My RES turtle has started making a screaming noise. He is aprox 3 inches in diameter. He just started making this noise about 20 minutes ago while I was putting food in the tank for the fish. But after going on line I found that it may be a respitory infection. Is this correct and if so...what should I do for him?
Can you tell me about the set up?
UVB light? How old, tube or coil and strength?
Is the turtle blowing bubbles through the nose or mouth?
Is he able to swim normally?
Open mouth breathing?
It is a 20gal tank. I have a 40-70gal AquaClear filter. There is 75watt basking light and 75 watt UVB coil light. I also have a water heater that I have been keeping at 78.
Tugga's diet is mostly reptomin pellets and then gets treats of frozen brine shrimp, blood worms, mosquito larve and plankton. He may also snack on ghost shrimp and small feeder fish. I also have a couple of live plants in the tank and I give him red leaf lettuce a few times a week.
He lives with a small community of cory catfish and a pink bellied sideneck slider...who is smaller than he is. They love hanging out together...neither one of the turtles are baskers. They prefer to hang out near the top of the tank in the tall plants.
He does seem to be swimming a little lopsided...and I do believe he is open mouth breathing.
If it is a repitory infection...is this contagious to my other turtle and fish?
It sounds like you are dealing with a Respiratory infection. The open mouth breathing, the noise he made and the lopsided swimming can indicate an issue with pneumonia or respiratory problems. The fish should not have any problems but the other turtle can be exposed to and possible wind up sick. The temps are low in the water and should be 78*F-82* to help.
At this point it may be wise to separate the two turtles and get the RES into the Herp Vet for antibiotics and treatment.
I can locate a Herp Vet for you with a State. I also suggest you add a cuttle bine in for some calcium and change out the coil UVB to a Reptisun 10.0 tube for the health of the turtles.
I am going to give you a RES care sheet that was created by Anna, a fellow Expert:
SLIDER TURTLE CARE SHEETWell-cared for sliders can live 30 years or more.The TankIt's recommended that a baby slider have at least a 15 gallon tank. By the time the turtle is 3-4 years old, it will need a 60 gallon tank, so it's best to get the biggest you can in the beginning. You can also use a large RubberMaid tote. That's not as pretty as a tank, but costs a lot less. Set up the tank so there's a land area and a water area. Put the basking light at one end so the whole tank doesn't get too hot. You want the water to be about twice as deep as the turtle is long. If the turtle is two inches long, you'll want four inches of water.Temperatures and Basking AreaTurtles need certain types of lighting and need to be warm. Air and water that are not warm enough can lead to fungal and respiratory infections and unhealthy shells. Turtles must have a basking area where they can get out of the water, dry off, and bask in very warm light. The ambient air temperature in the tank should be around 75 *F (24*C) , with the basking area warmer still. Over the basking area there should be some sort of lamp that will take a 40-60 watt incandescent bulb (or you can buy a ceramic light fixture made just for reptiles). If you live in an area that has farm stores, you can buy a metal light fixture made to keep baby chicks warm for just a few dollars. Don't buy the accompanying bulb, however. You need an ordinary incandescent bulb in the basking light. Hardware stores sell similar fixtures as work lights. The basking area should be kept at 85-90*F (29 to 32*C). Use a digital probe thermometer to be sure. You can adjust the temperature by raising or lowering the light fixture.The lights that come with the covers on aquariums are not suitable for turtles. You'll also need a submersible aquarium heater that will keep the water 78-82*F (26 to 28*C).UVB LightIt's extremely important that you buy an additional light that produces UVB rays. A Reptisun 10.0 is a good brand that does. If you choose another brand be absolutely certain it provides UVB rays. Don't take the word of pet store personnel, but read it for yourself. Full-spectrum, DayGlo, sunGlo, UV, or UVA are not the same thing. I'm putting a lot of emphasis on this because it's crucial to your turtle's health. Without this light, Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) will develop because your turtle won't be able to produce vitamin D. Vitamin supplements are not a good replacement for the proper lighting. MBD causes a very slow and painful death.UVB bulbs must be replaced every six months as they lose their effectiveness after that, even though they may still look fine. Light that comes through a window isn't sufficient because the glass filters out most of the rays turtles need to stay healthy. To prevent MBD, turtles also need calcium. The easiest way to provide it is to place a cuttlebone in the tank. Cuttlebones are sold in bird departments of pet stores.FiltrationTurtles are very sensitive to water quality. Even if you change the water every day, it can still contain harmful chemicals. A good filtration system is essential. Water changes are also needed even with a filter. If the tank is too small, no filter can keep up with the amount of waste that turtles produce. FeedingFeeding is an area where pet stores often give out bad information. Commercial food should make up only 1/4 of the diet. Animal products (cooked meat, earthworms, canned cat food) should make up another 1/4. The remaining half should be plant foods (dark lettuce like romaine, bits of strawberry or melon, etc.). Hatchlings should be fed every day. Older turtles should be fed 3 times per week. Overfeeding can lead to gout and kidney failure. For Further ReadingThis is among the most reputable sites on turtles.http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Care/caresheet-red_ear_slider.htmhttp://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Care/cs-yellowbelly.htm
Please hit reply to respond and I will be happy to continue with you and if you need the Herp Vet, please supply the state.
I really appreciate the advice. I will get him to a vet tomorrow. I am in the Spring/Tomball/cypress (77377) area of Houston.
I forgot to mention that he does have a cuttlebone in the tank.
I have been worried that neither of them bask enough. I will try a different basking platform. I have been doing a lot of research...I admit I got him first then did my research. But I've been trying to make up for it so-to-speak. When the turtles get bigger I do have plans to get a 55-100 gal tank.
Thank you so much for your time. It is greatly appreciated.
I will give you several links that have Herp Vets that can treat your little one:
Texas Herp Vets: http://www.texasreptiles.com/reptileveterinarians.html
These are turtle Vets: http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Info/texas.htm
These are also Texas Herp Vets: http://www.anapsid.org/vets/texas.html
I am not sure of proximity, but there are 3 different lists that you should find one of the specialist to treat the RES.
If I cna be of help please let me know. I hope you will rate my service Positive and come back again if you need me.
Hi Carrie,I'm just following up on our conversation about Tugga. How is everything going?Joan