Red Eared Sliders... Help!

Diamondbacks4Life

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Most experienced keepers do not go with the one inch for every turtle. Its just a good rule to get people out of keeping them in smaller tanks. As it starts to become unreasonable with larger tanks. A larger tank 75+ can easily keep two larger res.
 

TortsNTurtles

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Most experienced keepers do not go with the one inch for every turtle. Its just a good rule to get people out of keeping them in smaller tanks. As it starts to become unreasonable with larger tanks. A larger tank 75+ can easily keep two larger res.

That is good to know does that mean one adult female could live in a 55 gallon tank?
 

Diamondbacks4Life

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That is good to know does that mean one adult female could live in a 55 gallon tank?
No, i feel 75 would be the minimum for a large female. Then getting into the really large res that push past 8.5 inches still gonna have to go with a bigger setup but those can house more then one.
 

TortsNTurtles

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No, i feel 75 would be the minimum for a large female. Then getting into the really large res that push past 8.5 inches still gonna have to go with a bigger setup but those can house more then one.

How large of a set up would you say for a RES larger than 8.5 inches? Do they commonly get larger than 8.5 inches in captivity? The reason I am asking is I would rather go straight to the size tank I need verses continually getting a larger tank whether its indoor or outdoor.
 

carolc

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No, i feel 75 would be the minimum for a large female. Then getting into the really large res that push past 8.5 inches still gonna have to go with a bigger setup but those can house more then one.
Is there a way to determine how big they will get? My girls are 4.5 and 5, and they're only 3 years old.
 

carolc

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maybe this can help...

Thank you for posting this. Unfortunately, I think Tohmahto has shell rot. I already knew she had pretty severe pyramiding, but I'm glad to know what the white spots are. Should I take them to a vet? Is it contagious, should I seperate the girls?
 
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i think you should keep tohmahto in a dry separate compartment....somewhre where she has the right temperature...maybe put some iodine (betadine on the afected areas)
 
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but white spots on the shell can be algae or fungy, maybe it's not shellrot...is she eating, swiming, doing normal stuff or just sitig in a corner?
 

tglazie

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I would consider a rubbermaid 300 gallon stock tank to be the ideal enclosure for a large female red ear. To answer questions about how big female red ears can get, the answer is unbelievably friggin huge. Last summer, my brother and I pulled a giant girl out of a spillway near Woodlawn Lake. She was too big to put in our home depot bucket, and though I didn't have a tape measure with me at the time, I'm certain that she was well past sixteen inches total length. I had to pull four fish hooks out of the poor girls mouth with a pair of needle nosed pliers, and she was trying to take a piece out of me the entire time. Once we got her fish hook free, I took her back home to live in a kiddie pool I had set up to make sure she didn't come down with an infection. Living near Woodlawn and the numerous duck feeding stations, she was accustomed to mazuri koi food, so once she'd gained some weight and started to heal up, my brother and I took her back to the lake for release. Red ears are awesome pets, and it really is a shame that they're so often the recipients of lousy care. People don't realize that that ten dollar little green guy in a flea market fish bowl is going to require close to a thousand dollars worth of durable aquatic maintenance equipment to keep him healthy over his surprisingly long thirty year lifespan. This isn't a cat or dog here, where you can grow up with him/her and have his/her death mark a rite of passage into adulthood. No, this is a turtle. If you do your job, he could outlive your parents.

http://www.zoro.com/i/G1373872/?utm...hopping_Feed&gclid=CKqAo6evusMCFQotaQodHSkAyQ

T.G.
 

TortsNTurtles

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Wow, that is a big turtle. I enjoyed the rescue that is awesome you helped the poor girl out. They are expensive to set up but once they are set up right they are easy to care for so the expense is worth it especially when you are looking at 30 or so years. I agree its a shame people don't realize how big they get. I think they need a large tank too.
 

carolc

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Update on the turtle front... Tomato and Tohmahto have an appointment with the vet tomorrow morning. $75 per turtle, and if it is indeed shell rot, $25-$50 per turtle for medicine, AND I would have to learn how to give shots to turtles! Yeesh! I give shots to horses all the time, but the thought of giving one to a turtle makes me cringe! Anyone have suggestions for what I should ask the vet while I'm there?
 

carolc

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but white spots on the shell can be algae or fungy, maybe it's not shellrot...is she eating, swiming, doing normal stuff or just sitig in a corner?
I had to deal with fungus on a7 yr old tiger oscar, and I'm not seeing any cottony, fluffy type of substance. The shell is hard, no soft spots from what I can tell, which is why I question if it's shell rot. My other thought is that it's mineral deposits from all of its years in unfiltered, untreated water? The red on her "ears" is very pale, almost pink hopefully that's natural and not a sign of stress or something. I also noticed some white spots on Tomato's belly today. :-/
Tohmahto isn't quite as crazily active as Tomato, but she definitely swims around a lot, eats, begs for food and unlike Tomato, occasionally pulls herself out of the water onto her basking rock.
 

