make this belated turtle christmas the best ever!
January 1, 2009 3:33 PM   Subscribe

Please help me give a gift to a turtle.

I don't know much about turtles, and I know even less about this turtle. I know it lives in a tank, not an aquarium, and it's not very large. I want to give the turtle something California-themed (maybe a little plastic palm tree?) but I don't want to give it something that is not turtle-appropriate. I heard some turtles will destroy the things you put in their tanks, but I have no idea whether this applies to smaller turtles. Also, I have not succeeded in finding a miniature plastic palm tree. Also, I have a terrible vision of the turtle eating toxic paint off of the palm and dying. Ack!

Thanks in advance for any suggestions you may have! Unfortunately, asking the owner of the turtle is not an option, as I do not trust him to keep the secret.
posted by prefpara to Pets & Animals (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Not understanding the "tank, not an aquarium" part... he/she's not at all aquatic? it's a tortoise?
posted by NikitaNikita at 3:48 PM on January 1, 2009

The only thing my two land turtles ever cared about (besides food, and occasionally lumbering around in the grass outside their terrarium) were their hollowed out logs. (also.) So unless you want to paint palm trees on the side of such a thing....

Also they never chewed anything—they aren't like puppies. So while I'd avoid toxic things as a general principle, paint being eaten probably isn't a problem.
posted by felix grundy at 4:23 PM on January 1, 2009

Response by poster: Not understanding the "tank, not an aquarium" part

Sorry! I meant that it did not appear to be submerged in water.

The only thing my two land turtles ever cared about

OK. I must admit this is more about the turtle owner. I think a little palm tree will make him smile more than a log? Maybe? I am OK with the turtle being indifferent.
posted by prefpara at 4:52 PM on January 1, 2009

I once saw a turtle play with a ball. I hate short answers like this, but it's all I have.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:10 PM on January 1, 2009 [3 favorites]

what about a hollowed out coconut? idk if that's california themed or if the little guy would like it at all, but it might be cute if it was a little hut for him to live in and pretty cheap to make. it would, i assume, fall apart at some point, but it's possible that little dude might like it. what about some little barbie surfboards? there's also this which has some floating trees if it has water.

i'm guessing that the coating on kids plastic toys is probably not all that harmful given that it's made for kids.

or what about making him a little hat? every turtle needs a little hat.
posted by big open mouth at 5:24 PM on January 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Well, here is an aquarium-friendly set of 3 plastic palm trees. Or this one says California to me what with the surfboard and all. I really don't think you have to worry about the turtle eating it. I've had lots of turtles as a kid and don't remember that ever being a problem.
posted by Ugh at 6:06 PM on January 1, 2009

Response by poster: Perfect! Those palm trees look great. Thank you so much, you guys! You saved Turtle Christmas.
posted by prefpara at 6:11 PM on January 1, 2009

An idea that came to mind which would work on any glass tank set-up is making a custom Californian aquarium backdrop. (picture that goes on the outside of the tank, on the back, like here) You could throw, I dunno, an In and Out Burger or the Hollywood sign in there for the california bit, or such (not west-coast-knowledgeable, so dont have other characteristic places to suggest...)
posted by NikitaNikita at 8:08 PM on January 1, 2009

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