.

I don't think they can take your finger off but can give you a nasty bite. I just pick my snapper up as far back on the outside of her shell. She doesn't mind anymore. She weighs so much that I have to support her back end of her shell against my belt. I don't wear any gloves, I just hold her tightly against her shell so she can't get her back claws on my hands. She's a little kitten at heart. But I wouldn't challenge her domain, I think I would lose.

Once you get used to your snapper and your snapper gets used to you, you shouldn't have any problems picking him up. I've rescues 10-12" wild snappers off the road that wanted to kill me. Get them home to take a few pic's and a few turned out to be tamer than my own snapper.

Yes they are very smart and I think they sense if a person is a threat or not. I had one female snapper I caught on the trail between the pond and the creek that wanted to take my head off. She would actually jump off the ground trying to bite me. I picked her up by the back side of her shell and carried her to the pond with her only a foot or so off the ground. She was supper mad. It was during nesting season.

Give your snapper some time, and she will come around. Just remember, don't feed them fatty foods, they have a tendency to get on the fat side anyways. Have fun with him, I think there the best turtles around, and yes very curious and have great personalities.

Edited by CLAWS, 21 April 2012 - 09:45 PM.


#7 Hypnosis

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 09:39 PM

I don't think pellets will be good for mine. I mean the fact she/he could theoretically eat a whole can in a gulp then yeah... The fish I feed him/her are:

-Bass
-Chain pickerel
-Pike
-Muskellounge
-Atlantic Swordfish
-Coho salmon
-Trout
-Tilapia

Crustaceans:
-Crayfish
-Lobsters
-Crabs

Very rarely I feed him/her a bullfrog(Boiled).

all the food items are either boiled or been sitting over 24hours in the freezer that it should kill bacteria/parasites.

Now to toot my own horn... But today I caught a large chain pickerel and ended up making fillet/steaks out of it. I'm pretty good around knives and the such. I ended up giving him a piece of that and swordfish today. I think I need to make actual measurments myself. I feel like it'd be best if I take the foods and put it in a blender and make different mixes of gel suspension foods of decent sizes.


The fish I powder heavily with calcium either once or twice a month.


It doesn't like veggies...

So I stuff them in the fish(if its smaller fish I give it whole-- prekilled/boiled).

I'm not sure why but I've had it a tad bit and it starts to follow me around. It's not afraid or anything.... This lil critter is my fav. Well question. A turtle that's 8-10inch carapace length and supposed to be from the north. What can I assume to be the age? As well as I don't mind it growing that big. But for now I don't want to speed up the process. So I try not to over do it with foods either. It's till I get adjusted with handling/being around him/her. Not afraid. Just very cautious. Mentally I'm not sure whether I should be super happy to hold it; or worried. xD I highly doubt it can rip a finger off... I gave it swordfish (cut into smaller portions) It couldn't even cut the whole fish itself. It tried but just ended up swallowing it whole. I think swordfish maybe tough meaty fish.

Wonder if sharkmeat is bad?

#8 CLAWS

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 10:41 PM

A wild snapper 10" (SCL) would be at least 25 years old. My snapper is captive born and raised, never hibernated so growth woud be much faster.

Pellets are a great source of vitamins plus it's basic ingredients. I buy a 50 lb bag for around $30.00, It's pretty cheap in bulk. The point of a measured balance diet is to feed a certain amount of the food even if your turtle could eat the whole can.

Snapper even in the wild eat nearly 50% veggy matter. That's why they should be fed a lot of greens.

The diet I listed is what I feed my snapper and not necessarly a recommendation.

Edited by CLAWS, 21 April 2012 - 10:43 PM.


#9 Hypnosis

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 09:28 AM

A wild snapper 10" (SCL) would be at least 25 years old. My snapper is captive born and raised, never hibernated so growth woud be much faster.

Pellets are a great source of vitamins plus it's basic ingredients. I buy a 50 lb bag for around $30.00, It's pretty cheap in bulk. The point of a measured balance diet is to feed a certain amount of the food even if your turtle could eat the whole can.

Snapper even in the wild eat nearly 50% veggy matter. That's why they should be fed a lot of greens.

