Urgent Care :: Another new member with questions

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Post Posted: Sat May 21, 2005 1:36 pm   Another new member with questions

Hello all! As you guessed i have some questions about my babies.... For my sons 3rd birthday we thought to would be a great idea to get him four baby red ears because he is VERY in to the ninja turtles right now. (Since it is illegal nation wide to buy or sell turtles smaller than 4" we had to go out of town to find some.) So we had grandma purchase some for us through a local zoo where she lives. They were all Quarter dollar size or smaller when we got them. The guy who sold them to her was (is) a complete idiot and told her that we didnt need to do anything for them just give them lost of sunlight and give the four of them a tiny piece of frozen bloodworms a day and regular tap water to change there tank with! After two of the four died i quickly figuered out that something was very wrong. So we made a trip to the locally owed pet store where we buy our fish and asked for help. Up until then we had the poor things in a small plastic aquarium that you can buy at the carnival after you win gold fish. They quickly pointed out that was our biggest mistake. (At that point we had only had them for two weeks). They set us up with a 10 gallon tank to start with, esu reptile slimline fixture w/ desert lamp, esu reptile heat light &reflector dome w/clamp, 60 watt sungol neodymium daylight lamp, a small zoo med turtle dock, penn-plax cascade 300 internal filter, instant De Chlor for the water and optional sand. We chose not to geta thermomiter just then to see if we could get the two to live first(why spend more money that what we have to if they were going to die anyway). They did point out that that was the very minimal they could survive off of, concidering all we did wrong in the begining it was a big improvement. We change thier water every four to five days and feed them frozen blood worms twice a day and romane lettice every two to four. One turtle was too sick to save and the other, Mikey, is still alive and is growing huge. Two weeks ago grandma came for a visit and brought three more turtles to replace the ones that had died. (she felt bad because we had kept telling my son that his turtles were "hidding", thats why he couldnt find all four. smart kid, knows how to count to ten, knew something wasnt right) Since we had the tank set up right and Mikey was thriving in his new home we figuered that it was okay. Ralf died without any warning a week and a half later, haddent showen any signs of being sick and ate his share of food the day before.
Finally to my question, two more are now, i think, sick. They havent eatten in a few of days and their eyes are shut. I see them struggling to open them but they just cant. It doesnt look like anything is covering their eyes, like the other ones who died before they got the proper housing. They do have white spots on varies parts of thier body. They were very active when we got them but now the only time they swim is when Mikey pushes them in the water. Even then they quickly swim to the floating rock to dry off. We have had Mikey now for two and a half months and his almost doubled his size and looks and acts very healthy. What are we doing wrong with the others? Is it too late to save them? What should i do?
P.s. My son rarely handles them if at all. When he does he is completly supervised and he washes his hands extremly well before and after. There is no way he can reach in the aquarium to touch them when we are not watching because the tank is kept where he can still see them but not low enough to touch.
rosanna29
 
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Post Posted: Sat May 21, 2005 2:15 pm   Sound's pretty bad

I think you have a BIG problem on your hands! 4 turtles in a 10 gallon tank. think tis way. 10 gallons of tank for every inch of turtle. you measure the turtle by only mesuring the shell frome top to botom. dont count the curve of the shel though. so if you have 4 one inch turtles, you will need a 40 gallon tank. Your turtles may not be eating because they are fighting for food. the big one wins every time ovcourse becase he is really big! the white spots could be from soft shell desieas. Turtles need to have a UVB light for essential UVB rays. I would recommend that you get some cuttle bone too. Cuttle bone is Vitamin D3, It keeps your turtles from getting shoft shell desease and bone desease. just ask for cuttle bone at a pet store, the cuttle bone for birds is the same thing as cuttle bone for turtles. your turtles eys are getting infected too it sound like. you need to get that checked out by a HERP vet. It is very important that it is a herp vet because they are the only ones that know anything about turtles. I would clean out the whole tank and i mean really clean it out. I would suggest instead just throwing the 10 gallon tank away and buying a new 40 gallon tank. you will need a filter too. if you get a 40 gallon tank i would suggest getting a filter approved for twice as much water (turtles are very messy). Ohh yeah bye the way ppl at pet stores dont know anything about red ear sliders.

