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Diamondback Terrapin Breeder - Sales - Care / Redfoot Tortoise Care


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Diamondback Terrapins Care Sheet

 

NO INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING

*see Available Page*


Request to be on "WISH LIST" and you can
expect to be contacted when any become available.

 

2017 hatchling's expected in August 2017

 

RELOAD/REFRESH NOW

 

*** ALL NEW 650+ gallon tub building process toward bottom.

 

SEE VIDEO ( bottom of page ) OF HOW THEY LIVE IN "BRACKISH"..
AND CAN ACCESS FRESH WATER .. AT WILL..
TO DRINK FROM AND EAT IN - WITH ATTACHED NEST BOX.

 

 

*****

 

 

Diamondback Terrapin breeder of Northerns.."White/Blue" Concentrics.. and now Gulf Coast sub-species.
{ NEW pics now on "Sub-species" page! }

This female is no longer with me.. just wanted to show her nesting.. Click HERE.
She did make a few hatchlings.. so her "blood-line" is still with us!
She had a tan from being out in the Arizona sun.


ttSassyRPro

These are "SPECIAL" turtles to me..
Have to be my all time favorite water turtles!

 

HATCHLINGS ARE USUALLY AVAILABLE LATE AUGUST -
EARLY SEPTEMBER. THEY RANGE FROM $150 and up.

 

*****

UPDATE.. June 18, 2015

What I'm about to state will cause everything from.. confusion to denial -
but that still doesn't change the facts!

 

In the past year or so there have been WILD CAUGHT..
Gulf Coast Terrapins that have hit the market and
represented as LONG TERM CAPTIVE ( in so many words ) -
sold or offered as such on the Internet.. Facebook, etc.
to unsuspecting buyers who place them in FRESH water
and feed them pellets.. and they wonder why they won't thrive!!!


The point is: Taking them from "Brackish Water" and placing them
in 'Fresh' water can be fatal.

 
*****

 

Below is our "Statement" on the 'new' Facebook group..
"Brackish Water Terrapins"
BRACKISH WATER is where Malaclemys terrapin live in the wild.
They are CARNIVOROUS.. eating various crustaceans and fish.
Unfortunately in the 21st century there have been those that insist it's O.K.to maintain them in "FRESH" water..and feed them as "Herbivorous".
DIAMONDBACK TERRAPINS IN "FRESH" WATER IS UNNATURAL ! ! !
DIAMONDBACK TERRAPINS IN "FRESH" WATER IS CRUEL ! ! !
DIAMONDBACK TERRAPINS IN "FRESH" WATER IS IMMORAL ! ! !
READ ON TO LEARN WHAT "WE" ARE FINDING TO BE TRUE!
If you currently maintain in Brackish .. then "Congrats" to you!
Any questions or concerns about the following?
EMAIL me direct here - turtletaryterps@turtletary.com .
You are more than welcome.. to attach pics [ larger the better ] of your enclosure.. terrapins, etc. being kept in "Brackish Water".. of course.
***RELEVANT COMMENTS WILL BE POSTED HERE***
What MOST fail to understand or accept is that it is much EASIER.. LESS EXPENSIVE - and MUCH BETTER for Terrapins - to maintain them in "BRACKISH WATER".
LET THE 'NATURAL' BRACKISH WATER DO THE WORK..
IT WILL KEEP YOUR TERRAPINS LOOKING AND LIVING THEIR BEST!!!
Filtration "overkill" is too expensive.. just to offset what is missing in fresh water - and IT DOES NOT WORK!
***
I have asked a number of times "Why do you keep your terrapins
in fresh water"? And 99% of the time the answer is --
" It's easier for me ".
Guess what darlin' .. this isn't about you! [ I want to tell them ]

*************
The differences .. maintaining in "BRACKISH WATER" .. are amazing!

The results are unbelievable!!!

-- EXAMPLES --

It wasn't long after the "Brackish Water" was underway.. that a former
'keeper' contacted me and asked if I would consider a few of his "ill" turtles.
He had kept them overcrowded in fresh water, etc.
THIS HAS TO BE THE MOST DRAMATIC "Brackish Water" 'healing' to date!


