Asian Pond Turtles

    Here's a little page I made about my new pets, asian pond turtles.
    I bought them at Homeac in Japan.  I currently have three of them.  Here in Japan, there seems to be no size limitation like their is in the United States: we bought ours at just under one inch in length.  In the US you can't buy or sell them if they're smaller than 3 inches in length.  I think this is due to salmonella concerns, but nevertheless it's the law in the US.
    As I read about them online, I reviewed several things I found on the websites I listed at the bottom:
  1. They are strong swimmers.  They're also fast.  I honestly didn't know turtles could swim or even move this fast at all.
  2. They are active.  They will swim up to people they know who get close to their tank.  My wife and I can put our finger against the outside of the aquarium and they will chase our finger.  They chase the fish and the ghost shrimp in the aquarium.
  3. They are omnivorous but prefer meat.  When I first built their aquarium habitat, I did so by basically scooping up a bunch of stuff from the base lake here in Japan to make their home.  They ate all the small animals that came with the water.  They have eaten a ghost shrimp and even a mussel (we found its shell at the top of the sand picked clean).  However, they also like plants, and we've had to keep stocking their tank because they'd bite off pond lilies at the stem.  Sometimes they would eat the lilly pad but recently they seem only interested in the stems, so we end up with dying lily pads floating around.  We recently got a different aquarium plant but again they bite them off down low at the stem, not up top like they're eating the leaves.
  4. I provided them a cuttle bone to chew on but they did not do so.  I found that I have to crumble it up into very small, even bite-size pieces.  In smaller pieces they have figured out that they can bit off of it, but I just give them very small bits so that they understand what to do with them.
  5. They dig.  They seem to like having sand as a bottom substrate and they will readily dig around looking for food.  I'm thinking this is also how they found and ate the mussel.
  6. Their coloration is a bit subdued but they do have markings, just subdued.  It's actually sort of cute though.  They're not as exotic looking as a map turtle or red eared slider, but they're cute.
  7. They can see long distances.  I was sort of surprised by how far.  The one picture I took (DSC04228) where the turtle was looking at me over its back, as soon as the flash went off, it dove into the water.  I have seen them regularly dive off the basking area and into the water when I walk past their tank on my way.
  8. They are personable.  They will try to get your attention to feed them, chase our fingers, and one even lets us pet the top of its head and back of its neck.  Once they know who you are, they will swim up to you.  Sudden movements startle them, but if you're just standing, they'll watch you.

    I love these pets!  These are my first turtles, and I adore them.


    Click on the icon for the larger image.  Warning: each larger image is approximately 2MB.


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