180 gallon Box Turtle Enclosure

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Boundava

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Well as with many things you have no prior experience with, the 180 had to be tweaked this Monday/Tuesday. Had some bad storms this past Thurs-Sat and power went out one day. Looked in the Mist King reservoir to see no water (!!!??) and then at the timer to see my times had reverted to minutes instead of seconds...not sure how that happened. Wound up with about 3-4" of standing water at the bottom of my 6"+ of substrate, leaving it with a glorious stench. So decided I need a drainage layer (though the substrate I purchased said none needed). Of course got a told you so from Sis, lol. Took Monday to remove the dry half and wet half of substrate. Dry half will be reused, wet half will be spread in flower beds when it isn't raining or over 100 real feel, maybe this weekend?
Anyway I got a brief video of before and after, I also added some spider plants as they can be safely browsed upon and will help with any (fingers crossed no) future moisture issues. Had to put the plants in terra cotta pots as Hippie loves to dig up/stomp on/sit on/destroy any planted greenery.

Here it is without the substrate but the drainage layer in. Description of the lave rocks was dime to quarter size, these were dime to 3", 60% 2-3".

WOW in the middle of posting a HUGE system blew in and power was off more than on for about 45 min. Finally get to finish this post, lol

Anyway here is the video of it complete, I had to stop at a plant store for some charcoal for the drainage layer and PetCo for the Exo Terra forest moss. I just (tediously) broke up the two small bricks of the dried/compressed moss as it dries better than sphagnum moss which was already in the substrate, I also added the ~1 cubic foot bag of orchid bark I had left from original set up and re-potting some orchids we have. Substrate layer is a bit higher than before, but as she loves to burrow I wanted to make sure she had a thick enough layer to burrow to her hearts delight. Here's to hoping its not high enough for her to climb the walls (again, lol).

 
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Boundava

Boundava

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So I have on destructive box turtle, or mini-bulldozer...
In total since I made this enclosure for her she has
  • destroyed any and all living plants within ground level or slightly higher
  • climbed uo the sides to pull out/sit on and squash to death any plants at the mid or upper levels of the enclosure
  • constantly climbed and pulled off chunks of expanding pond foam from the waterfall feature in her attempts to climb the mountain and access the watery top
  • finally pulled hard enough at the feature that she has separated it from the corner although it was siliconed to both sides!
So I have (well she has) removed 90% of the live plants leaving 2 ferns and my vanilla orchid. This plant is in the water feature, where I thoulg it would be impossible to access/harm...I am a fool. She had climbed and dumped the once long runner into the water causing 1/2 of the runner to rot/break away. She is also sitting in the terrestrial fern, and it is on its way to a slow demise as well. It is loosing leaves weekly to butt damage and suffocation (seriously she sits on the plants to their ultimate death). My bad because I knew this and just though she couldn't do this much damage with all this other space to keep her occupied...right? NOPE :dunno:

Here are a couple photos of the carnage.
See that open corner, that's where her waterfall feature was, I just added some more rocks and left the pump. Along the back wall you will se a small fern on the bottom-with the ruffled leaves. Above that is the vanilla orchid which was twice the size before her shenanigans. The big monstera leaves are FAKE and she still manages to climb up and pull them down on a weekly basis.
IMG_20220505_195318491.jpg

Lol, the (now trash) waterfall feature
IMG_20220505_195348535_HDR.jpg

Look at her sitting triumphantly in her mess! See the plastic stem from the upturned FAKE monstera leaf she pulled down and the fern-like FAKE plant to the upper left of the image. Also notice behind her the terrestrial fern to the right (same wavy leaves as the on in her aquatic side). That was twice this size when I planted it and despite the new growth is now smaller than half of the original size. Such a stinker! 🤍
IMG_20220505_195324495.jpg
 