Please do your turtles a favor and get them to the vet as sone as possible!
GouzlanTheAmerican
 
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Post Posted: Sat May 21, 2005 2:24 pm   

There's so much in your post, it's difficult to know where to start... But first, please tell grandma to stop bringing any more turtles! It sounds like they may have had something to begin with. But what zoo sells turtles...and in such poor condition? You've had them two weeks and their condition deteriorated that quickly? Are the white patches on the shell, the body, both?

From what you've said, taking them to a herp vet would be a good thing.

In the meantime separate the sick ones from the healthy ones (get a Rubbermaid storage container if you don't have another tank). Keep them warm--water temp at 80-81F, basking area at around 90F. A thermometer isn't expensive--you can get one one for the aquarium for around $1.29 at Walmart; use a regular thermometer to check the basking area. They also need a UVB light to bask under. Use a submersible water heater to keep the water temp up.

Do the sick ones try to eat at all? If so, that's good. But a diet of bloodworms twice a day is like feeding them nothing but candy--no vitamins, etc. And romaine is more a filler than anything. (If this is all that Mikey's been fed and still grown, I'm frankly amazed.) Get a reputable turtle food like Reptomin Baby and see if they'll eat that. If they're not eating, try to tempt them with something smelly-bits of tuna or sardine packed in water, for example. Check other posts on the forums for other foods that would balance their diet. The eyes are completely shut? Get some plain cod liver oil, put a little on a q-tip and gently rub some on the eyelids once or twice a day. But this is no substitute for a herp vet...

As for Mikey, I'd do a careful cleaning of his tank (and a 10-gallon tank is really only suitable for a 1-inch hatchling, so assuming he's bigger than that, his tank really needs to be upgraded). It's wise to keep any new turtles quarantined for a period--I've read at least 90 days--before introducing them to an established tank to help ensure they don't have anything other turtles could catch.

You must care something about these turtles, otherwise you wouldn't have posted. Read some of the other information on these forums for other ways to improve their health. Let us know how they do (and please take them to that herp vet).
"You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." -Antoine de Saint Exupery-
marisa
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Post Posted: Sat May 21, 2005 2:46 pm   

Hi welcome to Turtle Talk!

First of all, the reason it is illegal to buy baby RES is because it may transmit salmonella. A huge benefit of his law is that fewer baby RES are sold and therefore killed by misinformed owners. Why you insisted on buying more vulnerable baby RES is beyond me and it is a wonder why they all did not die. I am very puzzled since you knew it was illegal and you grandma knew and zookeeper probably knew. There are legal ways to acquire baby RES, but I will not mention them here. Moving on…

I do not know why you would not buy a thermometer. You can get 2 for less than $5, it would probably have been the cheapest thing on the list of things to buy. Water and basking temps are as important as water quality. Improper water temps can kill faster than poor water quality. Please address this ASAP.

Also, what you are feeding them may not interest them. If the zookeeper was wrong on so many things, why are you still feeding them what he/she told you? Crickets, guppies and some Baby Reptomin are a start (and very affordable).

Keeping Mikey with some hatchlings… big mistake. You should avoid mixing them together right away. I could go into it, but you should read up as to why.

White spots could be fungus or mineral deposits. Is the water clean? Are they basking? Are the shells hard?

