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FAQs About Yellow Bellied Slider Turtles 3

Related Articles: Turtles, Shell Rot in Turtles, Amphibians, Red Eared Slider Care,

FAQs on: Yellow Bellied Sliders/YBS/Cooters 1, YBS 2, YBS 4,
FAQs on: YBS ID, YBS Behavior, YBS Compatibility, YBS Selection, YBS Systems, YBS Feeding, YBS Disease, YBS Reproduction/Young,

Related FAQs: Yellow Bellied Sliders/YBS/Cooters 1, YBS 2, 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,

Yellow Bellied Slider turtles       5/10/17
I need some advice on my two yellow bellied slider turtles.
<Sure! Seems like this message has been "maturing" awhile in somebody's inbox, but let's see if I can help...>
I purchased these two almost 3 yrs ago as a birthday gift for my daughter.
<Hmm... the usual reminder to other folks: pets make poor presents unless the recipient has specifically asked for them, and is able/willing to provide the necessary long-term care, which in the case of Sliders is something around 20+ years.>
She has decided to not keep them any longer at her father's house and I have moved them back to my place today.
<Thank you for taking them back. Shelters are overwhelmed with unwanted Sliders and other freshwater turtles.>
I noticed that the smaller of the two seems to be favoring the back right leg and the tail.
<May be injured, but "metabolic bone disease" (MBD) is more likely. Lack of UV-B lighting and insufficient calcium in their diet is a MAJOR cause of such problems in pet reptiles. Can be improved through better diet and
calcium supplements, though the actual damage might never heal 100%. So do review their (previous) behaviour and diet, and look to see if there are signs of physical trauma (a bite or bruise, for example) or else if everything looks okay from the outside, but the limbs aren't working properly. If the latter, then MBD is fairly likely. A vet can help, as can some reading, here:
http://www.anapsid.org/mbd.html
Check the UV-B lamp is working/no more than 12 months old (they wear out within 6-12 months, after which point they might be "on" but not pushing out enough invisible UV-B to be useful. Revise diet as needed, adding a
calcium source to their usual feed.>
I have observed the larger of the two attacking the smaller one. I have tried to look for details as to whether the smaller one is a male and the larger one is a female, as I had requested two females when I purchased them as babies.
<Males smaller, but have longer claws on their 'hands'.>
However, I am concerned about why the one is tucking his/her leg and tail inside it's body. I see some scales hanging onto the leg. I am going to separate them for tonight by putting the smaller one in a plastic bin and
keeping it inside the main tank. However, I need to know if I should 1.
seek vet care for the smaller one or if this will repair itself
<Visiting a vet is always a good idea, funds allowing. Some animal rescue charities can help too, providing low-cost or free vet services.>
and 2. should I remove the turtle from the tank so that it can heal?
<If there's no obvious wound, then no need to remove from the water. If they're fighting, then separation will be useful, but if they're not fighting, then no need to separate them. Do bear in mind turtles aren't social, and they both need access to the UV-B lamp for some of the time each day. Sometimes creating two separate basking spots helps. Perhaps one under the heat lamp, one under the UV-B lamp. Even better to use two combo heat-UV-B lamps, but whatever works best for you.>
I read an article where if a turtle is injured that water only keeps it infected due to the bacteria in the water.
<If there's an open wound, then yes, "docking" is a good idea. But if there isn't a wound, there's no particular advantage to this.>
However, I am concerned about whether an aquatic turtle can survive outside of water.
<Yes, indefinitely, if bathed in water for 30-60 minutes a day for feeding and drinking (they can't do either on land, really) but will otherwise be fine kept dry.>
Please give me advice, otherwise, if my boyfriend has his way, he'll turn them into turtle soup (just kidding).
Julia
<Sorry if this is late, but hope of use! Have cc'ed our turtle expert just in case I've missed something. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Yellow Bellied Slider turtles       5/10/17

