FAQs About Yellow Bellied Slider Turtles Compatibility
Shell Rot in Turtles,
Red Eared Slider Care,
Yellow Bellied Sliders/YBS/Cooters 1,
YBS 2, YBS 3,
FAQs on: YBS ID,
YBS Behavior, YBS
Selection, YBS Systems, YBS Feeding, YBS
Yellow Bellied Sliders/YBS/Cooters
1, YBS 2, YBS
3, YBS 4, & Painted Turtles, ( Other Aquatic Emydids (Bog, Pond,
Painted...),Turtles 1, Turtles
2, Red Ear Sliders, Turtle Identification, Turtle Behavior, Turtle Compatibility, Turtle Selection, Turtle Systems, Turtle Feeding, Turtle Disease, Shell Rot, Turtle Reproduction, & by Species:
Musk/Mud Turtles, Softshells, Snapping Turtles, Mata Matas, Tortoises, & Amphibians, Other Reptiles,
I have a six inch yellow slider that I have had for two years.
it is a male... I was recently given a baby red ear slider, shell is
maybe two inches. I was curious if I could put this 2-inch shelled red
ear slider in my 60 gallon tank with my 6 inch slider. I don't
want him attacking this small tiny turtle, is that possible?
Please help!!!! I have searched Google and I have seen other setups with
small and both large, but I don't want
this tiny little one hurt. Thank you Ashley:)
<Two females will coexist better than two males, and larger males are
apt to bully smaller females or males. While you might get lucky, I
wouldn't assume that you would, and an adult Slider can do a fair bit of
damage with that sharp, strong beak of theirs. The golden rule, as ever
with reptiles, is keep them singly unless you are reasonably sure
they'll get along.
Turtles aren't social animals. A tank divider may be a useful
Have cc'ed Darrel in case he has a second opinion. Cheers, Neale.>
Yellow Belly Slider; from the land plowed under. Comp.
A few months ago the company I work for, plowed up acres of wetlands
where everything from Catfish to Gators lived, they had the gators moved
but plowed the rest.
<Tragic. Wetland is an incredibly threatened habitat with massive
biodiversity (much of which is pretty cool, from turtles to carnivorous
I work nights so I would circle the property to rescue any lucky
One night I brought home a 5-6 inch YBS male. Being very late when I got
home, I guess I did the wrong thing and put him in a dry aquarium with a
rescued box turtle, female.
<Well, lesser of two evils I suppose. If this turtle was doomed in the
wild, and the shelter you offered, even if on a "co-habiting" basis was
the best deal on offer, you did the right thing. There's always a risk
combining reptile species though, because of aggression or even
Before I had time to re-situate them, they became very affectionate to
Eventually I got a scolding from the vet, but in the meantime the two
have become inseparable.
<As can happen. Recent scientific reports suggest that reptile behaviour
is turning out to be much more complex than biologists had supposed.>
I have now situated them with my other 3 box turtles so the five of them
live in an enclosure together. The slider seems perfectly happy and when
I separate them and try to put him in water he totally freaks out and
never stops trying to get out of the water.
<Then don't force him. Provided he has enough to drink, a Slider won't
dry out. They're not fish or even frogs that need damp skins to stay
alive. Their skin is just as watertight as that of any other reptile
(i.e., very) but their kidneys aren't particularly good at conserving
water, so they leak water out via their urine/uric acid, and presumably
through evaporation from the mouth as they breathe and/or thermoregulate
(commonly seen as gaping if they overheat). In other words, make sure
your turtle has access to lots of clean drinking water, and he'll be
okay. Eventually he may decide to take a swim, usually when they've
basked a while and gotten quite hot. Swimming is a key way these
reptiles cool down. So even a shallow pool of water enough to bathe in
might be all you need, and you'll probably find your Box Turtles use
this too. Just make sure it's shallow enough neither species is at risk
So I have been compelled to just keep them together. Will there be any
ramifications I love him living outside water.
<"Dry Docking" turtles is standard operating procedure when they're
injured or sick, and Sliders can survive weeks and weeks out of water.
Eventually he will probably want a paddle, but for the meantime, no
worries if he doesn't.>
I do pay him with his girlfriend occasionally but neither seem to like
being in the water. I keep a shallow trough of water in the enclosure
for whoever wants to bathe. And I feed the slider by putting his food on
the water...the Boxies also enjoy it. I don't want anything to happen to
the slider, but I don't want him unhappy either so is it okay if I just
let him live like that?
