Clemmys guttata

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Zekee
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Re: Clemmys guttata

Post by Zekee » Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:11 pm

Thank you for taking the time to reply Mike, looking through my copy of "Keeping and breeding freshwater turtles" by Russ Gurley, after a tip off on another forum he does go into some detail regarding acidic water conditions in relation to some South American species.

An extract from this passage from page 34 reads:

"To inexpensively recreate soft, acidic water, you can add peat moss to a turtle enclosure either loose, in a cheesecloth bag, or in the tied-off leg of a pair of panty hose. You can also add sphagnum moss, oak logs, dried leaves, and driftwood to introduce tannins and to lower pH of the environment"

So from what you have suggested Mike, by adding leaves or RO water, I suspect would indeed lower the pH.

My only concern is having a tied off pantyhose within the aquarium will look somewhat unsightly?

Perhaps adding this in the external canister filter or sump is a better option?

More thought is possibly needed on this subject.
Last edited by Zekee on Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Romski
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Re: Clemmys guttata

Post by Romski » Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:03 pm

I have been down some of these paths.
I dont know about RO filters or how effective they are.
I have a water softener that works on an ion exchange principle exchanging sodium for calcium in the water and so carbonate hardness remains the same after the water has been softened. I dont use this water for my animals.
The two are quite different processes.

I use rain water for most of my keeping, it comes out at neutral ph even with loads of oak leaves mixed in the filter. I have tried a huge bag of leaves in the rain barrel and all I got was a stinking mess. I have tried tea bags not altogether sucessfully.

I have given up on trying to manage ph as impractical.

http://www.terrapin-info.co.uk/illness.php
in the pdf link as above I talk about fungus. I note that it is not the updated version but much is stilluseful. In the update I mention that stress is a significant factor as a causitive agent.

When I had youngsters like yours I raised them all in individual tubs and had no fungus. It was only when I added them together that bungus showed its head.

Consider that when they hatch the babies have an instinct to disperse, this might be through some form of lack of tolerance/antagonism to each other so in the wild the drive is to get away. Now in a small container they cant do that and it is my view that this contributes to stress levels.

I know many who have kept youngsters and had similar problems, in my case resolving the stress fixed the fungus.

Rom

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Zekee
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Re: Clemmys guttata

Post by Zekee » Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:18 pm

Thanks Rom, I shall read that link you have posted.

The stress factors you speak of are interesting, and you make a valid point regarding the instinct to disperse.

I will be able to separate these younglings, the current polycarbonate twinwall aquarium I have them housed in is just under 3 foot in length. With plenty of live plants and a few nooks and crannies provided by mopani wood to hide amongst. I'm torn as what to do now. Separate them all or see how I'm doing after a short period. They are all eating with gusto. And I have caught them sunbathing on a few occasions now.

Im paranoid they will get fungus now.
Last edited by Zekee on Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Neil
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Re: Clemmys guttata

Post by Neil » Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:29 pm

There are chemicals which can lower pH, but the problem is even the rain water can often still be hard, and as you mention managing things within a tank can be unsightly, which is why all marine keepers use sump filters so they can add things to that, rather than the tank. If you use rain water then IMO it's better then RO water or anything else as it's closer to nature, or even setting up a pond in the garden purely to take water from, but it needs to be remembered that the natural bacterial process within a pond or filter will itself raise the pH so it's always going to be a losing battle trying to keep it sub-7.
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Zekee
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Re: Clemmys guttata

Post by Zekee » Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:00 pm

Thanks Neil,

The general consensus seems to be that its quite difficult to get the pH to 4-5. This is from what has been said here and on other forums.

Is it possible that its this low in the natural range of this species due to the vast quantities of water, and the effects the local flora have on it? Something we would struggle to recreate in a captive environment? I will be setting up a rain collecting system in the very near future.

I was somewhat interested as to how other keepers kept their Clemmys, whether at a lower pH or not.

Going from the responses here and elsewhere I believe that the pH is rather an afterthought? And water quality seems to be more crucial to the successful captive husbandry, as with any species of freshwater turtle.

I may email the author Al Roach. To gather his thoughts on the subject. If I attain a response I shall add it to this topic.
Last edited by Zekee on Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Neil
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Re: Clemmys guttata

Post by Neil » Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:09 pm

IIRC, almost all terrapins seem to do better in slightly acidic water (generally pH 6 though, not as low as 4), but as said you're fighting a losing battle even in a decent sized outdoor pond, let alone a tank, and I think that spending huge amounts on pH lowering chemicals (which you'd have to, as they have to fight the hardness before they stand a chance against the pH) is not of enough benefit to make it worth the effort and expense.

Slightly acidic water can also help prevent fungus, but once again with everything else set up correctly and otherwise ideal water quality, this shouldn't be an issue. It's like missing the brandy out of a Christmas cake - you might be able to notice it, but realistically there are a lot more important ingredients which would be far more noticable!
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Zekee
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Re: Clemmys guttata

Post by Zekee » Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:22 pm

Thanks Neil, the question had to be asked, if it was plausible to do and if I was missing a trick with what I am doing, husbandry wise.

I agree, as mentioned previously this is probably an afterthought? Especially after all factors have been met? I'm glad I asked the question, thank you for all the responses. Once/if I have a response from Al Roach we can possibly re-open this can of worms.

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Zekee
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Re: Clemmys guttata

Post by Zekee » Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:01 pm

Some images from today.

this picture was snapped as I found the behaviour fairly interesting, im quite certain she's hunting, although I'm rather perplexed as to what? I haven't noticed any snails within the aquarium, but, this moss was taken from a tank which housed cherry shrimp, so there may be shrimplets amongst the hair like strands?

Image

This picture was taken from earlier today, I had just disturbed a basking session, checking to see if its safe?

Image

A water change was conducted today, a water collecting system is a must. But, and quite surprisingly its been a rather dry few days in Wales.

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Zekee
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Re: Clemmys guttata

Post by Zekee » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:58 am

Good morning, I have been pondering tannins this morning, obviously this species inhabits heavily tannin stained waters.

Do any keepers add "Blackwater" extract to their enclosures? Or what other methods do you use?

I've read about adding tea bags to create a Blackwater effect, but does adding tea bags prove beneficial? And is there a preferred type of tea? De caff etc?

In my musk enclosures I have mopani wood and added leaf litter to these enclosures, which does create a heavily tannin stained water.

Any advice is more than welcomed.

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Zekee
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Re: Clemmys guttata

Post by Zekee » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:18 am

I wanted to share this picture, this is a hatchling I acquired early last year.

Image

I may include this animal within this write up. This animal will also be added to the breeding group the newly obtained animals will become part of.

Backtracking slightly, with regards to having a lower pH as a way of keeping these animals healthy, as mentioned in the Al Roach publication "The spotted turtle, North Americas best". I am considering investing in an inline UV sterilizer, I have read good reviews on these. I believe it will be another weapon in the arsenal, as these pieces of equipment kill any single celled organisms.

Does anyone use these, if so what are your thoughts on them? Are they worth the initial outlay?

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