Habitat - Indoor :: Making sure I have the best indoor enviorment for my turtle

Turtle tank setups and other indoor configurations.

Post Posted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:48 pm   Making sure I have the best indoor enviorment for my turtle

Hello. I got a Red Eared Slider not too long ago and I am worried about his health. I found out today that the previous owner mis-informed me about feeding and he's been over fed for his whole life! (about a year). His shell is pyramiding and I'm very sad. So I'm now here to make sure he is the healthiest he can be. I've included some pictures in order to help.

http://imgur.com/FJP9WuT
(Sorry for the blurry photo) As you can see, he is roughly 6 inches long. Not much else to say about it.

http://imgur.com/eI85V6w
This is what is worrying me the most. His shell is gray/whiteish in a lot of areas. His shell isn't soft or has holes. The only thing i know that is wrong with it is pyramiding.

http://imgur.com/E8NL04X
This is his filter. It's rated for 50 gallons and he's in a 20 gallon tank, but his water is green and not clear.

http://imgur.com/dog4hX0
This is the whole setup. I have nice flat rock on the right and a floating dock on the left. I moved his heat lamp from above the floating dock because I lost a piece of the arm for it and it's way to close to the dock and I'm worried about burning the poor guy. The tank is a 20 gallon tank and has roughly 11 gallons of water in it. He spends most of his time chilling on the flat rock under the heat of the lamp or attempting to climb the glass and escape. He also likes to swim into the glass either at me ( which I assume is him begging) or next to the filter (which I assume is him trying to escape again) There's a goldfish in there names Jeffery who was supposed to be food, but Mr.Turtle left him alive and now he eats whatever floats around. With my next paycheck I'm going to replace the filter with a canister filter that can hopefully stop his tank from getting green. I'm also thinking about building him a better floating dock, since he has trouble climbing onto that one and staying on it. I used to feed him a handful of pellets 3 times a day (because that's what I was told to do) but they would get sucked into the filter and would turn the water green (like it is now) so I started feeding him just shrimp 3 times a day, only 4-6, and then I learned that too much protein can kill them and that you're only supposed to feed them once a day to once every 3 days! I feel so bad for him.
There is rocks at the bottom of the tank. I see him put them in his mouth, but they're the size of his head so he can't eat them. I put them their because when he would try and 'walk' on the floor he would just slide and I felt bad that he had trouble moving around, so I put them in there. I'm thinking about replacing it with some sort of rubber flooring/mat so he can still have the grip, without the choke hazard and the substrate.

Well, that's really all the information I have to give. Thank you for anyone who can provide information to help me make sure this guy gets the care he needs. This is my first pet and it was an unexpected one (person who gave him to me had a parents that was forcing her to get rid of him, so I took him in last minute so he wouldn't be released in the wild since we live in Florida and they're highly invasive)

Thanks again!

TL;DR - I want to make sure I have the right setup for my pet turtle. I'm going to replace the filter with a canister filter, I'm going to make a better sunbathing dock for him, and I'm worried about his Shell color. Anyone who can help me will be thanked a ton. Pics above. Thanks again. :mrgreen:
Phikicheli
 
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 5:43 am   Re: Making sure I have the best indoor enviorment for my tur

Sorry to hear you got mis-information from the previous owner. Observing is good and recognizing problem's also good. Most all can be corrected in time. What I would do first is read all the sticky's above each topic and any comments that go along with them to have a better understanding of what's needed. Even take notes and any questions we will be here for the both of you.

Also another very good read : http://www.redearslider.com/
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:19 pm   Re: Making sure I have the best indoor enviorment for my tur

litefoot wrote:Sorry to hear you got mis-information from the previous owner. Observing is good and recognizing problem's also good. Most all can be corrected in time. What I would do first is read all the sticky's above each topic and any comments that go along with them to have a better understanding of what's needed. Even take notes and any questions we will be here for the both of you.