<For some time, months even, yes; thereafter you may want to plan around
offering some sort of swimming area. There's another issue though: diet.
Short term, Box and Slider Turtles can eat much of a muchness. But long
term, Sliders are herbivores while Box Turtles are omnivores (in part,
scavengers on carrion for a start). Too much meaty food is bad for
Sliders (very bad!) while a Koi Pellets and greens-only diet (perfect
for Sliders) would not be adequate for the Box Turtle because it needs
at least some protein in its diet on a regular basis.>
<Do have a read of Darrell's wise words on mixing species, here:
It's the one titled "Mixing turtles 6-29-07" about halfway down. I've
Turtle question. YBS, RES comp.
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I'm glad that I found your site. It's a true wealth of information.
<Thank you. You show a great deal of taste and wisdom for noticing>
Unfortunately for me, even after searching, I did not find an answer to
my problem so I am writing in hopes that you can give me one that will
work for Stan & Olivia (turtle's names).
We are fairly experienced turtle-owners having had several for 5-6 years
now and no health problems.
<It makes it easier to care for our pets when we don't have health
We had 2 yellow-belly sliders that we got as babies
and, as they grew, we bought larger and larger tanks for them. When we
hit 185 gallons we got a red-eared slider to add to the other two. At
first they did not get along well but soon adapted and they are all
"buddies" now and even share the same basking deck.
<Sometimes they even climb on top of one another to bask, like a
pyramid. It's comical when one at the bottom decides to move and a stack
o6 6 or 7 topple over>
Well, we decided to get 2 more RES (a male and female
so as to help ensure mating) as I wanted to observe the egg-laying and
hatching process. The new turtles arrived with an unknown age but about
4-5 inches in size and seemed healthy. We put them in the tank with the
others and they just disappeared. We had to remove tank decor to find
them. With their hiding places gone
they just stayed under the two decks we had for basking and never
climbed out of the water.
<That's fairly typical for new introductions. Stay quiet, stay out of
the way and don't attract attention>
Then I noticed that the YBS's were "bullying" them by biting at their
feet and tails. I immediately took them out and put them in the bathtub
until we could get another tank. Luckily, we were able to find a used 55
gallon tank and stand but paid lots of $$ for accessories. Now they have
their own home.
<Assuming their sizes were about the same, they "probably" would have
gotten over it after a while. What we normally do when introducing a new
animal to the collection is re-arrange the entire tank - move everything
around, change rocks, reposition the basking area, change the angle of
the lights, etc. That way NO ONE has "their" territory and all of them
are more-or less in a "new" space. It puts them all on equal footing, so
Anyway, these poor turtles are terribly scared. I don't know if this
developed before we got them or because of the bullying (don't really
think so) but I can't get then to "come out of their shells" (pun
<Time. It takes Time>
The big problem is that they won't bask. I've checked water temp and
have nice warm heat lamp and UV lamp over their basking deck. Nada. We
spent 80 bucks on an "over the tank" basking area that has enclosed
sides thinking maybe they would be less afraid in there. They won't go
in on their own and if put in they immediately run down into the water
and hide in the darkest
area of the tank.
<Yep. Leave them alone. They are skittish. They need time>
Knowing that they have to bask occasionally to dry out, I daily take
them out and put them into a small kiddie-pool with no water and with
heat & UV lamps. Because they looked sad alone in the empty pool I put
the floating basking deck in there (again there is no water) thinking
maybe they would climb on it to get closer to the warmth but they
immediately crawled UNDER the
deck to hide.
<Right. All the changes and moving are, unfortunately, contributing to
I weekly put shell conditioner on them and try to pet their feet and
stroke their shell daily to get them used to me but the smaller one
(male?) just tucks in completely and the larger one opens it's mouth as
if to bite.
So, after this long diatribe my main question is how do I get them to
bask on their own? Secondary questions are how long is it OK for them to
be IN and be OUT of water?
Your response will be greatly appreciated.
