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Turtles! - Page 2

post #31 of 44
I have a red- eared slider too! He was a rescue and has one eye that's screwed up and his shell is a little funky, but he is otherwise healthy and happy.
post #32 of 44
How is it that anything that enters my house must have some kind of problem???

My husband was asked by a young co-worker to turtle-sit for a couple of months while he moves and gets things in order at his new place. No big deal right????

First off, its a soft shell. One of the harder aquatic turtles to keep. He is about 1 and 1/2 years old and only about 3 inches. He was keep in a tank that only had about 2 inches of water and fed only crickets for the past year. (The guy did make an effort to have the proper lighting) Needless to say, he looks as though he has metabolic bone disease. He also looks really pale for a florida soft shell.

I currently have him in a 10 gallon tank thats about 3/4 full. He has sand for his subtrate, a spot to bask, plants, fish, ghost shrimp and snails. He also has a filter. The guy is bringing his lights over tommorrow, but for now we have him placed by the window.

The guy wants to make an honest effort. He said he will get whatever the turtle needs. (He was miss informed by a pet store employee as to what was needed to care for the turtle.)

Here are my questions. What filter works best when it comes to sand substrate? How can I get him to eat something other then crickets? And what , other then proper care, can I do to help this turtle recover?

His poor little shell looks sooo sad..... I'll post some pics when I can...
post #33 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shorty14788 View Post
How is it that anything that enters my house must have some kind of problem???
Because you have a big heart and you're smart enough to realize when the animal does have a health problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shorty14788 View Post
I currently have him in a 10 gallon tank thats about 3/4 full. He has sand for his subtrate, a spot to bask, plants, fish, ghost shrimp and snails. He also has a filter. The guy is bringing his lights over tommorrow, but for now we have him placed by the window.
Ideal tank size would at least be a 30 gal., better would be 40-60 gal. They are a more carnivorous species of turtle so getting it to eat plants will be difficult. Adding live plants like duck weed to the tank should encourage it to nibble some. Don't over do it on the fish, it can cause other vitamin deficiencies and they're high in fat.

Get it away from the window!
Glass + sun = heat = death
You cannot control the temperatures that the sun will cause the tank to heat up to. Aside from that, sunlight encourages the growth of green allege. No UVB will make it through you window and through the tank glass anyways, so the sunlight will be useless.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shorty14788 View Post
The guy wants to make an honest effort. He said he will get whatever the turtle needs. (He was miss informed by a pet store employee as to what was needed to care for the turtle.)
This will sound harsh of me... but why did he decided to wait over a year? Now this turtle may have a life threatening illness.. Aside from that... never trust a person who's just trying to make a sale, there's a reason why no one trusts car sales men. (understand this isn't really directed at you, but maybe someone reading out there will learn something? )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shorty14788 View Post
Here are my questions. What filter works best when it comes to sand substrate?
....
And what , other then proper care, can I do to help this turtle recover?
If it weren't for the fact that the species likes to bury themselves, I'd say none - too messy and an impaction risk. But since you don't have much choice, you need a filter that is twice as strong as the amount of water you will be putting through it. ie, 60 gal filter for 30 gal. of water. This is because of the amount of waste they make. External canister filters are a more efficient choice. There are also filters that are designed for use with turtles.

You mentioned the shell looks bad? It may be very likely that the turtle could also have a shell infection - shell rot, this is caused by bacteria or fungus getting into a small scratch, pit, or cut in the shell. Without treatment the turtle can die. If you think the turtle has MBD it will need vet treatment, this means calcium shots, and proper UVB lighting. Start giving it some pieces of cuttlebone soon to help with calcium supplement.
Try to get those pictures up soon so I can get a look at the shell. If you're stuck treating shell rot it can be troublesome because you'll have to keep everything clean.

In the meantime, wash your hands before and after you touch this turtle. Wash anything that comes in contact with it, you do not want your own turtle to catching anything.

Turtles really are difficult to care for. The biggest part is getting all the information needed so one can avoid awful problems like this. And so that people like you don't have to take care of and heal what should have been another's responsibility.
post #34 of 44
OK... So my digital camera is a piece of junk... The pictures are all blurry. (The LCD screen broke about 3 years ago if that tells you anything....) But here are the best I can get...



