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Anyone Else have pet turtles?

May 15th, 2001, 02:49 PM
Just wondering if anyone else out there had pet turtles? I just "inherited" a pair of 15 year-old female red-ear sliders....I was looking for any words of wisdom anyone may want to offer....

May 27th, 2001, 05:57 PM
well picses, hi there. i raised 6 turtles for about 5 years. they were given to me when they were about the size of small apples. they were all red eared sliders that were given up by previous owners and this vet had been taking them in. since i showed interest in turtles he gave them to me to take care of. basically i had them in a big aquarium, i believe about 60 gallons. i used a special light on top to give them healthy light, since they need sunlight and proper nutrition to have healthy shells. this light was like a dark blue light type thing, was really cool looking at night, but anyway just make sure you have a light system for them to stay healthy. they like to eat cray fish, minnows, worms, dead house flies, grasshoppers, stuff like that. and its important thet they eat a portion of greens too, so i would feed them turtle food as well, because this gave them the greens they needed, but i would also put real greens in to like a dandelion leave hear and there. they are grazers and like to eat. they will eat constantly, but remember the more they eat the more they poop. this tends to be a big problem, its important to have a good finlter system and this must be cleaned often. i used to clena it every week, otherwise it will smell. you can also winterize turtles and keep them in a garage fridge for the winter to give them a more natural cycle and to give yourself a break, but i never did this and my turtles were still happy and healthy. you will also need to give them a spot to climb up out of the water so that they can have a break from swimming and to sun themselves under the light. its really neat how they climb ontop of each other and settle or to watch them glide thru the water with the greatest of eaze. i enjoyed them emmensly as did guests that came to my house to see the turtles. children are amased by their antics in the water. i did get tired of them and brought them to a local supervised insoor pond that was being taken care of by the veterinarian that gave me the turtles. he had told me if and when i get tired of them i could do that. i would suggest to obtain a book on raising turtles or collect info from the net and keep it for refference. enjoy your turtles. also since i had small children at the time, i always made them wash their hands when they helped me clean the water and do water exchanges. enjoy and let me know how things go with your turtles.

June 22nd, 2001, 11:43 AM
Thanks for your advice. I picked up a light to hang over their tank a little while ago (thank goodness for lawn sales!). They seem happy in the tank, but would much rather run around the floor. Thanks for the advice about what kinds of foods to try, the girl that gave them to me said only give them pellet food, but I agree that variety is better! I'm moving soon, and I think I'm going to build them an indoor pond when I do.
Thanks again!

April 1st, 2007, 05:51 PM
If anyone picks up this thread, I have a pair of 20 year old red sliders and have had this breed of turtle since I was a little girl, which means over 30 years.
I have had 8 of them in all and learned something very valuable over the years, the most useful from an exotic reptile specialist I met when I purchased my eldest pair.

These turtles have a strong tendency to get colds even though they aren't as temperature-sensitive as fish. They also become very easily vitamin deficient. He not ony suggested a food typically known as "trout chow", rather than the traditional turtle food, but said to stay away from red meats which we had originally been told to feed our turtles. We also feed them grasshoppers in the summer and buy crickets for them in the winter. In addition, they love fresh water snails and brine shrimp (live). Brine shrimp are actually very easy to "cultivate" at home.

Back to the cold issue. If a baby slider begins to get sick it will get cloudy eyes and even discharge from the nostrils. Once it's nostrils begin to weep the turtle is in big trouble because it's lungs are becoming filled with fluid and pneumonia is highly likely. If your turtle ever gets cloudy eyes, make a batch of very strong black tea. No herbal stuff. Let the tea cool until it is about 76-78 degrees....just a little warmer than room temp. Completely immerse the turtle in it for several hours,adding warm or changing out the tea to keep the turtle warm. We used to put the containers we used for this purpose on a heating pad and monitored the temperature to ensure it didn't get too warm or too cold. Repeat this each day until the turtle's eyes clear and he/she starts acting "normal" again. The properties of the tea will heal the turtle. We've shared this advice with tons of turtle owners and pet stores who have been able to turn imminent death into long-term survival.

The other condition commonly seen in sliders is "soft shell" which is caused in part by vitamin deficiency and lack of time out of the water. A slider must be able to come out of the water to "sun" itself and dry its shell. UV lights are good but normal direct sun is best. A proper diet ensures lots of vities. If your turtle's shell feels soft it may need a vitamin supplement that can be given by injection. After this, adequate time in the sun to dry and a diet high in vitamin D will return the shell to normal. Finally, make sure your turtle has sufficient calcium in the diet.

Insufficient Vit. D3 or calcium over time can cause soft shell & skeletal disfigurement (Metabolic Bone Disease). One of our turtles had soft shell so bad when we got him that when it eventually hardened, it was deformed. The imbalance now makes it hard for him to surface for air so we keep the water level low to help him. He'd never survive in a pond.

April 1st, 2007, 05:56 PM
the turtle is... the more likely you'll need the tea at least once. Ours were all purchased when they were the size of a quarter...just babies.

Also, house flies are not particularly safe for turtles to eat especially if anyone has been using sprays. Don't make the mistake of feeding your turtle live insects from in your home if anyone has been using repellants. It may not hurt the fly but can kill the turtle.

And don't quote me on this but many outdoor plants are toxic to turtles. Check with a qualified homeopath before feeding just any old greens.