August 2014
.. even the shell! What are the chances?

 

April 2015.. words can't describe -

 


I acclimated him gradually for the first month or so..
and then kept him in 1.016+ salinity.


NOT ONE of ANY example pics were altered in any way..
NO CHEMICALS were added to water - ONLY 100%
pure Rock Salt was added to water.. which 'healed'!
I'm not smart enough to do that "Photo-shop" thing.. what would be the point???

***

Along with the above came this beautiful BLUE Concentric!

 

He had a spot on his tail.. August 2014 -

 

And his carapace was a little rough..

 

 

I have a number of pics from the past couple years..
but these today - 7/29/2016 - show it...


 

 

***

Has to be my favorite female 'White Concentric'..

She came from an ( infamous ) breeder that kept them
in fresh water - she had scaly rear marginals as a YEARLING
when I acquired her in July 2014 -


 

After a year in "Brackish Water" - Oct. 2015 -

 

 

 

And outside AFTER SHED.. July 2016 -

 

Whatta FACE !!!

 

 

Just to show off a little -

 

 


( and prior )

*************

We do not "claim" to be researchers.. or conservationists or scientists.
We have found that "true" scientists do agree on "absolutes"
.. but can only "debate" on everything that they can not control the parameters on -
in this case what they once looked like and where.

The early pioneers from the late 1800's and early 1900's established "sub-species" -
before "man" got involved .. so to speak!

Shown below is the 'range' map of the original 7 "sub-species".
Each has created all of the INTEGRATES ... that we see today!
[ along with the help of those relocated during the "Food Farms" of early 1900's ]
[ integrate is defined as ( 1975 Funk & Wagnalls ) ... "To bring together into a whole; unify" ].
SO...
What the "scientists" today are DEBATING is the original 7 .. to clump them all together
and call them "East Coast and "Gulf Coast" - what nonsense.

A few examples of the "INTEGRATES" can be seen here -http://turtletary.com/diamond-sub.html

PURE are virtually nonexistent... what we are seeing today in the wild are DESIGNER Terrapins...
it is almost "rare" to find an original sub-species these days.

 

Original "sub-species" range -

 

 

*****


Diamondback Terrapins are one of the most unique water turtles on the planet!


Below is how I raise them, etc.

 

Regardless what others have insisted..
I do NOT believe it is wise to house them with any other
[ species of ] water turtle!!! PERI
OD!! And here's why
.

Diamondback Terrapins thrive from the Chesapeake Bay down the East coast.. thru-out the "Gulf of Texas"-
[ with 3 unique sub-species from the west coast of Florida around thru Texas ].. and no doubt into Mexico..
where the fresh water meets the salt water - known as "brackish" water - not fresh and not salt.

I believe it is "vital" to keep Diamondback Terrapins in brackish
[ Captive raised ~ 1.008 - 1.012 .. Wild caught as high as 1.020 ].


When kept in fresh water they easily develop skin/shell issues which can be fatal if not cared for..
it is not something that in most cases needs to be "checked by a Vet".

Salt works wonders for treatment!
[ not table salt.. I use Rock salt - or you can use "Kosher Canning"
that can be found at your local grocer in a 4lb box for a few bucks ]

Terrapins live in brackish water in the wild..
so there is no reason to keep them any other way! PERIOD!! ( other species do not tolerate salt! )
Like any other turtle/tortoise.. the few 'parameters' must be maintained
( IN BALANCE ) for them to thrive.
You must READ and maintain these 'parameters' to keep them well.
Not difficult.. but does need to be.



Water -

 

Water does not need to be heated when kept indoors..
"most" of the Terrapins available today are "Northern" locale
[ Gulf Coast are showing up more often these days.. and they are NOT cold-tolerant
and do require warmer water ]
so they are very "cold-tolerant".. which means they are fine in un-heated water.
It is O.K.to heat the water if you insist.. but you will just be taking the chance
of "breeding" fungus, etc. when you do!
Most Terrapin breeders today start their hatchlings in fresh water -
[ it has been thought that they hatch and enter the "freshest" water closest to shore..
then gradually grow into the more brackish water..
but that is probably not why they start them in fresh ] -
be sure to verify this with them before you set-up their aquarium, etc.