<Well - let's start with the basics. Let's assume they are bright and
alert, clear eyes, strong limbs and firm shells. In other words just
like you - they also have no health issues. Given that. Put them in
their tank in some corner of the house where they are seen & see but not
fussed over or gawked at continually… then leave them alone. Don't
handle them or walk them or come to the tank and try to feed them. Leave
them alone. If they surface to breath and notice that the outside air is
warm and the environment looks safe, they'll slowly venture out and
eventually bask. Water should be room temp (68-73 degrees) and basking
88-94 degrees. Feed them once a week by dropping a few pellets into the
water. It's OK if they get hungry. In fact, hunger is a significant
reason to get over one's shyness: You may be the great big, scary-hands
monster, but when you are also the source of food there is a reason
(after a week or two) to try to overcome their fear.>
<In short, my first guess is that things are happening too quickly for
them and it all blurs into one big commotion - so they hide>
Bob & Debbie
PS: they get along great with each other and are virtually inseparable.
Re: Turtle question > reply 11/7/14
Hi Darrel: Thanks for replying (enjoyed your humor - we are still in
I just came back to the computer after being the "big scary monster" and
taking them out of their comfy familiar surroundings and put them into
the "dry pool." I read your advice and now will put them back into their
home and leave them alone. I was under the understanding that handling
them helped them to "bond" to you and get used to you as their owner.
<It does -- but timing is everything. When you are new in town and
scared of everything, being levitated and handled isn't going to calm
you down. AFTER they are accustomed to seeing you walking around and
learning that most times they see you -- means food -- THEN you can
start to handle them without annoying them. In that regard not much
different than a teenager>
The other 3 can be hand fed and I can "swoop" them around in the water
by their foot and
they just come back for more play. But, I will take your advice and
avoid the new turtles as much as possible.
My one important question remains: how long is it OK for them to be
immersed in the water? I don't want them to have problems with their
shells not drying out...
<*IF* they are otherwise healthy -- they're good for a month at least.
Leaving them alone in a room all day with a basking light… they'll
almost always bask when no one is looking>
Turtle bites 8/10/14
I got two female yellow bellied sliders the other day and one of them
(Sassy) has recently gotten aggressive towards the other (Tilly).
<Is not uncommon; repeat after me: "turtles aren't social animals, they
don't need/want friends". Less facetiously, do see if there's
competition for space. Bigger vivarium, bigger/multiple basking spots,
more rocks to rest on... various things you can do to allow them to
spread out naturally.
Turtles are snappy when competing for living space, especially places to
haul out and bask.>
They are now separated but Tilly has received an injury to her neck.
It's not bleeding but a small part of her skin is lifted.
<Best take her to a vet, but if the wound is minor, not bleeding, and
seems to be clean, you might be fine by just dry docking. The aim here
is to keep the wound dry (which keeps bacteria out) for a few days.
Ideally, keep the one turtle away from the other until the wound is
fully healed. You might want to think seriously about rehoming the
aggressive one, or at least upgrading the living conditions as suggested
above. Do also check they actually are females -- sexing isn't as easy
as you might think.>
I'm currently unable to further look at her neck because she has tucked
herself inside of her shell. I was wondering if she is otherwise okay
due to the lack of blood.
<Do read here:
The sections on "Docking" and "Cuts, Bruises and Bites" are relevant.
Have cc'ed our turtle expert Darrel in case I've missed something.
My turtle was bitten, and incomp. f's
I really hope you guys are still answering peoples questions!
Last Thursday 10/10/13, My yellow bellied slider had
his penis bitten by our soft shelled turtle when he was
fanning... it bled for a few minutes and then stopped.. this isn't the
first time it's happened and usually it just goes right back in after a
few hours but today is 10/15/13 and it's still out.. there is swelling
and the skin around the cloaca is all ripped... I called around today
and could not find a vet in the area that takes turtles... I'm really
worried about my little man.. i tried the honey trick I read online but
that didn't work.. and there's no way I could manually try to put it in
because it's just too swollen.. is there anything I can do?? I really
don't wanna lose him :(
<Angela, you really need to get this guy to a vet. If it's still
bleeding some hours after the damage, then there's a very high risk of
bacterial infection (e.g., septicaemia). Chances are he'll need to be
kept out of water for a while until he heals. The vet will fill you in
with the details here. Also, and I cannot stress this too strongly,
Softshell Turtles (Trionyx spp.) should only ever be kept alone. They
are extremely nasty animals that bite first, ask questions later.
They're dangerous to their owners, let alone any other poor animal
trapped in the same glass box as they are. There's a pretty useful
Cheers, Neale (bcc'ed Darrel, our turtle expert).>
Yellow belly slider and Florida map turtle compatibility
<Hiya - Darrel here>
We have a yellow belly slider in a 55 gallon tank with feeder fish, we
just recently bought a Florida map turtle and want to put them together.