Thank you for your response.
<Welcome.>
Since emailing you, things have gotten better between the two. Bigger one has longer claws than smaller one.
<Likely the male.>
Smaller one is NOW fighting back whenever bigger one is aggressive. It will push it's claws into other's face and shove it away. Or it will tuck its back legs/tail and swim away. It will put its back away from the bigger one.
<Good.>
Leg looks better, no scales flaking off. So it seems that they are getting along better. I have a 75 gallon tank, so plenty of room to swim for both.
I have two docks under lights for both to rest on.
<Good. Just be careful with the UV-B; it's crucial, but often overlooked, and saves a lot of money in the long run.>
Their diet is 65% plant matter and 35% protein (consisting of crickets, super worms). Plant matter is organic kale, romaine, shredded carrots. As the greens come into season, I will add them to the mix.
<All sounds ideal. But again, do think about calcium. While there's some in leafy plants, there's not a lot, and very little in insects. What you really want to do is dust small bits of meaty food, like earthworms or tiny bits of fish, with calcium powder (easily found in reptile stores, or simply grind up some cuttlebone). This will dump lots of calcium into the turtle, and if you do this once or twice a week, you'll be fine. Some turtles will actually eat cuttlebone directly, so try putting a small bit in their tank and letting them have a nibble. I've seen terrestrial turtles
(tortoises) go for cooked bones from the barbecue, but this probably isn't as healthy.>
As for asking for turtles, my daughter had asked for them. I had consulted with the ex-husband to ensure that he would assist in the care of them.
However, they both decided to half-ass the care. So, they are back with me and doing well.
<Thank you for doing this. They're nice pets, but like reptiles generally, you have to do a fair amount up front to keep them healthy. Compared to cats and dogs, they're a lot less hassle over their lifespan, but it's the up front expense that often causes problems for less than perfect pet-owners.>
As for social, I had researched and asked the company that I bought them from about whether I should have two or just one. They said that two would be fine, so that is why I requested both females.
<Hmm... kind of sort of. The flip side to females is egg-binding; do read on WWM re: this topic. It's not common, but not unheard of either, even when females are kept singly. A single male is actually probably the easiest way to keep turtles.>
I realize that at the size they were when babies, you can't tell, so it is possible that they are 1. both males or 2. one male/one female.
Again, thanks for the response.
Julia
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>

Yellow bellied slider; gen care.        2/21/16
Hello Crew,
<Hiya, Darrel here>
I’ve gotten a yellow bellied slider for a couple of weeks now and I want to know if I’m taking good care of him.
<Well, Robert – just asking the question puts you ahead of many people. Thanks!>
His name is Fred, has a 50L {that’s 13 gallons for you in the undeveloped world} tank that we fill with tap water that has Repto-Safe in it (we just follow the instructions on the bottle). We fill it with about 2,5-3L of water {less that a gallon} (which gives him about 3-5cm of water depth {about an inch or two}). We have a heater for the water that is set to 28C, a turtle-shape calcium thingy and a UVB bulb over a rock that should be a basking area. The rock we found here on the street, washed it thoroughly with hot water and scrubbed it clean. That’s pretty much it for his tank. No bottom pellets/sand or vegetation in his tank.
<Yes, there are a few problems here. Fred doesn’t need a heater if this setup is in doors. In fact it’s best if he doesn’t have a heater.>
<there is not NEED to condition his water. Unlike fish, turtles don’t have the sensitive gills and membranes for gas exchanges, so a bit of chlorine or chloramine isn’t an issue for them.>
As for feeding we give him dried fish and shrimp. We also give him some lyophized heart (hope I translated that correctly). He eats very well and we feed him daily before going to work, around 8-9am.
<Again … not quite. Neither fish nor shrimp would be on Fred’s diet I the wild and shrimp are notoriously non-nutritious>
Now here’s the tricky part. I'm not sure that he is very active during the day. I usually find him in the same spot and position as he is when I leave. The only moment I find him in a different spot is in the morning, when he’s generally in the water and as soon as I put food in the water he swims towards it eats and then goes on his rock to seemingly chill for the rest of the day.
<The ideal turtle environment is cool water for swimming and a warm rock for basking and the turtle chooses which one he needs. When the water is 28c (82f) and the rock is room temperature (presumably cooler than 28c) he doesn’t have a reason to thermo-regulate.>
I’ve noticed lately that his shell right at the rim and the belly is slightly soft. Not spongy or anything just kinda like your fingernails when you take a ling hot bath. He sometimes opens only one eye and the other one is closed, but if he gets wet he can open both. He also scratches his eyes whenever he gets in/out of the water.
<That could be the edge of normal or the potential for problems – read on>
Is there something wrong or I'm being paranoid? I will take him to the vet for a check-up as I think he’s got something going on his skin/shell as I see some weird coloring on his feet, neck and top of the shell. The problem is that I’m not sure that the vet will do anything as I'm from Romania and I’m not sure how well trained are vets with turtles.
Sorry for the long intro and for some of the grammar mistakes.
<No problem Robert, we are very tolerant of missed translations, dangling participles and bad punctuation … and your letter has none of those! In fact as I review it and spell/grammar checked it – all the problems are in my replies!!>
Hope to hear from you guys.
I've attached a few pictures with Fred.
<Fred is a handsome fellow and I appreciate the opportunity to help you correct a few common mistakes. First, I’ll like you to an article that tells you everything you need to know: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >
<Now I’ll tell you what to do: First – read ALL of it. EVERY word. Take NOTHING for granted. That said, to hit the high points – the water is too warm and the basking area is too cold (the article explains). Next, the diet isn’t quite right. The food you are giving his is almost the ‘junk food’ {I don’t know how well that will translate} of the turtle world.>
<As the article suggests, feed Fred Repto-min pellets or a high quality Koi pellet and then occasionally supplement that with a live earthworm. Sometimes earthworms are hard to find and another excellent supplement is beef or chicken liver. A very small piece. The most important thing to know is never serve liver in Fred’s tank: Fresh liver releases oils into the water and that fouls the tank. The technique is to put Fred into a shallow bowl of room temperature water. Leave him in for a couple of minutes (so he calms down) and then put a small piece of the liver in the water in front of him. It’s full of vitamins .. most notably “A” for eye health and “D” for bone and shell health>
<It’s all in the article – measure ever item on the article against your care and correct the details and Fred will thank you for it>