carolc

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I would consider a rubbermaid 300 gallon stock tank to be the ideal enclosure for a large female red ear. To answer questions about how big female red ears can get, the answer is unbelievably friggin huge. Last summer, my brother and I pulled a giant girl out of a spillway near Woodlawn Lake. She was too big to put in our home depot bucket, and though I didn't have a tape measure with me at the time, I'm certain that she was well past sixteen inches total length. I had to pull four fish hooks out of the poor girls mouth with a pair of needle nosed pliers, and she was trying to take a piece out of me the entire time. Once we got her fish hook free, I took her back home to live in a kiddie pool I had set up to make sure she didn't come down with an infection. Living near Woodlawn and the numerous duck feeding stations, she was accustomed to mazuri koi food, so once she'd gained some weight and started to heal up, my brother and I took her back to the lake for release. Red ears are awesome pets, and it really is a shame that they're so often the recipients of lousy care. People don't realize that that ten dollar little green guy in a flea market fish bowl is going to require close to a thousand dollars worth of durable aquatic maintenance equipment to keep him healthy over his surprisingly long thirty year lifespan. This isn't a cat or dog here, where you can grow up with him/her and have his/her death mark a rite of passage into adulthood. No, this is a turtle. If you do your job, he could outlive your parents.

http://www.zoro.com/i/G1373872/?utm...hopping_Feed&gclid=CKqAo6evusMCFQotaQodHSkAyQ

T.G.
That's so wonderful of y'all to have saved her! Wow, that is a BIG girl! Hopefully mine don't grow to be quite that big, but since they live such a long time, I want to make sure I do this right!
 

tglazie

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Yeah, I've seen all sorts back when I was fostering and rescuing them from that spill way at Woodlawn Lake. See, I live in South Texas, and in San Antonio, there's this dam that plugs a tributary of the San Antonio River, creating this pretty sizable artificial lake on which Woodlawn Lake City Park sits. Just outside the bounds of the park, there's this deep spillway where the tributary used to run, with shallow, fast running water that emerges from spillover from the dam. Problem is that there's this concrete catch that the city set up after the flood of '02/'03. See, before that, the dam ended in a slanted concrete slab that simply poured into the spillway, allowing any turtles unfortunate enough to go over the dam to find shelter in the spillway after a heavy rain, eventually finding their way back to the lake. Unfortunately, the '02/'03 flood smashed that slanted concrete into pebbles. Houses in the area all had to be renovated. It was epic destruction. So, the city decided to make this concrete trap that collects water, and after every storm, my brother and I would see turtles down there, all types, that became trapped over time and just couldn't climb out of the smooth, water worn concrete. So, in an effort to help them out, we would go down there in waders, nets and buckets in tow, to round them all up. They were always easy pickins, given the fact that pvc pipes carry most of the water out of the catch, so you're literally shooting fish in a barrel, netting turtles in eighteen inches of water. It's a real drag for the little ones, given that herons and all manner of predatory water foul are always patrolling the area for baby turtles. I've only found two juvenile turtles down there in all my time doing this.

But yeah, we would head on down, net all the natives we could catch (softshells, snappers, muds, musks, Texas river cooters, sliders), and release all the healthy ones back into the main lake. Crazy finds. One time, we found four twenty pound snapping turtles, and I was expecting them to be pugnacious little monsters, but they were, strangely, the coolest customers I'd ever handled. I grabbed each one by hand, given that they were too much turtle for the nets, and they didn't even scratch. They just laid there, limbs relaxed, basically like "finally, one of these worthless humans is doing me a solid." Of course, when we took them to the edge of the lake, they dived in and disappeared in a cloud of silt. Totally awesome.

Problem is that you'd run into a bunch of injured ones. The fall from the dam to the concrete floor of the spillway is twelve feet, so you often find ones who are injured. Plus, these turtles are confined in a small area with no food. Predatory bites, all sorts of bad stuff are common. The thing that's the worst, though, is the fishing wounds. Fact is that people are not only ignorant, but they're cruel. One turtle I found had no tongue or the meat that composes the lower mandible. In fact, his lower jaw had been torn in half, and all that remained of it was two jutting bones that just barely came to a point at the tip of his mouth. Now, to me, it was obvious that some jerk had caught him on a fishing line, and instead of taking the time to unhook him, they just decided to tear the hook out of his head. He was also missing a back leg and the carpals from the front leg, either lost to some predator or a cruel human that had gotten a hold of him. He was either the luckiest or the unluckiest turtle alive, depending upon how you wanted to look at it. I felt so awful for him, and I took him home in the thoughts that I could make his last days alright. But when I got him home, he proved what a sap I was. He ate like a champ, and believe it or not, he could still haul hind quarters in the water. This guy was hard, and he wasn't about to let the loss of half his face and the function of some limbs stop him from kicking butt. He was obviously a wild beast who hated humans, though, so after fattening him up a bit, I let him back into the lake, and he just took off like a bullet. Releasing them back into the wild is awesome.

