When it comes to taking care of eastern box turtle there are few things that you MUST know. First, is their behavior and personality. Second, how to provide proper housing to your turtles. Third what to feed and what not to feed them. Fourth, its need for heat and lighting. Fifth and the final is common health problems. This article is an ultimate guide on Eastern box turtle and the steps in taking Care of Eastern Box turtle. So, read on!
Taking Care of Eastern Box Turtle
Behaviour & Personality
The Eastern box turtle is a pet that needs independence. They love spending their day roaming around looking for food here and there. When dealing with Eastern box turtle, avoid frequent handling rather than go for gentle handling. You cannot ignore them completely or else they might feel stressed when you have to take them to the veterinarian or clean their cage. Hence, it's important to make them feel accustomed to your presence and smell. It will make them feel easy and social. Eastern Box turtles are very friendly creatures and some will even remember your voice or play with small toys.
How to Provide Proper Housing
As you read in this post about Providing proper housing for turtles, you need to make sure that your aquarium is large enough. Generally, people go for a tank that's approximately 20 US Gallons (75 Ltr). But, that's just best for juveniles. For a large turtle, you need a tank that's at least 125 US Gallons (473 Ltr).
What to Feed your Turtle & What Not
Feeding your turtle well is a crucial step in taking care of the eastern box turtle. So include lots and lots of green leafy veggies such as - cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, grated carrots, spinach, bell peppers, tomatoes and etc. Also, when they are young they'll love meat. Hence include live crickets, earthworms, snails and grasshoppers in their diet.
But, most importantly, don't forget about drinking water for your Easter Box turtle. You should provide a pan of fresh water at all points of time. They might even poop in the drinking water pan, so it's important to keep a check on that on a frequent basis and replace it with fresh water as per your requirement.
Taking Care of their need for heat, humidity & Lighting
The water tank should have proper temperature settings. The basking zone should have a temperature of around 85 F (29C) while the surrounding water should be around 75F (24C). Make sure you install a reptile light that emits UVA as well as UVB lights and they should be kept on for at least 10-12 hours on a daily basis. This light provides vitamin D to the turtle and also helps in its normal day-to-day functioning.
At night when you've switched off the light, make sure the temperature of the water tank doesn't fall below 70F(21C), you could use a submersible aquarium heater for this purpose. Also, make sure that there is enough humidity in your Eastern box turtle's home. They prefer a mild humid condition like in a forest.
Being aware of Common health Problems & Overcoming them
Common health problems in an Eastern box turtle are respiratory infections, problems with shells, and abnormal feces. If your turtles prefer living outside then they might have some gastrointestinal parasite problems. This might cause abnormal feces and loss of appetite in them. It's important to take them to the veterinarian at least once a year. Examining feces, monitoring mucus around nose and ears, taking care of their breathing is vital in taking care of Eastern box turtle.
So, these were the most important things that you should know before you keep Eastern Box Turtle as a pet. Making sure that they get a proper diet, that they are housed comfortably, that you are able to mimic the atmosphere that they actually live in, and taking them to the veterinarian on a regular basis are the crucial steps in taking care of your Eastern box turtle.