Re: Yellow bellied slider    3/3/16
<Dear Crew>
Is there a way I can heat the rock? I'm guessing a UVA light would do that job, but I couldn't find one.
<I use a normal, incandescent light bulb. That, sitting next to a UVB bulb, provides the light AND the heat they need>
As of today he has stopped eating and doesn't really want to go into the water. I'll search for those pellets where I bought him, but I'll doubt I'll find some.
<You can find Koi pellets world-wide and they are exactly the same makeup and provide 100% of his nutritional needs> Weirdly enough on his shrimp (which is JBL Probably) there's a picture of YBS on it.
<Wardley used to market Dried Flies for Sliders and had a Red Eared Slider the tube. Dried Flies?>
Also the vet told me that what I'm feeding him is fine.
<The vet is wrong. No other way to say that. Shrimp in ANY form is not part of a natural diet for these animals, it's not even found in their natural habitat and studies done in universities and research labs on the nutritional needs of various reptiles and amphibians show that shrimp, flies, worms and even crickets have to be "stuffed" with food supplements to be of any real value>
The ambient temperature in out room is 21c.
<That's a perfect room temperature - the water will assume that temperature after a short time and be just right for him. Now just get a source of heat above his basking rock>

I need help with our turtle     1/15/16
Hi
<Hiya - Darrel here>
this is noonans
<Nice to meet you>
and our southern yellow belly Cooter is five years old and she wont eat since Sept 2015 we are worried about her and we did rescue her from a friend that had her in a ten gallon tank and now she is in 30 gallon tank and have a place to get out of the water
<Thank you for rescuing her. I don't have nearly enough information to be able to advise you, T&K. It's normal for turtles to slow down this time of year and perhaps not eat at all. If the turtle is indoors and the water is at room temperature and the basking area is around 88 to 93 degrees (under a heat lamp) then I'd expect that she'd eat at least once a week. Even three degrees colder and she might barely eat once a month.>
<The most important thing is whether she is alert and otherwise active. If she swims and basks and is otherwise healthy she can easily go until mid spring without any food. Remember, less food is better.>

3 baby turtles, ID, sys./fdg., hlth.      4/3/13
Dear Crew
<Hiya Taylor - Darrel here>
I was given 3 baby turtles this past Christmas and was told that they are red eared sliders but they do not have their red ears yet.
<That's not entirely accurate.  They are born with the red patch on each side, so they are most likely not Red Eared Sliders.>
<The genus' Pseudemys & Trachemys comprise a wide variety of turtles including the painted turtles, the sliders, the Cooters, and others - and for our intents and purposes as pet keepers, they are all the same - they have the same requirements.>
<So, assuming that they look in every other respect just like a Red Eared Slider, then they are probably Trachemys scripta scripta - the yellow bellied turtle.>

