Not sure if baby alligator snapping turtle is eating, any advice even general tips appreciated!

Video can you eat alligator snapping turtle

Low or mid depth is better than higher/deeper water. Alligator snappers are bottom walkers and like to be able to poke their heads up to get a breath. They also really like to hide in things so a habihut or some aquarium grade fake plants would be appreicated, depending on how much tank space you have.

As for deli meats, bets to avoid them as they often have lots of salt, more than any prey a turtle would eat. Try some slices of beef heart, chicken, turkey. These would be more healthy for him. Many keepers cut up a large amount of the meat and then freeze it in sections. Thaw what you need and feed.

Continue to offer some food each day. Remove the old food Be careful. He is a snapper after all. Consider getting a turkey baster to suction out any uneated food/poop. It often takes 2 weeks for an adult to begin eating after being moved to a new tank. So he will start eating when he is hungry. Really, the egg sac is very nutritious. Also consider feeding some live crickets. Get the smallest ones. Float them on the water near him. He may go for them.

Essential tank equipment:

water thermometers (don’t trust the ones on the water heater as they are usually wrong) probe, wire and monitor and laser

water heater (chose one with a guard on it to prevent the turtle from touching the hot part

filter-get one that is rated for three times the amount of water that will be in the tank (turtles create more waste)

basking area something the turtle can easily get onto and completely dry off each day, preferably beneath the UVB bulb

UVB bulb for good shell and bone health-Consider ZooMed PowerSun 100w. Place it at the recommended distance from the turtle to prevent burns, eye irritation if it is too close. No need for red, blue or purple lights. Keep lights on during daylight hours but turn them off at night.

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aquarium grade artificial plants (not the craft store variety which often release toxins and poisons into the water. Choose ones that the turtle can stand on and poke his nose out of the water to get a breath. Avoid fabric ones. Choose vine type and drape them from the bottom of the tank to the top. Artificial bamboo is also an excellent choice. Just be sure the turtle cannot use it to climb out of the tank. They are very good climbers.

This information is for AQUATIC TURTLES ONLY!!! Here is a recommended foods list with suggested feeding schedule depending on age (under 3 or 4 years is a juvenile) and portion sizes depending on head size.

Water quality test kit to measure nitrites, nitrates and pH of the water every week.

Dechlorinator-Consider Seachem Prime and follow package directions. Do not use reverse osmosis, distilled, or softened water.

Tank size recommended is 10 gallons for each inch of turtle SCL or straight carapace length. Measure the SCL from the front end of the shell to the tail end of the shell minus the dome or high point of the shell.

Keep the bottom of the tank bare with no sand, gravel or little rocks. A few large rocks can add emphasis. If using sea shells, coral or driftwood from the ocean, keep in mind it has a huge amount of salt. Soak these items and dump the water several times over several days to get rid of the salt.

Be sure there are no sharp edges on any of the tank equipment to avoid cuts.

This information is for AQUATIC TURTLES ONLY!!! Here is a recommended foods list with suggested feeding schedule depending on age (under 3 or 4 years is a juvenile) and portion sizes depending on head size.

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Most of these foods listed below are more appropriate for adults. Omega One Aquatic Turtle Sticks, Oemga One Shrimp Pellets, Mazuri Aquatic Turtle Pellets, JurassiDiet, Reptomin, Sake-Hikari Turtle Sticks, Mazuri Platinum Koi pellets with wheat germ (great for hatchlings, too).

The key here is to feed one kind of pellet one day, the next kind the next day, and so forth. This rotation delivers a great variety of minerals and vitamins to the turtle. Feed the wheat germ pellets as a regular feeding once a week. It really helps with scute shedding. (Google to see what this normal process looks like.)

Remember that for juveniles/hatchlings/babies, feed what would fit inside their head, minus the neck, once a day. Or you can split the amount for a half-meal in morning and night. ZooMed makes a great hatchling pellet that contains more protein. Supplement the pellets with steamed fish or chicken (cooled and then cut up. Cutting up the meat helps keep the tank cleaner as turtles often shred food when eating it, and the shredding releases some of the nutrition into the water so the turtle doesn’t get it), small crickets and cut up earthworms/nightcrawlers.

For adults, also feed what would fit inside the turtle’s head, minus the neck, every OTHER day. Too much food, especially protein, can cause a condition called shell pyramiding, not a good thing. (Google to see what this condition looks like.)

Another approach to feeding amounts and schedule from Tim M would be to feed the turtles every other day, as much as they can eat within 10-15 minutes. (Pellets and chopped tilapia/shrimp). Throw in some romaine, red leaf and green leaf lettuce between feed days. This approach would work well if the turtle seems really hungry after eating the amount that would fit inside his head. But also know that aquatic turtles are real beggars, always up for another meal even if they have just eaten!

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Never feed any insect that has been in contact with any pesticide/insecticide, weed killer, pre-emergent or fertilizer. Avoid feeding any insects that can sting or bite your turtle, including bees and wasps, scorpions, ant and also lightening bugs.

Float a piece of organic romaine lettuce 24/7. Be sure to keep it fresh. You can get a clip at the pet store to keep the lettuce from getting into the filter. Avoid iceberg lettuce, spinach and kale. Avoid goldfish and any red colored fish as they can cause a vitamin B deficiency. Also, float chunks of cuttlebone 24/7 as a great source of calcium (use a thin, sharp knife inserted underneath the hard part to remove this hard, often clear, structure. Sometimes the structure to remove is a light brown.). BE SURE to remove the sharp edge from the cuttlebone. Be careful as it is very sharp. It can cut a turtle and also cause them to choke.

They may or may not eat the cuttlebone but it is there for them to munch on if they want to.

Always feed organic produce. Turtles eat much more veggies proportionally than humans do, and pesticides on produce can harm turtle kidneys.

Water quality:


From Teetertotter: I found this: Another on quality specs if you scroll down

You might want to contact the breeder to see what they were feeding him, but probably he was not eating before he was shipped.

Write with any questions. Let us know how he is doing. Be sure his water temp is in the recommended range per the care sheet and that no AC/fans/wind is blowing into the tank.

Best wishes.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>