Animal Stories - Ornate Wood Turtle

Animal-World Information about: Ornate Wood Turtle

   Even a well acclimated Ornate Wood Turtle can be quite shy when first approached, but it will quickly peek back out looking for a snack!
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Louise - 2016-12-12
My wood turtle Barley is in a 84 gallon tank..

anyominous - 2016-10-24
I am a person who is going to get an ornate wood turtle. I am going to put him in a 40 gallon tank is that fine. I also Want to know how much you feed your turtles protein And how If you feed them live animals or just pellets and witch is cheaper. And should I get a floating dock or something else. How much do your turtles weigh. Also do you guys have any problems with sunlight, or heat. Thank you guys soooooooooo much for helping me if you anwser my questions.

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  • anyominous - 2016-10-24
  • Lobster - 2020-08-26
    I have a juvenile male he is 30 gallon tank. So yes that is fine, but keep in mind that is it is too big they might became stressed. His tank is manly coconut fibers. If your turtle is an adult feed him once every 3 days or less. If younger every day, or if you are unsure just put some food in their dish they, they do not eat a lot in one day.(pellets, or not pellets, its cheaper to use pellets just switch it up a bit for them). when you get mulch or something in their tank do not use sand especially if they have a log to climb on with a den on the bottom, and put a water dish( snake dishes work to, if it is to tall for them to get in and out. Place a piece of wood inside of the water dish, and more mulch, or a piece of wood on the outside. My turtle Spot has a heat lamp over his tank. The lamp is a daylight heat lamp 60 watt, allowing for him to get vitamin D3 (without the lamp your turtle after two weeks will have health problems), but I still take him out for walks, along with outside swims in water that is at max 3' tall. He loves it! Turtles also love being with their owners( you will have a change after. Or you can put a towel on your lap!)and after a bit they might allow you to pet them on their shell, or head. Ensure his nails do not grow to long, by using cat nail clippers, like dogs you can take them for walks on concrete to help with their nails. If by accident you cut them to short use some "First Aid For dogs, cats, and birds" or if they cut them selves with their claws before you trim them. DO NOT LEAVE THE COCONUT FIBERS WET! But if it does by accident and mold add dry moss or peat moss.
  • Lobster - 2020-08-26
    p.s. put the lamp on one side of the tank, so they can get away from the heat if needed.
Dustin - 2015-10-29
My 3' Costa Rican ornate wood turtle was just upgraded to a 60 gallon tank. I have everything in place except what would be used for his 'shell-ter'. It's just substrate, bowl to wade, basking area, food area etc. He's been in his bowl two days? He had a fake tree and leaves henwould burrow under. Should I just stick with leaves? Is this why he's not getting out of his bowl?

Ellen - 2015-09-07
Hi I have just acquired what I believe to be a Painted Wood Turtle from a run down garden centre (they told me it was a North American one, but he has all the lovely designs on his face). I think he is ok apart from being a bit dry. He is in a pretty big tank with a big cat litter tray of water and bark substrate - I need to get moss and gravel tonight. I am a bit worried about temperature.I have never had a reptile before and although he is in our sun room which has underfloor heating, it is only about 17 degrees C. He also hasn't moved for a day and a half... is this normal - he is breathing and gives me withering looks when I take off the hay hut he is inside...any advice appreciated on heating. Thanks

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  • Clarice Brough - 2015-09-24
    You might try mounting a heat lamp to create a warmer basking area. Lamps and bulbs for reptiles are available at pet stores, and you can add a thermometer near the area to monitor the heat. Also add calcium supplements to the food along with a UV bulb for generally lighting. That way the calcium won't just be consumed, but will be absorbed.
Steven Goldhar - 2007-11-20
In contrast to what was said earlier, our Ornate Wood Turtle does hibernate. I did not know this when we bought him however in his second year he began to often try and climb up on the tank walls when we were near. After watching this go on for months I decided to put him down outside the cage. He would find a secluded spot and just stay there in his shell. After a few days, not understanding the behaviour I would bring him back into his tank only to see him repeat the action of trying to get out again within a day or two. After deciding to go online to look for some answers I read about their hibernation. I then took "Munchie" out of his tank and put him down near the area we had prepared for him according to the guide I found online. Munchie hybernated the first year for six months!! If it wasn't for signs that we knew he'd come out for some water we would surely have thought that he was dead. Sure enough, when he was ready, he appeared right in front of his tank waiting for us to put him back. His second year of hibernation lasted 4 months. He never crawled up the walls again or showed any obvious signs as he did the first time. Now I follow the guide which said that leading up to the fall season hibernation he will eat greater amounts of food then slow down or stop when ready to hibernate. This year, being his third hibernation season, I took him out and placed him near his spot about a month ago however he made his way back to the tank later that day, obviously not ready for his long sleep. This time seems to be working for him. Wow! What a learning curve! I can only imagine what he'd say to me if he could talk. He'd probably say "It's about time you let me sleep! I've been trying to tell this for two years!".

