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anyone w/ turtle (red eared slider) experience?

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  • anyone w/ turtle (red eared slider) experience?

    i'm looking for some basic info on setting up an aquarium for a red eared slider. he's been living at my parents' house for 10 years now but due to my dad's illness i've recently had to take over his care. i did some searches on the web and it looks like the set up they have had for him is not the most appropriate.
    http://www.eponashoe.com/
    TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique

  • #2
    I don't have a RES, but I do have an aquatic turtle (Neville).

    Basic care:
    • At least 10 gallons of water per inch of turtle (RES can get pretty big, especially the females, which can be unfortunate for the tank situation...). Really though, the more water the better. The water should be in the mid-70s, so you may need to heat it. I've had good luck with these cheapie thermometers.
    • Basking platform with UVB light. The temp on basking platform should be in the upper 80s. I have my turtle's light on a timer so that his "day" is 12 hours long. Days that are too short can make them go into artificial hibernation.
    • Substrate big enough so they can't eat it (I use gravel that's maybe 1/2"?). I also use plastic plants for decoration. Neville likes to float on them, dig them up, rearrange them, sleep in them, etc.
    • Nev gets ReptoMin pellets. Remember, over-feeding is really bad and can cause shell deformities! My 4" turtle gets 7 pellets every other day.
    • 20% of their diet should be non-pellets (Romaine lettuce, crickets, shrimp, etc).
    • They need a stronger filter than fish do. Canister filters are best. They're expensive, but emptying and refilling 40+ gallons of water REALLY REALLY SUCKS. The canister filters are worth every penny.


    You can sort of see Nev's setup here. I use a regular ol' desk lamp to hold his UVB bulb. You'll have to get some sort of table to sit it on, but they're cheap and easy lamps.
    Last edited by Lazy Palomino Hunter; May. 6, 2011, 02:20 PM.

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      thanks so much for the info.

      i'm certain we've been overfeeding rocky. i was left with instructions to give him pellets several times a day... that may be the reason why his tank gets so dirty so fast.

      how dirty does your water get in between changes? we don't have an external filter, just a small internal one (not sure what it's capacity is) and the water turns green/brown and yucky within days. i've done some internet research that suggests with proper filtration it should be fine for 5 weeks.

      do you feed nev in the aquarium or in another bowl? what's your opinion on feeding them outside of the aquarium?

      oh, one more question, what's your basking platform made out of? his aquarium has a stand of sorts made out of plain red bricks. he does bask on it often. do you think he should also have some kind of a platform underwater but close to the surface?
      http://www.eponashoe.com/
      TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        oops

        i just realized you linked me to a platform. is that the kind you use? rocky is pretty big, 10" maybe. would that kind of a platform suffice?
        http://www.eponashoe.com/
        TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique

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        • #5
          Turtles are nasty. I spent my entire youth raising, breeding, and keeping turtles.

          You want a filter for TWICE the amount of water you have. I rarely kept redears, as they do indeed grow large and are a pain. I stuck with smaller species for the most part. However, I kept mata-matas for a bit. 70gallon tank with a filter made for those VERY LARGE tanks, at least 140-150 gallon capacity. It got expensive after a while.

          Overfeeding your turtle is easy to do.

          I don't use gravel. It just gets dirty. Nasty. Hides gunk and bacteria. Nothing on the bottom of the tank, maybe a few large stones that can be scrubbed from time to time.

          UVB light is very important for turtles. You need a basking platform, a heat light, AND a UVB light. A good one. No more than 12" away from the turtle. This is critical to healthy bone and shell growth. A cuttlebone they can nibble on helps too, if they eat it.
          K-N-S Farm
          Daily Goat Videos & Pictures
          Website | Facebook | Youtube

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            he has a lamp not sure what bulb is in it, will check today. but his tank sits on a piece of furniture by a window facing the north eastern side of the house. there are large bushes in front of the window. it provides him with some direct sunlight in the morning and then just your regular daylight during the day (that part of the house turns to shade very early). there are also curtains to provide additional protection in the summer.

            i'm really intrigued by the external filters. i think that a better filter, a better dock with a ramp and less food will make my life and his easier.

            my brother was thinking of making him a pond at his house in brooklyn, but after doing some reading, i'm not sure how feasible it is to keep a RES in an exterior pond in NYC.
            http://www.eponashoe.com/
            TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique

            Comment


            • #7
              You want a filter for at least twice the amount of water or two filters. If the RES is 10+ years old, he must be pretty large. You could buy a HUGE aquarium for him, or you can set him up with a nice secure habitat (bring him inside when it starts to freeze, etc.) or set up a habitat for him in your house similar to a vivarium for Poison Dart Frogs but on steroids

