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Post Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 11:20 pm   New to RES learning as I go.

Hello, I am new to the site and wanted to post my little guys up. I'll keep it short, my daughter got a significant amount of birthday money from her grandparents a few mon the ago. My daughter has always been a animal lover. We saw a man in the parking lot of a store selling 2 hatchling RES out of his car. Really sad now that I look back on it after doing research. Anyways, my daughter (8 years old) really wanted them. I was skeptical and told her she needed to buy them everything they needed with her money instead of toys at the store. She eagerly accepted and we bought them and named them Tom and bradley. I have never had turtles before. We had fish and dogs but, never any reptiles. Once I got home I jumped on my tablet and started researching. I started them off in about 4 inches of water with a island in the middle with the regular bulb the Walmart reptile aquarium comes with. It worked for a few weeks. My daughter and I went to a pet eporium locally for some tank improvement's one weekend. Behold they have a very large tank with about 4 - 5 full grown female RES. I noticed the different bulbs and inquired with the lady who ran the reptile side of the store. She informed me of the importance of the UVB bulb for the turtles. So I bought one and some smooth turtle rocks (large enough so they can't eat them). Here is a link to my Google+ post. Check out my little setup.

https://plus.google.com/110035130921549 ... kbDbSQAndi

I am having difficulty posting pictures to this forum or I would have just posted them sorry about that. Any tips or improvement's are welcome. We are new to these guy but we really like them. I never knew they had such strong personalities. Tom is very skiddish to any movement but once he notices it's us he is fine. Tom will even let us pick him up with little trouble. Bradley likes to bask quite a bit and isn't as scared of us until we try to pick him up. He definitely isn't fond of it lol. Bradley is also very sensitive. For the longest time he would throw a little fit after I would move him to clean his tank. He will hide in a corner by the pump for hours and not come out. Now, it seems ok with me taking him in and out. I think he likes the improvements I make to his home :lol: :mrgreen: . Anyways thanks for having me!
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Post Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 10:50 am   Re: New to RES learning as I go.

Welcome to the forum :D

Everything looks pretty good. What size are your turtles and what type of food are you giving them?
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Rizvan
 
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Post Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:08 am   Re: New to RES learning as I go.

Welcome to the forum! Do you have any thermometers? You need to keep track of the basking and water temps. I'd get rid of the floating dock and raise the water levels. Both lights should be over the basking area. I'd choose a different substrate or keep it bare. Do you have a water heater?
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Post Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:31 am   Re: New to RES learning as I go.

There is a thermometer for the water on the side of the tank. I'm grabbing one for the basking area today. I live in socal so the water stays at 76 during the night and 78 to 80 with the lamps on. The lights are spread out because the flat black one has heat and UVB. The bigger one is just UVB. I tried using just the black one but Bradley hated it until I added the other UVB back to the tank. I've been feeding them baby shrimp and pellets. I am going to grab them some minnows today as a treat.

By substrate do you mean the pump or river rocks? They clean up pretty well with the tank vacuum I have. The pump came with the kit my daughter should I invest in a better one. Thanks for the comments.
When in doubt, flat out - Colin McRae RIP
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Post Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:59 am   Re: New to RES learning as I go.

Substrate would be the river rocks. You have a small filter, and river rocks tend to trap a lot of waste.
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steve
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Post Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:53 pm   Re: New to RES learning as I go.

Yea they really do. I clean it weekly with the vac and take out 35% of the water and replace it with fresh water. It says to change the filter monthly but I do it at about 3 weeks bases on how it looks. So a bigger pump will help keep the rocks cleaner? I'd hate to get rid of the stones. I am using a standard medium size tetra filter from my local pet store atm

Here are some more pics of them some older ones
https://plus.google.com/110035130921549 ... DZoX6HCPei

New pics
https://plus.google.com/110035130921549 ... 54SjuzMaZG

They are both close to 3 inch. Bradley is the bigger turtle though and the aggressive eatter. I hand feed them so I can make sure they get an equal amount. If I just drop a few pieces of food in the tank bradley wil devour most of it. So I stick to hand feeding it also gives me and my daughter a chance to interact with them a bit. They like attention just not too much lol.
When in doubt, flat out - Colin McRae RIP
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Post Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 6:07 pm   Re: New to RES learning as I go.

Had an odd occurrence today. Since I added the heat lamp/UVB combo lamp the turtles definitely enjoy it. For the last 4 days they have hung out together on the rock under the lamp during the day for 12 to 14 hours of light without a problem. About an hour ago I caught the smaller turtle (not much smaller) trying to bite the other RES leg. He seemed to want a certain spot under the light and basically made bradley move. Bradley moved to the other side if the rock but still plenty under the lamp. They have been fine since just basking together for the last hour. I'm going to keep an eye out to make sure bradley isn't being bulied by tom, I'm going to my martial arts class but have a wifi cam I can put on the to record them while I'm gone.
When in doubt, flat out - Colin McRae RIP
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Post Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:07 am   Re: New to RES learning as I go.

They shouldn't be showing any aggression at that age, but it's definitely something to keep an eye on.
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steve
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Post Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 12:16 pm   Re: New to RES learning as I go.

Hope you enjoy your stay here! :)

The pictures you linked via google drive works fine. I see you're also using the Zoo Med Turtle Dock, which is also something I have for my turtles in their tank and it was ... not the best experience with using it during the first week of set-up and using it.

For feeding, you could always try feeding them separately from the tank? It helps in minimising waste in the tank water (since they tend to be messy eaters) and better your chances of keeping tract of how much you're feeding each of them.
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:52 pm   Re: New to RES learning as I go.

https://plus.google.com/110035130921549 ... eX1SVx8nRT

Here's an updated picture of the tank. I took some of the advice you guys left. I ditched 98% of the rocks. Got tired of cleaning the damn tank so offten. I also removed the island. I can tell they enjoy the swimming room.

The agression completely stopped they share the basking spot with out issues now. It stays right at 90° according to the gauge.
When in doubt, flat out - Colin McRae RIP
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:50 pm   Re: New to RES learning as I go.

Looks much better, though I do like that other basking platform better. With the floating dock however, you can really add a lot more water to the tank.
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