I just noticed tonight that his feet are also VERY deformed... That is his back foot sticking STRAIGHT down... His toes are all bent weird ways... Some of his toes dont have nails at all...



Here you can (kinda) see the curve in his shell..



And this one also shows the curve in his shell.

I feel so bad for this poor little thing... I wish people would research the animals they plan on caring for before going out and getting them...
post #35 of 44
Thread Starter 
Definitely needs to be checked and treated for MBD by a herp.(reptile) vet.
After/during that a proper supplementing schedule needs to be set providing, calcium, calcium with D3, and a multivitamin. The shell may correct itself with time or at least become less noticeable as it grows, but the other deformities will stay with it for life.

I can't tell.. but are the edges of the carapace curled up some around the back? That can be a sign of vitamin deficiencies.

Poor thing, good luck with it's care.
post #36 of 44
I have two turtles. Thier both red ear sliders. I bought them as babies at a flea market in Florida a year ago, and transported them home with me. I named them Sannibell and Captiva after islands in Florida. Thier great pets, but they require a very large expensive habitat.
post #37 of 44
I just love my red eared slider! It's so peaceful watching him in his tank. When he was given to me by a co-worker whos friend didn't know how to properly care for it, he was just a baby, he has really grown since then. I would love to have other kinds of turtles, but have enough pets for now.
post #38 of 44
I just thought I'd give a little update on the soft shell I've been caring for.

We got him to start eatting pellet food after a lot of hard work, then he decided he liked snails too, then small fish. He had 3 large goldfish that he had lived with since we got him... that is, up until this week. I came in to the room to find all 3 were gone... He had gobbled them all down!!! He's turned into a PIG. He's always looking for food! The really good new is his shell is almost normal. It still has a small indent by his neck but other then that he looks good. His toes have all healed and look normal now too. He has also discovered the joy of hiding in the sand.

Unforunatly, I think he maybe a she... short tail, short nails, no indent on the belly... Which means this turtle is going to be huge...

I really dont think this guy is prepared to handle a turtle, let alone a turle that will grow to be that big. I think he has abandoned her now anyway. It was just going to be a couple of months. Now he talking about a year and a half from now... And he hasn't given any money to help pay for anything... I think I got roped into having another turtle.
post #39 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shorty14788 View Post
I really dont think this guy is prepared to handle a turtle, let alone a turle that will grow to be that big. I think he has abandoned her now anyway. It was just going to be a couple of months. Now he talking about a year and a half from now... And he hasn't given any money to help pay for anything... I think I got roped into having another turtle.
Uh oh. I wouldn't give her back anyways, not since you've been paying for her care and you've had to put so much time and effort into getting hear healthy again.
Since it looks like you have another turtle, do you have a place you can fix for her outside? That would be the best bet in long run and a lot less hassle.
Plenty of time to think about that though.

Glad to hear the turtle is better, all she really needed was someone smart enough to give her some TLC.
Do try to get her snacking on minnows instead of goldfish, or even guppies since they're not as fatty.
post #40 of 44
Thread Starter 
Bumping this up. It's for stories and pictures too if anyone wants to add them.

I got this off a forum... I have no idea what reptile forum it was and the person that posted it originally found it from an older book -I've changed it a little as it's better known now that tortoises shouldn't be fed meat.
Probably best if you're feeding 2+ turtles.

___________________________________________________________________________
After all the ingredients are washed, they are ground up in an electric mixer and should produce a liquid with the consistency of honey. Heat this mixture to about 175 degrees F, stirring constantly to keep it from burning and from coming to a boil, which would destroy nutrients. Let it cool to about 140 degrees F and mix in gelatin powder along with one teaspoon of calcium and one quarter of vitamins per quart. Dissolve the vitamins in a little water before adding it, and use somewhat more gelatin than the directions call for because the gelatin may otherwise dissolve in the warm water of the terrarium. It is very important to stir the mixture thoroughly before it starts to gel so that the supplements are evenly distributed.