Also another very good read : http://www.redearslider.com/


Thank you so much! I'll be sure to look into the link you posted and the stickys too. I do have a question, my turtle has white on his shell, but it's like peeling off, not shell rot I don't think. Is this bad? Thanks
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 5:09 pm   Re: Making sure I have the best indoor enviorment for my tur

Hard for me to tell in that photo. Having him total dry with a better picture may help. Getting the tank and keeping it clean to prevent infections is a start.
Normally mineral deposits , bacterial , fungal infections come in patches. You say peeling off shell. Is it thin like sunburn or more like a wax paper , possible a little shedding going on. Shell has some algae on it to. Put your boy somewhere safe on a table and hold him in place with an old towel loosely to control him. Have a bowel of clean warm water and a old soft toothbrush. Gently brush the shell have a paper towel to wipe as you do this , if any shell is peeling off do not "pull" it off it will hurt him. You can very gently try to lift with your finger nail and if it pop's off ok , Never pull , may have some shedding going on . Clean him up some and lets see what's there. Here's a good read on peeling , only has a couple pictures but it a good read : http://www.turtleholic.com/turtle-shell-peeling/

Also these questions will be needed help , copy / paste them here and try to answer with more than a yes or no . Like type size wattage (%) :
viewtopic.php?t=2142
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 7:48 pm   Re: Making sure I have the best indoor enviorment for my tur

litefoot wrote:Hard for me to tell in that photo. Having him total dry with a better picture may help. Getting the tank and keeping it clean to prevent infections is a start.
Normally mineral deposits , bacterial , fungal infections come in patches. You say peeling off shell. Is it thin like sunburn or more like a wax paper , possible a little shedding going on. Shell has some algae on it to. Put your boy somewhere safe on a table and hold him in place with an old towel loosely to control him. Have a bowel of clean warm water and a old soft toothbrush. Gently brush the shell have a paper towel to wipe as you do this , if any shell is peeling off do not "pull" it off it will hurt him. You can very gently try to lift with your finger nail and if it pop's off ok , Never pull , may have some shedding going on . Clean him up some and lets see what's there. Here's a good read on peeling , only has a couple pictures but it a good read : http://www.turtleholic.com/turtle-shell-peeling/

Also these questions will be needed help , copy / paste them here and try to answer with more than a yes or no . Like type size wattage (%) :
viewtopic.php?t=2142

His shell is peeling almost like wax paper.
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:32 pm   Re: Making sure I have the best indoor enviorment for my tur

He's starting to shed , to make it easier we will get his habitat better. Read sticky's first and see other link so you will have a better understanding what we need to do.

One year old with pyramiding ! Previous owner ... no comment on that. You will do better !

The hollow head rule works at any age ! That's if head (not neck to ) was hollow what would fill it for the protein side and veggies say red lettuce , a pieces the size of it's shell a "day". NOT at each feeding if you do that twice a day ! Divide head amount in half if doing two feedings , no more. Make sure if anyone else is in home they understand ! In a few months he will be an juvenile and he will be going on more veggies about 50% of diet at that stage. Once adult 70% veggies and skipping protein every other day. That's a rule most follow , I myself only use the 2/3's rule and not the whole hollow head. Always better to under feed than over feed for a healthy turtle. Treats are not nutritious and should be offered one a month. Turtle are like kids , if they could eat ice cream and candy for dinner they would , Bad !
Turtles will always beg and the older they get the better they get at it . It's hard for some to stop feeding because they beg and they will have health problems due to that. It's up to us when we make a turtle a captive pet to feed it a well varied , nutritious , balance diet for its health and offer it a correct habitat. Turtle can live 50 plus years and should be given that chance.
Answer those questions so I have an idea where you need to go. It's all about having a happy , healthy turtle that has a chance to live a full life. You will get there !
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:18 pm   Re: Making sure I have the best indoor enviorment for my tur

