my RES won\'t leave the water

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Shelby
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I\'ve had Shelby (I know it\'s a corny name but I couldn\'t help myself!) for 2 1/2 weeks. He\'s (she\'s?) a RES hatchling bought at our local petstore. Shelby is always hungry, lets me handfeed him (pellets, spinach, worms, apples), he likes to sleep right beside the pump, crawls around on my hand when i pick him up and seems generally happy. However, he will not leave the water. I have two baskingspots set up in his tank, one is a flat rock on top of an upside down betta tank, the other a rock also; I built a rockformation with little hideyholes for him (carefully constructed so none of the rocks can fall on him). I have yet to see him come out of the water to bask, not even when I bring him outside in his outdoor \"tank\". (a plastic container with gravel on the bottom and a large flat rock for basking. Is this normal behaviour? Should I worry about soft shell disease? Should I change his tank setup? Grateful for any info!
The Turtle Hunter
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the first question i must ask is do you have a basking lamp? If you do, is the path up to the top of the rock easily climbable? If not, the turtle will just stay in the water unless its too cold. Turtles are very lazy, and if the water temp is about the same as the basking area, then he wont get out of the water, even though he should. Oh, and they are bottomless pits, so dont feed him too much even though he might like you to. :)
Shelby
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The Turtle Hunter wrote:
the first question i must ask is do you have a basking lamp? If you do, is the path up to the top of the rock easily climbable? If not, the turtle will just stay in the water unless its too cold. Turtles are very lazy, and if the water temp is about the same as the basking area, then he wont get out of the water, even though he should. Oh, and they are bottomless pits, so dont feed him too much even though he might like you to. :)
Shelby
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That did it! I put a basking lamp in and now he gets up on his rock all the time! He is very quick to return to the water though if someone enters the room :). As for the feeding, how much is too much? I mean, you feed a human baby whenever it\'s hungry and he\'s a baby too!? I\'ve checked several websites for info and some say once a day, some say three times a day, some say five. Very confusing. I\'ve been feeding him 2-3 sticks twice day with an occasional earthworm as a treat (those times I don\'t give him sticks) and a little piece of romaine or spinach to snack on. Is this enough or too much?
evanesence_chic
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no shelby isnt a corny name; its my name :) anyway, putting in a basking lamp was a good idea just make sure that there is a spot where no water hits and is completely dry.
l8or g8or
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You should steer clear of spinich. Try romaine or red leaf lettuce. No Iceburg lettuce or broccli either. Collard, turnip & dandelion greens are good for them also.
Shelby
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Thanks for the tip, I won\'t give him spinach again. I gave him some tadpoles today from our neighbours pond and he just loved those! He had a bit of trouble catching them, I was rolling on the floor laughing at one point; one of the tadpoles was hiding under his belly!
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