The slider is about 3.5 inches and the map turtle is about 1.5 inches.
How should we introduce these two? We believe the slider is male but
aren't sure about the map turtle b/c it's still pretty much a
hatchling...from what we know...
<OK - if you do your research, you'll find that feeder fish are not any
major component of a Slider's diet. In general, because of the
conditions in which feeders are raised, they're not even healthy fish,
more prone to spread disease than nutrition. If you read the
article linked here you'll find better nutrition options.
<To the issue of introducing them, my suggestion would be "No".
Sliders, Cooters, Maps and their families all get along just fine except
when you have one individual that may just be mean … but they all need
to be relatively the same size. The problem here is that
they could get along fine day to day for quite a while and be very used
to each other and then suddenly in a single instant there is tragedy.
With an adult Slider and a hatchling-sized Map … a tiny little warning
"go away and leave me alone" nip could be fatal to the map.>
<On the bright side, housing the tiny Map Turtle separately isn't
expensive (read the article above)>
<Two items of note: Map Turtles are normally a bit more nervous
and skittish than Sliders, so they tend to spend more time in the water
when people are around -- so a Map is best housed in a room where they
can get "alone time" under the basking lamp. Also, they are
a bit more susceptible to skin fungus than Sliders. Two
things prevent this - the alone time/basking time mentioned above AND
more frequent water changes and cleanings>
Nothing but a shell, YBS, Soft Shell incomp.
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I was out of town for 10 days and had a friend look after my 7" yellow
belly turtle. When I arrived home, the water in the 100 gallon outdoor
pond was too green. I took the water out and found three baby soft shell
turtles, and it remains a mystery as to how they got in there (the pond
is ten inches in height from the ground).
<Unless someone put them there, I agree>
They have lived together just fine over the last 3 weeks. So, after
finding more soft shell turtles in my pool, I transferred them to the
<OK, a mother laid her eggs somewhere close by>
But today as I went outside to feed the turtles, one was dead! He was
missing his arms and head, and was only a shell with legs. Would my
yellow belly do this, it seems quite vicious.
<Yes he could>
I do believe this little soft shell turtle may have been sick because he
was basking on top of the water for the entire day. Does being sick or
dead change anything in the turtle world, or did my turtle just get
annoyed by the little guy?
<It could have been either. Turtles are what are called
'opportunistic feeders' which mean that they will eat anything that
doesn't fight back or run away>
I have now removed the soft shell turtles and put them in the lake (I
didn't want to take any chances), but there are still two more in the
cave area, hopefully alive, that I cannot get to. Should I be concerned?
<Softshells make very interesting pets. As they grow they develop
short tempers and with their long necks it's best to have them where
they don't have to be handled very much. Also, they need much
cleaner water that a Yellow Belly or Red Eared Slider would need>
Turtle in a Fish
Hello, my name is Reba
--Reba, I'm Darrel
and I went to a pet store today and got a baby yellow bellied
-- it's pretty
I also bought a mini size floating dock. The lady in the store said it
would be fine for the turtle until it got bigger. I have a 30 gallon
I also have two algae eaters. My turtle isn't going on the floating
dock (the basking platform) I put a picture of the turtle in the bowl
that she came in. As soon as I got home I put her in the tank.
-- tropical fish tanks are usually not good for
turtles, Reba. The water for a turtle should be 68 to 73
degrees (no heater) while tropical fish like it warmer.
-- the turtle will not bask on a floating log unless it wants to get
warmer and there is a heat source above the log.
-- read the article. Read and understand all of it, then write back if
you have more questions:
Re summat to do w/ chelonians recently... 6/23/11
The lady at the pet store said I didn't need a lamp? Just water, a
basking platform, and food.
-- I'm sorry, the lady at the pet store is wrong. Reptiles, which
include turtles, regulate their body temperature by swimming in cool
water and then basking in the warm sun, or the heat of a basking lamp.
It is absolutely NECESSARY that the turtle have a place to haul out,
dry off and get warm - otherwise all kinds of health problems will crop
up. The lady at the pet store is not giving you correct information.
EVERYTHING that I gave you in that link to the article on basic care is
Yellow-bellied sliders ears suddenly turn
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I have a juvenile yellow-bellied slider (approximately 8 months old --
male). Last night I had to remove one of the other male yellow-bellied
sliders because he was becoming aggressive and biting the others.
