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Post Posted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 4:35 pm   New Turtle keeper seeking advise

Hi my name is Leonardo,
I am recently taking care of 2 little turtles (i think they both RES), Rocky and Sally although i do not know their gender yet. We have a small 10-gallon tank, which i am planning to upgrade to a 40 gal one in Dec. My family and i are not sure if we are caring for the little one in a correct manner so we decided to say hello and ask a couple of question so we can improve our husbandry.

We don’t really know their ages but suspect that they are just babies; we live in Honduras so no 4-inch rules apply here. We have them in 10-gallon tank with an ATBA so they can have more swimming room while we upgrade. They are fed 2 times a day 5.30 am 3 reptomin pellets each and 7.00 pm 3 pellets more, they have cuttlebone always available on their tank and no greens until yesterday in an improvised veggie clip with lettuce. I tried to feed them in a separate tank but they hate it and get stress and super jumping so we decided to feed on their actual tank. As a temporary thing i have been giving them some dryied shrimp to get them to use the ATBA

They have ATBA made of egg crate and plastic plants with a basking light and the tank is close to a window so they sometime they get natural sunlight as well. They are extremely shy, i have to sneak on them so just to make sure they bask and they do bask! We have installed a 30-gallon filter with pothos to control la nitrates on the tank as well as 30-gallon heater to control the water temperature. Water get 80% change every Friday

1) Can anyone tell if they are female or male?
2) Is the mount and frequency of food given correct?
3) Are cuttlebone o calcium turtles of any use?
4) IS my setup correct, can i hold them in this small tank for 7 months more until I upgrade?
5) I have a 30-gallon filter and 30 gallon heater. Is it enough? Will the pothos help keep the water clean?
6) When do i start feeding live feeder fish? I’ve read that they also like worms is this a must? can i leave the tank with veggies all the time?
7) i know is hard to tell from pictures but do they look healthy?
8) will they ever get costumed to us? They are really shy and they don’t even beg for food but they do eat very well when no one is around.
9) i know gravel substrate is a nono, is sand the better option ? I don’t want go bare bottom

Much appreciated for the help

regards :D
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Rocky

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My Tank
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They have real rock and heater
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Sally under the rock
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Sally up close
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Filter and pothos
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ATBA and Light
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More of the ATBA
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ATBA
Attachments
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ATBA Ramp
Leorod1926
 
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Post Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 1:42 am   Re: New Turtle keeper seeking advise

Welcome to the site! Looks like you're off to a great start.

1) hard to tell, though sally may be a male.
2) the diet sounds ok, though hard to know without seeing the size of pellets. are you sure no one is feeding them extra?
3) they can be helpful, but not needed in a healthy diet. some think cuttlebone is good for them to chew
4) i would try to get them a uvb bulb as well. everything looks good, but you might want to upgrade sooner.
5) I don't know about pothos, and the heater should be fine for Honduras. The filter will likely need a big upgrade with the tank.
6 ) you can skip fish and worms. you can leave veggies in there but if they eat it too quickly, i would not leave much in there
7) they look fine, though you might want to track their size
8) they should... some stay skittish but most get used to you
9) sand is good... go for it
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steve
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Post Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:12 am   Re: New Turtle keeper seeking advise

Thank you Steve for the quick response!
(2) pellets are about half an inch long and fairly thin
(4) UVB bulb on its way it is hard to get things here on local petshops. We bought a exo terra repti-glo 5.0 26 watts bulb, hope this one will do the trick.
(5) pothos is mor for the nitrate Ive reasearhed that they are efficient plant but poisonous to the turtles. We will upgrade soon i just need to figuer out how to build a stand that can hold the weigth of a maybe 40 gallons tank. i am planning to add a 60 gallons filter and have a total of 90 gallons, do you think that ok?
(7) weight? And carapace lenght o head to tail lenght?
(9) i was also thinking to have fake grass(plastic) on the bottom similar to the one on the ATBA, its way easier to clean.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my question

Kind regards
Leorod1926
 
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Post Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 8:12 pm   Re: New Turtle keeper seeking advise

To be on the safe side, remove the pothos. Most UVB bulbs need replacement every six months or earlier. Yes, track the size and weight. Mostly because there might be some fast growth here. Fake grass will look nice, I think I've seen it done before, but I would go bare or with sand for easier maintenance.
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steve
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Post Posted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:28 pm   Re: New Turtle keeper seeking advise

Here is my update,
(1) changed the gravel for bigger river stones and plastic grass, the sand was dificult to find.
(2) SCL for sally 2.5 inches, SCL rocky 2 inches. I was not able to weigth them
(3) rocky is sheding skin, is that normal? Sally is not sheding skin
(4) in two month they will upgrade to a 40 gallon long tank.

I have been worried as you mentioned that you see some fast growth, carapace is no smooth o both turtle but I dont think they have pyramiding. Do you advise me to cut down on the feeding?