I put the three small turtles in a 10 gallon tank and they have almost quadrupled in size. I will soon be getting them a much larger tank. What I was wondering though is how am I suppose to regulate the amount of food that each of them receive?
<Feed them all they can eat in 5 minutes about 5 times a week.   Reduce that to 3 times a week once they are about the size of your fist>
I feel as though two of them are bullying the other one so that one is not getting as much food as it needs.
<That happens all the time.  Take the little guy out, put him in a shallow bowl of water (enough that he can stand it and put his head out.  Give him perhaps 10 minutes to calm down from the change - and then feed him separately.    If you do this at least twice a week, you'll know for certain that he is getting nutrition>
Also they "beg" for food every time I walk by and I am never sure when they are actually hungry and I do not want to over feed my turtles.
<Taylor - overfeeding is the single biggest health problem in our pets.  Because WE feel good when we eat and because we want our pets to feel good - we feed them.  Too much and too often.>
One more thing, how do I tell when they get stressed out?
<The first thing you'll notice (unless you see a physical injury) is a change in behavior.  A turtle that swims like crazy against the glass when you walk into the room - now sits on his rock and just watches.  Or a turtle that swims when you ever the room now swims ALL the time … like he can't stop.  Changes in their normal behavior.   Now, a change doesn't always mean a problem, so once in a while it's OK.  Like ONE day he just doesn't jump in the water to see you … should make you notice and wonder.  TWO days and now it's time to see if anything is wrong.>
<Here is the best guide on the planet.  Read, learn, understand and DO everything it says - and your little guys will be fine!  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >

Yellow belly slider; eating concern and care questions   6/28/12
Hi
<Hi Ekaterina, Sue here with you.>
I just got what seems to be a female yellow belly slider she's about 3-4 inches in length. I'm a first time turtle owner and a huge animal lover and whenever I notice a new behavior I get concerned.
<That’s good of you to be observant!  The better you get to know her normal behaviors on a day to day basis, the more likely you’ll notice when she’s not feeling well or acting right.>
After I fed her ( mainly turtle pellets And 2 shrimps)
<Wouldn’t do the shrimp; just the pellets only as the staple.  Then just offer her an earthworm or two every few weeks as a healthy treat instead of the shrimp.>
she was looking and us and opening her mouth I read about water in lungs just concerned if its normal she stopped after about 5 - 10 min.s?
<Did she eat the food?  Have you tried to feed her again since? How has her breathing been out of the water (i.e. is she doing open mouth breathing or making sounds while she’s breathing)?>
And also I have a day 40 watt UVB lamp for the day hours
<UVB lamp is great; just make sure it’s emitting enough heat. Turtles need both to properly digest their food. The temperature above her basking area should be in the 88-90 degree range.>
and a red heating lamp for the night hours,
<No heat lamp needed at all at night; better for her to cool down at night as she’d normally do in nature.>
the water level is just enough for her to swim and be able to flip over I read that I have to gradually increase it so she doesn't go into shock
<Where did you hear/read this? Turtles are able to swim in deep water from the time they hatch!>
should I buy a water heater or is the lamp enough?
<The lamp above the basking area is all you need - no water heater at all. Cooler water is what you want (in the 68-70 degrees F range; what is typically room temperature).>
I'm purchasing a filter this Friday once the water level gets higher
<You can fill the water as high as you want now; no need to wait.>
I've been changing the water every day while I feed her in a separate tank I only use bottled Poland spring.
<No need at all for bottled water.  Assuming your tap water is safe enough for you to drink, it’s fine for her as well!>
Is there anything else I can provide for her to make her more comfortable?
Thank you for your time,
<You’re welcome Katie! Let us know if you notice any more unusual behavior with her eating/breathing. I’m also going to give you a link to our care guide that covers all the basics in greater detail-
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >
Sincerely Katie :)
Re Yellow belly slider baby, hlth.      7/1/12