 

Again brackish water is vital .. and it takes less to maintain!
It does not harm filters, etc.!
 



****************

How to transition to Brackish water...


1 ) Acquire Hydrometer from local tropical fish store.
Inexpensive plastic..'rotating-dial' .. will work fine.

2 ) Make a 25% water change and add 1/2 cup of "pure" salt [ as noted above ]
to 100 gallons of water( adjust gal/salt ratio )
- Do NOT remove terrapins during this transition
period -
Test water for salinity.. most likely will read between 1.001 and 1.003.
In 7 days [ no water change ] add salt and test.
Repeat this schedule until desired level is maintained.

Keep in mind.. when making water changes or topping-off..
the salt does NOT dissolve away..
the water only becomes more 'salt-concentrated'
- be sure to test salinity each and every time!


HOPE THIS WASN'T TOO SIMPLE!


****************

 

Before 2013 water over-kill "filtering" is what I always maintained.
I used a 220 gph canister type filter - for a few hatchlings/yearlings
- in a 40 gal. breeder aquarium with maybe 30(?) gallons of water.
Two 125 gph submersible filters in similar 30 gallons for two young males.
Changing/cleaning the "filter-media" is automatic
when changing water.. it's a regular habit!
[ charcoal/filters, etc. can be "re-charged" by rinsing/soaking in HOT/salt water
( during the time you take to make the water change ).. get in that habit!
No need to replace your charcoal for probably 6 months..
or until the 'fabric' on some of the cartridges wears out.
It is always wise to not overcrowd your Terrapins for health and stress reasons!
They are known to be "toe/tail" nippers!




Lighting -

One of those always debated subjects when it comes to lighting.. is UVB.
When your Terrapins are inside most of the time it is advisable to provide a UVB light source.
I am not familiar with the "light-sources" available these days
[ heat/light combos - how well can temps be controlled? ] so you're on your own on that one.
It appears that "Diamonds" like as much light as they can get - HOWEVER -
the temps at "basking-surface" level should never be above 80's F.. barely warm to touch
when holding hand under "light"! It is too easy for these little guys..
hatchlings especially.. to cook themselves under a heat/light source.
The water/basking-spot temp ratio should be close to the same!




Diet -

Zoo Med "Hatchling" Diet gets them started..
{ these little ones should grow slow the first 6 - 8 months..
be patient! DON'T OVER-FEED }
Once they are at 6-8 months or so [ around 2" ] then on to -


ShrimpPellets 1TerrapinPellets


( Ignore the feeding instructions )

The above is the best real "SHRIMP" pellet I've found..
where the first ingredient actually is shrimp!
It's a 'sinker' that they chase to the bottom..
and it doesn't fall apart real fast like the other so-called 'shrimp' pellets!
[ it doesn't get a chance!.. they love it ]


You may need to do a "retail locator" from their site!

And no doubt the best and most economical pellets available today.
Created for "carnivorous" game fish!

AQUA MAX!

Aquamax600

Note what the first two ingredients are - animal protein - NOT plant matter!
Which is as important as high fat % ! Take a look at shrimp.. for example.


AQUAStuff

 

Comes in many sizes - the 600 is a larger pellet for adults..
400 is a good size for 4" or smaller Terrapins.
For those with larger collections it is available @ 'feed-stores', etc.
It is a PURINA product.
Contact the company to find availability and dealer closest to you
- 1.800.227.8941 - or on their web-site
HERE


BTW.. I have nothing against "Reptomin".. but it is really messy
because of the way these guys eat
- they are serious "crustacean-crunchers" by nature -
and Reptomin is much more expensive too!

 

You really should consider feeding in separate container
of fresh water so they can drink
[ they can only ingest so much salt ]..
and it keeps their main habitat cleaner longer.
It is much easier to change their drinking/feeding water
- dumping a small tub is easier than major water changes -
and is much less stressful on your terrapins!



