baby RES won\'t eat

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the other week while in florida i bought a baby red ear slider. it came with a care sheet, food, and about a 2 gallon terrarium to get started. he is fairly active. he swims a lot when i am not around, when i take him out he runs around, but he doesn\'t eat. The guy i bought him from said he was only a few days old which was confirmed by the shell tooth. on the drive home from florida (i live in NJ) he tried to bury himself in the aquarium rocks (we drained most of the water) and he prematurely lost his shell tooth. it\'s been almost 2 weeks since I bought him and he hasn\'t eaten anything. he tries to burrow in the aquarium rocks. I think the water might be too cold. We keep our house at about 72 degrees. He has a UVB light on him and the water feels about room temperature. any ideas?

I plan on moving Jack (my RES) into a 75+ gallon tank my dad was given that he let our Koi live in when they were babies... i figure one side could be modified to have a beach and the water heater could be kept at like 78-80 and then the basking light would keep his beach toasty. Any ideas?

I am feeding him purina turtle chow? its a high protein, high fiber, low fat turtle pellet.

thanks,
keith
Emmiez
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i also bought my baby RES in FL. since i live here. she also had her egg tooth but fell off 3 days after i bought her. she doesnt eat anything but chicken. so now shes barely holding on. i suggest u keep your turtle warmer and try to hand feed her. but also keep checking for any signs of illness because mine didnt look to healthy when i bought her. Good Luck!
Guest

luckily he was really healthy looking
he swims and runs about... he just won\'t eat

but i did some reading... and his behavior looks like he is trying to hibernate...
and i assume the water is too cold... so tomorrow i am going to get a heating pad and see if that cheers him up
shai631
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I\'ve had my 2 RES turts for almost 2 years now, and I remember when they were babies, I was REALLY nervous and even thought they might die of hunger because they spent about 2 1/2 weeks in the tank not eating a thing. Every morning I would put in a few pellets, and every afternoon the pellets would still be there when I would get home. One day though, I came home to find a few bite marks on a few of the pellets.

I think that turtles take a few weeks to grow accustomed to their new environment. I also once read a book that said that they eat inside of their eggs so when they hatch, they don\'t need food for weeks.

I wouldn\'t feed them chicken because that\'s way too fatty for the turtles to live off of. I would try sticking to the pellets and maybe adding some crickets, fish, or other forms of nutrition to the RES\'s diet.

Hope this post helps :)
Guest

Well... today i moved captain jack into his new home...

for the time being it\'s a 10 gallon tank i had lying around the house. it has one of those small cartridge filters, but for 4 gallons of water and a baby turtle should suffice. i put a 25w submersible heater in it, and the temperature is right now around 76-78. he has a beach rock with a basking lamp in the hood, a daylight lamp in the hood, and a separate clamp UVB lamp. i put a few feeder fish in there to keep him company and some fake plants that he really likes to hide in and hold onto when he is bobbing for air. he is really happy. right now he is swimming around and trying to get situated in his new home.

here are some pictures:
http://68.44.32.18/jack/jack.jpg
http://68.44.32.18/jack/oldhome.jpg
http://68.44.32.18/jack/newhome.jpg

in the last one you can see him swimming towards the back of the tank.
Emmiez
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i wouldnt put fake plants because your RES will chomp on them eventually. and as for the water heater. its not needed because its easier for your baby RES to die. or thats what the vet told me.
Guest

without the heater the water is below 70 degrees.
Emmiez
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i use a basking light and the temp is always around 78-80F.
mariza
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Emmiez, you need a new vet. Keith, you`re doing fine. Babies are sensitive to heat and need it more than grown turtles (78-80 degrees is good). Keep the heater. Plastic plants are fine--a turtle will readily distinguish between real food and plastic (no scent); I maybe would not have any with really tiny leaves/needles, but they make good resting/hiding places for babies. BTW, what`s the basking area temp. (about 8-10 degrees higher than the water is good--it gives a turtle an incentive to bask.
mariza
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Also, about the eating. I think a little boiled white chicken meat is ok to try to get a turtle eating (a bit of well-rinsed sardine packed in water is OK too), but pellets offer the most balanced nutrition for hatchlings. If your turtle doesn`t like the ones you`re giving him, try Reptomin Baby (for small turtles), or break up regular Reptomin; ZooMeds make a pellet for small turtles as well. You could soften some of the pellet, mix it with some chopped chicken or sardine and hand feed it to your turtle. Feeding in a separate container of water (have the water the same temp. as the tank or a tad warmer)would be good to keep your tank cleaner.

Emmiez, if you rely on a basking light to warm the water, what do you do at night to keep the water warm? You should be shutting lights off at night to let your turtle sleep, and I wonder how the water can be staying at a steady temp. throughout the night. With your turtle staying in cold water like that, it`s likely to get a respiratory infection.
Guest

no the plant leaves are fairly large.
and the other one is grass.

i turn off his day lamps and the basking lamp at night and the heater keeps it steady around 78-80...
he is really enjoying his new home. i saw him on the rock basking this morning...
he likes climbing up the plants, and i think he may have eaten some pellets just now.

his new thing is floating above the filter and playing in the bubbles. he swims above the bubbles and stretches out his arms and legs and just kinda floats there.
last night the feeder fish were checking him out... and he sat there looking at me then he looked over at the fish and swim into them... he is really enjoying himself now.

thanks for all your help.
TurtleSue13
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Wow! nice home for a baby RES. you should try different foods with him. Mine eats a variety of foods such as guppies,water plants, reptile sticks, cooked hotdogs, shrimp pellets, nutrafin turtle pellets,and wen they were babies they loved tortoise dry food veggie pellets.also try romaine lettuce. after u find something she likes you can work her into more healthy foods knowing she had other foos to fall back on.
mariza
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Hotdogs are not good for your turtles--too fatty and have a lot of additives in them. (They`re not good for people either.)
keithx
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he eats the pellets now...

i give him a few in the morning...
and if he is begging in the afternoon i
will give him a few more...

he also likes the zoo med turtle treats (krill).
mariza
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So, Capt. Jack is starting to eat? That`s good. A guide for portion size that a lot of people follow is to feed as much as will fit into the head, not including the neck. Hatchlings (up to a year) should be fed daily, older turtles every other day. If you feed him 2x a day, give him half a head each time. My turtle loves Zoo Meds Turtle Treat too, but only give it to him occasionally--it`s really high in protein and fat compared to pellets. Too much protein is not good.
shai631
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Glad to hear your turt\'s adjusting Keith!
keithx
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yesterday jack was extremely hungry.

i fed him 3 pellets in the morning and afternoon. when i got back home at around 10pm, he was begging for more. so i gave him a 2 of the little krills and 2 pellets, which he ate right up, then i turned off his lights. this morning i woke up and turned his lights on, hopped in the shower, and then i opened his tank to feed him. (it\'s our morning routine). I got really nervous at first, I saw him eating what looked like paper (maybe a label from the hood or something i didn\'t notice). Then I looked closer and counted the feeder fish I had in there to keep him company. I put 6 in there, they kept him company and ate his crumbs, and now there are only 4, huddled together and scared. He is only a month old and just about 2\" head to tail. So overnight he ate 2 fish! Last night one of his pellets floated behind the filter and he let me reach in and push it to him. Usually he gets nervous if i reach in when he is trying to eat. I think he is getting very comfortable in his home.

-k
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