Monday, 18 March 2013

Care of Indian Tent Turtle (Pangshura Tentoria):-

It is also sold as Singapore Turtle or American Turtle along with Red Eared Sliders as they resemble them when young. Since it was my first turtle and I didn't knew much about turtles at that time so  couldn't take pictures of it. The images below are courtesy of www.chelonia.org and google.





From the images above you can see clearly why it is so easy for them to be confused for Red eared sliders by inexperienced keepers.

Enclosure:

the basic enclosure is same as any other turtle species containing a tank, water, substrate if  you want (personally i don't prefer substrate as it clogs up with uneaten food and poop etc.), a strong filtration system, a basking platform, a basking light and a thermostat to keep the water temperature constant around 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have a pond then ensure that it is properly covered and protected from predators like Kite, Cats, dogs etc. and that the turtle cannot climb it.
the basic idea of enclosure can be shown as:
a basic tank setup for keeping turtles 
     make  sure that the basking platform is accessible to the turtle and he can climb on it. for basking light use 80-100 W bulb and if you can, provide a UV light also for the Turtle at basking site, you can get it from online sources, if not then make sure that you let your turtle out in sunlight at least for 2 hrs. a day.

Diet and miscellaneous:

It is omnivorous, means it eats every thing. I have fed it variety including Ghost Shrimps, crickets, earthworms,snails, mosquito larva, aquatic insects,feeder fish, aquatic plants, spinach, carrot, radish leaves etc. Initially it eats everything but as they grow they start preferring more vegetarian diet.
Size of this turtle varies from 8"-12". Females grow to a larger size than males but males are brighter in color.  Not much Information is available on their breeding and I was also not able to find a female for breeding. If anyone has any information they are welcome to share it here and I will be sure to acknowledge them.
Also in my opinion they are one of the intelligent species of turtles and are playful, after they get attached to you and start identifying you as their owner they will play around with you and would even come to you if they see you after a long time.
One word of caution for the keepers, even if they are playful and seem cute, they are turtles and not cat/dog so limit touching and holding them in your hands because they may harbor typhoid bacteria or any other virulent organism, also its stressful for your turtle if he/she doesn't like it. Imagine yourself hanging in air for most of your day and then place your turtle in your place, this is how they feel when they are hanging in your hands. Even if they start liking it or become habitual for it you are changing their natural behavior, so if you can avoid touching them much. This is true for any turtle/tortoise species.

                                                            By: Dr. Siddharth Mishra

 



Disclaimer: The medicines/ treatment and methods of taking care of the turtle/tortoise described here are in no way perfect on their own and patented by the author, they are the result of collective experiences of the author and his readings and by his associations to other keepers and should not be used as an alternative to Professional Vetrinarian advice, Readers should use their discretion when using the medicines and/or care sheet described here, the authors can't be held responsible for any damage, loss, side effect or death of any animal / pet due to negligence of the keeper or the caretaker using any of the above methodologies and treatments.
The images displayed from other sources are the property of their owners and the author no way claims ownership over images from other sources, Original images are the work of author and should be treated as author's property when using for reference or any other miscellaneous use


Sunday, 17 March 2013

Care of Indian black Turtle (Melanochelys Trijuga):

It is a medium sized fresh water turtle. despite its name the color of its upper shell or carapace varies largely from reddish to dark brown and black with yellow streaks running along its length.the underside, plastron is uniformly brown in color. The face of this turtle may have yellow or orange marks and spots with the color of these marks varying form 1 sub species to another. it has 6 identified sub species in the Asian region, each having somewhat different pattern of spots on head. Size may vary from 38 -45 cm in length. there is not much information available for this species online but I will try to combine whatever I have experienced with this species and what I  found on internet.

Enclosure:

For a basic idea for its enclosure when keeping it as pet please refer to the sketch below. It gives all the basic requirements for keeping a turtle. In a tank you will need substrate, a good filtration system( canister system is best), water heater if you live in cold area, platform for basking, and basking light. Decorations are additional and depends on your choice, just make sure that they don't hurt the turtle with any sharp edges. If you have a pond then its all the better. It likes slow flowing water with sand substrate or in outside settings a pond with mud substrate is best according to my experience.

Diet:

It is omnivorous, means it eats everything ranging from aquatic vegetation (you can acquire from the local fish shops in cheap rates or collect yourself from nearby ponds and streams) to fishes, snails and aquatic insects. I used to go to a nearby river and catch some insects from the water and bring them for him so that he can feed on them like live natural food along with occasional feeder fish and since I had brought mine when it was small so i also acclimatized him with artificial food.It is most active during early morning and evening time.