Hi Katie here, thanks so much Sue for your help!
<You’re welcome!>
As per Charlie's breathing concern I am pretty sure she's fine. She's been eating plentifully even fruits, she's breathing fine out of water no noises and no open mouth breathing.
<Glad to hear she’s OK!>
Thanks for informing about no water heater that will save me some money.  Besides a basking rock ( I have a long floating platform rock from Petco) should I add more stones to the bottom of the tank that elevate the ground for her to sleep easier? Don't want her to drown, with the way I have the water now she hold on the artificial plant while sleeping is this normal?
<Perfectly normal.  I don’t know how big your plant is, but if you like you could try clustering 2-3 plants together in one spot so she has more to hang onto; then just attach them to one side of the aquarium using a suction cup.>
Thanks so much
<Happy to help! Any more questions or concerns, let us know.> 

A new Yellow Bellied Slider 1/24/12
Hello,
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I just bought a Yellow bellied Slider turtle yesterday. Only one.
<Congratulations!>
I have him in a ten gallon tank with a UV light and a little decoration he can use to climb up on and bask. I have him by the window sill. I open the blinds and turn on the light everyday before school. I turn the light off every night before I go to bed. My school starts at 9:15-3:25. He is eating just fine.
<Sounds good so far - just remember - light through glass can heat up a tank really fast. That can make the water warm, maybe even HOT. Keep an eye on that>
My only concern is that I notice that he doesn't ever come out the water to bask in the light or sunlight. I even try putting him on the decoration (that floats) but he just continues to jump in the water. The people where I bought him from told me about turtles known for getting soft shell if they don't get out the water to bask. I'm concerned that this might happen to him. If there is anything you can tell me that you could tell me that would be very great.
<I can tell you a lot!!>
<First and foremost, He may just be nervous. When turtles are scared, they seek the safety of the water. He may bask just fine when he's alone and at the first vibration (he can sense you coming before you can see him) he may jump in the water.>
<Second, back to what I said '¦ if the water is too warm, he won't want to bask. The water should be room temperature and no warmer -68-73 degrees(f)- and the basking area between 88-93(f). This gives him a choice.>
His name is Gordon and my name is Christa. If there is anything you could tell me that would be great.
<Have Gordon read this: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >
<Better yet, print this out and read it TOO Gordon. YOU, Christa - need to know everything in that article. It's short, easy to read, brilliantly written and tells you everything you need to know about Gordon's care. Gordon probably already knows most of it, but it couldn't hurt to tell him!>
<Best Wishes on your new friend from Me, Bob, Neale, Sue & the crew here at WWM>

Yellow bellied sliders, gen. 1/9/12
Hi my name is Rachel
<Hiya - My name is Darrel>
-- and I have two yellow belly sliders. I have had them for almost a year and I have a few questions. I've been wondering for a while what the spots or dots on the stomach mean. Does it mean age?
<No>
My larger turtle is about 3in. wide across the shell and on his stomach he has 12 dots and when I got him he has like 6 and my smaller turtle that is a few cm smaller only has 7 and is getting more. What does it mean?
<It's important that we make a distinction here between white spots in the natural material of the plastron (which is normal) and fungus growing ON the plastron (which is NOT normal). As long as you can't scratch the white spot off with a part of your fingernail '¦ as long as it's part of the coloration pattern, then it's nothing to worry about>
I was also wondering how many pellets of food I should give them in giving the big one 3-4 and the small one 2-3. Is that about right?
<Wright or right? Due knot Re: lie too much on spell Czech!>
This is a little embarrassing....I've been hand feeding my turtles for a while (In the past I used a straw)
<Not embarrassing. Nice. I do that too, sometimes. I have a feeder shrimp that I feel with a long feeding tube - it allows me to see her and check that she's OK and it gives us some special time together.>
-- And now they think my fingers are food!
<Yep. That's what happens>
When I'm trying to arrange my cage my big one will come up and bite my finger
<I hope you mean the TURTLES' cage??? Because if they're keeping YOU in a cage, we have a bigger problem '¦. LOL>
(It doesn't hurt)!
<Not when they're small, but in a few years they'll be able to take a chunk out of your finger and that DOES hurt!>
Help! Do I just start feeding them with a straw again?
<What I do with my inside turtles is to feed them in another container. I place them in a shallow container of water (like a plastic shoe box with 1 1/2 inches of water in it) and then I place a small pinch of pellets in the water. If they eat all those, I give them a few more and even more after that - I give them all they can eat in 5 minutes. 5 times a week for the first two years and then 3-4 times a week after they get older. This method allows me to feed them their pellets, give them treats like earthworms, pieces of beef liver, etc. things that would terribly cloud the water of their main tank '¦ because after they stop eating, I pick them up, put them back and toss the food-water out.>