Anyway a 3-year old should not handle them, even with care.
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steve
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Post Posted: Sat May 21, 2005 5:50 pm   

Thanks guys. Here are the answers to all of your questons.
*When the turtles get feed i stand and watch to make sure they all get a fair share of food.
* The sicker two dont make any efforts to get in the water to eat, even if i pull them out and put them in a seperate container to eat without mikey.
*After the trip to the pet store we have had Both uvb and uva lights along with a filter for the tank. The only thing its missing is a thermometer and live vegataton.
*Every three to five days, depending on what our scheduals allow, my boyfriend and i pull the aquarium apart and completely clean it. We only use very hot water to clean it out, could this also be the problem? We are afaid of accidently leaving soap in the tank further harming the turtles.
* Border town idiots sell them in poor condition. Ive never accually seen how they are keep but from what ive heard the res are kept in a tank that is somewhat bigger than mine and there is a ton in the tank. With only one light but im not sure what kind it is.
* The white patches are only on the smaller twos (donnie and leo) body not shell. Donnie and leo have a softer shell than mikey does.
* Donnie and leos eyes are completely shut. There is nothing covering them as far as i can tell.
*All Donnie and leo want to do is bask! Unless mikey pushes them in the water, they will not swim and only stay under the heat light.
* I had never seen turtles so small until we ate a chinesse food resturant and saw one swiming in a tank full of fish, the tank by the way was much smaller than the one i have mine in. It looked very easy to care for so i tried to find some. The pet stores in the city im in do not sell them so small so i was surprised when grandma said she had found some. The advice she got seemed easy enough and it wasnt until the second one died that i thought to seek help. The first to die looked sick to begin with so i wasnt too surprised.
* It wasnt until After i had the res that i found out why i couldnt find them in the city. The whole salmonella illegal thing. Apon grandma asking the "zookeeper" about this, he insits that they are leagel to sell that small and if it wasnt he would not sell them.
*Grandma doesnt exactly live ten minutes up the road so when she brought the three replacements on her last visit i felt bad saing 'no take them back'. Especially knowing the living conditions they were in, i figuered it wont hurt none to keep them, maybe even do them some good.
As you can tell I am almost completely clueless about their care. Any advice is greatly aprectated. I just dont want another one to die. Thanks again.
rosanna29
 
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Post Posted: Sun May 22, 2005 11:14 am   

i think your RES requires a vet visit... a vitamin shot and antibiotic might help, you should ask the vet about that.

there is some good information in the posts above. get those thermometers and food variety. read what marisa says about the cod liver for the eyes. i would also increase the amount you're feeding them - general rule is to feed baby RES an amount that equals their head. don't worry about feeding them vegatables just yet.

i'm no sure what kind of filter you have but it is inadequate if you need to do an intensive cleaning every few days. you also need a larger tank as well, as young RES should grow fast.

hot water is fine to clean empty tank.

the soft shells are a bad sign. they need to bask properly (is the temps right?), have plenty of UVB (unobstructed sunlight is best - but don't move a tank next to the window)

regarding selling baby turtles, i'm sure its a federal law, meaning it applies to everyone.

mink's topic has some useful information that might be of some help...

http://www.redearslider.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=312

good luck.



ps, you might want to print out the page on the link below and pass it on to the zookeeper

http://www.tortoise.org/general/4inch.html
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steve
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Post Posted: Sun May 22, 2005 12:06 pm   

