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Too much duckweed?

Discussion in 'Diet and Feeding' started by Mai ngo, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. Mai ngo

    Mai ngo Juvenile Turtle

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    Hi AFT!
    Just wondering if its possible for a baby turtle to each TOO much duckweed? I put a whole bunch in there and my baby Murray River turtle is going nuts for it. I'm feeding him only every second day with food the size of his head guppy/feeder fish/house fly and one turtle stick/pellets - the rest of the time he is munching on duckweed. He's acting like he's super hungry though, always looking for food.
     
  2. Craig

    Craig Administrator
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    Hi Mai, he can eat as much Duckweed as his heart desires. It is very beneficial for him to fill up with aquatic plants, especially those high in calcium like Duckweed.
     
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  3. Mai ngo

    Mai ngo Juvenile Turtle

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    Thanks Craig, very good to know. Time to buy more duckweed! :)
     
  4. Rodney

    Rodney Juvenile Turtle

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    Hi Mai,

    Duckweed is super easy to grow. One of the storage containers would be great. Just keep it in a shady location. The glass shrimp and Gambusia will provide the nutrients for the duckweed. In case you missed it Duckweed is high in calcium.
     
  5. Aussiepride83

    Aussiepride83 Administrator
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    I disagree, those storage containers aren't BPA free, nor are they UV stabilised. As they break down and leach toxins into the water, they're absorbed by the duckweed and then inadvertently passed onto the turtles. To keep duckweed safely outdoors, use a large terracotta pot or dish like the top of a bird bath.
    My outdoor duckweed setup.
    4258-1471410785-bd1c7f6429efe080cc8fad652660ba0d.jpg

    Alternatively, you can dedicate a second, separate indoor aquarium specifically for growing it. A 6500 Kelvin light tube works wonders.
    My indoor 2ft backup duckweed setup.
    4085-1458429565-e768bc0f08c3cc7f20d86c9536376ac3.jpg
     
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  6. Rodney

    Rodney Juvenile Turtle

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    Hi Kev

    OK thanks for that. My containers are in the shade but I guess they breakdown over time releasing toxins. Presumably the same applies for the plastic Bunnings sand pits .
     
  7. smoyle

    smoyle Sub-Adult Turtle
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    Yeah, I have a small (100L) outdoor pond with a very old goldfish in it, and duckweed grows like...well, like weed. I have to scoop it out regularly so it doesn't mulch itself.

    I also have it in my indoor guppy breeder tank, without a light (but next to a window) and it grows like crazy there too.
     
  8. Craig

    Craig Administrator
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    Yes the cheap light blue Bunnings shell sandpits also break down and leach BPA's and toxins into the water. The heavy duty thick green plastic turtle sand pits are BPA free and UV stabilised and are OK to use.
     
  9. Aussiepride83

    Aussiepride83 Administrator
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    Yes hence why I only use mine for basking my turtles in outside without water.
     
  10. Mai ngo

    Mai ngo Juvenile Turtle

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    Ahh, thanks everyone!! I'll buy a whole bunch and pop it into a bird bath type thing. Bunnings had a bird bath on sale over the weekend, ill go check it out to see if its terracotta :) Am picking up the glass shrimp too, so I'll throw them in there too.
     
  11. smoyle

    smoyle Sub-Adult Turtle
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    Glass shrimp might not survive too long in a birdbath - if birds discover they're there, they'll be picked off pretty quickly.
     
  12. Aussiepride83

    Aussiepride83 Administrator
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    They wouldn't survive purely because of the inappropriate conditions. A shallow birdbath with still, uncirculated water only a couple of inches deep does not have much oxygen. Shrimp require highly oxygenated water with substantial movement.
     
  13. Mai ngo

    Mai ngo Juvenile Turtle

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    Haha, good point. Will keep them separately.
    --- Double Post Merged, May 4, 2017, Original Post Date: May 2, 2017 ---
    Hey hey guys! Just want to double (triple) check, that
    1) Red cherry shrimp around 1-1.5cm
    2) Small platy and Swordtail fish around 2cm
    are suitable for Skittles? His SCL is 4cm. I am just worried that he could try and eat it but choke, if it's possible.
    Thank you:)
     
  14. Craig

    Craig Administrator
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    Hi Mai, yes they are fine. The good thing about short-necked turtles is that their beak is sharp and they never try to swallow food whole unless it is tiny.
     
  15. Mai ngo

    Mai ngo Juvenile Turtle

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    Thanks Craig! My concern was, the other night I fed Skittles a frozen feeder fish that the breeder gave me, and he seem to have trouble swallowing it. it was very thin and only maybe 3cm long, but he seemed to struggle with swallowing it - kept regurgitating it and i got worried so I removed it quickly when he spat it out (before he tried to eat it again). He didn't even try to rip the feeder apart like he usually does. Maybe he was just being greedy? It freaked me out heaps so I am extra careful now that everything is small. :laugh:

    PS. I have been weighing him with the scales just to keep an eye on him and in a week he has gained 0.42 grams. He still isn't eating the cichlid pellets :(
     
  16. Craig

    Craig Administrator
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    Hi Mai, try to reduce the amount of food you are giving him. For example, don't feed him in the morning and when you come home from work offer him the Cichlid Gold pellets. Leave them in there for 10 minutes then remove them and don't feed anything to him until you come home from work the next day. Then feed him the pellets again.
     
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  17. Craig

    Craig Administrator
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    You defrosted the fish first before giving it to him didn't you?
     
  18. Mai ngo

    Mai ngo Juvenile Turtle

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    Okay, I will try and be persistent with the pellets. He won't starve, will he? Wait he has duckweed so he should be OK. :laugh:

    Yes, defrosted! Broke off a small bit and left it to defrost in room temp before feeding!
     
  19. Aussiepride83

    Aussiepride83 Administrator
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    Err on the side of caution when feeding baby turtles. It's better to feed them sparingly rather than too much. Definitely only 1 feed/day an amount the size of their heads. Anything more than this is considered excessive. Considering you've got duckweed available, you don't even need to feed it every single day, skipping a day or 2 in the week will be fine. Reptiles have a much slower metabolism compared to us starving mammals.

    Chop or tear your feeder fish, worms, shrimp etc into bite sized manageable pieces for your turtle just to give it a bit of a head start. Short-necks are adept at tearing their food up but your turtle is still very small. Hatchling long necks on the other hand will quite capably swallow whole fish as this below photo of hatchling Macrochelodina expansa shows.
    20150220_171859(0).jpg

    As mentioned above, always completely thaw any frozen food before offering it to your turtle and pre-soak your pellets making them soft for your turtle to get used to.
     
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  20. Mai ngo

    Mai ngo Juvenile Turtle

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    Thank you guys! I'll make sure I chop everything up that I feed them in their feeding container.

    Keeping the live glass and red cherry shirmp of that size in the tank with Skittles will still be fine though - if he happens to be able to catch one, he will know to tear it apart to eat it? lol