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Turtles Need help with turtle

fridzalone

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My sister who is annoyingly not so good with pet-usually she bought them, made them as her toys and then forget to take care of them- (happens with her female kitty who get pregnant twice and now she has 9 kitties instead and now confused on how to take care of overpopulated kitties), suddenly brought home a tiny turtle (about 4 cm) along with few rocks in a very small pet carrier (around 13 cmx8cmx10cm) with no clue about what type of turtle he is. I suggested her to put the turtle in a bigger container that I have, and she said "I'll do it later after I buy the female ones", and now it almost a week after and she still don't do anything about this poor turtle. So as usual, I'm cleaning her mess...again *sigh

Yesterday I checked the type and I found out that it is male RES. And two days ago, I already move the turtle into a bigger place (my plastic container size 65cmx30cmx30cm, don't know how much water it can keep), along with the rocks. I also put some water in there, just about 1-2cm height. And until now, the turtle only eat turtle food which is small-rounded pellets (available in green and red color) that my sister bought with the pet...which is terribly sad.

So I decided to make a change for that poor little guy and ask you guys just in case any of you have turtles at home :
- What kinds of vegetables that good for turtle? How much should I give him?
- How much water should I put inside the container? Is the container big enough for him?
- Is there any substrate that I can use for his cage?
- Is there any aquatic plants that I can use to decorate his cage?
- How long does it takes for turtle to get bigger and bigger until this container is no longer big enough for him?

Sorry if my questions are too many. I'm just want to make this little guy have a happier life :)

p.s it's already two days after I moved this turtle upstairs near my room, and my sister doesn't even ask about her turtle. Such an evil girl
 

VoodooJoint

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- What kinds of vegetables that good for turtle? How much should I give him?
They can eat pretty much the same stuff you would feed a GP. Mine get leafy greens, shredded carrot, melon, dandelion greens, green pea pods, etc. Cut it up well into small bites to avoid them picking out just the good stuff. I also sprinkle the food with vitamin/mineral/calcium supplement and mix in cooked boiled chicken or occasionally cat food. Young RES turtles are very carnivorous. They eat more plants as they age. The mix should be ~50% veggies/greens, 25% food sticks, 25% fresh, cooked protein (chicken or fish. NO red meat or pork). I place food on a stone ledge at the water's edge to keep the food from sinking/floating to keep it mixed well and keep the vit/min powder from washing off. At the size the turtle is now it will need about a heaping tablespoon a day but watch how much it eats so you can adjust the amount more or less.

- How much water should I put inside the container? Is the container big enough for him?
The water needs to be at least 1 and a half times as deep as the shell is wide. That way the turtle can easily right itself if it upsides itself. The container sounds big enough for now.

- Is there any substrate that I can use for his cage?
You can use natural stones for the bottom (pick stones bigger then the turtle can swallow--landscaping rocks work well). RES's are mostly aquatic so the need more water then land. You don't really need a soft area for the turtle and it's really hard to do in a container anyway. Use driftwood or larger stones to create a sunning spot where the turtle can get out of the water

- Is there any aquatic plants that I can use to decorate his cage?
The turtle will LOVE anacharis (pond weed), frog bit or other pond "weeds". The turtle will eat the plants. Because the turtle eats plants I do not recommend putting artificial plants in the enclosure.

- How long does it takes for turtle to get bigger and bigger until this container is no longer big enough for him?
It's hard to be certain. You probably had about a year before the turtle needs to be in a bigger container.

DO NOT put a female in with the male. Solitary is better then mating.

Here are some sites for more care and housing info
http://turtlerescues.com/res.htm
Valerie Haecky's (Mostly) Water Turtle Information Pages
Outdoor Enclosures | Gulf Coast Turtle and Tortoise Society
Tortoise and Turtle Enclosures - pictures of outdoor enclosures. These are all made for tortoises, not aquatic turtles, but you may get some great ideas.
 
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gatsbygirl

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I have never had turtles but have had many reptiles and researched turtles when i debated on getting one. I know you would have to get a UV light and bulb its pretty much used as the sun he would get and not sure if you would need a heat lamp with some turtles you do. I agree with voodoo on everything else she posted.
 

fridzalone

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So the turtle can eat cat food? Interesting. My sister has cats and she fed them with royal canin dry food, is it okay if I use it for my turtle? Or does the food should be a wet food and not dry food?