Phikicheli wrote:
litefoot wrote:Hard for me to tell in that photo. Having him total dry with a better picture may help. Getting the tank and keeping it clean to prevent infections is a start.
Normally mineral deposits , bacterial , fungal infections come in patches. You say peeling off shell. Is it thin like sunburn or more like a wax paper , possible a little shedding going on. Shell has some algae on it to. Put your boy somewhere safe on a table and hold him in place with an old towel loosely to control him. Have a bowel of clean warm water and a old soft toothbrush. Gently brush the shell have a paper towel to wipe as you do this , if any shell is peeling off do not "pull" it off it will hurt him. You can very gently try to lift with your finger nail and if it pop's off ok , Never pull , may have some shedding going on . Clean him up some and lets see what's there. Here's a good read on peeling , only has a couple pictures but it a good read : http://www.turtleholic.com/turtle-shell-peeling/

Also these questions will be needed help , copy / paste them here and try to answer with more than a yes or no . Like type size wattage (%) :
viewtopic.php?t=2142

His shell is peeling almost like wax paper.


http://i.imgur.com/0gbIts4.jpg

This is his dry shell. He actually does have his scutes falling off.
Phikicheli
 
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:01 pm   Re: Making sure I have the best indoor enviorment for my tur

It may not happen as fast as you want , have patience and do your reading / homework. When you answer those questions we can start on the tank.
Do Not try and force the scutes off !
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Post Posted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 5:29 am   Re: Making sure I have the best indoor enviorment for my tur

I do see a lot of growth, not sure about the pyramiding. Cut down the pellets to maybe 1/4 the size of their head once a day. Make sure he gets some veggies, red leaf lettuce is very good.

Most indoor RES require the same basics, just scaled differently for their age/size.

Since you have a male, he probably won't get much larger. He's already pretty big... but you can start thinking about putting together his "forever" home. You need to think about a large tank (75 or 90 gallons) or something equivalent that can safely hold water (like a stock tank). After that, you can get a filter/heater appropriate for the tank size.

All RES should have a basking platform, a basking lamp and a UVB source.

You will want to remove those small rocks... anything smaller than the size of his head.
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Post Posted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 11:54 am   Re: Making sure I have the best indoor enviorment for my tur

steve wrote:I do see a lot of growth, not sure about the pyramiding. Cut down the pellets to maybe 1/4 the size of their head once a day. Make sure he gets some veggies, red leaf lettuce is very good.

Most indoor RES require the same basics, just scaled differently for their age/size.

Since you have a male, he probably won't get much larger. He's already pretty big... but you can start thinking about putting together his "forever" home. You need to think about a large tank (75 or 90 gallons) or something equivalent that can safely hold water (like a stock tank). After that, you can get a filter/heater appropriate for the tank size.

All RES should have a basking platform, a basking lamp and a UVB source.

You will want to remove those small rocks... anything smaller than the size of his head.


Sadly, I don't have the room for a 70 Gallon tank. The tank I have is about as big as I can get until I move out of my parents house in a year or two.
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Post Posted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:52 pm   Re: Making sure I have the best indoor enviorment for my tur

A year or two ...? Could maybe make some of what you have useable for now.
First we going to fill tank ( 20) gallons and your new canister filter must have a rating for an 80 gallon tank. YES and one that's three staged ,mechanical , chemical , biological ! Myself I would go larger . Turtles are messy and with only 20 galons of water will be hard for you to control water parameters with a turtle that size! Turtles need 3-5x's filtration than a fish !!! Filters that come with media is for fish , you need to set it up for a turtle see here : viewtopic.php?f=9&t=30145

Second Go to a dollar store get a laundry hamper that will fit on top of tank safely , lay it on one side you now have walls ceiling and floor for basking area ,secure it to tank. Take your basking platform and attach it to the hamper for a ramp. Make a fence or wall , a shield around top of tank since its full so turtle can't climb out. You now have a simple "ATBA" for about $3. If you are good with DIY projects make one as fancy as you want. Just google for images for ideas .

