Red Eared Slider Newbie

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aswirlystraw

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Hello Guys,

I've never had a pet before until four months ago when my friend gave me her turtle. So as you can imagine I have a lot of questions and concerns about the proper care for red eared sliders. First of all, Soup is about 8 in now and he loves to swim, however I don't know if I am taking care of him properly. I have him in a 80 gal. tank and he has a basking area that contains proper lighting. I clean 20% of the water every week and I do a full clean-up every month. Also, when the weather is nice and warm, Soup goes outside to get natural sunlight.

Now in terms of Soup's diet, I feed him Flukers and crickets. He also has a calcium bone in his tank and he seems to munch on it. Unfortunately, I have attempted to feed him romaine lettuce, but he won't touch at all. He has suffer from swollen eyes once, but I was able to treat it on time. Most recently, I've noticed that Soup is shredding scutes from his shell and his belly too. I don't know if that is normal, especially for his size. Please help!!! I am extremely concern for the well-being of my turtle and I really want him to be taken care of, so please help me out. Thanks! :)
 

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Yvonne G

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Hi Aswirleystraw:

Welcome to the Tortoise Forum!!

It sounds like you pretty much have a handle on how to care for Soup, however, his previous owner didn't do a good job with him. He is slightly deformed.

Is your light over the basking area?

See if you can find someone who sells water hyacinth. RES really love hyacinth. I also put in a quarter slice of zucchini every so often. And I have fed them un-frozen mixed veggies on occasion too. But, of course, they LOVE worms, etc.

Water turtles occasionally do shed the outer layer covering the scutes. Its normal. Just let them come off in their own time...don't try to pick at it.

May we know your name and where you are?
 

dmmj

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Welcome
I have several RES and enjoy them very much. Try not to feed lettuce to your RES they don't really eat fruits and or vegetables. At 8 inches he should start to eat plant matter though as part of his diet. I mainly feed mine grape leaves 2 or 3 times a week. I also feed them minnows, snails, grasshoppers, and the floating food sticks. The shedding is normal as he grows he sheds and grows bigger
Once again welcome
 

ascott

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Welcome....I LOVE THE NAME.....silly :p

My girls are about 5" and they are just now showing interest in dandelion greens, mulberry leaves, a touch of romaine....however, they are still primarily in their "give me meat" stage.

I agree about getting Soup access to calcium and lots of opportunity for natural sun light along with indoor artificial UV ray light....

Soups shell appears a bit flat (like a pancake :D ) maybe he did without calcium and sunlight during the tiny times of his life so his dome is not the norm....HOWEVER, he is adorable and a great little face...love their little faces/expressions.... totally kissable (all air kissing please LOL )....
 

Turtulas-Len

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Hello, I have some also, I Keep mine outside all year, I just started adding chicken gizzards to their diet,I have found the gizzards don't foul the water as some other meats do, as long as you don't over feed (with my crew that never happens) I cut to smaller pieces, rinse, then feed.They love it.Mine also eat yellow squash which is in season now. Len
 

aswirlystraw

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emysemys said:
Hi Aswirleystraw:

Welcome to the Tortoise Forum!!

It sounds like you pretty much have a handle on how to care for Soup, however, his previous owner didn't do a good job with him. He is slightly deformed.

Is your light over the basking area?

See if you can find someone who sells water hyacinth. RES really love hyacinth. I also put in a quarter slice of zucchini every so often. And I have fed them un-frozen mixed veggies on occasion too. But, of course, they LOVE worms, etc.

Water turtles occasionally do shed the outer layer covering the scutes. Its normal. Just let them come off in their own time...don't try to pick at it.

May we know your name and where you are?

Thank you so much for your help! I feel relief knowing that I'm doing ok taking care of Soup. He has been through a lot, when my friend gave him to me, she didn't know that he was an aquatic turtle. So for more than 5 years he was living in dry land and occasionally was given the chance to be in water. :(

My name is Rocio and I live in Tustin, California. Also as you can tell I ask too many questions :rolleyes:

Now when I try feeding him zucchini, should I feed him while he is on dry land or swimming? And, is it normal for RES to bask most of the time or are they supposed to be mainly swimming? Soup tends to go inside the water when he is looking for food or when night falls, otherwise he spends most of the day basking. Which brings me to my other question, Soup sleeps in the water, is that normal?

I am so happy that I found you guys, you are definitely helping me out!!!! Thanks. :D

One more thing, his light is over his basking area.

dmmj said:
Welcome
I have several RES and enjoy them very much. Try not to feed lettuce to your RES they don't really eat fruits and or vegetables. At 8 inches he should start to eat plant matter though as part of his diet. I mainly feed mine grape leaves 2 or 3 times a week. I also feed them minnows, snails, grasshoppers, and the floating food sticks. The shedding is normal as he grows he sheds and grows bigger
Once again welcome

So how big do male RES get? I thought that Soup was not going to grow more, that's why I was so concern about him shedding.

ascott said:
Welcome....I LOVE THE NAME.....silly :p

My girls are about 5" and they are just now showing interest in dandelion greens, mulberry leaves, a touch of romaine....however, they are still primarily in their "give me meat" stage.

I agree about getting Soup access to calcium and lots of opportunity for natural sun light along with indoor artificial UV ray light....

Soups shell appears a bit flat (like a pancake :D ) maybe he did without calcium and sunlight during the tiny times of his life so his dome is not the norm....HOWEVER, he is adorable and a great little face...love their little faces/expressions.... totally kissable (all air kissing please LOL )....

Thanks :) I totally agree with you, their faces are so ADORABLE!!! I love my little guy :tort:
 

ascott

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wow...surprised he is still alive ....

Red Ear Sliders are a water turtle...they require water to eat (they can get some down without water --as with your new guy---if their life depends on choking it down.. they do not have salivary glands as tortoise do, so they eat IN the water....

They need to swim, they are a water turtle...so I would say that in this case he is new to you and his prior care was very WRONG...I don't believe at all intentional but still very wrong...

How are you housing him now? they do sleep in the water, they swim, they eat in the water and they need to have access to a swimming area (prefer water temp of about 75 if they have access to basking spot) their basking spot needs to be in an area that will allow them to come out of the water to bask and dry out their shell from time to time...to avoid shell issues (in Soups case he was way to dry for way too long, but you are fixing this :D )

RES's get in size up to 14 inches...so plan for this ultimate size, and unlike fish, they will grow regardless of what size their environment is.... the young ones are meat eaters, you can get a dried feed for them (crickets/crusties/worms) as well as live nightcrawlers are way yummy for them...

You will get it in no time....main things, water is essential to RES's, the water depth should be deep enough to equal their length two times..but deeper is better with a spot to bask/dry out... feed in the water as this is required for them to eat properly.

I am glad you rescued Soup....you will do fine :p:p:p:p:p
 

68merc

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I love the name!
Like the posts before you sound like your doing the right thing.
 

african cake queen

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HI & WELCOME. RES ARE SO FUN. IS YOURS A MALE? LONG TAIL? MALES CAN GET BIG. I KNOW . I FREAKED OUT TOO , WHEN I FOUND HIS SHELL PIECES. ITS JUST GETTING BIGGER. CHECK OUT THIS SITE FOR CARE . MY FRANKIE LOVES EARTHWORMS! GOOD LUCK, LINDY PS. 80 GALLONS? LUCKY SLIDER!
 
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