Feeding and Nutrition :: Feeding and handling? What is the best way?

Turtle diets and eating habits discussed here.

Post Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:56 pm   Feeding and handling? What is the best way?

Hi there, I have had my new yellow-bellied slider Rio for about 3 weeks now. He seems to be skittish while I am around his tank still, which I'm sure will just take time for him to get used to me messing with the tank. However, I have read that feeding turtles in a separate container is very helpful in keeping the tank clean. I have tried to give him an adjusting period before starting to feed him like this and now want to begin feeding him outside of the tank in a tupperware for his size.

Will feeding him in a separate container be too stressful for him? The last time I took him out to clean his tank, he pouted for a couple of days, hiding from me, not letting me hand feed him while he was in the tank. I'm scared that maybe he will never get used to being picked up out of his tank and become traumatized and hate me forever... Will he get used to me handing him eventually?

Also, when taking a turtle out of the tank, is it best to just grab them from whichever area of the tank that they are in? Like I mentioned, he is still skittish and scared of me, so he runs away from "The Scary Hand" as I try to get a hold on him. He is usually underwater behind his vines (his safe zone). I don't want to compromise his little safe area where he thinks he's hiding, stressing him out even more...

I know that many are against taking a turtle out of the tank or handling them often, while many others promote trying to "tame" pet turtles and get them used to a lot of handling. I would /like/ to be able to handle my turtle somewhat, especially for feedings and checking his shell, but is it something that can be accomplished with a skittish baby? Thanks!
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:03 am   Re: Feeding and handling? What is the best way?

If he's still skittish, then I'd just feed him in his regular tank. Right now, I don't think feeding tanks are worth the effort, aside from feeding a messy snack/meal.

I don't think there is a preferred way to pick them out of the tank. When my RES were little, they'd swim to an open palm and and I can just lift them out. They're a bit more snippy now, so I don't risk it :)
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:49 am   Re: Feeding and handling? What is the best way?

Thanks, Steve! I'll leave handling to a minimum and gain his trust.
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 11:07 am   Re: Feeding and handling? What is the best way?

Just remember that they can be skittish but are also inquisitive. Is she/he using the turtle topper?
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 4:31 pm   Re: Feeding and handling? What is the best way?

When I offer him a shrimp treat, he will timidly approach my hand and take the one treat from me. However, once he's had the first piece, he won't go back towards my hand for another. He stays back and the little minnows in the tank surround my hand instead. I'm hoping one day he'll confidently swim up to my hand and know that I won't do anything other than give him something yummy to eat. I love to hand feed him and he will also only take one pellet form my hand. The rest, I have to put in the water floating near him because he stays back after the first.

Oh yes! Rio LOVES his topper! I bought him that PennPlax Turtle Topper and since my tank is placed higher up (Ikea dresser used as the tank stand), he gets some privacy in his topper. The surrounding lower walls of the topper are about at my 5' 3" height (non-see-through) and he can bask in peace without being able to see me pass by. :) I think this helps him de-stress and I think he feels safe up there while basking. He definitely basks A LOT, but he does spend much time in the water, so I don't think he's overdoing it.
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Post Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:23 pm   Re: Feeding and handling? What is the best way?

He will get used to you, but there will probably be a few times he's skittish. I'd reconsider putting the tank on any furniture that is made of particle board, especially anything larger than what you have now. 1 gallon of water = 8.3 pounds

Great to hear he enjoys the topper!
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