If I put the cage near the window or my house balcony in the morning (I live in the tropic country so there always hot all the time) is it enough to replace the function of UV lamp? Or should I just put the cage near the window for several hours so the turtle can get enough daylight?
 

fridzalone

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By the way, any kind of stones would do, right? I mean is it okay if I just take stones from the street, wash and clean it then put it in the container? If it's okay, then I'll go right away wandering my neighborhood to find suitable stones for him.

p.s sorry, to late to edit my previous post
 

Cogni

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I was curious about what RES turtles are so I looked it up. Red-Eared Slider is the name, which I am not familiar with, but I recognize the turtles by the picture. I have seen those in rivers in Illinois and also they live in the small lake/large pond in the park near the Houston zoo. (probably in the bayous here too). In that lake they eat the duckweed that clogs the shallower parts of the water. I think they are really neat-looking animals.
I looked them up in Wikipedia which seems to have a good comprehensive article. If the following info on diet is not fully correct maybe VoodooJoint can correct it.
Diet

Red-eared sliders are omnivores and eat a variety of animal and plant materials in the wild including, but not limited to, fish, crayfish, carrion, tadpoles, snails, crickets, wax worms, aquatic insects and numerous aquatic plant species. The captive diet for pet red-eared sliders should be a varied diet consisting of invertebrates such as worms, aquatic and land plants, and other natural foods. They should never be fed commercial dog food or cat food. Calcium (for shell health) can be supplemented by adding pieces of cuttlebone to the diet, or with commercially available vitamin and mineral supplements. A nutritious food readily accepted by young turtles is baby clams soaked in krill oil covered with powdered coral calcium. Younger turtles tend to be more carnivorous (eat more animal protein) than adults. As they grow larger and older, they become increasingly herbivorous. Live foods are particularly enjoyed and add to the quality of life of captive turtles. Providing a wide variety of foods is the key to success with captive red-eared sliders. For pet red eared slider turtles, one can feed them treats occasionlly, like shrimp, chicken, cucumbers, or tomatoes.{but note: small turtles can choke on shrimp shells} Larger turtles have been known to prey upon younger turtles.
-----

The info on ideal conditions for captivity was really interesting:
Ideal conditions in captivity


  • High water quality - Even with powerful filters, frequent water changes are needed. The water should be heated and maintained at approximately 78-82°F(~26-28°C). Room temperature water is not sufficient and can lead to disfigurement and respiratory ailments.
  • Ultraviolet B lighting is required for indoor turtles. While an ideal habitat provides real, unfiltered sunlight, UVB lighting is a necessity in habitats without. Glass or plastic between the bulb and the basking area will prohibit natural and artificial UVB light from entering the habitat.[5] The bulb should be placed above the turtle's basking area.
  • Hibernation or brumation is not possible indoors at room temperature. Twelve hours of light per day helps prevent brumation.[5]
  • Mature female turtles not kept with males can lay infertile eggs. Females can also remain fertile for several years after a mating and lay fertile eggs. Mature females must have a desirable land area in which to lay eggs. Laying eggs in water is not healthy.[5]
  • Dystocia (egg binding), the inability to lay eggs due to tank confinement with insufficient or undesirable land areas, shell deformities or nutritional imbalances, is potentially fatal.[5]
  • Groups of turtles should have sex ratios of at least two females per male to avoid mating pressure, stress and injuries from overmating.[5]
  • Red-eared sliders in captivity (indoor) should be kept in large terrariums. A 10-20 gallon (40-80 liter) tank is sufficient for hatchling red-eared sliders, although they will quickly outgrow them. Much larger tanks are required for adult turtles. A commonly-used guideline is 10 gallons (40 l) of water per 1 inch (2.5 cm) of shell (example: a turtle of 5 inches (13 cm) and a turtle of 8 inches (20 cm) together need 130 gallons (500 l) of space).
  • Red-eared sliders should not be kept in a tank with gravel or decorations that the turtle can fit in its mouth, as this can lead to bowel impaction and death. Commonly and cheaply available 20-grit sand (pool filter sand) makes an ideal substrate.
  • Basking platforms or stabilized stacks of rocks should be provided so red-eared sliders can climb out of the water and dry off completely. The ideal basking surface temperature is 85-95ºF.
It would be worth reading the whole article if you are going to keep this animal.
 

gatsbygirl

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I would think if you wash the rocks well outside rocks should be fine. As far as the UV light goes i know they are very important so unless your sure your turtle will be getting enough sunlight then i would get one. Not sure how much they are in your country in the U.S. they arent too expensive.
 

VoodooJoint

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So the turtle can eat cat food? does the food should be a wet food and not dry food?
It can have cat food occationally. It's a little to rich for everyday feeding. You can feed it cat food once a week. You can use wet or dry. The dry food should be soaked first to soften it. The wet food should be high quality with actual pieces of chicken or fish in it.

If I put the cage near the window or my house balcony in the morning (I live in the tropic country so there always hot all the time) is it enough to replace the function of UV lamp? Or should I just put the cage near the window for several hours so the turtle can get enough daylight?
If the cage gets at least 6 hours of direct sunlight it should be fine. Make sure that part of the cage has shade so the turtle doesn't overheat and make sure the water doesn't get too hot from the sun.

By the way, any kind of stones would do, right? I mean is it okay if I just take stones from the street, wash and clean it then put it in the container? If it's okay, then I'll go right away wandering my neighborhood to find suitable stones for him.
Any sort of stones should be fine.
 

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