I ended up with a turtle and im not sure how to care for it util I can find it a home. He is just sitting in the bowl of

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Customer: I ended up with a turtle and im not sure how to care for it util I can find it a home. He is just sitting in the bowl of water I put inside the tub I have him in. He is a very good climber last night he climbed out of the basket I had him in which was about a foot deep or more.
Answered by Jav917 in 10 mins 6 years ago
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Jav917
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27,324 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Reptile Veterinary, Herp Veterinary, Exotic Animal Medicine, Amphibian Veterinary

Hello,

My name is ***** ***** I have been a Vet tech for 30+ years with special interest in reptiles and reptile rescue.

Can you tell me if it is a small red eared slider or a slider type turte?

Does it have red ears on the side of the head and webbed feet?

Joan

Customer

He has been in the water all night. I have a variety of food in there for him but I have not seen him eat any of it although I think he was inside the bowl because it's all smashed.

Thank-you for the picture. This is a slider turtle. These turtles actually require a lot of care, which includes two lights one being a UVB bulb and a basking bulb. The tank to keep him in should be a 60 gallon or you can use a rubbermade tub. He will need a filtration system too. For Diet he needs 50% leafy greens, 25% pelleted foord and 25% live prey to include crickets and meal worms. He will also need a calcium supplement. I this is a lot to take in, but without proper care these little guys can get Metabolic Bone Disease. Most rescues will not take this turtle since it is so common and when owners find out the care they want to get rid of them. People find them on the road during spring which is hatching season, The best course of action is to find a good home for him with a good owner, or set up and keep him as a pet. They are very smart. I am giving you my care sheet. This is a care sheet, please read through and hit reply for questions,

This is the care sheet I co authored with Anna a fellow Expert:

SLIDER TURTLE CARE SHEET

Well-cared for sliders can live 30 years or more.

The Tank

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).

UVB Light

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.

Filtration

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

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.

http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Care/caresheet-red_ear_slider.htm

http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Care/cs-yellowbelly.htm

Customer

Hi I still have the turtle and I feel terrible because I am afraid he may have already acquired a respiratory infection from not being kept warm enough. I have him warm now but what can I do about his breathing because I can hear a hissing noise coming from him that i could not hear the first couple of days after getting him?

The only thing that can be done is to keep him warm and have him into a Herp Vet for an antibiotic. I can locate some with a State. That is the only option with this type of situation.

Joan

Customer

The walnut creek petco has agreed to take him and I'm going to take him down now. Should I tell them I don't him to infect any other turtles? Do you think they will hear him and treat him. I really have not heard him make that sound all day today.

I would warn them there is a possibility and tell them he needs to be quarantined. They usually will not do that, but at least you have told them. They also may have a clinic on the property and have their Vet look him over. Thank you for rescuing this turtle.

Joan

Customer

I was able to take the last turtle over to a petco. However, there was a huge turtle as big as my head crossing my busy street here in Discovery Bay and he was almost hit by a car so I went after him. I am wondering if I should return him to the lake which is where I believe he came from and was headed across the street to the homes that are on the delta. I believe he has been living in the lake for a while because his shell has green algae all over it. What do you think? I suppose its possible he escaped from someone's home. I thought they needed to have really warm water to live in? I know our lake has been cold due to the weather, so how did he survive?

I would return him to the lake. May be a female looking for a nesting site. THis is common this time of the year and leave the lake to lay eggs and then return once done. If is is laying female, you may see her again, but the lake will be a good place for her.

Joan

During winter they go to the mud on the bottom and stay there until they feel its warm enough to come out fro hibernation. They have adapted to cold winters.

Customer

Should I put her back across the street on the delta side where she was going when I found her? I don't want her to get hit by a car crossing the street.

Yes If that is where she was heading for, that would be fine. She may have laid eggs and now heading back to her home. Turtles are smart and come out to lay in a safe area and then back to the water. I think the Delta side will be fine. With the build up of algae you have described, it sounds like she recently came out of Hibernation.

Joan

Customer

Thanks so much I will put her back right now.

I want to say it has been a pleasure to assist you. It is refreshing to see someone who loved turtles and reptiles the way I do. Have a wonderful day!

Customer

The turtle was easy. Last year I raised a mallard that only weighed 3 grams when we found her abandoned by her mother until she was old enough to stay out on her own. She was a lot of work but I fell completely love with her. There was a male mallard that was trying to mate with her and even though the vet said she would not fly because she had lost part of her wing, she flew off with him chasing her one day. I could no longer identify her from all of the females all over the lake. Prior to that she was coming and going every day with a family of honkers, it was so funny she would be the last one in back. Do you think she could have made it south four the winter?

Customer

e turtle was easy. Last year I raised a mallard that only weighed 3 grams when we found her abandoned by her mother until she was old enough to stay out on her own. She was a lot of work but I fell completely love with her. There was a male mallard that was trying to mate with her and even though the vet said she would not fly because she had lost part of her wing, she flew off with him chasing her one day. I could no longer identify her from all of the females all over the lake. Prior to that she was coming and going every day with a family of honkers, it was so funny she would be the last one in back. Do you think she could have made it south four the winter?

Stranger things have happened. Instinct takes over and they can accomplish anything. Nature is amazing.

Joan

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