Okay lets see what we can do to help these babies. I took the liberty of copying your post and my answers will be in blue
Thanks guys. Here are the answers to all of your questons.
*When the turtles get feed i stand and watch to make sure they all get a fair share of food. Each turtle should be getting a portion of turtle sticks such as reptomin or mauzuri or pretty pets the size of their heads not including their neck ONCE a day for babies 3X a week for older turts
* The sicker two dont make any efforts to get in the water to eat, even if i pull them out and put them in a seperate container to eat without mikey. They won't eat in a seperate container if they are not acclimatized to it. With them being sick it compounds the problem. Try pulling Mikey out of the tank and putting "him" in a secure spot and see if they will eat then. Try some smelly foods like rinsed sardines or tuna or dried krill.
*After the trip to the pet store we have had Both uvb and uva lights along with a filter for the tank. The only thing its missing is a thermometer and live vegataton. Don't worry about live vegetation at this point they are too small & sick to want to eat it anyway. Make sure you have nothing blocking the UVB rays. (not even glass or plastic) if you have a mesh lid make sure the holes are about 1/4 wide or wider to let the UVB light in. Go back and get two thermometers. I use the high end reptile stick ons. one goes on the inside of the tank ABOVE the water line by the basking platform (basking temp). one goes on the outside of the tank on the opposite end of the tank from the basking platform (water temp) it will read about 2 degrees cooler than the water actually is
*Every three to five days, depending on what our scheduals allow, my boyfriend and i pull the aquarium apart and completely clean it. We only use very hot water to clean it out, could this also be the problem? We are afaid of accidently leaving soap in the tank further harming the turtles. This is fine, Hot water is best, just make sure the turts are warm while you are cleaning
* Border town idiots sell them in poor condition. Ive never accually seen how they are keep but from what ive heard the res are kept in a tank that is somewhat bigger than mine and there is a ton in the tank. With only one light but im not sure what kind it is.
* The white patches are only on the smaller twos (donnie and leo) body not shell. Donnie and leo have a softer shell than mikey does. You need to add calcium to their diet, the easiest way to do this is to use cuttle bone, you buy it in the bird section. Chip the backing off break it into pieces and float in the tank. When it sinks, rinse it, dry it out for a few days and refloat. Small turtles (under 1 yr in age) shells will give a bit but if it is REALLY soft you may have a problem. Also roll what they are eating in the dust from the cuttle bone. Sounds like they may have a skin infection, use a good triple antibiotic on the sores (like Mycatracin. If it doesn't clear up or look better in a 3-4 days a vet visit is in order, it could be a fungus
* Donnie and leos eyes are completely shut. There is nothing covering them as far as i can tell. Try cod liver oil on them. Also try repti rinse by flukers... eye infections are caused by dirty water and a lack of Vit A. Again, if this doesn't clear up in a 3-4 days go to the vet.
*All Donnie and leo want to do is bask! Unless mikey pushes them in the water, they will not swim and only stay under the heat light. The basking platform should be @92-94 degrees for these two.. Water temp should be 80-82 since they are sick.They are sick and basking is a way to rev up the immune system.. Turtles are coldblooded creatures that thermoregulate by moving around on the platform or water to hotter or cooler spots. I would remove Mikey to a different habitat
* I had never seen turtles so small until we ate a chinesse food resturant and saw one swiming in a tank full of fish, the tank by the way was much smaller than the one i have mine in. It looked very easy to care for so i tried to find some. The pet stores in the city im in do not sell them so small so i was surprised when grandma said she had found some. The advice she got seemed easy enough and it wasnt until the second one died that i thought to seek help. The first to die looked sick to begin with so i wasnt too surprised. They are easy to care for once you know the ins and outs.
* It wasnt until After i had the res that i found out why i couldnt find them in the city. The whole salmonella illegal thing. Apon grandma asking the "zookeeper" about this, he insits that they are leagel to sell that small and if it wasnt he would not sell them. In one way he is right. Selling turtles under 4 inches is fine for "research or education purposes
*Grandma doesnt exactly live ten minutes up the road so when she brought the three replacements on her last visit i felt bad saing 'no take them back'. Especially knowing the living conditions they were in, i figuered it wont hurt none to keep them, maybe even do them some good. Just make sure Gramma knows NOT to bring any more! (been there too!)
As you can tell I am almost completely clueless about their care. Any advice is greatly aprectated. I just dont want another one to die. Thanks again
Read all the stickys above each forum and it will give you a lot of information. I also have written a summary from what I learned and if you would like that pm me and I will email it to you.
Post with more questions as you have them.. I'll be honest you may have more illness that what you are able to deal with here. They may not make it.. What I am most afraid of right now for your two is RI or Pneumonia, both will kill, and kill quickly.