<that happens sometimes. Hopefully it's temporary. An important
thing in keeping any group of animals is realizing that there WILL be
fights for dominance and position. The two best ways to avoid any
serious injuries are
1- Keep the sizes relatively even (not hatchlings with adults, etc.)
2- may sure that the enclosure is large enough that they can get away
from each other, meaning out of visual range, when they need to.
Sometimes putting up a visual barrier that semi-divides the tank or
enclosure into two sections is all it takes>
Tonight I notice that his ears have suddenly gone red. The other
juvenile (small age -- female) can from the same group of hatchlings
and still looks like a yellow-bellied slider.
<That is unusual, to say the least>
Can you please give me any suggestions as why this would happen and if
it is possible that he is a red-eared slider. If so, will she also
develop the red markings?
<All of the sliders, cooters, painteds, etc. interbreed easily and
produce many variations in offspring. That is likely the case here --
that what you have is a Red Eared Yellow Belly. Usually the combination
of the various genes expresses in the egg and they simply come out in
various shades and patterns. What caused this transition after birth is
unknown. It's not UNHEARD of .. but very rare. Whether or not it
will happen to any of the others is unknown. And, in the overall scheme
of things, unimportant.>
<If, on the other hand, one of those guys develops opposable thumbs
and begins to cruise the Internet late at night ordering all sorts of
turtle toys on your credit card '¦ THEN you have a
Turtle "buddies", unimaginable,
but not impossible? YBS comp. 7/29/10
<Hiya - Darrel here>
So here's the deal, I absolutely love your site. I think in the
past 3 days I've spent all my free time just reading what
you've had to say. ^.^
<You show a great deal of taste, style and intelligence for
But, I have a problem.
About 1 month ago I obtained a baby turtle! I have to say that little
guy is the love of my life. When received he was just the size of a
quarter and has grown beautifully. I'm pretty sure he's a
yellow bellied slider, but there is some debate concerning him being a
<Very little exterior differences, the River Cooters tend to have
more yellow on the face and a slightly flatter shell after they mature,
but right now '¦ hard to tell from this distance>
Anyway, my question is about African Cichlids becoming his tank mate. I
know you guys never recommend it, but you see I have this friend.
<And your friend is an African Cichlid????>
She's the one who got my started on turtles in the first place.
She has this 55 gallon aquarium with a male yellow bellied slider and
probably 10 cichlids, an algae eater, a common Pleco, and a electric
blue crawdad. (We know the tanks a bit crowded and we're working on
getting a 75-100 gallon so everyone can be more comfortable, oh, and
the crawdad will probably stay in the 55 because he gets a bullied a
bit.) She's had this setup for over a year now and the turtle is of
almost 2 years of age. When first introduced the turtle would chase the
cichlids for a while, but would give up. He eventually learned he
wasn't fast enough to actually catch them. Now he doesn't even
seem to notice there presence, like they're just tank decorations
<Fish is not a part of their normal diet unless they happen across a
dead or dying fish> He is always hungry of course, he eats a
combination of turtle pellets, shrimp, and krill every day, once in the
morning and once at night.
<Stop the shrimp AND the krill - neither are even remotely part of
his natural diet, both are higher in protein and fat than he should
The tank is filled about 80% full and the turtle has two basking areas
available with UVB lighting. She has 2 and a Â½ times the
normal filtration and she does water changes every 2 weeks. (I know
this because I unfortunately am there for the majority of those
changes.) Her water levels are in the range you guys recommend for
African cichlids and honestly the only fighting that every goes on in
the tank are between the cichlids themselves.
<That's not as surprising as you think. Turtles and fish occupy
the periphery of each other's eco-systems. Generally they'll
stay out of each other's way and co-exist.>
Also I think Iggy (the YBS) might think he's a Pleco. They're
always hanging out together and the Pleco often sucks on Iggy's
shell. Also if Iggy ever see's the crawdad walk by he swims over to
it and does, well, he does the male matting dance/ritual. ^.^
<Iggy may not be all that bright, as turtles go '¦.
Crawdads ARE part of their diet>
It's really quite entertaining, but it's probably not
<I agree on both counts>
So basically, what makes her turtle so different from all the others?
Why did it work for her? Why couldn't it work for me? I mean, is
there any really health reason for turtles and fish not to live
together? Other than the possibility of the turtle eating the fish?
