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Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 18518
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
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I have a female RES who mated with my male approximately 3

Customer Question

I have a female RES who mated with my male approximately 3 months ago. When I palpated the area in front of her hind legs, it feels like she has hard masses (like eggs) on both sides. I've created a nesting box filled with sand (a plastic shoe box size),
but nothing has happened yet. I realize her nesting area might be a little too small, but I don't have another area with access to water I can put her in for nesting. They are currently in a 100 gal indoor pond and the nesting box is next to the basking area.
How do I know if she is gravid for sure. She's acting completely normal (eating, not pacing). I know that she has checked out the box because I check for activity, so she is curious. I can't afford a costly vet bill, any advise?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Joan replied 2 years ago.
My name Is ***** ***** I have been a Vet tech for 30+ years with special ineterst in Reptiles and Reptile Rescue.
Can you tell me how big she is and how big the turtle is?
Do you feed supplements?
UVB light, how old, Linear tube or compact coil, strength and brand?
Basking bulb?
Normal diet?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The female is 6 inches,male 5 inches. I feed zilla Viet supplements with beta carotene. Zilla calcium, reptilian pellets. I use a uvb bulb approx 4 months old coil. Basking light from pet store. 100 watt.
Expert:  Joan replied 2 years ago.
Generally a Female slider will not lay eggs until she is at least 3 years of age. so at 2 it is unusual. Your female is not showing signs of laying either.
They will usually want to get out of the tank and act frantic about getting out. They will stop eating and and focus on finding a suitable nesting area.
A plastic shoe box is nowhere near the size of a nesting box where whe will want to lay. I suggest at least a 25 gallon rubber made bin or a small plastic kiddie pool to act as a nesting box.
This is a video to show how to set up the nesting box:
In all honesty, there is no sure way to tell is she is gravid without an ray and I understand not wanting a costly Vet bill. I would try using the suggestion of a proper nesting box, but would have it ready and wait for her to show you that she is interested in nesting.
I would also get ready to change the UVB at 6 months and I suggest the Reptisun 10.0 linear tube, since the coil bulbs can be dangerous and not very accurate about giving proper UVB levels. I would also add a Cuttle Bone for calcium and change the diet a bit. It should include 50% leafy greens or aquatic plants, 25% live prey or cooked meats and 25% pellets to be a balnced diet for Red eared sliders.
I am including a link on breeding and Reproduction for you:
I hope I have addressed your concerns, but feeling infront of the back legs is not always accurate.