Feeding and Nutrition :: New to RES - baby not eating

Turtle diets and eating habits discussed here.

Post Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:02 am   New to RES - baby not eating

We are new to Red Ear Sliders. I made the first mistake with impulse buying and listening to the woman at the festival who said they could live in the little container for up to a year with little care other than pellets. Since then I have been on your site continuously trying to learn more and more. Here's the story:

We purchased a red ear slider and a yellow ear (??) slider June 27. We were told they were 4 days old and would live in the little terrarium for up to a year. I knew that was not true, but thought they could live with our goldfish in a 20 gallon tank...not so. Once I got them home and started reading about the heat they require, I bought a 10 gallon with a floating dock and put them on the porch. I live in mid Alabama, so the temps right now stay about 90+ during the day. Water temps stay around 85-87 during the day. I have been using a regular 75 watt bulb at night for heat. Yesterday I bought a day heat light and night heat light as well as a filter.They get plenty of sunshine and I change the water every other day refilling about half full. I am putting Start Right (declorinator) from Wal-Mart and Turtle Fix from PetSmart with each water change. Oh...their tank is empty except a floating dock. We had gravel and large rocks on the bottom, but I took them all out after the water got so dirty with the tadpoles.

OK...now the problem. When we first put them on the porch in their own tank (away from goldfish) Slider (yellow) would not do much more than float in the water with his head out. I thought he was going to die from not eating. Groovy (RES) swam all over and ate baby pellets. I read on your site that they need protein so we got some tadpoles and put in there. Groovy (RES) chased and ate them happily. Then I had to change the water daily. I missed a day of changing the water and it became very dirty. After that I notice that Groovy had stopped eating and just basked all the time. If he swims he will stop mid swim, close his eyes, and just float...appearing dead. He will also do this while walking or climbing out of water...stop mid stride, close his eyes, and not move. After reading about eye infections, I bought turtle eye drops and have been using them. He keeps his eyes open a little longer now, but still sleeps almost all the time. I have put him in a separate container with food to see if he will eat or if I see poop and to hopefully prevent any infection from spreading to Slider (yellow). He does nothing but stay on the rock. I even tried to offer tadpoles again, but he was not interested and Slider (yellow) at them. I've offered baby turtle pellets, regular turtle pellets, shrimp, squash, English peas (inside, not hull), potatoes, tadpoles, cabbage, tiny piece of deer meat, and cucumber. He appeared interested in the peas and tried to eat a bite, but then fell asleep and stopped. He ignores it all. He has developed a white patch on his left cheek and doesn't like to open the inner lid on this eye very often (see picture). His shell does not feel soft except one piece under his belly on the left side under his front leg, but you can see in the picture that his bottom shell has not filled out like Slider's.

Slider (yellow) is now doing wonderfully. He swims, basks, and eats just about anything we put into the tank. Slider was the smaller of the two and now has grown to be the bigger. Groovy does not seem to have grown at all.

Thank you for any suggestions or advice.
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Groovy

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Slider
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Post Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:39 pm   Re: New to RES - baby not eating

That white patch is interesting, I've never seen that before. Is it on both sides? I'd make sure Slider is not eating too much. As for Groovy, have you taken him outside for some direct sunlight (and under supervision)? Can you hold the tadpole (or try a rosy red minnow) in front of his face and let it wiggle and let him eat it from your hand?
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Post Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:53 pm   Re: New to RES - baby not eating

The white spot is only in that place. I have put him in direct sunlight in a large clear plastic tote and put a screen over it to keep birds or cats out. Do I need to remove the screen? He just stays up on a rock or half on/half off the rock...does not swim or eat. I tried hand feeding him a dead tadpole, but not a live one.

I don't give Slider very much. Maybe 4-7 baby pellets pee day and occasionally 3-4 shrimp. I leave the veggies in for about an hour or two and then scoop them out. Oh...and they have cuttlebone pieces in the tank, as well.
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Post Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:57 pm   Re: New to RES - baby not eating

The white spot is only in that place. I have put him in direct sunlight in a large clear plastic tote and put a screen over it to keep birds or cats out. Do I need to remove the screen? He just stays up on a rock or half on/half off the rock...does not swim or eat. I tried hand feeding him a dead tadpole, but not a live one.

I don't give Slider very much. Maybe 4-7 baby pellets pee day and occasionally 3-4 shrimp. I leave the veggies in for about an hour or two and then scoop them out. Oh...and they have cuttlebone pieces in the tank, as well.
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Post Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:57 pm   Re: New to RES - baby not eating

Not sure if I was clear...I have put him in direct sunlight for most of the day for nearly a week.
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Post Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:11 pm   Re: New to RES - baby not eating

What are the temperatures? I would closely watch him when he's outside. Make sure the tank water is dechlorinated and if you are using a UVB light I would stop for a bit. I would also keep him in his own tank and feed him in there. Only offer the live tadpole or fish if he has his eyes open.

How long has it been since he's eaten?
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Post Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 5:45 pm   Re: New to RES - baby not eating

Temps in the tank and tote range from 80 and up depending on time of day. Tank water is declorinated...assuming that stuff works. I do not have a uvb light, yet, so no uvb. I have him separate from other turtle. I will have to go back to neighbor's pond to get tadpoles...Maybe tomorrow. The last time I know he ate was 1 1/2 to 2 weeks.
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Post Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 6:43 pm   Re: New to RES - baby not eating

You might try to feed some freeze dries shrimp. They smell really strong and might entice it to eat.
1 Male Mississippi Map/Mississippi
1 Female RES/Slidy.
1 DBT White Concentric Female/ Lucky
1 DBT Male/ Spots
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300 gallon indoor stock tank, FX6 & FX5 filters. Mega-Ray 100w UVB bulb.
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Post Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:38 pm   Re: New to RES - baby not eating

I have tried dried shrimp and krill.
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Post Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:39 am   Re: New to RES - baby not eating

Is he able to open his eyes?
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Post Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:48 am   Re: New to RES - baby not eating

Yes he can open them, but he just acts like he doesn't like to. However, this morning he opened them right away which is unusual the way he has been acting the last two weeks.
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Post Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:52 am   Re: New to RES - baby not eating

I might give him a soak in a solution of half pedialyte and half water. Leave in some crumbled up pellets.
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Post Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:01 am   Re: New to RES - baby not eating

Should I just put a little bit in the bottom of a holding tank or put him somewhere where he can climb out of it? He does not appear to like to be in the water much. He stays up on the rocks most of the time.
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Post Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 4:49 pm   Re: New to RES - baby not eating

He'll need to be in water to eat and drink.
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Post Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:49 pm   Re: New to RES - baby not eating

Is there a way to force feed him? I know it sounds rough, but I'm much more familiar with dogs. We've kept puppies alive and brought back to health through force feeding occassionally. I've tried the tadpoles in his tank, even had one wriggling in front of his face with no reaction.
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