General Care Discussion :: New turtle questions

Taking care of your turtle's overall health.

Post Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:54 am   New turtle questions

Also new to turtles. I purchased 2 RES from a local pet store, but when I got them home I noticed that one doesn't appear to me a RES. Can someone tell me what type of turtle is in the picture?
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The RES other turtle is a RES and seems very active and happy. The one in the pictures above, hasn't been very active and stays on the basking platform. Both turtles are the same size and were in the same tank at the pet store. They seem to get along fine, and I haven't noticed the RES bullying or vice versa. I purchased the Zoo Med reptihabitat kit (20 gallon), swapped out the original filter with a large canister filter, and swapped out the small basking platform with a zoo med medium turtle dock, added one plastic plant, two digital thermometers, and the tetra turtle aquarium heater. Yea...I should've just bought the tank that I wanted and not the kit. I plan on getting a much larger tank soon, but I am still shopping for a stand.

Water temperature from 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM stays right at 77-78F.
Basking temperature hovers around 88-92F.
I have been leaving the compact UVB and halogen on from 7:00AM-7:00PM. I have left the UVB bulb off today because I have read a few post where these compact fluorescents can inflame their eyes, and I have noticed him scratching the side of his head/eyes. Other than being much less active than the other turtle, his eyes don't appear puffy (I don't think), and I haven't noticed any bubbles from his mouth/nose.

I've done the tetra 6-in-1 test strips and everything looks ok. I purchased some API ammonia test strips yesterday and it appeared to be maybe 0 to 0.5ppm, although it was pretty hard to differentiate the colors.

Any suggestions?
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Post Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 1:44 pm   Re: New turtle questions

Looks like a female Yellow-Bellied Slider. How close are they to the UVB? I'd also pick up a different style thermometer as those digital probe ones are not so accurate. I wouldn't get too concerned about water testing if it's just turtles in there and you are doing partial changes regularly.
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Post Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:19 pm   Re: New turtle questions

Thanks for the response. Glad to know my guess at the yellow belly slider was correct.

I have the http://www.zoomed.com/db/products/EntryDetail.php?EntryID=1516&DatabaseID=2&SearchID=5&SearchContext=YTo1OntzOjg6IlNlYXJjaElEIjtzOjE6IjUiO3M6MTA6IkRhdGFiYXNlSUQiO3M6MToiMiI7czo4OiJLZXl3b3JkcyI7czo4OiJyZXB0aXN1biI7czo4OiJTZWFyY2hfeCI7czoxOiIwIjtzOjg6IlNlYXJjaF95IjtzOjE6IjAiO30= UVB light, and the basking platform is 7.25" inches from the bulb which puts the top of the turtle ~5" from the bulb. Reading the instructions and it seems to be at the correct distance. This is only the 5th day with her and the bulb was a little closer the first two days, until I noticed that it should be at least 4" away (I had it ~3.5" for 2 days). Do you think I should adjust the height again or leave it off for a few days?
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Post Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:40 pm   Re: New turtle questions

A 5.0 UVB is not so strong as the ones causing problems (10.0),so just keep an eye on it. If you did a burn-in, then it should be fine but if you notice issues when the light is off then stop using it. Where's the basking light?
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Post Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:59 pm   Re: New turtle questions

I've got one of the double fixture mini domes hanging directly over the basking site. The basking light and uvb are the same distance to the basking site.

Should I be worried with the excessive basking?
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 29, 2016 3:07 am   Re: New turtle questions

How long is excessive basking? Basking is normal and healthy behavior, it's good for them to get a few hours in a day.
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 29, 2016 10:31 pm   Re: New turtle questions

I've only seen her in the water once or twice. She spent a good 10 hours basking today, unless she swam while I wasn't here for a little while. I put her in the water and she seems to swim fine, but usually just swims around for a minute or two then climbs back on the ledge.
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 3:21 am   Re: New turtle questions

That is pretty excessive. Does she go down by herself once the lights are off?
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:40 am   Re: New turtle questions

I don't think so. I believe she stays on the ledge all night, although my wife noticed her in the water yesterday morning when she was leaving to work. When I got out there are was back on the dock.
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 5:31 pm   Re: New turtle questions

Is the air temperature very warm in your house?
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:43 pm   Re: New turtle questions

The house is generally 68-72.
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:31 pm   Re: New turtle questions

Does she have a set feeding time? Does she come down when she's expecting to get fed?
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:38 pm   Re: New turtle questions

I've only had them since Christmas Eve, and haven't been good at setting a schedule yet. I've laid food on the dock in front of her trying to entice her to eat, but she hasn't seemed overly interested. I've tried dried shrimp, meal worms, and pellets. I think she has eaten a little bit while I wasn't watching, but can't really tell. Tonight once the light went off, I moved her to the water and she has stayed in but has pretty much stayed at the top and in the same general area. The other turtle is RES and is very active swimming all over, basking some, and begging for food.
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Post Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:06 am   Re: New turtle questions

Does the other turtle bask? Are they both the same size? Are their weights similar? I'd try a separate feeding container with a treat... maybe canned tuna or salmon. Keep the shrimp and meal worms as rare treats.
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Post Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:52 am   Re: New turtle questions

Yes the other turtle does bask, but spend a pretty equal amount of time in the water. The RES is very slightly smaller, and I don't know about weights. Just holding them and I can't tell a weight difference.

Stupid question, but when you say canned tuna, do you mean shredded tuna from a grocery store like I would eat?
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