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My Turtle Friz

by Colleen P Moyne (Colmo) (follow)
I'm a freelance writer living in the beautiful river town of Mannum in SA, dreaming of the day I can retire from the 9-5 to write full time.
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Eastern Long-neck Turtle
My turtle Frizzle

This is my pet turtle Frizzle (Friz for short.) He’s an Eastern long-necked turtle and was a gift from my children a few years ago. I love him to bits.

When he first came to me he was about the size of a fifty-cent coin. He’s now the size of a soup bowl.

Turtles are one of the easiest and most economical pets to own and – speaking for myself – endlessly entertaining. He shows a lively curiosity in everything that’s going on around him and has an odd habit of re-arranging the rocks in his tank almost every night.



Eastern Long-neck Turtle
Frizzle always looks happy!

Turtles need a variety of foods to maintain good health but commercial feeds are a quick and convenient blend of everything they need (although a bit boring!)

Here is what I feed Friz:

- Frozen turtle blocks from the pet store.
- Gents
- Flies (swatted – not sprayed)
- Moths
- Green vegetables like lettuce or broccoli
- Apples and berries.

My aquarium is just under a metre long and 45 centimetres deep and is the perfect size for Friz at this point in his life. In a few years I will need to go a little bigger. A good size for an adult turtle is around 1.2 metres. I keep it about two-thirds full.

It’s important to keep the aquarium clean and the water fresh. I have a filter which I clean out each week and I also add a few drops of a special water conditioner.



Eastern Long-neck Turtle
Friz's baby photo

I keep Friz’s aquarium in a sunny spot in the house and in winter I use a small heater to keep the temperature around 25˚. Every now and then I gently lift him out and allow him to move around on the ground. At first he’s a little unsure, but he soon takes off exploring. If you do this with your turtle, make sure it is well supervised.

Friz is a source of constant pleasure, not only for me but for my grandchildren and visitors. So, if you’re looking for a different kind of pet that is inexpensive, easy to care for and fun, consider a turtle.

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It's lovely that you have a pet who brings you joy, without having to put in an enormous effort. We used to have a turtle/tortoise, his name was Trevor. Sadly, after many years, he left us. He grew so much we had to make a pond for him and put him outside. We don't really know what happened to him, we just know he wasn't in the pond when we looked a little while after we put him outside to live. (I can't remember now how long it was, a few weeks perhaps, maybe more, maybe less.)
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