Monday, April 2, 2012

Turtle!

So, shortly after the move, DM's former boss called, regarding a turtle a tennant had left in an apartment. It hadn't been cared for in some time, but was still alive, and came with a tank and filter.

Me being the softie I am, of course I took it. Turned out to be a female red eared slider, who started perking up with proper care. Or, I thought she was perking up and being a normal happy turtle.

I found out otherwise when I put feeder fish in her tank. She went batty for them, and it changed her behavior... made her more active, she basked more, and just generally seemed to be overjoyed at the chance to hunt something.

Since at the time I didn't know there was anywhere in town to get feeders, an eighty mile one way trip to pick them up regularly at the rate she was going through them seemed sort of... excessive.

So, I made a plan, talked to some fishy friends, and settled on breeding platties. Got the tank and the fish now, so the project is officially underway. Platties have several benefits, really, they're livebearers which breed easily, they're prolific, hardy, and as an extra bonus, they're pretty, so they're nice to look at, too.

Since I'm sort of a dork, the breeding experiment is sort of fun in it's own right, and feeding the turtle for cheap is sort of awesome.

More updates as things develop, and pictures of the turtle probably forthcoming once her shell fully recovers from not being able to get dry for so long and she looks less like she has leprosy.

11 comments:

Old Windways said...

Reminds me of Duke and Ella, the pair of red eared sliders my roommate and I got Freshman year. We had some issues with algae growing on the tank walls so we got one of those fish that latch onto the glass and eat the stuff up. Unfortunately Duke and Ella thought that Hoover was a snack and while they didn't kill him right away, it wasn't long before he started getting progressively smaller by the day.

They were great pets, but you do have to be diligent about washing your hands after handling them as they have been known to carry around salmonella.
http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm048151.htm

Jess said...

We used to hunt red eared sliders when we were kids. They were plentiful in the local ditches, so there were plenty to find and keep for a few days.

The largest we ever caught was around 18 inches across the shell. We had to let it go when our mom caught us feeding it hamburger and grapes.

Farmgirl said...

Jess, this girl is about six inches long. This isn't the right climate for them, so turning her loose isn't an option. At some point I may find her a kid to adopt, but right now none of my friends with kids want anything to do with her.

Ruth said...

Guppys, they breed like you would not believe....though Plattys work too lol

Farmgirl said...

Ruth, I talked to an expert, lol. Platies are apparently a little more sturdy than guppies, so that's a bit better.

Also considering adding a breeding pair of Kribensis once the tank is stable, cause they are apparently just as prolific, but are egg layers, and guard the babies until they hatch and grow big enough to fend for themselves, so you get a higher survival rate on the fry, compared to platies which will eat the fry if they can catch em.

Ruth said...

That I can actually believe, though my guppies sure survived everything I could come up with....including the cichlid who was suposed to be eating them.....

Jennifer said...

Only you would adopt a wayward turtle then start up a fish breeding program. I love it!

Old NFO said...

Guppies DO breed like rabbits... Just sayin... :-) And thanks for taking care of the turtle!

Jess said...

At six inches, she has some age on her, which is probably why she survived.

Hopefully, if you have to, you can find her a good home. I don't know how long they live, but I'm thinking it's a substantial percentage of a human lifetime.

Farmgirl said...

Jess, according to my research, they can live up to thirty years. Not knowing how old she is, and being well aware that proper nutrition and care have a huge effect on growth patterns (and being reasonably sure she didn't get either) I'm not sure how to adjust size/age comparisons.

Peter said...

Once the turtle's healed up, I presume you and DM will be getting religion? After all, they don't call them "Hard Shell Baptists" for nothing . . .

;-)