<Not from the turtle's perspective. If anything at all, the
water quality problems caused by the turtle will be a problem for the
Cichlids. There is no biological filter you're likely to set up at
home that can accommodate the poo-machine that is a Emydid (water
turtle) so the frequent water changes may be a bit stressful to the
<Beyond that '¦ the problem is simply that SOME turtles
WILL each fish SOMETIMES and ALL turtles will take a snap occasionally
and the outcome to completely beyond your control.>
<I have a goldfish that is about 9 inches long and the absolute
RULER of a Koi pond that contain some 20 inch monster Koi. He started
out 11 years ago as a feeder goldfish that was put into my turtle pond
by a well meaning neighbor. Initially the turtles chased him around
but, just like your friend witnessed, finally gave up. About 2 years
later, the fish got so dominant that it was difficult to feed the
turtles because he literally chased them away at feeding time. After a
while I thought maybe he'd learn some manners if I put him in the
Koi pond. I thought that a fish the size of a row boat might be
intimidated by Koi the size of the Titanic '¦ but it turns out
that he's the boss there, too. I'm not worried at all about
Bruce and his needs '¦ I'm more afraid that the Koi may
hire a lawyer and sue me for allowing their harassment.>
And are there any specific African Cichlids or just fish that you guys
think would go best with a turtle? I would like to get my turtle (Pie)
some new tank mates as soon as possible.
<Like I said, there aren't any fish impervious to a turtle's
beak and bite. Too small and they can become victims, too large and
they can persecute the turtle.>
<The reason we never recommend the mixing is because there is simply
no way to predict or control the outcome. They may be fine, depending
on the temperament of your particular turtle or they may not.>
<In my opinion (also known, technically as the "right" or
"Correct" opinion) the best companion for a Yellow Bellied
Slider named Pie is a Mississippi Map Turtle named Larry.>
<That said, the advice that will be easier for you to take is this:
Make sure your tank has plenty of room -- space -- for the animals to
get away from each other when needed. The more swimming room the fish
have to evade the turtle, the sooner the turtle gives up and accepts
them as neighbors.>
Thanks so much for your time,
Re: Turtle "buddies", unimaginable, but not impossible? Was
Cooter comp., now nutr. 8/1/10
Thanks so much for answering my last question, :D
Although it did stir up another.. I understand the whole not feeding
them krill and shrimp situation, so what would you recommend?
<I feed mine from hatchlings to breeders purely on Kay-Tee bran Koi
food pellet available at pet stores -- with an occasional (0nce a month
or so) treat of an earthworm or two. Diet, it turns out, is the easiest
Slider and map turtle relationship...
comp. -- 03/18/08 Hello, <Hi there> I have two young
turtles (sex unknown): one yellow bellied slider, and one Mississippi
map turtle. They're just over a year old (I bought them a year ago,
when they were very small but I don't know how old exactly they
were then). The slider is about a centimeter bigger than the map
turtle, when measuring across or down the shell, but this is because
last autumn the map turtle didn't want to eat for a while (the
heater had stopped working as well as it had been and the slight drop
in temperature made him stop. As soon as we got a new heater he was
back to his old self again). They are about 7cm (slider) and 6cm (map)
across the shell. They are both active and energetic, swimming and
basking, and seem to be in generally good health. They have plenty of
space to swim and bask separately. <Good> After a few months of
having them there were a couple of small fights over food, both times
with the slider attacking the map turtle (he is the more aggressive,
and more hungry one). I now feed them separately, which has been
working well, and I have had no more problems. When they were younger
they used to just ignore one another, swimming and basking on different
sides of the tank, <Mmm, how big is this tank/world?> but now
they seem to have become friends, but I don't know if this is just
to my uneducated eye. If one is on a rock, the other will come and sit
next to it, and they will bask together, sometime posing with their
necks slightly outstretched, crossing each other, as if hugging. They
will often bask one on top of the other as well. Now sometimes when
they are sitting together in the water, or hanging onto the side of a
rock together, they will look at each, and the slider will stretch out
his neck to reach the other one, and they'll just touch faces then
just look away. When I first saw this I thought he was going to take a
bite at the other but he never does. I have even seen them taking
little gentle nibbles at each other when the other is shedding slightly
- never actual bites, just taking the loose skin off - again, at first
this really alarmed me. I'm just worried that all this
'friendliness' isn't friendly after all, and is maybe
territorial or something else, and could lead to fighting. <Me
too> I would say the slider is the more dominant one, but not
excessively - barely noticeable really. From the sounds of it, do you