Oh get your plastrons ovah here! 7/19/11
D,S,N, (not to be confused w/ the olde rockers w/ similar initials), whatchu say re a pc. covering the care of YBS (Yellow bellied sliders), Trachemys s. scripta und various Pseudemys spp.... Too similar to the first's congener? B, who is at this very moment subdividing the collected FAQs on these species.
Re: Oh get your plastrons ovah here! 7/19/11
Ha, hah!! Well, Bob, here's at least 1 plastron present and accounted for!
I was afraid you'd have a much stronger word than just 'plastron' for me by now! I'm very sorry I haven't been in touch re: progress - I've been keeping a low profile mainly because I unfortunately have no progress to report since I last wrote you! When you first wrote requesting a piece a couple of months ago, I was in the middle of a project. Unfortunately when that finished, my kids were literally out of school the next day. The good news, though, is that things are finally starting to settle down and I promise I WILL pick back up on it very soon. Darrel can probably speak better to your "congener" question, but from what he's shared with me, "RES" systems could (and probably should) be called "Semi-Aquatic" systems since there are so few differences.
<Okay>
Having said that, though, I believe Darrel said he was going to include a section that points out where there are those few exceptions . is that right Darrel? Which now reminds me, I sent Darrel an email with a question for him about the pond section some time ago. Hmmm, I don't believe I ever got a reply on that . Darrel - where is your plastron?! ;)
-Sue
<And am going to be out at the Fish Hlth. Conf. in ME again in August Sue if you'd like to get tog. Cheers, BobF>

Ill turtle 7/11/11
Dear Crew,
<Hiya - Darrel here>
We have a female red/yellow belly slider about 11yrs old, Chomper. The last few days we have noticed that she has not eaten and as not been moving around much (and she hasn't pooped since we brought her in). We have a 1,000gl pond outside that she lives in with 11 other turtles and 6 Koi. I noticed Chomper went to swim across the pond but could not submerge. I took her out of the pond placed her in a plastic tub and placed a heat lamp on her. Her eyes and hears are normal. She is sitting on a brick on a towel that is about 1.5inch thick and about 1/2 inch of water on the bottom. Not often but every now and then she will stick her nose in the water for a few minutes. Can you tell me what else I can do for her? Would she get like this after she laid eggs? About a month ago she was digging and her backside look fairly bigger, not sure though if she actually laid or not.
<One possibility is that she's egg-bound. Usually, if a turtle can't lay eggs for some reason, they'll reabsorb the eggs. If the eggs have already shelled inside her (formed the harder external shells) then they'll just expel them in the water or land or wherever. Must less often they can get egg bound - the eggs are formed and, for whatever reason, can't be expelled. This can cause loss of appetite, lethargy and odd swimming characteristics.>
<The solution is easy: Take Chomper to a vet and have her hind quarters X-rayed. Eggs in the oviduct will show up on the graph. If they are there, the vet can administer Oxytocin in the hind leg to induce labor.>
<warm bath/soakings of the hind quarter '¦ say '¦ 15 minutes of warm water twice daily might also free up the eggs or any intestinal impaction>
We've had ill turtles in the past and we have been able to help them but I'm at a loss with Chomper.
Thanks for any guidance you can give us.
Tee
<Hope it helps - D>

HELP! Yellow Bellied Slider Turtle 7/3/2011
Dear Crew,
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I have a full grown male yellow bellied slider turtle in a 55 gallon fish tank with a couple of med. sized goldfish.
<Did the goldfish start out as feeders that the turtle never ate? And now they're additional pets to worry about & care for?>
I put some driftwood I bought from the fish section at Petco into the tank about a week ago. Ever since then I've been having to do small water changes every couple days cause the water would turn a light caramel color. Well I noticed both today and yesterday my turtle wasn't eating and had red streaks in the bottom of his shell. He has also been basking out of the water a lot. At the times he IS in the water, he sometimes has his legs spread out and acts as if he's going to throw up. I ended up taking the wood out this morning, and it smelled bad and had white moldy spots on it (the wood not the turtle). I threw it away, cleaned out the filter, did a big water change, like 40%.. and put the turtle out to bask in the sun for a good 45 minutes. He's acting a bit better but still not good. What's wrong with him and how can I help??
<He may simply improve with time. At the very least do another water change, but what I'd REALLY recommend doing is to sterilize the entire setup. Put the goldfish in a temporary tank, take the turtle out and put him somewhere warm and dry for the. Fill the water to the regular "full" level and maybe even an inch more. Add 1 cup of chlorine bleach per approximate gallon of water. Even a bit more is OK as long as you can ventilate the room so no one breathes the fumes. It's important that you leave the filters on and running during this process. What we want to do is kill the mold & fungus everywhere -- inside the tubes, down in the impeller -- all the places you'd never reach with even the most thorough cleaning. After 2 or 3 hours, you can drain the water, break the system down and clean everything. Rinse, use soap and water, rinse again & then set it back up.>