Rocky998

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So I have on destructive box turtle, or mini-bulldozer...
In total since I made this enclosure for her she has
  • destroyed any and all living plants within ground level or slightly higher
  • climbed uo the sides to pull out/sit on and squash to death any plants at the mid or upper levels of the enclosure
  • constantly climbed and pulled off chunks of expanding pond foam from the waterfall feature in her attempts to climb the mountain and access the watery top
  • finally pulled hard enough at the feature that she has separated it from the corner although it was siliconed to both sides!
So I have (well she has) removed 90% of the live plants leaving 2 ferns and my vanilla orchid. This plant is in the water feature, where I thoulg it would be impossible to access/harm...I am a fool. She had climbed and dumped the once long runner into the water causing 1/2 of the runner to rot/break away. She is also sitting in the terrestrial fern, and it is on its way to a slow demise as well. It is loosing leaves weekly to butt damage and suffocation (seriously she sits on the plants to their ultimate death). My bad because I knew this and just though she couldn't do this much damage with all this other space to keep her occupied...right? NOPE :dunno:

Here are a couple photos of the carnage.
See that open corner, that's where her waterfall feature was, I just added some more rocks and left the pump. Along the back wall you will se a small fern on the bottom-with the ruffled leaves. Above that is the vanilla orchid which was twice the size before her shenanigans. The big monstera leaves are FAKE and she still manages to climb up and pull them down on a weekly basis.
View attachment 159062
Lol, the (now trash) waterfall feature
View attachment 159063
Look at her sitting triumphantly in her mess! See the plastic stem from the upturned FAKE monstera leaf she pulled down and the fern-like FAKE plant to the upper left of the image. Also notice behind her the terrestrial fern to the right (same wavy leaves as the on in her aquatic side). That was twice this size when I planted it and despite the new growth is now smaller than half of the original size. Such a stinker! 🤍
View attachment 159064
I'm so sorry this happened. I laugh cause its a turtle... A turtle climbing on a very vertical wall and then almost deliberately wrecking things... Its funny but its not. I know I would be really really mad lol
 
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Boundava

Boundava

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I'm so sorry this happened. I laugh cause its a turtle... A turtle climbing on a very vertical wall and then almost deliberately wrecking things... Its funny but its not. I know I would be really really mad lol
Yeah having Hippie for this long I should know better, she is stubborn as a mule and when she gets herself focused on somethjing she will not stop until she gets there. I had a ledge that was like a planting shelf. Once the plants were gone she just kept tying to kill herself by trying to climb it; resulting in many back flips. I had to take some pliers and tweezers to break that cork ledge off the wall so that she had no way to flip herself. She was so very dissapointed to loose her leg up to death. I could just see her calculating other ways to scale the vertical wall before finally realizing she had no other way- and giving up. Smart little lady...love her inquisitivness for all the trouble it puts me though. As I was building it I was looking at ways to turtle-proof it, but I guess I didn't get them all.
 
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Guyb93

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Never saw a box turtle before almost looks like a tortoise very cool
 
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Boundava

Boundava

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Thanks, love her to bits even with the drama. She likes to burrow and hide but when I call her for some or worms or mealworms she comes running.

Unlike a tortoise she enjoys meaty foods like mealworms, hornworms, isopods, earthworms and she used to get crickets but they are easily lost and smell awful when alive or dead.

She also enjoys basking and soaking, even swimming in her water feature. Their little bodies are built so her lungs keep her buoyant. If you notice the large duckweed in the tank? She likes to make a snack of that as well. I have some guppies, shrimp and rice fish in the water and she will submerge herself for minutes watching them. Her form of entertainment.
 
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Boundava

Boundava

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Well we did some work around the house and found a nice grouping of dandelions that were super easy to dig out so I planted them in the 180 tanks for my box ,Hippie. Lets see how long it takes for her to kill them, lol. She looks all innocent and small but she is a bulldozer in disguise.
IMG_20220507_190605328.jpg

IMG_20220507_190613625.jpg

She does make a mess of the inside glass, sorry for the poor quality photo.
 

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