think these turtles are happy to be living with on another and are they
actually getting along? <Mmm, most of the common aquatic turtles
used as pets (including these two species) "get along" well
enough by default of being placed together... esp. as small
individuals... However, they do need room... psychologically... I think
the root problem with these two is too little space.> Is this normal
turtle behavior? Thank you for reading all this - I am sorry if its a
silly question, but I just want them to have the best lives I can give
them. Thank you again, Leanne <Then please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Mixing Older And Younger Turtles
Together 1/7/07 I have a yellow belly Cooter,
adolescent, and today I bought a baby ybc. We are unsure of
either sex. When we put them together all the older ybc does
is shakes its front claws in front of its face and sometimes spits
water out its nose. It looked like it tried to bite the baby once, but
didn't. The pet shop owner said it would be safe to put them both
together. Will this go away, or what should we do? Thanks. <I
don't recommend mixing turtles. Turtles are very territorial and
the larger turtle was demonstrating to the new smaller turtle who is
boss. If they were red eared sliders the bigger turtle would have
snapped at the smaller turtle for sure. These turtles are not as
aggressive but the smaller turtle will surely be bullied until he
catches up in size.-Chuck>
Yellow Bellied Turtle Questions
9/11/06 Hello! Just discovered your site and have to
say it's brill! We have a yellow bellied slider called Tiny (not
appropriate any more!) He is about 14 months old and his shell is about
5.5 inches long. His diet is varied frozen fish, bloodworm etc from the
pet shop but I wondered if there is anything else we could give him. He
is always begging for food and seems healthy enough. < As these
turtles get older their diet changes from a meaty to a more veggie
diet. Offer some green spinach and kale. The fiber in the veggies will
keep them full longer.> Also, should we clip his claws as they seem
to have grown a lot even though there are rocks for him to use in his
tank? < You probably have a male turtle. Their front claws are very
long compared to the female's claws. I would recommend that you
leave them alone.> And also, one last question, could we add a baby
slider to the same tank or would he see it as an "invasion"
of his space? < The new turtle would be looked at as competition and
would be constantly harassed by the bigger turtle.> The kids are
begging us for another but the tank set up was expensive so I really
don't want to get a second tank! Keep up the excellent work!
Joanna, UK < Thanks for your kind words.-Chuck>
Mixing Turtles 6/15/06 Hello Turtle Crew,
Thank you in advance. We inherited a YBS a couple years ago. His shell
size now is approximately 5 inches long. We just purchased a hatchling
RES (shell size 1.5 inches). The pet store owned said they would get
along fine and the large one wouldn't pick on the small one. I just
read on your site when a turtle wiggles his front legs in front of his
face towards another turtle, it is doing the mating dance. We are
nervous. We don't leave them in the tank together unless they are
supervised (which is a huge hassle). Would our older turtle try to mate
with a hatchling? Will he hurt the baby? I don't know the sex of
either turtle. Many thanks! <I do not like to mix turtles. The YBS
is probably a male with long front claws and try to coax the new turtle
into breeding. When the urge to breed is over they will view each other
as competition and will fight over turf and food.-Chuck>
Run Away Turtle 5/15/06 Hello, For a
couple of months I have been letting my 2 yellow-bellied turtles roam
the back yard each day for about an hour. I keep an eye on them and
they usually go to the same places and sleep. The male is much more
active, but follows the same path, where as the female finds a spot and
digs in and sleeps. Well for the last week the female has been burying
herself under bushes making it difficult to find her. And 2 days ago I
lost her in the yard for good, I was working in the garden and turned
for about 10 minutes and we can't find her anywhere. There's no
access out of the back year since its all cement wall, so I'm
thinking she's nesting. Is it that time of year? < She may be
looking for somewhere to lay her eggs.> What I don't know is, is
how long is the nesting process and will she come back? < If she has
found a way out then she may not come back.> I have 2 pools in the
backyard, all natural, no chlorine, and I figured she would head to the
pool when done. If she doesn't come back, I would like to get
another female for the male but I'm having a hard time locating a 3
year old female of the same size. Seems red sliders are more common. Is
it okay to get a red slider female to put with the male? Or is the male
better off alone? I assume they get attached to each other and he would
like a companion, but I have no idea if turtles are
"family-oriented".. Appreciate your help, Celeste <
Turtles really don't get along except to breed. The rest of the
time they are considered competition to each other. I would still give
it a few months before I gave up. Look at Kingsnake.com to find a