General Care Discussion :: Res couple : Mating/figthing questions

Taking care of your turtle's overall health.

Post Posted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:14 pm   Res couple : Mating/figthing questions

Hi all,

I have 2 RES turtles, a male and a female, about 3/4 years old.

From what I was told by the previous owner they've pretty much been together since birth, and don't have any signs of previous aggression on them. They're pretty chill most of the time, just swimming basking around, but every now and then I notice them doing the claw fluttering mating thing. Depending on the time of the day and I'm guessing on the lady turtle mood, it either ends up with him trying to hump her (he might be successful, but he's significantly smaller than her so he seems to be having a hard time), or her pushing him away, sometime trying to "bite" him. She never actually caught him, and he usually just ends up getting his head back in his shell, turning around and leaving her alone (and eventually coming back for another try 5 minutes later). It's really not consistent (typically has happen one day during the last 3), and she only seems to be pushing him away rather than actually trying to hurt him, but I could be wrong (she's always going for his head, but really slowly so he always have time to avoid it easily, and she never attempted to bite him on other parts, or chased him when he turned away.

Basically I'm wondering whether they can live together without fighting to death : it seems to be really chill for now, but they might be reaching sexual maturity and I could be witnessing just the beginning of it. It could also just be them getting a bit territorial as I switched them to the new larger tank (got them from Cl, they were kept in a half filled 20 gal tank ...)

I plan to get them some more plants and rocks/pieces of wood for the tank so that they can have some spots to hide/rest, and don't stay in each other line of sight constantly.
I'm aware that the female might already be gravid. I haven't noticed any serious change in behavior, and she doesn't seem to be very agitated or eager to get out of the tank. I've tried "feelings" for eggs in front of her rear legs, but she usually tuck her legs back in when I touch her, so pretty hard to feel this area. (any tips on getting her to extend her legs back ?)

I'm planning on making her a nesting area out a plastic container over the weekend and place her in it a few hours a day, see if she eventually lay eggs.
About that : if I manage to keep them both in the same tank without aggressive behavior, how worried should I be about their mating ? I'm assuming this is pretty much bound to happen, and besides separating them they're isn't much that can be done. However how often would that be happening ? As they're captive I'm assuming they won't have mating seasons and could mate all year long, but how often does it usually happen for people having them in similar conditions ? I don't plan on starting to breed turtles, and breeding RES would just be absurd, so a few times a year would be doable, but if this happens every month or every other month, I'll probably have to find another way to make this work.

Pretty new to turtle owning, so trying to get as much info as I can, but I'm seeing lots of conflicting stuff out here, and there seems to be lots of resource on this forum, so I figured someone may be able to help me out !
Thanks in advance for any help you can get me on this !
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Post Posted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:28 pm   Re: Res couple : Mating/figthing questions

I hate to come across as being blunt but you already know the answer. Yes , you will have to find another way to make this work.

Manmade nesting containers , 99% of the time will not be used , turtles are very picky on a nesting site. You will be better off watching her in your back yard and have patience !

Your other post I asked what size they where , now knowing they reached sexual maturity that 75 is "Small" for the two of them. Even if they only mate once , a female can hold the sperm into another season of eggs.

Also she will need to lay eggs even if eggs are unfertilized or become egg bound and have problems even death.
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:12 am   Re: Res couple : Mating/figthing questions

I think you now know why people get rid of them when they're approaching this age and size. Aggression will escalate and so will the injuries. Mating will be inevitable in a small tank... no chance for her to get away.
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:26 am   Re: Res couple : Mating/figthing questions

Thanks for your answers, that's unfortunately what I was fearing. So unless I upgraded to a much larger tank, there's no way these two will eventually get along ? I was kind of hoping that as he seemed to go away when she refused his advance it might end there, but from what I'm reading and what you're telling me this will just escalate until one of them gets seriously injured.
I won't have enough room to upgrade to a much larger tank soon, and won't be able to have them in 2 separate tanks large enough, so I guess I'll have to find them a new home ...
Is there any risk of "depression" or something similar for the turtles from being eventually separated, or that's a silly human approach and turtles won't actually care ?
Thanks for your help, much much appreciated !
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:40 am   Re: Res couple : Mating/figthing questions

Turtles adjust very well and most rather live on there own and are very happy. Before Katrina I had 6 -150 gallons stock tanks with one turtle in each.
You could keep the male , they only get about 9-10 " not as big as females at 12". That way as an adult a 90 gallon tank would work.
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 1:33 pm   Re: Res couple : Mating/figthing questions

That's what I was thinking. Really sad to have to separate them, but I'd rather do that than end up seeing them fight until ones gets badly injured, or worse.

If the female is still at risk of laying eggs later on, I'll probably stick with the male as it doesn't make sense keeping the female if I can't provide sufficient room and care for her ..

Will look into finding her a new home, and go from there.

