Water amount and drowning

Discussions about turtles.
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Queens78322
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hello,
i have had a RES for about 11 years. i have always kept him in a small tank filled with water up to its shell. there is a rock in the tank(for basking) but no light or filter.
i found this AMAZING site, and realized i was doing everything wrong. i built a better basking area, and put much, much more water. But when the turtle is in the water, he just sits on the bottom of the tank, not moving much.
before i added the extra water, he spent most of his time sitting in the water, with his head popped out(for air, i assume)
i took most of the water out again because i am afraid that he will drown if i leave it full over night.
when hes just sitting on the bottom of the tank under water, is he holding his breath, and will he know when he needs oxygen? sorry, but im cautious because ive had a \'basic\' set up for 11 years.
deesygirl
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Think of it this way. What would happen if you were confined to a bed for 11 years. Your muscles would start turning to mush. How about if you were only given the bed, no blankets, no pillow, no TV, no light and above all no heat? Yes, you might survive, most people would not, but what about your quality of life. Many animals are able to survive despite incredible odds. Personaly, I think your turtle is one tough critter.

Any change that you undertake with him will have to be done slowly. If you have kept him in shallow water for that long it will be like a whole new world for him. I would add little more water ever other day or so.

Turtles are in deep water in their natural habitat. They know when they need to come up for air. Turtles like to swim and it is exercise for them. It is really neat watching them swim and play in the water. You might find yourself enjoying his companionship more.

Just out of curiosity, what do you feed him?
Queens78322
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Thanks for replying,
I like your idea of adding a little water each day to get \"him\" used to it. I just got a bit nervous when I added water since he just sat on the bottom not swimming around. I am going to take your advice and try to build him a better home.

I was going to buy another RES to keep him company, but since he is old and all, I wouldn\'t want to take the risk of having them fight or anything. Also, I don\'t want them mating because I couldn\'t take care of the eggs, and even if I could, I couldn\'t take care of more turtles.

I feed him ReptoMin Floating Turtle Pellets usually. I also feed him vegetables once in awhile. I used to feed him feeder fish, but not as much anymore. Even though he is old, he will still enjoy them, just not as much, right?

I will try to get some photos up.
Thank you for your time.
deesygirl
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He is not really that old. He is about middle aged. :) RES can live up to 25 years. I would like to see some pics, when you get them.
Queens78322
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I just got pics today. I almost hesitate to show you, because of my embaressing tank setup. Since he has been VERY VERY agressive lately, I want to get him to settle down before i risk agitating him more. But anyway, here is the link.
http://queens78322.tripod.com/turtle.html
I will do some HTML and build a site in a few dyas...just wanted to get a few pics up. Sorry about the quality of the photos. I only have one of those cheap digital cameras, but its better then nothing
l8or g8or
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ok, we need to get your tank set up properly. I can\'t imagine having to live like that for all these years. He must be bored out of his little turtle mind!! You have come to the right place, we will work with you and help you out! Can you afford a bigger tank? Because if you can\'t, you can always go with a big rubbermaid container which is around $15 - $20. Then you need to put more water in there. Get a heater and get that water up to around 76 - 78 degrees. The heater should be a submersible heater, that is pre-set, so there is no guessing. You need a ceramic light fixture & a basking light so he can crawl under it and sun himself. Once you get all this set up, you will be amazed at how much more enjoyable he is to watch.

link to heater:

http://www.petsmart.com/products/product_754.shtml

link to basking light:

http://www.petsmart.com/reptile%5F%5F%5 ... 3781.shtml

link to light fixture:

http://www.petsmart.com/reptile%5F%5F%5 ... 3076.shtml

This is just to give you ideas of what you need.
Queens78322
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Yes, I feel bad for having him live like this for so long. When I found him when I was around 5, the guy at the pet store told us just to put him in a tank with a rock for basking. Since I\'ve down this for so long, I assumed it was normal up untill recently. A friend of mine had two RESs in a big fancy tank and all...make a long story short, they were dead in a few months, and ironicly, mine survived with no heater filter, etc.
I appreciate that help that you and the rest of this great site is giving me. I could afford a bigger tank, but I dont know about a heater and filter. What size tank would he reccomend? He is about 7 inches, so an 80 gallon tank would be big enough, right?(Although i don\'t know where I could put it, lol)
I tried to make my current tank nicer, but he just sat on the bottom not moving much, so I didn\'t want to risk him drowning. Why did he not swim around at all?
Would I really need a heater and light? He has never had one before, so should I risk messing up what is normal to him?
Also, since he has been VERY aggressive lately, I\'m cautious about changing anything to much since I\'m sure it would agitate him at first.
Also, if I get a huge tank, how would I clean it? With the tank I have now, I just carry it into the bathtub and rinse it out....I couldn\'t carry around an 80+ gallon tank, lol
Thank you...I will check into getting a bigger tank.
InvisableMarker
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80 gallons is big enough, he propably lived because he was an adult when you got him abby turtles arn\'t as durable, as for siting at the bottem of the tank, i don\'t thinkhe\'ll drown adult turtles can hold there breath a couple hours i believe and he knows when he needs to breath, like stated before he proably isn\'t used to swimming and need to build some muscles so just give him some quiet time and water not to deep, or some rocks under the water he can sit on and easly reach the surface, when i got my baby res from China Town and put him in deeper water he did the same thing but he loves to swim around and play now, your little guy proably just needs sometime, but i would check him for soft shell if he didn\'t have a light
Queens78322
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Okay, thanks...I\'ll try deeper water again. He doesn\'t have soft shell or anything like that. He is perfectly healthy externally, and since I\'ve had him so long, internal damage would be apparant by now.
Thanks once again.
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