The diet I listed is what I feed my snapper and not necessarly a recommendation.


How do you get it to eat veggies and fruits? All I ever get in my house are tiny mandarin oranges/clementines. Carrots, onions, celery*occasionally* tons of apples, bananas, lettuce, etc. Romain I think it's just "water".

#10 Hypnosis

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 11:30 AM

Another question... My parent's don't like the "fishy" smell of the fish I feed to him... They say it stinks up the whole house and do not want to deal with it anymore. Is there a way to keep that smell down? I freeze them... I wonder if there's an alternate less stinkier food that's extremely healthy and won't cost a fortune. :x

#11 Hypnosis

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 07:35 AM

An update on information:

I kept bothering the kid for more information on this little fella. Apparently he confessed that he actually caught it when he went down to an area in the del.water gap. He saw it crossing a road and thought he was cute so he kept it for 2months well before it got into my hands... Now I'm more annoyed he didn't even get it captive bred. I mean sure if you REALLY REALLY wanna catch one ATLEAST go for a hatchling. In my opinion it's not as bad as getting one that's settled into it's comfy home in the wild. Worst part about it. He tried to let it go 2 months later(which is when I saw him).

Now my question is do you think he'll be able to settle down to captivity? I mean so far he has. He's been eating like a champ(though I only feed him weekly and i keep the temps the same as my room. I don't use a heater for him). I think it's better to match the actual natural temps and such for them as much as possible.

It's why I keep cold water fish in his stocktank. I put in baby bullhead catfish and they love to hide underneath him.When he eats, they eat. So they're somewhat like a clean up crew. He never bothers them which is okay.

But now I think I want to increase tank size even higher since he was once free. Give this guy the best he can have atleast.

#12 Hypnosis

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 01:35 PM

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#13 franktheturtle

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 10:53 AM

An update on information:

I kept bothering the kid for more information on this little fella. Apparently he confessed that he actually caught it when he went down to an area in the del.water gap. He saw it crossing a road and thought he was cute so he kept it for 2months well before it got into my hands... Now I'm more annoyed he didn't even get it captive bred. I mean sure if you REALLY REALLY wanna catch one ATLEAST go for a hatchling. In my opinion it's not as bad as getting one that's settled into it's comfy home in the wild. Worst part about it. He tried to let it go 2 months later(which is when I saw him).


At least now you know the the nicks and scratches are probably from natural encounters and not poor handling. Mine is captive bred and only about 1.5 years old (don't know actual b-day). She eats pellets, freeze dried shrimp, meal worms, and the occasional freeze dried cranberry. So far, excellent growth, color, etc. Since yours is "wild" I am sure that it is eating much better now than ever before and it sounds like it is in good hands. He/She probably could have gone back in the wild, but since you have taken good care of it with vet visits, diet, etc. you probably don't want to put it back in that environment. It looks like you've done your research and CLAWS is definitely a great resource. Good luck with your new friend [<img src=]' />

#14 Hypnosis

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 06:04 PM

At least now you know the the nicks and scratches are probably from natural encounters and not poor handling. Mine is captive bred and only about 1.5 years old (don't know actual b-day). She eats pellets, freeze dried shrimp, meal worms, and the occasional freeze dried cranberry. So far, excellent growth, color, etc. Since yours is "wild" I am sure that it is eating much better now than ever before and it sounds like it is in good hands. He/She probably could have gone back in the wild, but since you have taken good care of it with vet visits, diet, etc. you probably don't want to put it back in that environment. It looks like you've done your research and CLAWS is definitely a great resource. Good luck with your new friend [<img src=]' />

I would have put it back if that little idiot didn't take it in the first place and raised it with a couple of fish that would probably bring parasites to the environment if you know what i mean. A few feeder goldies, two oscars, one pleco, 1 convict. Not sure how they all survived. But I was astounded.... I'm not even sure how old it is. I'd love to know to be honest. Because I like to keep track of a few records. This guy seems a bit fat right now. So I'm going to cut back on the feedings for a bit and let it roam outside. I just have to pick a rainy/cloudy/misty day. No full sun. Cause I don't want him/her to overheat.