Quick question though : with a large enough tank/outdoor pond, male and female *could* live together, assuming one has enough room to go away from the other when they want/need to, or it usually always turn into sometype of fight once they reach sexual maturity no matter what ?

Thanks for your quick and detailed answers, that's much appreciated !
EastBaked
 
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:02 pm   Re: Res couple : Mating/figthing questions

Myself doing this since the 60's and yes I had some live together with no problems. But that was a in ground pond and they did not have to look at each others face all the time. It may of had hundreds of hiding place if one wanted to be alone! Also had some together in a 300 gallon tank for years. I will never trust nature's instinct in any animal , it will kick in one day trust me it happen to me and still hurts today ! A zoo animal for decades can trust each other and other animals until that day you read about it killing another or a human. Natures instinct is strong. In making an pet a captive animal I will not put them in that place and not be able to live its full healthy life span. And you have some of those signs now to separate.
Yes even an indoor setup now a adult male 9" need 90 g then female 12" need 120g that 210g setup perfect for a while with hiding places could work then you have mating and more babies which could be 20 or more in a batch. Several batches a year ??? We have an overpopulation of RES's now and look how hard and much money it takes for one . Can you afford to keep minimum of 22 RES's correctly ? I know how and where I can cut money and my setup for one is way over $1000 and could be much better !!! Some out there truly think a glass of water is a good home... You have people think there turtle lived 3-4 years and that was great just go to store and buy another. If it wasn't for Hurricane Katrina I would have turtles well into there 40's and they can live longer than that. Doing your home work now that's good because some don't understand its a life time commitment and will cost money. Those who don't after that cute baby turn ugly and start to cost more money or need a Herp Vet visit turn it loose in a city pond , river and chances are will die if not its natural habitat. Could even if survives over run a native species. It break my heart when someone tells me I have been keeping a 12" female in a 10 gallon tank and she love it.
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 10:56 am   Re: Res couple : Mating/figthing questions

Hi again,
Thanks for your answers !
I definitely don't plan on getting 20 more RES, and could simply not take care of them, so that wouldn't make sense.
I'm currently trying to find a new home for the female, as the male has some shell issues and the female being a bit larger (she's about 6in now, so she would be ''okay'' in that 75 gal alone, but still not great).
I put an ad on CL, but was horrified to see the other turtles that were being sold (in even smaller tanks with awful setups), so I'm not too confident I'll find a proper owner on here. Is there any other ressources I could into ? I'm in California, in the SF Bay area if that makes any difference.
Silly question, but I have to ask : isn't there some kind of neutering possible on turtle, the same way we do it on cats/dogs ? I'm guessing the answer is no, but was curious about it.
Finally, about my current fighting issue. I think the female managed to actually bite him, and ever since they've pretty much stayed out of each other's face, and I haven't seen​ any aggressive behavior since even when coming close to each other.
The male had a small injury on his ''throat'', took a picture, seems pretty benign, and it's healing up pretty fast, but should I do something special about it, or just keep an eye out for it ? I've attached some pictures. The small piece of skin got loose, and the red area is starting to turn back to skin color and seems to be healing okay.
Thanks for all your help,
Max.
Attachments
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EastBaked
 
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:25 pm   Re: Res couple : Mating/figthing questions

You could look into a local chapter at the California Turtle & Tortoise Club but I'm not sure how they feel about RES. For the injury, I would just keep a close eye on it for now.
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 4:34 pm   Re: Res couple : Mating/figthing questions

As Steve said would be best , may have a little trouble being RES's are an invasive species to California.
For another post I call several state agencies in California this week ! You can have one as a pet BUT if someone get's caught turning one loose in state , well they have serious laws .
Sliders are hardy , will heal it's not bad , just watch for any infection.
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Post Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:26 pm   Re: Res couple : Mating/figthing questions

Thanks for your answers, will look into a local chapter of the California Turtle/tortoise club.

Litefoot, I think I saw the post you're talking about (the guy at the university planning to release the turtle in the campus pond ?). Definitely not planning to do something like that, I just want to find her a decent home before they start really hurting each other.

Obviously releasing them in the wild would be silly to say the least, not to mention dangerous/illegal etc ... In the state agencies you called, did you got any info about potential "refuges" for RES ? I know there used to be a reptile store in SF that had some room for rescues, but can't find their name anymore ...

Will check with the California Turtle/tortoise club see what I can find. Otherwise are there some other options ? Websites/agencies dedicated to that ? If I had to, I wouldn't mind paying a ("reasonable") fee if that can ensure that she'll be properly taken care of.

Thanks for your help, will keep you posted if I got any updates !
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Post Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:41 pm   Re: Res couple : Mating/figthing questions

Here's a link with some ideas : http://www.anapsid.org/societies/calif.html

If none can help maybe they can set you in the right direction.

We like to hear about thing's that are going well to ! If you make up a new games for ya'll to play or just how things are going ! You don't have to have a question.
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