What's a real drag, though, is seeing all the captive sliders and other unfortunate petshop orphans. I've fished Western Painteds and Yellowbelly Sliders out of that concrete hole, and the nearest natural colony of either species is hundreds of miles away. One male that I'd kept for years before finally giving him over to a friend's nephew, I dredged this guy up from Woodlawn. And it was just incredibly obvious that he was a released captive. He was an easy catch, because he had been starving (people who release them don't seem to realize that a released turtle is not always successful; many of them never develop a taste for wild foods, and they just starve to death), and his shell was rather warped and deformed, which happens as a result of lousy diet and lack of access to a proper basking site (if a turtle sits in unheated water all of the time, if it's lucky enough to survive, it never gets the inclination to eat, can't regulate it's body temperature, and that combined with a monotonous diet of turtle food makes for some very lackluster growth). So yeah, I pulled Lester from Woodlawn, and I just felt so sorry for him. After a quarantine period, I introduced him to my main pond with my southern paints. I was dredding the day that I would have to separate him into his own pond, given that red ears just get so big that they really don't make good tank mates with any turtles other than red ears. They're aggressive pigs who eat all the food before shier turtles like cooters and painteds can even get a chance, so I don't find them to be good tank mates. Others may disagree. I personally just think they're too aggressive. But yeah, that day actually never came, given that Lester never grew beyond five inches. I don't know if it was because he was naturally that small, but my instinct tells me that his lousy early life had stunted him.

Now, when I tell a lot of newbies this story, it often gets their gears rolling with this whole "what if I take terrible care of my hatchling at first, stunt his growth, then keep a six inch turtle in a twenty gallon aquarium." Having encountered this logical thought progression as often as I have, I now preemptively shoot that thought down, reminding folks that if you want to keep red ears, you want them to get huge. You want them to be happy. You want your friends coming to your house, checking out your awesome huge tank with your awesome huge turtle and telling them, "Yeah, here's what she looked like five years ago. Yeah, she's awesome, and she's awesome because I'm awesome. Just look how much she digs me as she swims over." I mean, to me, that's just natural. These animals shouldn't exist for someone's convenience, like a chihuahua or something (no offense to chihuahuas; I mean, they're funny little dogs, and those ladies who like a little dog to put in their hand bag don't ape my style, but live and let live). These animals may be bred by the millions for food and pet markets, but they are still, at their core, wild, beautiful beasts. It's not their fault that they're now displacing red bellies and eastern painteds in Connecticut, or Reeves turtles in Korea. Folks who were unprepared for the greatness of T.s.elegans are at fault, people who foolishly didn't realize how much turtle they were getting in that inviting little green guy.

But yeah, ya'll are right. Keeping them is expensive, but they're a pet. What do you expect? You get a dog, you have to get it shots all the time, you have to spend time and effort training it, buying a good vacuum to get up all that shed, flea, tick, heartworm medications. I mean, lots of people own dogs, and those beasts are incredibly expensive. Plus, they eat and eat and eat. I always thought a turtle or tortoise, by comparison, was pretty cheap to keep. Unfortunately, it speaks to many people's cynical view that the turtle is a cheap pet, that it is somehow less valuable than a dog, cat, hamster or rat, that it is somehow disposable, like a gold fish. And that sort of consumerist thinking as far as turtles is concerned, I have to be honest, it really makes me sick. Red ears, and chelonians in general, are one of the most awesome things on this earth, and I hope they continue to exist on this earth in some form or another for another couple hundred million years.

T.G.
 

TortsNTurtles

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Here is a setup that was cheap and eazy to build .

I love that Mike. That is what I am planning for Myrtle. A large round water trough but I like them above ground. I was thinking on getting the 700 gallon one and not filling it up to the top like this one so she can't climb out. It would still give her 600 gallons or so.Then have the basking area in the center like Yvonne mentioned in her post with the pot upside down and large rocks on top.

c9a889eb7d96e47a1b40df8e110317ac.jpg
 

TortsNTurtles

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Update on the turtle front... Tomato and Tohmahto have an appointment with the vet tomorrow morning. $75 per turtle, and if it is indeed shell rot, $25-$50 per turtle for medicine, AND I would have to learn how to give shots to turtles! Yeesh! I give shots to horses all the time, but the thought of giving one to a turtle makes me cringe! Anyone have suggestions for what I should ask the vet while I'm there?

Keep us posted. Yuck, shots I would not be excited about that either.
 
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