One Turtle Biting the Other\'s Leg!!

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Hi All,

This is my first post here, but I\'ve gotten a lot of useful information on this board and was hoping someone could give me some advise with my 2 RES.

First off, I\'ve never owned a pet before, let alone a turtle. However, I\'ve done alot of research on caring for my turtles since I aquired them from a co-worker. I\'ve named them Fred and George, but could be Fredrick and Georgina for all I know ... can\'t tell if they\'re male or female yet. Anyway, I house them in a 10 gal. tank that\'s about 3/4 of the way full with only a basking rock in the tank. I also have a basking light and a UVA/UVB light to act as their source of sunlight. I have a submersible filter (Duetto 50) and I change 1/2 the water every few days and a complete water changeout once a week. And I feed them in a seperate tub.

When I got my turtles, they were a little bigger then the size for a quarter, this was 5 months ago. Now, their shells are about 4 inches big, but one of them is slightly larger then then the other ... that\'s Fred (a.k.a. Chubs). Anyway, ever since I\'ve had them, one of their activities has been to swim around the tank chasing after one another. At first, they were very playful, but recently I have noticed the Fred (aka Chubs) has become very agressive and has started biting George\'s hind legs. Today, when I came home from work I noticed that Fred was excessively agressive and had frightened George up onto the basking rock. After observing them for a little while longer, I noticed that George\'s pinky nail/toe on one of his hind legs was bitten off. I immediatly seperated the two into seperate tanks to prevent further fighting. My question is, Is there something wrong with Fred? Do RES tend to have a temper? Is it that Fred is bored and needs more play things in the water like fish or plants to bite? Or, is it a case of territory and space (i.e. do I need a larger tank or keep them seperated from now on?

Any advice, suggestion, or comments will be greatly appreciated.


Gita :-)
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Posts: 97
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2003 3:40 pm

definitely sounds like a territorial issue. A 10 gallon tank for 2 four inch turtles is WAY too small.
You will need at least a 40 gallon tank if not bigger since they will keep growing. The more space the less chance there will be aggression in the tank.
You should also treat the injured foot. Put some Neosporin on it and let it dry before putting George back in his tank. Watch for any signs of activity change.. this could mean infection.

Thanks for the info. I\'ve been reading earlier posts of people who\'ve had similar problems and the general consensus is the same as you.

I guess I need to invest in a bigger tank ... :-)

Can\'t believe how much money these little guys suck up ... but it\'s all worth it :-)
Level 2
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Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2003 3:13 pm

Just a little suggestion for a much larger tank until you can invest in a fancier glass tank which are quite quite expensive.... Rubbermaid makes large and deep storage bins which are wonderful for this type situation. They can be purchased at any Wal-mart or such type store.... This is what I am keeping my 3 little sliders in until I save enough to get something nicer in the future. The bins are inexpensive for a quick and roomy home for your little babies that are fussing!

Thanks you soo much for the suggestion!!!
I\'ve been looking for larger tanks and it\'s been an eye opening experience. I think I will get the rubbermaid tub. That\'ll save me A LOT of cash right now. :-)

Thanks again ...

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