Soopermum62
Scooter (10") & B.C.(11") both female.
150 gal with 2 Pondmaster 1500s
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Post Posted: Mon May 23, 2005 1:22 am   

Yes, PLEASE get them to a herp vet ASAP. Everyone's given you great advice, follow it. The only thing I would add is you were talking about cleaning your tank with hot water and were afraid of leaving soap residue in the tank. I couldn't tell if you were or weren't cleaning it with soap but if you are, don't. That will kill them. Good luck with the remaining one(s). I hope they make it!! :cry:
I have one RES, his name is Frankenstein; I call him Frank for short :)
Frank'sMom
 
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Post Posted: Tue May 24, 2005 4:18 am   

You all will be happy to know that today we went out and bought a bigger tank for Mikey (he LOVES it!) . We also made sure to get two different thermomiters (four total). We have leo and donnie in a seperate tank to see if they improve. The heat light that was in the tank wasnt hot enough (85*) so we bought one that makes the basking spot just right (95*). Leo and donnie had only been in the tank with the new heat light for ten minutes when we noticed that they were starting to move A Lot more than what they had in about a week. Also got the pellets which mikey ate in 15 minutes, leo and donnie sniffed at it but desided to wait (maybe they dont like eatting infront of a crowd). Which is a bigger effort at eatting then what they have made in a long time. The only cod liver oil that we could find was in soft gel-cap form, is it okay if we puncture a hole in it with a needle and then use the Q-tip?
The only reason we clean the tank so often is because that is what the guy at the pet store said to do. The filter does a well-enough job, I think. Its a cascade 300 and 400. How often is it suposed to totally be cleaned?
We DO NOT use soap when we clean the tank for FEAR OF FURTHER HARMING THEM. Leo and donnie are sick enough we do not want to make it worse for them.
Any opinions on using drift wood? Pet store said it was a good idea, would like a second opinion. Since it sounds like the habitat is finally set up right should i wait a couple of days to see what improvements leo and donnie have before i take them to a vet?
Thank you all so much for all the wonderful advice you have given! I couldnt bare to lose one more res. I will keep you posted an how they all do. Again thanks so much!
rosanna29
 
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Post Posted: Tue May 24, 2005 8:01 am   

Sounds great! Give them another couple of days to see if they eat, keep offering pellets and try some rinsed sardines, canned tuna or dried krills, to tempt them. But once you have them eating give these items only as an occasional treat. You may have to walk away from the tank, new turtles are shy... (I never had this problem my are all swimming stomachs)
Scooter (10") & B.C.(11") both female.
150 gal with 2 Pondmaster 1500s
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soopermum62
 
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Post Posted: Tue May 24, 2005 1:41 pm   

Yes, you can puncture that cod liver oil gel-cap. You've made a big improvement in their lives. Let us know how they do.
"You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." -Antoine de Saint Exupery-
marisa
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Post Posted: Wed May 25, 2005 12:33 am   

That's terrific!! I'm glad to hear they're doing better!!! :-D
I have one RES, his name is Frankenstein; I call him Frank for short :)
Frank'sMom
 
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Post Posted: Thu May 26, 2005 4:35 pm   

Well, i have some bad news. Leo and Donnie both died. Yesterday when i got home donnie was floating by the filter and when i lifted him up i relized why. So i made a vet appointment using the info that Marisa had posted (thanks by the way) and was set to see him early today. When i went to put him in a carrier i noticed that he too was dead! I figured since i already had an appointment i might as well take mikey to make sure he was doing fine. And he is, but just to be on the safe side the vet gave him some antibiotics. Thank you all so much for all of you help.
rosanna29
 
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Post Posted: Thu May 26, 2005 4:40 pm   

So sorry to hear the bad news. But it's good to hear that Mikey's doing well. (Do you have another one that's alive or did I miscount?)
"You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." -Antoine de Saint Exupery-
marisa
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Post Posted: Thu May 26, 2005 7:04 pm   

Sorry to hear about your turtles rosanna29, and I am glad to hear mikey is doing fine. :(
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