New turtles need some help!! ASAP

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Alex
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Hi
I\'m new here and new to having turtles! I have two adult red eared slidders that were given to me by some people who didn\'t want them anymore, i don\'t know why ..lol.. since i got them i put them in the biggest tank i could get, its about 33 Gallons, yea i know...small for their size...

The people who had them before didn\'t take very good care of them, in the tank they were in they couldn\'t stand side by side...It was about 20 gallons...In the new tank they can.

I was wondering if anyone had some setups or plans of how i could make their area bigger, by maybe adding on or making a place where they could climb up to that above the tank or something...

Their place to bask is a little crappy platform that only one can barely fit on...and one is fat and rarely gets up on it as the skinnier, faster turtle beats him to it. Anyone have any ideas or pictures of setups or anything to give me?!

Now onto their health issues...

I noticed that the smaller turtle has reddish skin...is this a bad thing?

The bigger one is very fat...how can i help him...be usually doesn\'t eat half of what the smaller one eats...How can i help her?

The bigger one\'s shell is pretty cracked around the edges of each \"section\" (know what i mean...lol) I put vita shell on it every couple of days...it seems to be helping, is their any thing else i should do?

Wow...thats alot of questions...sorry if I\'m blabbering on...lol...I\'d really like if you guys could help me out! Thanks for you time!
mariza
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It was kind of you to take those unwanted turtles. You need to do some reading on their care, for starters try http://www.chelonia.org/Articles/trachemyscare.htm and many of the articles at www.austinsturtlepage.com

They need a (much) bigger tank/container (allow 10 inches of tank per inch of shell length, and add the two lengths of your turtles together to see what they ideally should have). Besides being healthier for them, it will give you more options for what you can put in it. Consider something like a stock tank or preformed pond--cheaper and easier to clean than a tank. You can increase their swimming area in any container they\'re in by either making a suspended platform or getting something like corkbark (wedge it into the sides of the container or use suction cups to make it stationary). Some people also have used plastic stepping stools with pieces of slate on top for basking, which also gives them room underneath to swim. Other ideas for basking areas are at http://www.atphabitats.com/The%20Basking%20Spot.htm

Health Issues--When you say reddish skin, exactly how red is it? Does any part of the shell, especially the underside, have reddish spots? Does the turtle eat normally, does it bask, is it active? Reddish skin can be a symptom of secepticemia (blood poisioning), but not always. If your turtle is lethargic and not eating well, I\'d take him to a herp vet. You really need to be more specific or post a pic to give a better idea of his condition...

You can help the fat turtle by getting that bigger container so s/he can get more exercise. Adult turtles need to be fed food like pellets every other day, each of them an amount equal to what would fit into their head (not including the neck). RES become more omnivorous as they age, and since yours are adults, they should be consuming a lot of plant matter. See http://www.turtlepuddle.org/health/turtlefood.html for ideas on what to give. Perhaps http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Articl ... woften.htm would give you some info as well.

If your turtles were not cared for well, it\'s not surprising that there are shell problems. They need to be kept in clean water (get a filter--a canister is best-- rated for at least 3X the size of the container they\'re in) with ample opportunity to bask (both at the same time) under correct lighting--both a UVB light (have it positioned no more than 12 inches from them when they\'re basking)and a heat light to keep the basking area somewhere between 85-89F (you can even use a regular light bulb). Water temp should be around 76F for adults, get a submersible water heater if necessary.

I would not use the Vita Shell for a damaged shell (I wouldn\'t use it, period). It\'s likely to seal in any bacteria, and you want the shell to get air so it can heal. Getting a proper set-up and feeding your turtles a varied balanced diet would do more to help the shell.
Alex
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Thanks for your quick reply! This seems to be a helpful forum!

The tank I have is the biggest I can afford, now they have about twice the space that their original owners kept them in for 7+ years. What is a stock tank? What can I put in the bottom of thier tank, there was always nothing, but I want to put in some aquarium pebbles or something... I\'ll check the website you gave for idea\'s.

Only his skin is red, well it has a pinkish look to it. He eats normally, is very active and he basks alot.

The only thing besides the occasional bug I\'ve been feeding them is pellets, Every other day just like you said. SO i should add something more to thier diet?

I have the right filter, its a Fluval 4- something, and i know that its good for the tank it does okay and i clean it out evry week when I clean out the water. I have had fish tanks all my life and know a thing or two about the filters. The temp is usually around 72 to 78 in the water... the only lights on the tank are the aquaium lights it came with (two 25 watt bulbs).

Thanks!
Alex
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I am thinking of making a basking area, like the one at http://www.atphabitats.com/The%20Basking%20Spot.htm
Look at #13 The Tank Top PLatform. Picture this same thing except not directly on top of my tank, off to the side on a separate shelf, what do you think? I really wanna know what I can put inn tank...the only things in it now are the platform and filter?!
bonnie_lynn2001
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for my res i got him a turtle dock
you can order it on line or at a petstore
they come in small med. and large they are great and save space and give a large basking area
zoo med makes them
mariza
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For other things in the tank, you could have some river rocks (bigger than the size of your turtle\'s head so he won\'t be tempted to eat them) and plastic plants. (I have both in my turtle\'s container, and he spends a lot of time just moving them around.)
Last edited by mariza on Tue Jul 13, 2004 7:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
shelngav
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You say you have 2 lights that came with the tank? This is not sufficient. You MUST replace the tube with a UVB tube of 3-5%. This is necessary for the turtles to absorb the calcium and prevent their shells and bones from becoming soft. The basking light needs to be warm enough to heat the basking area 8-10 degrees warmer than the water so a regular bulb will do, not fluorscent. I found as far as river rock, as they grow the rocks they couldn\'t fit in their mouth before now can and mine has eaten several that are too big to pass. I have since removed all rock and it is easier to clean this way. I have large rocks in the tank, but nothing less than the size of my fist. As far as food, I would try also floating romaine lettuce (not iceberg) and other veggies to give a good variety. You will find they have their own sense of what they like. This changes sometimes too, what mine wouldn\'t eat before he will now. There are some you should stay away from and I believe they are mentioned if you check out the links above for newbies and care sheets. If you find the skinny one is not getting as much food because the other one gets it first, then I suggest you feed them seperately, but they have to eat in water so keep the one you are feeding in the tank or in a seperate feeding tank. Hope this helps!
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