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 My Facility Pictures - Albino Snapping Turtles and Albino Red Ear Turtles.

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TOM_CRUTCHFIELD
Snakekeeper
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Number of posts : 42
Age : 68
Location : Homestead, Florida
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Registration date : 2009-12-06

PostSubject: My Facility Pictures - Albino Snapping Turtles and Albino Red Ear Turtles.   Sat 6 Feb - 4:00

I thought that this forum would be the best place for these pictures, since the pictures will show both venomous and non-venomous in the facilities.

This vat has approximately 3500 gallons. It holds our Albino Red Ear Turtle project. It houses many albino and het for albino Red Ear Sliders. Also we have Amazon Red Head Sidenecks, Podocnemis erythrocephala; Rio Grande Cooters, Pseudemys gorzugi; and Red Belly Turtles, Pseudemys nelsoni. The turtles stay outside all year. We run well water that is 73F all year at a faster rate during the winter during cold spells. Old water is removed via an overflow standpipe to form a turtle marsh in the yard. By our experimentation, any concrete turtle vat must be totally drained and the bottom cleaned at least every two weeks. Otherwise, diseases will be propagated from the sediment that accumulates on the bottom, even if the water appears very clean. Interestingly, we have proven that a natural dirt bottom pond scooped out of the ground is the best facility for breeding turtles, even if it appears muddy and has a heavy amount of decomposition on the bottom. Even the most difficult to keep without disease problem turtles, such as Chitra indica, Pelochelys bibroni, and Amyda cartilaginea may thrive in this kind of dirt pond as long as the balance of the pond is established and maintained.


Notice that bird netting is dropping from the top of the picture. This also drops over the sides of the vat to keep out predatory birds such as the Red Shoulder Hawk which does prey upon small turtles.


This is a picture of the entrance to a turtle nest box that was sawed out of the solid concrete. The wooden structure on top of the entrance is designed to keep the turtles from escaping as they enter the nest box.


These two nest boxes are attached to the pond and are filled with dirt. We use a dirt mix called 50/50 which is simply 50 percent sand and 50 percent rich topsoil. The resulting mix holds the shape of the nesting cavity very well if the dirt has been soaked with water and allowed to dry. We use the same dirt for the albino iguana project. The nest boxes must have many holes drilled into the bottom to allow rain water to drain through. Female turtles love to lay their eggs in this type of nest box, and we get lots of eggs. We believe that if zoos provided this nestbox design to their rare turtle pools that it would be a frequent occurrence to get good eggs from their Fly River Turtles, Carretochelys insculpta; Mata Mata Turtles, Chelus fimbriatus; and Giant River Turtles, Batuger baska; etc.


This long vat houses our Albino Snapping Turtle breeding project along with several albino Red Ear Sliders. The long vats are also completely enclosed by chain link fence to exclude predators such as the Red Shoulder Hawk.


Albino Snapping Turtle, Chelydra serpentina.


We were surprised that Albino Snapping Turtles like to bask occasionally. They will also bask at night. Usually, normal colored snapping turtles bask infrequently. We believe that the albinos do this to keep algae and other organisms from growing on their shells and soft parts.


Here you can see the nest boxes on the back of the Albino Snapping Turtle vat. This area is a marsh created by the overflow of the 3500 gallon Albino Red Ear vat. In this marsh we keep adult Spiny Turtles, Heosemys spinosa. The wooden structures are boardwalks so that people can walk above the marsh and see and maintain the turtles. They also serve as shade shelters from the intense South Florida sun.


Last edited by TOM_CRUTCHFIELD on Sat 6 Feb - 8:23; edited 1 time in total
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René Meierkord
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Number of posts : 110
Age : 36
Location : Germany
Points : 3568
Registration date : 2009-06-28

PostSubject: Re: My Facility Pictures - Albino Snapping Turtles and Albino Red Ear Turtles.   Sat 6 Feb - 4:58

WOW - wonderful facility!

Seems to make a lot of work...
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TOM_CRUTCHFIELD
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Number of posts : 42
Age : 68
Location : Homestead, Florida
Points : 3345
Registration date : 2009-12-06

PostSubject: Re: My Facility Pictures - Albino Snapping Turtles and Albino Red Ear Turtles.   Sat 6 Feb - 5:36

Thank you for the kind words Rene'. It is a lot of work, but my partner Bruce is a turtle man and enjoys doing the maintenance. And, my girlfriend Patty likes to dig for and find the turtle eggs.
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Christian Moisander
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Number of posts : 404
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Location : Finland
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Registration date : 2008-04-27

PostSubject: Re: My Facility Pictures - Albino Snapping Turtles and Albino Red Ear Turtles.   Sun 14 Mar - 17:30

Incredible set-up. Must be sweet to have that kind of space to create nice enclosures.
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