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I am a Vet Tech. and not a Vet. If you want a Vet, please let me know.
Can you tell me about the set up? How big a Tank?
Have you don a water quality test for Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrtates?
UVB? How old? Coil or tube?
The coil UVB lights are know to cause swollen eyes. This may be the problem: Compact UVB problems: http://www.uvguide.co.uk/phototherapyphosphor-info.htm If it is he need a tube type UVB to help keep him healthy and to prevent Metabolic Bone disease.
The diet should be 50% leafy veggies, 25% live prey and 25% Pellets. If the diet is incorrect he may also wind up with a Vitamin deficiency. You can use a cuttle bone for a calcium supplement as they work well and are much cheaper than the try sold for turtles.
You can use plain saline eye drops for the eyes to flush them instead of buying drops at the pet shop. Most of the items sold are not effective and are very costly.
The tank you have is small for him and should be around a 40 gallon as they do need a good size tank because of the growth pattern. I am going to give you a care sheet courtesy of Anna one of our Experts. Joan
SLIDER TURTLE CARE SHEET
Well-cared for sliders can live 30 years or more.
It'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 Area
Turtles 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).
It'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.
Turtles 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.
Feeding 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 Reading
This is among the most reputable sites on turtles.
I would use the Plain Saline eye drops 4 times a day(the same type used by contact lens wearers). This should help the eyes.
Change the coil for a 5.0 or 8.0 UVB tube Reptisun is a good brand.
The Ammonia should be 0, the nitrites o and the nitrates less than 20ppm. Using the spring wate will help and water changes at 25% when needed should also help.
As far as diet, try romain, collard greens, mustard greens and you can even use aquatic plants for greens. The pellets can be fed. You may have to use tough love as he has you well trained, but will eat when he cannot get his plankton. You can try some cooked chicken and small pieces of fish too.
If the eyes do not clear with the change of the bulb and the saline in about a week, then at that time we may have to have him seen by a Herp Vet. I can lcoate one for you with a state. Joan
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