Terrapin Characteristics

 

White "Concentrics" ( a marketing name.. not a sub-species )
have various shades of White.. with broken lines on head/neck, etc.
And "web" designs ( sometimes really crazy designs ) on crown of head.
Carapace "concentric" designs ~ from golden/yellow to chocolate/green!
"Northerns"
have various shades of white..
with numerous sized 'spots/dots' all over.
Gold/tan to black covers a patternless carapace..
as well as "no-pattern" head crown.
"Gulf-Coast" go from solid white to almost black/speckled heads and skin..
"mustaches" [ on males and females ] as well as multi-colored
"marginals" all around a solid black carapace.
Some [ 'Ornates' ] with light 'blotched' and/or 'flower-back'.. carapace.

All of these characteristics mentioned have become intermingled
thru-out every known region they are found
- see why all this has happened on "Sub-Species" page.



This below was how I kept them pre-2013!

****************



How to keep your Terrapins - ideas below...

110GALdbtTUB

Only one adult pair in 110 gallon above.


140 gallon..

 

a1111111tubTUB

 

Two Magnum 250 H.O.T. ( Hang On Tank ) canister filters are utilized
to keep the water pure enough to virtually drink!
Notice "out-of-water" basking space..
which also creates shaded/hiding space below it!

 

a1111111ClearH20

 

 

The water is about 20" deep - you can see a 2" trap-door snail on the bottom
almost exactly in the middle! The water is that clean..
@ 500 gallons an hour.. the entire 140 gallons is filtered
thru a fine sponge sleeve and a canister
filled with carbon chips.. about every 15 minutes!
Because in nature Diamondback Terrapins live in 'brackish' water
- any impurities in fresh could be fatal.


Update spring 2012..

 

Upcoming additions require more space.. outside!
Under construction.. 140 gallon "Tuff-Stuff" tub -

a good layer of sand to place the tub on will
actually "level" the tub before framing, etc.!

Framed -

ttframed


base complete..

ttbasecomplete

Basic 'nestbox' in place -

tnestbox basic setup

"Cage/Predator-proofing" and 'fencing' in place -

ttacage

 

The above are basic " framing / preditor-proofing " ideas
ideal for 'smaller' one-pair set-ups.


****************

2013 Updates ( 4/22/13 )

Spring has sprung.... more or less - sunny - but
still too chilly for any to be outside-overnight yet!
Below - A new view and filter arrangement..
for the new 300 gallon ~ 8' x 3' x 2' deep -


tt300GTerrapinTank

 


The space over the basking mat has been raised for better "viewing"..
and two 700+ GallonPerHour pumps now move the filter water!
It's amazing how much "stuff" accumulates in the bottom
.. and algae grows in direct sun.. in a matter of a few days!
See how green the water is already?! I'm sure once the UV " sterilizer "
is installed the filter can do a much better job.
How 'bout this "home-made" filter plumbing? [ left side ]

700gphPlumbing

 

Unbelieveable how this small pump can move so much water!!!
"Quiet1one" Model 3000 ~ 780gph .. 1" threaded inlet/outlet..
wet/dry application.. pump measures less than 5".
The canister is a 'powdered-drink' container
with screw-on lid with holes burned in it with my woodburner.

 

700gphCanister

Another hole just big enough to press the pipe thru the lid
is burned and secured with a "cap" and silicone.
You can see how the cap has several holes drilled in it to act as a strainer.

   CanisterStrainerLid 

The pipe/lid pipe assembly is barely "pressed" into the "angle" for ease
of cleaning filter media, etc. Light-weight/porous Red 'lava-rock' is the
filter media with a filter pad from a submersible aquarium filter.. placed
on top of rocks to keep stuff out of the pump!


FilterMediaRedLava

 

Not real purty.. but they worked!



SEE 2014 "Brackish/Feeding Tub arrangement .. HERE


2016 "filter" updates soon!