Third get rid of those rocks , will make it easier to clean tank and protect turtle from eating them causing a blockage ! That inside tank filter is not of use and takes to much room for swimming , put it in the closet. When you get new filter remove turtle to a container and break down tank all the way. Clean everything! properly fill tank run filter for about half a day ( make sure you have carbon in filter) then turtle goes in. Set light up to shine in that ATBA to get correct temps and distance !

Note : you have "a" light ...what type and kind ? You need both UVA and UVB for a healthy turtle !
You have a lot of algae in tank and on turtle is setup by a window ?

In a tank that small you must do maintenance once a week , that includes 20-30% water changes (yes every week ) along with filter cleaning (yes every week) . Never change all the water at one time unless an illness is present.

You can get a hamper type basket and build the wall / shield have it done now with the 100% break down of you tank today. When you get a good filter then just add it. That filter you have now will never work to have a good and healthy tank !

Did you clean up turtle with a toothbrush. Would be good to see whats really going on ! Have you read the links ?

Hopefully you keep in mind you need a larger tank ! Turtles need for every inch of shell 10 gallons water alone plus basking area to have a healthy turtle and be able to control water parameters !
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Post Posted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 7:04 pm   Re: Making sure I have the best indoor enviorment for my tur

litefoot wrote:A year or two ...? Could maybe make some of what you have useable for now.
First we going to fill tank ( 20) gallons and your new canister filter must have a rating for an 80 gallon tank. YES and one that's three staged ,mechanical , chemical , biological ! Myself I would go larger . Turtles are messy and with only 20 galons of water will be hard for you to control water parameters with a turtle that size! Turtles need 3-5x's filtration than a fish !!! Filters that come with media is for fish , you need to set it up for a turtle see here : viewtopic.php?f=9&t=30145

Second Go to a dollar store get a laundry hamper that will fit on top of tank safely , lay it on one side you now have walls ceiling and floor for basking area ,secure it to tank. Take your basking platform and attach it to the hamper for a ramp. Make a fence or wall , a shield around top of tank since its full so turtle can't climb out. You now have a simple "ATBA" for about $3. If you are good with DIY projects make one as fancy as you want. Just google for images for ideas .

Third get rid of those rocks , will make it easier to clean tank and protect turtle from eating them causing a blockage ! That inside tank filter is not of use and takes to much room for swimming , put it in the closet. When you get new filter remove turtle to a container and break down tank all the way. Clean everything! properly fill tank run filter for about half a day ( make sure you have carbon in filter) then turtle goes in. Set light up to shine in that ATBA to get correct temps and distance !

Note : you have "a" light ...what type and kind ? You need both UVA and UVB for a healthy turtle !
You have a lot of algae in tank and on turtle is setup by a window ?

In a tank that small you must do maintenance once a week , that includes 20-30% water changes (yes every week ) along with filter cleaning (yes every week) . Never change all the water at one time unless an illness is present.

You can get a hamper type basket and build the wall / shield have it done now with the 100% break down of you tank today. When you get a good filter then just add it. That filter you have now will never work to have a good and healthy tank !

Did you clean up turtle with a toothbrush. Would be good to see whats really going on ! Have you read the links ?

Hopefully you keep in mind you need a larger tank ! Turtles need for every inch of shell 10 gallons water alone plus basking area to have a healthy turtle and be able to control water parameters !



I'll look into all the stuff you told me to get and try to get it asap. The light I have is a florescent light from home depot. It produces UVA, but I'm not sure about UVB. The tank is across my room from the window, so I'm thinking maybe the florescent light is causing it's growth.

I did clean him off with a toothbrush, this is him after cleaning him off and drying him http://i.imgur.com/0gbIts4.jpg

I'm not sure what "stickys" you're referring too. Could you link me please? Thank you.

Edit: I forgot to mention I have his old 10 gallon tank from when he was a baby. Do you think that could be used for anything?
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Post Posted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 8:33 pm   Re: Making sure I have the best indoor enviorment for my tur

When you go to habitat - indoors before you click on your post look a few lines up and will see "round icons" //those are the informational sticky's. They on each page under all topics.