When the mass has gelled, cut it into individual servings and freeze in plastic bags. Later you can take out one package at a time, thaw it, cut it into strips, and feed these to the turtle. You create the flavor that appeals to your turtle by adding an extra handful of your turtle's favorite fruit, vegetable, or meat. One side benefit of this method of feeding is that there are hardly any leftovers to soil the water. As I have already said, this miracle food by itself is no substitute for fresh foods and should consequently not be used as a steady diet over long periods of time without the addition of fresh tidbits. But it is very handy during periods when we cannot devote as much attention to the care of our turtle as usual.
___________________________________________________________________________

Change it to fit your turtle or tortoise's specific needs, or favorite flavor, use it to help get multivitamins and extra calcium into their diet. I've read of people using water out of cans of tuna to add scent and flavor. - I have not personally used this myself as I have no problems getting my bunch to eat their veggies, it would be good for those having a hard time or trying to get picky aquatics to eat more veggies. You can also add some pellets to the mix. Lasts about a week in a tupperware container in the fridge. If you freeze it do know that freezing destroys some B vitamins so you would need to supplement that fresh somehow.
You can buy premade gelled treats/food - but the ingredients are always questionable... like corn
And I'm never comfortable with feeding foods full of preservatives to reptiles - this includes any form of pellets. (To those who are dedicated fish keepers, a similar gelatin type mix is suggested over commercial foods for them, too)

For those with boxies, several keepers have had luck with "omelettes". They add a lot of veggies to the mix, vitamins, and leave the egg shells in. No butter or oil while cooking of course. Note that egg shouldn't be fed too often.

Personally, I make a "base" mix of veggies primarily consisting on butternut and acorn squash, and various other veggies - all carefully following the nutrition guides I'm pretty sure I posted on the first page or two. I make several pounds of this and freeze it in tiny ziplock baggies. Meals are supplemented with fresh veggies and greens, with vitamins added.

So you see, there are a few time saving and sneaky techniques for those picky turtles. Time and cost would be comparable to what one feeding their cats a raw diet would spend. And of course the health benefits are the same.

Any questions?
post #41 of 44
actually i do have a question, i hope you havent answered this and i missed it somewhere, but i have a red eared slider that my sister found in my moms yard last summer. At the moment he has a tankmate, a crawdad (everyone said they would eat each other, but so far they get along great). anyway can you put possibly two sliders together in a tank or no? and i still have no idea if jaws is a boy or a girl??
post #42 of 44
Male turtles have long front claws and a fat long tail. Females have the short front claws and a shorter tail. The males opening on the tail is going to be farther down the tail where the females is closer to where the tail begins.

Oh and eventually that turtle will eat the crawdad.
post #43 of 44
For a great turtle forum check this place out!
http://www.turtleforum.com/forum/upload/index.php
post #44 of 44
Thread Starter 
snosrap pretty much summed it up. But try a search for "sexing RES" - you'll probably find some decent pictures to help you.

Things to think about -
If you don't know the sex, don't put turtles together.
It may be fine when they're younger but as they start reaching maturity males fight or one will bully the other. This will also happen no matter the sex if there is a difference in the size between two turtles.

Rule is 10 gallons to every inch of turtle. 4-5" - 50 gallon+ if you add another turtle you have to add both of their sizes together.

Female RES's get around a foot in diameter - at some point keeping them in an aquarium will not be an option.
They will eventually lay eggs, even without a male. If not provided with a laying spot a female may become egg bound and eventually die - surgery for this usually isn't successful in turtles.

Before putting two turtles together, both must be healthy. If one has a little spot of shell rot or is carrying parasites you'll soon find yourself with even more trouble to deal with. Recommended quarantine time can be anywhere from 6 months to a year. Vet checks are a good idea too http://www.arav.org/ and http://www.herpvetconnection.com/ can help you find a herp vet near you.

Don't wild catch turtles or any other animal. In some states this is very much illegal and the wild populations do not need it. Respect nature - don't do this. If the animal is hurt take it to a wildlife rehabilitater, even cracked shells can be fixed.
Consider adopting instead. Just like with cats, there's often too many turtles in rescue groups care that need homes. If you can't find groups near you with an internet search, call your local zoos. Often they get people wanting to dump animals on them and surely know of rescue groups.
And likewise, never release an animal that has been your pet. This can be a serious threat to wild populations... and it is rather cruel.
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