Though the grossest thing he did the other day. After he ate. He excreted liquid that was white and then something that looked like umm -cough- "sperm". Kinda gross... Not sure if it was sperm. Don't wanna touch that nasty stuff. Rather touch poop than an animals you know. :x But my gut is starting to tell me it's a male. Which if so. I may change its name to either Einstein, Picasso, or Ludwig. Yes yes. You can see a similarity in those names. I'm actually still in the process of devising up an actual aquarium to keep this fella in. But I want it perfect so I want to design everything. Though I'm taking my time on this since I have it currently in a stocktank. Which is cleaned weekly. Now about filtration. Would a homemade filter work? Like this:

-Magdrive pump(2thousand gallons or even 5thousand)
-A large dumpster(the filter would be idk 5ft tall? or so?)
-Half the filter will def. have filter floss and media.
-Then connected to a uv sterilizer.
-Then back tot he tank.

The intake and output tubes will be pvc. They'll be slightly bigger than regular filter tubings and such so that large waste can go through without problem.

Then the water goes into the filter in form of big rain drops(enough to let huge waste go through but n ot like all the water)
Then the water goes back in like a ripple or river kind of flow.

----
The bottom will be bare bottomed with a drain on the very bottom just in case i ever need to drain it completely like once a month for full cleaning.

The bottom will have rocks glued to it or something like slate plates.
The tank will probably be fashioned out of something not normally meant for a tank. Think of that show "tanked" where they make aquariums sometimes out of stuff like cars, phone booths, etc.

I'm thinking of making mine out of a horse through, or a large old fridge( all the metal ripped off and only the casing of it) then putting alot of liquid rubber all over the casing so its water proof(liquid rubber is animal safe)

I could make it out of something like an old trashed car or something like that. I have a crew of friends who are willing to help me out on this project. Ones a mechanic. Another is a blacksmith( he makes blades for hunting, fishing, etc) and he also works with metals. My other friend is also into biology.

All in all that's just a back up. Im thinking making it all glass but i'm not sure yet. Since I wanna make it sturdy and well be able to have that hole in the bottom for drainage. xD

Edited by Hypnosis, 26 April 2012 - 06:09 PM.


#15 Hypnosis

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 09:55 AM

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#16 Hypnosis

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:09 PM

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#17 CLAWS

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 05:28 PM

Snappers usually eat anything you put in the tank, even a careless finger or two. I have a stock tank where I usually grab the top edge when i'm walking around it. I have to be mindful where Snappy is in the tank because she could easily reach up and take a bite if she had a mind to. Lucky for me shes not than aggressive.

What I have done to get turtles to eat their greens is to cut the greens in bite size pieces and mix them with the pellets or something they like to eat that floats. Then serve that mixed in with the greens and their bound to get some green as they eat there favorite food. After a while they will get to like their green. Romaine lettuce, although not that nutritional, serves as a digestive aid for other food like pellets that have all the vitamins and minerals in it. Snappers in the wild are noted to consume a large quantity of vegetable matter as part of their diet.

Any types of DIY filter configuration of some size will work fine for snappers. A five foot tall filter would be more than adequate to hold the necessary volume of media to filter a large snapper. Personally I prefer the canister type filter that is self contained relatively small in size. There easy to operate and maintain. Most DIY filter system operate by gravity. Which can restrict the flow if the piping isn't properly sized. One aspect I don't care about with gravity type filter sustems is that it has a tendency to over-flow once the media begins to get filled up. Pressurized canister type filtering systems can push water out the discharge a long distance by installing a jet type nozzle that works on the same theory as you would put your thunb over the end of a garden hose. The pressurized regular canister type filters won't over-flow they just reduce the out-flow as the media fills up with waste. To me it less of a hassle dealing with canister filters. Although, it quit rewarding to construct your own filtering system and have it running keeping your turtles happy and healthy. Good luck with your project.

#18 Hypnosis

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:57 AM

Snappers usually eat anything you put in the tank, even a careless finger or two. I have a stock tank where I usually grab the top edge when i'm walking around it. I have to be mindful where Snappy is in the tank because she could easily reach up and take a bite if she had a mind to. Lucky for me shes not than aggressive.

