Have Reptile Care Questions? Ask a Reptile Vet for Answers ASAP
My name isXXXXX am a Vet tech with special interest in Reptiles and Reptile Rescue.
Can you tell me about the set up?
UVB light? Florescent tube or coil, strength, brand?
Any yawning from the turtle?
Any bubble from the nose or mouth?
Any swelling from the eyes?
is the turtle able to swim normally?
When we see the the bubbles from the mouth and nose and the yawning, that is usually the first sign of a Respiratory infection. If the respiratory infection progresses, it can go into pneumonia. There is no set time for that to happen. We usually can recognize pheumonia, because the symptoms get worse and the turtle has problems swimming because of fluid in the lungs. The only treatment is to make sure that the turtle is seen by a reptile specialist for an Antibiotic. I would improve the diet a bit for your turtle. They need 50% aquatic plants of dark leafy greens, 25% live prey like meal worms, earth worms or cooked meats, an 25% pellets. If you should need a Herp Vet please let me know and I can locate a Herp Vet with a State. RI'sare very common in water turtles, and if treated early you can avoid pneumonia and get the turtle feeling better. Please let me know if you have further questions and I will be happy to assist you. Joan
Most likely he was sick when you had gotten him. Many shops do not give the proper care and even sell wild caught turtles rather than capive bred. This is a common problem we see with reptiles coming out of shops and even bought online. I have had several customers with the same complaints and come to find out the turtles were bough from an online supplier, who has changed the company name several times because of complaints of selling sick animals. It sounds like your conditions were right and you did all you could do to give your little turtle a good long life. Joan
They both make good pets. Red eared sliders are easier to care for and are much cheaper. The Red Foot tortoise needs a tortoise table, or a rubbermade tub. They need special diet of grasses hays, fruits and veggies. They also need a UVB, Basking light and a humid environment. They are a very long term commitment and can live anywhere for 30-50 years. You can read about them here: http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Care/cs-redfoot.htm
The Red Eared Slider is a water turtle and can be prettyeasy to care for once you have the proper set up. I am going to give you a care sheet that was put together by Anna, a fellow Expert. This will help you with a nice RES:
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.htmPlease let me know if you have further questions. My goal is to give you Excellent Service. Joan