This "labor-of-love" has become an on-going
learning and 'up-grading' process -
some by the help of other seasoned keepers..
but mostly by "divine" intervention.
{ July 2016 }

 

THE MAIN 'CONCEPT' OF FILTERING WATER IS TO PASS WATER
THRU A MEDIA TO KEEP THE 'BAD-STUFF' OUT OF WHERE THEY LIVE.
FEEDING IN A SEPARATE CONTAINER ELIMINATES MOST 'BAD-STUFF'.
THE SALT ( IN BRACKISH WATER ) KEEPS THEM HEALTHY

WITHOUT FILTER "OVER-KILL" NEEDED IN FRESH WATER!


Recently I've used this as a media 'cut-to-size' to fill canister..
along with a little different canister which will be shown ASAP -

 

 

This can be found at Lowe's , etc. - where you would find the AC filters.
A 20" x 30" sheet for 5 bucks or so.. makes a lot of filter media!


****************

 

 

*** The following is a detailed "step-by-step" of
framing and lining, etc. of new 600+ gallon
pond for the "Gulf Coast" Terrapins.
Production in progress.. starting 5/10/15.
Editing as we go! { around the rain }

 

HERE WE GO.......................................


First step was choosing location then landscaping to
level "grade". Background was current 300 gallon
with attached "nest-box"that houses the "Gulf Coast" Terrapins.

"Base" was framed using pressure treated 2 x 4's.. 9' x 5' is
the 'base' dimensions - then laid on-site to determine "grade".





As shown above.. grade was not level so an amount of shoveling
leveled the dirt and then temporary walls were framed for cypress mulch
to lay "base-frame"on. Base was then laid aside to landscape site.


      


Once filled.. I raked to "eye-ball" level. My first attempt was not bad..
[ I am good for something ].. the front was crazy!!!






Left side..

   



Right side..

   



Little low on right corner.

Then back..


   



Back right high.
Next was getting the "walls" framed..


   




The corners are the "weakest" part.. so they must be the strongest
point of the framing.


To give an idea of "corner-framing" - ( to estimate spacing, etc./

then removed and reinstalled.. 45-degree was cut on "corner" support ) -




1" x 12" were cut to length ( 25" tall ) to ease lining installation
and act as extra strength for corners.. also illustrated below.

 





Behind left-back corner showing corner "strength"!

 

Starting to look like something...
wall framing.. and most all spacing.. on 16" centers..


 

 

And to show how walls are framed.. from back side..

 

Really starting to look like something now!
Looking at the inside back...

[ looking close.. I actually raised the 'walls' to
frame height for added strength - then laid a 2"x 2"

along base perimeter to fill gap. ]

 

 

Looking at the inside front...

 

And all framed up - with corners capped - and almost ready for "sub-liner"!

   


"Tarps" are used as sub-liner.. stapled in place and
taped over to protect actual liner.
First the sides and then the ends -




Front..



And with ends covered..

 








The actual liner time and day has come!
Now we find out if it holds up to the test!

Liner dropped in.. what a fit.. this stuff is 45mil
thick and weighs 46 pounds - now the job of
getting it arranged uniformly.


Back..

 

 

Front..


 

We've had lots of rain lately so I siphoned

off quite a bit of water from adjoining 300.
Had to support it first.

 

 

Tugging and pulling and stapling.. the final fit!!!

Now comes the framing of the "predator proofing".


Have not taken any progress pics recently.. focusing on framing predator proofing..
new ones have arrived to live in 300 gallon.

 

****************

Fast forward -- about a year later now.. hope this helps illustrate the labor of love
it has taken to get them "prepared" to be settled in and make babies!

See how they can cross over from their brackish water they live in.. to a 140 gallon
tank of fresh water to eat and drink in - at will.
Then their basking space and 16 square foot x 10 inch deep nesting box!
( consisting of sand about 6" deep with dark sand/soil mixture maybe 2"..
topped off with another layer of sand )
The 'theory' is when they dig their nest to lay eggs the dark will surface to
help locate the nest site! They are masters at "disguising" their nests!!!

 

[ be sure to "full screen" ]

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsIJS6-x85g