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  • Holly - 2015-02-07
    I want to thank you for a honest real answer from a ornate wood turtle owner our turtle Rachel is the same way. I became very nervous reading different answers online but now as I read this I realize she will be fine thank you
Daisy - 2010-05-20
I have an adult wood turtle named QQ. She loved eating banana, and sometimes took some vegetable. But these days, she dislikes anything even her favorite banana. I have tried small fish and worms. But she just refuses them.

I keep QQ in a large dry glass tank with another small tan where she can swim in. The temperature is 69~78 F. The humidity is 45~50%.

Would anybody who is familiar with wood turtle give me some suggestions?

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  • Brendan - 2010-07-09
    The only thing that I can get mine to eat is Blueberries. Have you tried them?
  • hur - 2013-03-16
    Mine loves worms.
  • Vicki England - 2013-07-23
    I'm a new owner of paired at birth male and female wood turtles. They are from Costa Rica. I had to switch their dry food and they wouldn't touch it for about a week. Now they love it. Also, I've tried lettuce, bananas, blueberries, all of which they wouldn't eat. However, they love strawberries. I don't know what I'm going to do about that this winter when it's more difficult to find them. I'm still getting to know them. I am fascinated and have bonded with them. I believe they have bonded with me as I greet them each morning. I hold them both up at my eye level and we gaze at each other. Anyway, I don't know if this helps, but I hope so.
  • Ruby slyman - 2015-01-10
    My turtle Tevya some times will not eat out of here dish so I hand feed Herr try that
Wendy - 2013-10-12
I just recently bought a young painted wood turtle. My only other experience has been with a russian tortoise, so I am learning the differences between the 2! 'Ribbons' has been shy, although I spend time with her hoping to warm her up to me, but she's not really eating. Twice now I've gotten her to eat part of a grape. Actually thinking about going to the store and buying her some small fishing worms. Think that'll help? I built her a 30'x60' table, and I have coconut fiber substrate and hay for her to dig in, and I am wanting to add some plants. Anyway, this past month has been a learning experience, I just hope she starts eating better. I do provide fresh dandelion, spring mix, turtle treats, and dry tortoise formula. And a large water dish. Missing anything?

Paul - 2011-05-01
I live in El Salvador and we adopted one of these tortoises 15 years ago when he was about 10 inches long, and since then has grown around 2 inches more. As is mentioned for the ones from Nicaragua, its shell is not colorful. Locally, they tend to hibernate through the food-scarce dry season (around November-April) then spring into activity with the first rains of the rainy season (May-October). During hibernation they will often "disappear" to the bewilderment of their owners, hidden away in nooks and crannies. They love to eat any insect they manage to catch, as well as a wide variety of plants. A sad ethnographic note: it is widely believed here that tortoise's blood is an aphrodisiac. Our tortoise was rescued from a group of hunters who were about to use him in that way.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-05-02
    I am glad you rescued your tortoise. I am also glad that you enjoy him.
abe - 2010-02-15
Regarding: Trying to climb out of tank.

Torts and semi terrestrial turts need a visual barrier when housed in tanks... they do not know there is glass in their way.

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  • Daisy - 2010-05-20
    Would you please tell me how you feed your turtle and what kind of environment you provide for it? Appreciate!
  • reverend jackie - 2010-11-07
    I've found this to be true. I put small live potted plants around the inside, and they stopped.One quick question for anyone....How big do these guys get? I'v had one described by a friend as ä palm and a half in size? Would that sound like a young one to you or full grown?
Buslady - 2007-09-15
Most of this info is correct, except they do not hibernate; hatching is not as easy as they say. They go into diapause, a halt in development, and hatching could be 5-8 months. My oldest was 8 months. He's 10 months old now and growing fast. Never toss an egg no matter how long it's incubated unless you're 100% it's bad.
They are more aquatic than was most articles say. My group is kept in two Waterland tubs and often hang out in the water. They need water deep enough to cover their shell and substrate deep enough that they can dig and hide. Fake foliage will help them hide as well.

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  • Lobster - 2020-08-26
    Could you help me understand why my male turtle dose not really dig, is it something I should look into more? His paws and claws are perfectly fine. Could he not enjoy digging as much as other turtles would? He has thrown dirt on himself when I take him out for walks, but feels fine after I reassure him, and/or put a leaf,cloth,or turtle sweater on him.