Turtle in a Fish Tank? 6/22/11
Hello, my name is Reba
--Reba, I'm Darrel
and I went to a pet store today and got a baby yellow bellied slider.
-- 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 tank.
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:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm
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 ABSOLUTELY necessary.
ABSOLUTELY.

Found a big turtle in my yard 6/22/11
Good afternoon,
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I found your website doing a search on Google. After reading through your other posts I only have two questions. Is this turtle a Yellow Bellied Slider (YBS)?
<She is a BEAUTIFUL Yellow Bellied Slider in great shape!!!!>
I found this turtle in my back yard which is not close (.5 miles) to a stream, and the front yard is on a busy road.
<It's possible, I suppose, that it's a long term captive in your neighborhood that escaped, but whether from a stream, lake, pond or pool, turtles like that can take INCREDIBLE walking tours in search of '¦ whatever turtles search for. I've come across them 3 MILES from the nearest water.>
Should I just put the turtle back in the yard where I found him/her, or should I take him/her to the stream in the park?
<What I'd rather you do is look on the Internet for a turtle & tortoise club in your area. Putting the turtle back in your yard (allowing it to just walk away) is dangerous and we never, ever, EVER, *E*V*E*R release an animal into the wild unless we are absolutely sure beyond question that we are releasing it back into it's native habitat. An experienced keeper in your general area will know if that species & subspecies is a local native and can be safely returned to it's wild state. More importantly, a guy might drive 100 miles to obtain a turtle that large & that pretty. I know I sure would.>
I think your website is awesome by the way.
<Thank you, thank you, thank you. We never tire of hearing that -- and allowing us to take the opportunity to make a shameless pitch right here in the middle of the daily FAQs '¦.
Lights, cameras drum roll & LARGE FONT PLEASE '¦..
Ladies and Gentlemen, if at any time now or in the future you feel so inclined, there is a "donate" button on the WWM web site. The donations received go toward paying for articles and other content that in turn make the web site even more awesome than before.
<thank you for your attention>
Thanks,
<yer welcome!>
Jasmine