Below are some pictures many thanks for the help.

https://app.box.com/s/q4vxshn8at73tmrcngqm5rurrxt1hzj7
Leorod1926
 
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:16 pm   Re: New Turtle keeper seeking advise

Shedding skin is normal, though check your water temperatures. Yes, I would cut down on feeding, especially protein/pellets/treats.
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steve
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Post Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:47 pm   Re: New Turtle keeper seeking advise

Steve and Forum
Can you take a look at the attached photos and guide if my turtle are growing to fast?

Since your last comment i have been feeding less, 3 pellets per turtle at noon and alternating between carrots, lettuce and bell pepers every morning. Greens are eaten every sigle day but i had to starve them to make them eat greens, nothing else is being fed to them.

Pellets are tetra reptomin not the baby kind

From the pictures i come to realize that they are both males but i may be mistaken

For heat they have a 50 watt halogen par 30, for uvb they have a repti glo 5.0 26 watts bulb and they bask regulary.

They are still on the 10 gallon tank which I will upgrade to a 40 gallon in a month and a half.

Here is rocky:
https://app.box.com/s/x606siyzgb7gkqon8bevq18yafscfayk

(1) I feel his is growing really fast he is almost 3 inches now from the 2.75 inches first mesured
(2) his plastrom seems cracked and I dont if that is normal
(3) his back legs are very chubby like he had eggs, but i think he is a male and to little to have eggs if he was female.
(4) he is the one eating most of the greens

Here is sally:
https://app.box.com/s/7gyugnl0txif3a7ohwmsec6wkvdfs9s9

(1) he is not growing as fast as the other he is almost 2.5 inches
(2) he also has like little cracks on his plastron
(3) he eats less greens

To summerize do you see fast growing on them, do I have to cut down on pellets and serve more greens?
Do their shell look ok? Do they look healthy?

Apologies for my english

Thank you
Leorod1926
 
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Post Posted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 2:54 am   Re: New Turtle keeper seeking advise

I don't know what the time references you are going by BUT yes they are both growing way to fast. They look OK, but might soon develop some permanent shell issues if not taken care of.
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steve
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Post Posted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:49 am   Re: New Turtle keeper seeking advise

Thanks Steve! Do you think feeding every other day will help normalize there growth? Or maybe feed them just greens for now?
I really have no clue on what to do

Greatefull for all the help
Leorod1926
 
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:19 am   Re: New Turtle keeper seeking advise

Just feed them the minimal amount of pellets and skip any treats/rewards. Greens should always be part of their diet. How much were they fed before?
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steve
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 11:15 am   Re: New Turtle keeper seeking advise

Before they were fed as follows:
(1) at 6.00 am veggies either a piece of carrot or a bell pepper about the size of thier carapace or a piece of lettuce caparace and a half size lenght
(2) at 12.00 pm 3 tetra reptomin pellets about an 1/2 an inch in size. We break them
In smaller pieces and just toss it on thier tank

No treats as we used to feed them dry shrimp but we stop almost 2 weeks ago, no worms, no fish, no chicken.

They are both fed at the same time and veggies are placed on a clip
Leorod1926
 
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 11:34 pm   Re: New Turtle keeper seeking advise

Hi Leonardo,
First, I would like to compliment your excellent English. Estoy muy impresionado.

If you have not read it yet, please take a look here for feeding information: http://www.redearslider.com/pellets.html
It sounds like your turtles are about the same size as mine, maybe a bit bigger. 3 pellets sounds about right to me.
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spork
 
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Post Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:35 pm   Re: New Turtle keeper seeking advise

If that schedule was the "before", then I find it hard to believe. Any chance someone was sneaking them food?
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steve
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Post Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:21 pm   Re: New Turtle keeper seeking advise

Steve,
Sorry I Think i need to get the time frames straigth cause i have been talking radomly of many subjects.

Since the begining they where fed like 4 pellets a head 3 times a day with no greens, this feeding routine lasted like 3 to 4 months, I have no measures. 12 dialy pellets per turtle

I read some articles on forum and started to cut down to 6 pellets a head per day plus I started leaving greens on a clip. Greens included lettuce and carrots with a good success

First meassure (first days of jun) for both was 2.75 inch and 2.30 inch.

From your comments of signs of fast growth for the last week i have changed the diet to 3 pellets per head and as well as greens either lettuce, carrots or green bell pepper.

Measures from last friday went from 2.75 to 2.93 and 2.30 to 2.46, it really doesnt make sense for me that they grew in so little time so i am going to discard first measures keep the last and start tracking growht every Friday

Do you think 3 pellets a day is ok ? Or should i cut down to 2 pellets ? Or may be feed pellets every other day and greens every day?

I am a bit stressed i really want to take care of my friends in the best way posible! Thanks again por the help!!
Leorod1926
 
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Post Posted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:52 am   Re: New Turtle keeper seeking advise

How big are those pellets? I doesn't sound much so something else might be happening.
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steve
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