Ipomoea aquatica?

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wilhelmturtletan
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Ipomoea aquatica?

Post by wilhelmturtletan » 24 Sep 2017, 07:01

So this is a vegetable that I often have seen being fed to vegetarian reptiles throughtout my country and I did read about the tortoise table entry about the genus, but I am still confuse if the species Ipomoea aquatica or kang kong or water spinach or water cabbage is still safe. I found articles that even support the use of them: http://www.turtleconservationsociety.or ... an2005.pdf and https://www.facebook.com/ResCareUnderst ... =3&theater. What are your thoughts of this vegetable?

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Nina
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Re: Ipomoea aquatica?

Post by Nina » 24 Sep 2017, 09:59

Very good question, and in fact we had a question about this on our old forum, but I can't now remember what we said and the files from that forum are now inaccessible (lol so I will start the research from scratch and get back to you as soon as I come up with something).

Nina

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Nina
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Re: Ipomoea aquatica?

Post by Nina » 24 Sep 2017, 10:45

Well, I've had a little look, and like all of these things there are variables that are important -- like where it is growing. I've just seen a study http://tinyurl.com/ycbtgrtj that says that Ipomoea aquatica can take up large quantities of heavy metals present in water, and in fact it has been used to treat contaminated waste water in India. So if the water in which it is growing does not have significant quantities of heavy metals, like lead, or other pollutants then that wouldn't be a problem, but if the water is contaminated then I would avoid this plant.

As it mostly grows in fresh water or marshy areas, and isn't very tolerant of salty water, that shouldn't be a problem either.

The calcium to phosphorous ratio is not that bad, but not as good as in some other food sources.

I haven't been able to find anything else in relation to either turtles or tortoises eating Ipomoea aquatica, so I think that on balance, and in the lack of positive information, I would err on the side of caution and either not feed the plant, or feed in very small quantities.

Nina

wilhelmturtletan
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Re: Ipomoea aquatica?

Post by wilhelmturtletan » 25 Sep 2017, 15:16

Oh thanks. It is just so unusual many people in my country keeps feeding that plant as a staple. In fact I read a scientists feeding that plant as a staple for the endangered Siebenrockiella leytensis and Cuora amboinensis.

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Nina
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Re: Ipomoea aquatica?

Post by Nina » 25 Sep 2017, 17:21

Well, theoretically it should be fine to feed. The problem is if it is grown in water that is polluted with heavy metals, as it absorbs them and it wouldn't then be good for your turtle or tortoise to eat a lot of it. If you know that your water is safe then it shouldn't be a problem, so I was just suggesting not to feed in case the water was contaminated.
I know we've corresponded before, but I can't remember where you live -- is it the Philippines (you mentioned the Phillipine Forest Turtle so I just wondered if that might be where you are located). If it is the Philippines then I hope you haven't been affected by the recent terrible weather there.

Nina

wilhelmturtletan
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Re: Ipomoea aquatica?

Post by wilhelmturtletan » 26 Sep 2017, 00:41

if the water is clean, how many times a week do you suggest should it be fed? in moderation, or sparingly? Yes i am from the Philippines

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Nina
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Re: Ipomoea aquatica?

Post by Nina » 26 Sep 2017, 07:46

Well, if you are sure there are no heavy metals polluting the water then I don't see why you couldn't feed it several times a week in moderation. As you probably know, tortoises need a high fibre and low protein diet, in order to grow slowly -- and slow growth is what we are aiming for in tortoises, because fast growth can produce shell abnormalities. In this study of terrapins in Malaysia http://www.turtleconservationsociety.or ... an2005.pdf the ipomoea produced the slowest growth in terrapins, and they conclude that this is because it was the lowest in protein of the three foods used. While this might not have been the best food for the terrapins, it would be the better food for tortoises, as we are always aiming for a low protein content.

In the wild, tortoises eat a much larger variety of plants than we can provide in captivity, so I would never feed a large amount of just one plant all the time, and this is why we encourage you to feed as wide a variety as possible.

Can you remind me what species of tortoise you keep (some species of tortoise can take a bit more protein than other species)?

Nina

wilhelmturtletan
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Re: Ipomoea aquatica?

Post by wilhelmturtletan » 27 Sep 2017, 13:27

I actually do not keep tortoises. I am actually keeping Cuora amboinensis, Mauremys sinensis and Trachemys scripta elegans. From what I know about their diet all of them have a diet that requires 75% vegetation and 25% protein which the protein can be mainly pellets, krill, and fish .

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Nina
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Re: Ipomoea aquatica?

Post by Nina » 27 Sep 2017, 16:02

That is great that you are keeping those species of turtles. Most of us on the TTT team have far less experience of turtles than we do of tortoises, so we might call on you for expert advice sometime! And yes, as far as I know, turtles are omnivorous, with young turtles having a bit more protein (fish, meat, etc) in their diet, and older turles having less protein and a greater proportion of vegetation, but still more protein than most tortoises would have.

Only one of the species that you keep lives wild in the UK, and that is the Trachemys scripta elegans (Red-eared Slider). This is because they are sold as tiny animals imported by pet shops here and people purchase them, having no idea that they will grow to the size of a dinner plate, and so when the turtles outgrow the little tanks they are kept in, some people irresponsibly abandon them into rivers and lakes where they have thrived and in some places are now a serious threat to the native wildlife in the UK.

It would be really interesting to see photos of your set-ups and your turtles. We have a section on this forum devoted to 'Aquatic Species' (it's the last section if you scroll down the index of sections in the forum), and I know that many people who keep turtles would be interested to learn more about yours and hear of your experiences, so do please post something there if you would like to.

Nina

wilhelmturtletan
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Joined: 09 Sep 2017, 11:30

Re: Ipomoea aquatica?

Post by wilhelmturtletan » 03 Oct 2017, 01:02

Sure I can if you want :)

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