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Anna
Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11193
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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I converted my 2-inch baby turtles yesterday to a 30-gallon

Customer Question

I converted my 2-inch baby turtles yesterday to a 30-gallon tank. Had
a lot of problems making basking area. I had eight inches of water in tank . The were not basking. I bought new one. My one yellow slider is swimming on his side now. I lowered water level to 5 inches. The current was strong moved water out take valve
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Anna replied 8 months ago.
Hello and welcome. I apologize that no one responded to you sooner. Different experts come online at various times. I just logged on and saw your question. If you still need help, let me know how the turtles are doing now.Also, what temperatures do you maintain under the basking light and in the water?If you are asked to rate my service, please don't do that just yet since we are just beginning. Thank you.m
Expert:  Anna replied 8 months ago.
Because I don't want you to have to wait any longer, I'm going to go ahead and answer without knowing those things I asked about.At 5 inches, the water is till a bit too deep for 2 inch turtles. It should be 1 1/2 to 2 times the length of the shell. So, 3 inches to 4 at the very most.Swimming on the side as your slider is doing often indicates a problem with the lungs. The strong current may have resulted in water being aspirated into the lungs. That causes aspiration pneumonia. If he hasn't improved by now, it would be best to take him to a reptile vet. This link will take you to a directory of vets:http://www.anapsid.org/vets/index.html#vetlist To help the turtles recover, it's also important that all conditions be optimal. To help you with that, and because there is so much misinformation available both online and from pet stores, I’m also including a care sheet I’ve written for slider turtles. You can use the care sheet as a checklist to make sure everything is right. If you have more questions, let me know in a REPLY. I hope your turtles will be fine.AnnaMy goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Please remember to rate my service after you have all the information you need. I will greatly appreciate a positive rating as that is the only way I am compensated. Thank you!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
Expert:  Anna replied 8 months ago.
How are the turtles doing today? Do you need any additional information?