What I have done to get turtles to eat their greens is to cut the greens in bite size pieces and mix them with the pellets or something they like to eat that floats. Then serve that mixed in with the greens and their bound to get some green as they eat there favorite food. After a while they will get to like their green. Romaine lettuce, although not that nutritional, serves as a digestive aid for other food like pellets that have all the vitamins and minerals in it. Snappers in the wild are noted to consume a large quantity of vegetable matter as part of their diet.

Any types of DIY filter configuration of some size will work fine for snappers. A five foot tall filter would be more than adequate to hold the necessary volume of media to filter a large snapper. Personally I prefer the canister type filter that is self contained relatively small in size. There easy to operate and maintain. Most DIY filter system operate by gravity. Which can restrict the flow if the piping isn't properly sized. One aspect I don't care about with gravity type filter sustems is that it has a tendency to over-flow once the media begins to get filled up. Pressurized canister type filtering systems can push water out the discharge a long distance by installing a jet type nozzle that works on the same theory as you would put your thunb over the end of a garden hose. The pressurized regular canister type filters won't over-flow they just reduce the out-flow as the media fills up with waste. To me it less of a hassle dealing with canister filters. Although, it quit rewarding to construct your own filtering system and have it running keeping your turtles happy and healthy. Good luck with your project.

Thanks for the info! I just want to make a "super" filter so that it keeps it clean and I don't have to do water changes bi-weekly. Atleast weekly or every other week or something. I actually want it to work slightly like a pressure filter in the sense I want it to be strong. That's why I want to get the highest GPH output I can. If I can get my hands on 10,000 gph Friggin' great! I also will n ot overly do it with the media. Like I'm leaving a foot or two WITHOUT media. I always have aquatic plants in the tank. He doesn't bother em so yeah. I bought "smelt" for him a 2 pound bag. First time he tried it. He did not like it one bit!! I'm annoyed at that since I worked very hard to find that for him/her. I know she/he loves shrimp like the cocktail shrimps. So I'm wondering what other large shrimps it would love to eat that I can get in bulk. I m ay introduce it to clams soon. Saltwater ones that is. Maybe squid? Probably not squid looks super messy.

I know that it loves shrimp and will bite anyone who takes it away from his face. xD He also likes to eat trout, bass and chubs. He likes chubs. But chubs are high in thiamanese I believe. I occassionally feed him boiled bullfrog and umm I kinda stuff either calcium pellets in the gut or veggies. Cause once it's consumed it'll go directly into the turtle. Think of gelatin. I call it "froggy surprise!" stupid name I know but I like to have fun in the maintenance of it. Spruce things up. Oh and I noted he/she will not eat live food except worms. Unless it's been dead for a couple hours he/she will not touch it. It may even wait till 1-3 hours pass and then take a nip at it. Unless it's already frozen.

I been kinda testing a few myths about snappers. I know it's a tad messed up. But I added a painted turtle in there 2-3weeks ago to prove the myth they're not hunters by nature and will not go o ut of their way to strike another turtle UNLESS they're in their face. I also put an african clawed frog, some bass(juvenile bass), catfish, etc. NONE have been consumed or attacked or even scratched. He avoids them. He's sniffed out every one of them and ignores them. I think he/she is a carrion lover. Maybe it's just my particular snappy. Cause I've even put fish in there that I caught and quarantined (high dosed of salt) and put em in the turtle tank which the fish is like near death(high amount of aquarium salt) and it ignores it. BUT it does watch it. It will glare at it constantly! Waiting, waiting for the time it dies. Once it dies it may watch it for 20mins or eat it then. It doesn't really use the powerstrike often btw.

These are somethings I been noticing. I know many people are afraid to "test" out these so called "facts" but I think they're just myths.


ALSO ALSO I went herping the other day and I'm kinda glad I got bit by a snapping turtle as weird as it sounds. You know why? It was a 2foot long monster (measured it) and when it bit me(it was on the road so I kinda picked him up to put him to tthe side he was going to) I actually didn't even get badly injured! Only pealed part of my skin off. Like it took a chunk of skin. But not the bone and mind you it bit down, clamped and stayed like that for a minute. He was not happy! I got bit cause my friend kept being obnoxious and distracted me...