Breeding:

 Although I was not able to breed it but will try to give whatever knowledge of breeding I have. they breed during monsoons, at this time males become aggressive and start chasing the female, the male attaches himself on the top of female during mating, after mating is done, female then burrows a nest in the mud or sand along side the enclosure/pond in a warm and sunny area, around 8-10 eggs are then kept in these nests to be incubated for around 60-65 days. the babies are hatched around summer season.

The  images are taken from http://www.arkive.org/indian-black-turtle/melanochelys-trijuga/image-G89324.html .

from the under side



from the upper side


                                                                           By: Dr. Siddharth Mishra



Disclaimer: The medicines/ treatment and methods of taking care of the turtle/tortoise described here are in no way perfect on their own and patented by the author, they are the result of collective experiences of the author and his readings and by his associations to other keepers and should not be used as an alternative to Professional Vetrinarian advice, Readers should use their discretion when using the medicines and/or care sheet described here, the authors can't be held responsible for any damage, loss, side effect or death of any animal / pet due to negligence of the keeper or the caretaker using any of the above methodologies and treatments.
The images displayed from other sources are the property of their owners and the author no way claims ownership over images from other sources, Original images are the work of author and should be treated as author's property when using for reference or any other miscellaneous use

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Care of Indian Flap shell turtle (Lissemys Punctata):


My 12" Flap shell turtle


flap shelled turtle from beneath
It is a very common fresh water turtle found in India and it can be found fairly easily in ponds, steams, marshes, near our house during rainy season and in fish markets. they have a soft leathery type of shell and they are called as flap shell because they have flaps on the plastron above their legs which cover their legs when they retract in the shell. They have a snout which can be seen clearly in the picture above. its size ranges from about 240 to 370 mm in length.

Diet:

It is omnivorous means it eats everything ranging from snails, frogs, fishes, shrimps, aquatic plants, flowers, fruits, plant leaves etc. mine loved aquatic plant (you can buy them from fish store, they are available now a days for setting up planted aquariums, try to get cheap ones or you can directly get them from outside ponds and marshes if you know any), you can also try to make them eat artificial turtle food but i don't know if they will eat it or not, mine just refused to eat it, no matter how much I tried he would never eat it, give it a try may be you will be the lucky one.

Enclosure:

They prefer quite and stagnant waters with sand or mud as a substrate since they like to burrow in it, so if you have an outside pond then it would come in handy, also as with all the turtle species you will have to provide an area for basking in their pond. if you are keeping them in a tank or an aquarium then it should have sand or mud as a substrate, the filtration ideally should be external filters (you will need a powerful filter as they tend to be dirty) my advice would be to not to opt for power filters but go for external canister filters if you cannot afford external power filters , in external canister filters a pump is placed inside the tank which pumps water to a canister placed outside the tank with its outlet connected to tank, the water gets filtered in the substrate of the canister and then flows back from the outlet to the tank. provide a bulb and a platform for them on which they can bask.

A basic idea of the enclosure you can get from the sketch below:-
above layout is applicable for setting up the tank for any turtle, this is a basic layout showing all the things which are absolutely necessary for setting up the tank more features can be added based on your creativity.

breeding:-

they become adult around 2-3 years of age. male and female can be seen in the following image:



 male is on right with elongated body and female is on left with more ovoid shape of body, also see the longer tail of male. if you want to know further about differentiating between male and female you can consult the following link-  http://www.chelonia.org/sexing/sexing_L_punctata.htm
after mating the eggs are laid 2 times in a year in a batch of 2-12 in a nest in sandy or muddy area exposed to sun.

                                                          By: Dr.  Siddharth Mishra



Disclaimer: The medicines/ treatment and methods of taking care of the turtle/tortoise described here are in no way perfect on their own and patented by the author, they are the result of collective experiences of the author and his readings and by his associations to other keepers and should not be used as an alternative to Professional Vetrinarian advice, Readers should use their discretion when using the medicines and/or care sheet described here, the authors can't be held responsible for any damage, loss, side effect or death of any animal / pet due to negligence of the keeper or the caretaker using any of the above methodologies and treatments.
The images displayed from other sources are the property of their owners and the author no way claims ownership over images from other sources, Original images are the work of author and should be treated as author's property when using for reference or any other miscellaneous use