You will need a double fixture or another single // A regular Florescent is NO good ! A regular "incandescent" bulb could work for UVA , about 60 watts (the heat) BUT a UVB is a special bulb https://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-25156-Re ... s=uvb+bulb
UVB come in all type and styles and (%'s) but keep it simple for now with a 5% UVB that's good for turtles!

Cleaned up well , he look's much better , the pyramiding not that bad but may make the shedding hard for him. Just don't pull any scutes off let it happen over time.

Google "turtle ATBA" and see under images for ideas. It's up to you how simple or extravagant you want it. From the plastic laundry hamper to a milk crate material like you see in stores , something like that for under $3-8 plus material for shields around tank (say Plexiglas) or something for safety. Your dad may have a storage container in garage that would fit on top of the tank. Really anything could work and you could dress it up to look better.

Please remember the filter needs to be rated for 80 gallon for that 20 gallons of water for a turtle !

That old 10 gallon save it , may need it for a quarantine tank or could use it for a dry dock down the road.

You could also do this : make a Plexiglas shield around all the top rim about 10"-12" high ( so he can't climb over) and just raise the floating ramp top the very top if you can't find a laundry hamper to fit top rim. This may be the fastest and easiest. Measure twice and cut once then glue all done ! Have it sit in the top rim and that will hold it in place or you can secure it any way you want. You could make the sides and back wood and just the front Plexiglas.
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Post Posted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:00 pm   Re: Making sure I have the best indoor enviorment for my tur

litefoot wrote:When you go to habitat - indoors before you click on your post look a few lines up and will see "round icons" //those are the informational sticky's. They on each page under all topics.

You will need a double fixture or another single // A regular Florescent is NO good ! A regular "incandescent" bulb could work for UVA , about 60 watts (the heat) BUT a UVB is a special bulb https://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-25156-Re ... s=uvb+bulb
UVB come in all type and styles and (%'s) but keep it simple for now with a 5% UVB that's good for turtles!

Cleaned up well , he look's much better , the pyramiding not that bad but may make the shedding hard for him. Just don't pull any scutes off let it happen over time.

Google "turtle ATBA" and see under images for ideas. It's up to you how simple or extravagant you want it. From the plastic laundry hamper to a milk crate material like you see in stores , something like that for under $3-8 plus material for shields around tank (say Plexiglas) or something for safety. Your dad may have a storage container in garage that would fit on top of the tank. Really anything could work and you could dress it up to look better.

Please remember the filter needs to be rated for 80 gallon for that 20 gallons of water for a turtle !

That old 10 gallon save it , may need it for a quarantine tank or could use it for a dry dock down the road.

You could also do this : make a Plexiglas shield around all the top rim about 10"-12" high ( so he can't climb over) and just raise the floating ramp top the very top if you can't find a laundry hamper to fit top rim. This may be the fastest and easiest. Measure twice and cut once then glue all done ! Have it sit in the top rim and that will hold it in place or you can secure it any way you want. You could make the sides and back wood and just the front Plexiglas.

I was trying to build him a new ATBA and cracked the glass bad on his tank. Trying to duct tape it up now but super pissed about it happening.
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Post Posted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:17 pm   Re: Making sure I have the best indoor enviorment for my tur

Wasn't a good idea trying to build on a glass tank. Take good measurements and build on a table you then can dry fit it on top of tank when good fit then glue it up. Haven't done too many DIY projects before , I understand.

Don't take this wrong ...if not good with DIY project's ask your dad or someone to help you. Any type of work safety first !!!

Look for used tanks or stock tanks may be better for you.

If you were able and good with DIY projects ... Me /I would get a piece of glass cut to correct size double pane not single pane and remove broken piece glue correctly let dry a few days and all good. But that's me... you may have to get someone else to do it for you ? That's your call.
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