(Closed) so my son has a turtle…….

posted 7 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
Member
74 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

What kind of turtle is it? I can will ask my Fiance for turtle care (he’s a herpetologist). 

Could you post a picture of the turtle? Does it have a red line near his eye?

Post # 4
Member
3981 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

OMG… I am a self proclaimed turtle expert! Seriously! I have owned those unloving sweeties all my life and can help you out. They are pretty low mainenence as long as you get the truth about what they need.

Post # 5
Member
3981 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Also, turtles are not the same as tortoises. Turtles are fast suckers! Tortoises are slow. Turtles spend most of their life underwater. Tortoises do not… They look similar but are SOOO different!

 

First, you will need a tank that equal in gallins to its lenth in inches. Assuming he got a baby to start with I would keep in mind, depending on the breed, adult turtles can grow from about 6 inches to a foot. in lenth. My female red eared slider is a foot while my male yellow bellied cooter is 7 inches. Right now they are in a 75 gallon tank but they are about to get moved to a 150 gallon tank. They will also need a filter that can filter twice the amount of water that is in there. (for my 75 gallon, it is filtering 125 gallons of water) because turtles are, well, really dirty. You don’t want small pellet gravel at the bottom of the tank because they can mistake it for food and eat it which can kill them.

Post # 6
Member
6247 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 1900

My Fiance has two turtles — a painted and a red-eared slider.  I just don’t like reptiles.  Unfortunately I bought him his first turtle so I really shouldn’t be complaining because it’s my own damn fault. >_<

The turtles were tiny when he first got them.  The guy at the pet store told us that turtles will grow to fit into their surroundings.  My cousin has a turtle that has stayed on the smaller side (about 3-4 inches long) because she keeps it in a smaller tank.  Fiance on the other hand got a very large tank so both of his turtles are about 5-7 (female) and 6-8 inches (male).

Fiance keeps his turtles in a large tank full of water with a “dock” and a plant lamp that hangs over the open top of the tank so the turts can sun themselves.  He invested in a nice filter a few years ago so he has to clean the tank less often and the tank doesn’t smell as bad. 

Because I am such a germ-concious Biologist (lol), Fiance is careful to make sure he washes his hands after touching the turts and sanitizes any surfaces the turtles walk on (outside of their tank).  Turtles have different bacteria in their gut that doesn’t harm them but can make us sick.

Post # 7
Member
3981 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

The need a TON of room to swim. 6 inches of water in fine when they are babies but it need to be slightly deeper than they are long (from head to tail). They will need a water heater that will keep the water around 80-85 degrees. They also need a basking dock so that they can get out of the water, dry off, and soak up heat and UV rays. Which brings me to lighting. They need a UVA/UVB lamp AND a heat lamp above their basking dock. Both are VERY important! And for their water, you DO NOT have to declorinate it. That is a load of BS petstores try to tell you on and make money. Turtles breath air, not water. You will want some turtle waste degrater so you have to change the water less often. You will want to do a 10% change weekly and a full change when the water begins to get cloudy. You will need to change the filter at the same time. Be prepared for it to be gross. Sorry… it’s a fact of life. Oh, for the basking dock, be very careful it isn’t so close to the top that the turtle can climb out..  because it will. You don’t want to fill up the tank completely anyway because you want room for the dock. Now, as for food. They LOVE minnows. And they are good for them. But for their normal diet, I use Zoomed’s floating pellets. They are the best because they are affordable, good for them, and actually float. The ones that sink just make their tank dirty MUCH faster.

Post # 8
Member
3981 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

@MapleMoose: The idea that turtles conform to the size of the tank is 1000050000% myth. Would you conform to the size of a box if I put you in one? Nope. You would grow to a normal size you were inteded to grow to. Same with turtles. They don’t have size magic. lol. Keeping them in a small tank is actually cruel. I would talk to her…

Post # 9
Member
74 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Okay, here’s the skinny from the Fiance:

 

If it’s a baby red ear slider (or other aquatic turtle):

 

You need:

–          At least a 30 gallon aquarium

–          Some kind of filtration (canister filters are best but expensive)

–          Gravel

–          5 gallon bucket

–          10’ of aquarium hose

–          Clamp lamp

–          Basking area (some kind of structure that allows the turtle to get completely out of the water if it wants to)

–          Turtle food

 

Fill the 30 gallon aquarium up ½ to 2/3 with water, gravel on bottom (obviously) and set up the filter.  Put the clamp lamp directly above the basking area.  Turtles are super dirty and while your filter is cycling (building up the good de-nitrifying bacteria) you should use the aquarium hose and bucket to perform a 50% water change at least once a week.  After a while, you can get away with doing a water change once every 2-3 weeks.  Water quality and temperature are super important though, so when in doubt do a water change.  If it’s a baby, feed 5-6 days a week.  I would highly recommend Reptomin turtle food.

 The turtle’s water temperature can vary between 65-80.  As it gets older, the water temperature can stay at the lower side.  The important factor is to make sure the basking area is in the high 80s to 90s.

 Remember, they live a LONG time and you will eventually need to get a 75 gallon aquarium at least to house this turtle once its full grown.  Once you have everything set up and established though, turtles become very easy to maintain and as adults you will only need to feed it 3-4 times a week (and can even fast for 4-5 days if needed).

Post # 10
Member
3981 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

The thing to keep in mind is that turtles are expensive to set up and when they get older and you have to upgrade, expect to spend a few hundred on them. HOWEVER, they asre super easy to maintain and the expenses happen all at once versus over time like a dog.

Post # 11
Member
6247 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 1900

@Mrs Hedgehog:  I thought that was a myth too.  Must be a weird coincidence because her turtle really isn’t getting any larger.

Btw, her “small” tank is 30 gallons, but the turtle has plently of room.

Post # 12
Member
2288 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

I’m fascinated by turtles but also have an irrational fear of them (…yeah, I know), but what I can tell you from my research is that the most common reason for no longer owning a turtle? It ran away from home. I’m serious. They do it all the time. Probably not so much with an aquatic turtle, but those little buggers love to dig.

Post # 13
Member
1723 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@stardustintheeyes:  I have a red eared slider. 🙂  I got him when I was 16 and he’s still goin strong!  They live a long time so you’d better put him in your will! lol.  I got this filter and it is the best one I’ve ever had:

http://www.petco.com/product/102525/Tetra-Decorative-ReptoFilter-For-Frogs-Newts-And-Turtles.aspx?CoreCat=OnSiteSearch

Yea, they can be gross and smelly but mine has such a great personality. I trained him to eat out of my hand.  He also likes to play in the bathtub lol.  I also buy something called TurtleClean and it helps a lot.

Post # 15
Member
3981 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

@MapleMoose: It could be she just has a smaller breed of turtle.

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