              RES are VERY dirty. They are VERY stinky when it gets dirty.
              If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
              DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
              Originally posted by talkofthetown
              As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                his aquarium is about 100 gallons (not sure actually, i need to measure and figure it out). he's been in it for 8 years. he's about 10".

                so with proper filtration, how often do you guys think that water should be getting changed?

                i changed it for the first time 2 weeks ago (prior to that my parents took care of him) and i felt like i took a bath in a smelly turtle pond. i got splashed in the eyes, i had my arms all the way in there (couldn't get that frickin' siphon to work and then when i was nearly done emptying the tank, the hose fell off of it!!!). i wouldn't mind it so bad if it weren't that a week later the water began looking murky again...
                http://www.eponashoe.com/
                TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by marta View Post
                  he has a lamp not sure what bulb is in it, will check today. but his tank sits on a piece of furniture by a window facing the north eastern side of the house. there are large bushes in front of the window. it provides him with some direct sunlight in the morning and then just your regular daylight during the day (that part of the house turns to shade very early). there are also curtains to provide additional protection in the summer.

                  i'm really intrigued by the external filters. i think that a better filter, a better dock with a ramp and less food will make my life and his easier.
                  First, sunlight through glass is no good. Glass filters out UV light. He needs a UV bulb.

                  Second, with 100 gallons, a BIG filter like this one or this one would probably be best.

                  Feeding him less will also help. I do feed Neville in his tank, but if it got as dirty as quickly as yours does, I would definitely consider feeding him elsewhere.

                  I'm going to guess that the bricks are probably contributing to the problem, because I'm sure they harbor bacteria. I'm honestly not sure where to find a basking platform for a 10" turtle. You might have to build something...

                  Changing that much water is extremely un-fun. I clean Neville's tank every 5 weeks or so, and it's never particularly dirty. Meaning, it looks clean when it's full, but the last 2" of water that I drain out of the tank are a little smelly and gross.

                  I would probably cry if I cleaned it and it was murky within a week.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Oh, and if Rocky is 10"... you probably have a "she," not a "he."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If turtle has short nails, turtle is a sheturtle

                      I hated cleaning my turtle tanks. Sigh. Even worse, draining the outside concrete pool, catching the caimens, and scrubbing it, dodging turtles who were quite sure anytime I came outside, it was feeding time.



                      Do not put glass aquariums in sunlight. Good way to make turtle soup.

                      A UVB bulb will generally be a long bulb, similar to fluorescent lights.
                      K-N-S Farm
                      Daily Goat Videos & Pictures
                      Website | Facebook | Youtube

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        i guess her name should be rockette

                        thanks for all the feedback.
                        http://www.eponashoe.com/
                        TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Lazy Palomino Hunter View Post
                          I would probably cry if I cleaned it and it was murky within a week.
                          i think i did cry... between what you guys have taught me and what i've read on the web, i came to a conclusion that our turtle lives in a ghetto. i'm so ashamed. i should've looked into it sooner but just assumed my parents knew what they were doing...
                          http://www.eponashoe.com/
                          TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I am a member of a RES forum...not sure if I still have the link to it tho...

                            You can make Mr Turtle (I think most are female tho...) a small pond in the yard as summer retreat. But make SURE he can't get away!!! not sure if they climb fences..would not put it past them tho...

                            I found a turtle once in my neighbor's drive, not a RES, but very similar. I put him in a fences enclosure one time to clean his kiddy pool...and BAM, gone, never to be seen again!

                            Also, among fanciers it is believed that the commercial food sticks are too high in protein. They suggest a diet rich in vegetables. But they do readily accept some good meaty things in the diet. We had one way back when, in a small pond in the yard, we didn't feed him all summer and he was FAT from water bugs and plants around it...(they do decimate real plants in the tank/pond, so beware)


                            http://www.redearslider.com/forum/index.php

                            found it.

                            Decent folks on the forum, sometimes a shade judgmental...then again...you are on COTH, you should be good!

                            PS you can get basking platforms in pretty good sizes in places like petco/smart...I found it harder to find a decent tank...they usually only sell fish tanks...a turtle would be fine in a tank that was not as high but with more surface area...
                            http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ductId=2752662

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              They can and will climb wire/chainlink fencing
                              K-N-S Farm
                              Daily Goat Videos & Pictures
                              Website | Facebook | Youtube

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Epona142 View Post
                                They can and will climb wire/chainlink fencing

                                First cousins to shitland ponies...

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