General Care Discussion :: I have a few questions

Taking care of your turtle's overall health.

Post Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 8:10 pm   I have a few questions

My niece got a turtle and needed me to watch it until she was better able to care for him, that was two years ago. It is clear that he is officially my turtle now. His name is Toby. I have read about basic care of turtles but I am having some issues and I have a few questions. He is 7 inches, I have him in a 50 gallon stock tank with about 20 gallons of water, is this enough room for him? He doesn't bask very often and has a lot of algae growing all over his shell is that ok? I feed him turtle pellets and a gourmet mix with cranberries and mealworms but I can't get him to eat veggies, is that a problem? At this size should I continue to feed him every other day or is he ready to go to twice a week? He really doesn't like to be held and hisses when I try, is it ok to just not hold him or should I just keep holding him until he is ok with it? He has two lights a red one and a white one which one should go directly over his basking area? If anyone has any advice on these issues I would greatly appreciate it. I put a picture of him after I gently scrubbed most of the algae off his shell.
Beverlyjtorres
 
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Post Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:28 am   Re: I have a few questions

Welcome to the forum! It's possible you have a female at 7". But Toby does need more space and water. We like to aim for 1" of shell = 10 gallons of tank space. Usually some algae is fine and some owners like it. Not basking is an issue, so I would probably clean it off so I can inspect the shell. Not basking can lead to increased fungal and bacterial infections, plus he doesn't get to absorb any UVB (do you have the correct UVB lamp?).

I'd skip mealworms, and maybe you can look into aquatic plants. That way they'll take away nutrients from the algae, look good in a stock tank and Toby has things to nibble on while he ponders turtley things. You can feed him the other stuff everyday or every other, it depends on you. Just make sure you divide the amount proportionally. I think my RES like to be fed everyday and we have a schedule and routine.

Handling turtles is not always easy. Some RES are more friendly than others, but Toby should get used to it if you do it enough. Just watch out as most RES don't like to be handled for more than a few minutes and peeing, pooping and fanning may occur.

Both lights do need to go over the basking area but you need to know what's the temperature and what kind of bulb that white one is.
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steve
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Post Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:55 am   Re: I have a few questions

The white bulb is a uvb bulb :-). If Toby was a girl wouldn't he try to lay eggs? How do I tell for sure if he is a boy or girl?
Beverlyjtorres
 
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Post Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 9:25 pm   Re: I have a few questions

You can use the pictures here: http://www.redearslider.com/determining_sex.html

Female RES kept alone don't always produce eggs. As for the UVB bulb, keep in mind it needs to be replaced every 6 mos, depending on the brand. And a red bulb is not necessary, most other kinds of bulbs that produce heat will do.
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Post Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:44 pm   Re: I have a few questions

Thank you so much for the advice. I was told that the red bulb is needed because we turn of the other bulb off at night and the tank gets to cold without it.
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Post Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:07 pm   Re: I have a few questions

Does the tank have a submersible water heater? That would take care of water temps, otherwise you would need to constantly run that red bulb which is probably not doing much for a 50 gallon tank.
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