Well anywho. I also noticed that they don't like fish heads. Mine doesn't. He ALWAYS leaves the head out no matter how tiny the fish is! Well the other day I caught 3 large mouth bass and they accidentally died on me. Well I dropped them in the water and watched em sink to the bottom. Rapidly 2 snappers come out of the muck and start eating them. ALL leaving the heads!!! I didn't even know they were there!!! they were hiding so well amongst the sludge. I figured out they prefer "sludgeholes" more than anything! Also figured in the wild they may also be strictly carrion feeders and any "live" fish they may eat is probably one that's on the verge of death, or sick. Or just pure luck or even a very slow fish species. I.e. catfish, suckerfish and fish that relax around you more often. Other than the hyper bass, and other panfish!

Also also. They like digging ATLEAST 3-6feet deep in the sludge! They can stay there for maybe an hour or less(maybe they surface I just never notice?)

Night time they spend time around the shore line but they're rarely together. In fact only time they are is during breeding time


In the wild the reason they eat plants is not because they want to. MIND YOU, they eat them because mostlikely say a dead fish is on the bottom there maybe plants on there too and may take a good chunk of em along with the fish. Surface plants would be taken if say a frog is near by swimming. Or something like that.












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NOTE: ALL THE ABOVE IS -STRICTLY- MY OWN OBSERVATIONS, AND THEORIES! THEY'RE NOT PROVEN FACTS BY OTHERS(or so I think)!

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So any ideas on those t heories and observation? and sorry for typing like that kinda got excited about thinking back to my field herping days(which was a couple days ago). I may go today since it's raining and I want to find out "what do snappers do when it rains, do they go inland near the shore, or do they go deeper in the lake, etc) also want to find out and prove personally that the chances of them catching a fish is very slim! EVEN with the powerstrike! unless it's a "slow moving species" you know like "lurkers" that end up having worse reflects than even a sunfish!

#19 CLAWS

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 11:54 PM

Yeah, herping is pretty exciting. I have a pond a few houses down the road that I was at last week. There was a 10" snapper that was swimming back and forth near me along the shoreline wondering what I was doing there. He was very curious and not too afraid of me. It's fun to interact with them. Snappers usually hang around the shoreline, even in the rain. I don't think they really care if it's raining or not. Many times they will dig in the mud in the shallows and wait for something to swim by. Their ambush preditors, but will take carion when the opportunity arises.

I think 10,000 gph is way more than you would need to filter even a very large snapper. My three Rena XP3's do a pretty good job right now, given she's 65lbs. The water stays crystal clear. One of the outlet is at the surface to take care of the scum buildup. Shortly i'm going to install three more canister filters. I just bought two SunSun 304 filters rated at 525gph each. Whatever the rating is you can expect around 65% of that in actual output or circulation rate. My XP3's are rated at 350gph and I get around 225gph actual and tested. So right now i'm right at 225 times three filters = 675gph. I'm planning to add the two SunSun's and another XP3, which will get me up to 525gph times 65% = 341gph times two SunSun filters = 682gph plus another XP3 = 225 or 682 plus(225 times 4 = 900gph) = 1582gph (4-XP3's and 2-SunSun's). So something in the range of 2,000gph actual would be more than adequate.

One thing of concern is the nitrate buildup. Before my drip system( I drip in 85 gallon per day) the nitrate would build up to 40-50ppm in about three weeks. At that time I would do 100% water changes to stretch out the water changes as far as possible. Now with the drip system I don't need to do water changes or add any water because of evaporation. Replacing 85 gallons of water per day keeps the nitrate below 20ppm.

I used to buy frozen smelt for Snappy and fresh smelt during the summer when their in season. Then I went to boiled/frozen chicken and chicken gizzards because the smelt stunk up the water too much. Although, my snapper loved the smelt. She's not too picky. She will eat just about anything I throw in the tank. I try to keep her meals as simple as possible. I usually feed her the same well balanced diet every meal time. I shut down the filters during meal time which takes about 1/2hour. She usually eats every little drop of food. Maybe when your snapper settles down to eating just a little different food then he's used to he will eat a little better. It will probably take a little time.




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