Re: Identify turtle type and am I doing this right? 6/21/11
Dear Crew,
<Hiya- Darrel here>
I might have really screwed up!
<Uh-oh>
On Sunday morning I noticed some filmy white stuff around Rocko the yellow bellied slider's head, arms and feet. I was really worried that it was fungal or something, but then after reading more on your site decided it was probably just shedding. It looked like a peeling sunburn would.
<Yes>
I decided to do a 100% water change because I noticed some algae growing in the corner of the tank 20g tank he's in as well as on the side of his basking rock.
<A nice thing about turtles is that you can take them out and scrub their world with soap & water if you want... then a quick rinse and they're back: No biological eco-system to rebalance>
I put Rocko in a plastic shoe box (no lid) on the front porch in the shade with no water as I figured if I was wrong and it was fungal, at least he'd have an hour or so to dry off.
<Good idea>
When I finished cleaning the tank (scrubbed with just water and a scrubby pad thing) I changed the carbon cartridge in the filter, added water and water conditioner and let it sit for about 30 min or so.
<The conditioner wasn't necessary. Unlike fish, it's not critical to turtles. I'm not saying it's a BAD thing, of course, just that on balance, there are other ways to spend that same money>
This all took about 1 hour. When I went to get Rocko inside, he was scrabbling to get up the side of the shoe box as he normally would. However, I noticed that he seemed very warm (he wasn't in direct sun but it was about 95+ degrees outside).
<I probably wouldn't have left him out there THAT long '¦ maybe a half hour max '¦ BUT if he was in the shade it shouldn't have been a problem>
When I put him on his rock, he immediately got in the water and just sort of floated there, immobile, with his eyes shut. The peeling skin stuff was still all over, but now it looked like his eyes had a thick film over them.
<The film just dried>
I was worried he had heat stroke but didn't know what to do so I just let him float about, and every once in a while he'd swim down to the bottom then float back up to the top. He started scratching at the film on his eye and one eye ended up with a little dot of blood. His other eye seems fine.
<OK>
He is eating now with the same gusto as usual, but seems to be having a harder time than normal finding the food. I have Vit A drops and put them in no more than once/week.
<A vitamin A deficiency should be treated with daily drops and adding beef or chicken liver to Rocko's daily diet for a week or so. VERY small pieces - the trick with feeding liver or raw meat is to be sure to feed him in a separate bowl - that stuff fouls the water quickly>
I have added today a "fungus treatment fizz tab" that was recommended to me for my pond Koi by a reputable vet here in Houston. The tabs say they contain Allantoin, Nitrofurazone, Furazolidone, potassium dichromate, Methylene blue and Acriflavine. They claim to "treat a variety of fungus and bacteria related conditions and protects against secondary infections."
<I have used those same chemicals on my Koi pond, just never had them in a fizz tab before>
The turtle's eyes are clear today, but seem a bit swollen still and there's still the drop of blood in one eye. The "peeling skin" seems to have disappeared.
<Seems to be healing>
Should I be doing something different?
<Have you thought of being a choreographer?>
<Oh, Wait. You meant something different about Rocko, didn't you?>
<Sounds like all the right things, at least generally. Glad you searched the site and decided it was likely shedding rather than fungal. Fungal usually starts out as a localized patch - or in one of two places.>
<On the other hand, a normal shedding produces small pieces of skin, usually not even big enough to be visible. A large shedding indicates something not quite right in the environmental aspect. Cleaning the tank was a good choice. Now let's monitor what goes into the tank for a while. Vitamin drops go in his eyes BEFORE placing him in the shoebox to dry for 15 minutes (but keep the box inside the house). Then fill the box with an inch of water (maybe from his tank) and place the bits of liver (or Koi pellets that had been dipped in Cod Liver Oil) in the water and let Rocko eat all he can eat in 5 minutes. Then a quick rinse (just drizzle a bit more tank water over him) then back in his regular tank. -- THEN --- replace the water you dipped from his tank with plain-old tap water>
<This not only stops Contaminating Rocko's tank but actually gives a partial daily water change>
<After he's fully healed - about 4 more weeks, you can go back to feeding him (sparingly) in his tank again>
Thanks for any info you can give!
<Yer welcome>

Yellow Bellied Slider Hatchling Questions 6/17/11
Dear WWM,
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I had a couple questions regarding my new turtles.
<Well, let's see if I have a couple of answers>
They're each about 1.5" in shell diameter.
<Hatchlings>
1. I noticed one of them sleeps with its neck almost completely outstretched and its head resting on the basking log, is this an indicator of the turtle being unwell?
<Well, it's not normal, so yes. It's an indication that he's ill>
2. Their eyes are very slightly swollen and I've been giving them eye drops daily, but I wanted to know what are some good foods that are easy for them to eat but also rich in vitamin A.
<An earthworm, beef or chicken liver or shredded carrots - but with that said, they need quite a bit more than just that. They should be warm and dry, have extra amounts of UV-B lighting and a full vitamin supplement in their food initially. The first link I'm going to give you is on treatment of illnesses.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm
What is important to note is that illnesses to due to dietary or environmental conditions took quite some time to develop and will take quite some time to heal. During this time, their "normal" warm, wet habitat can actually be a detriment to them. Also make sure that they are eating a well balanced diet. ReptoMin food sticks and a good quality Koi pellet are perfect foods. Coat a few pellets with Cod Liver Oil and offer them during the feeding period.>
<Now, while they guys are in the ICU, you can take the time to go over their normal housing and see if you have a proper setup. Here is a link to basic care instructions:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm it's important to note that while they don't need very much in the way of specifics, they absolutely need what they need. Food, temperature, UV, etc. Read the entire article and measure your care against the standards.>
3. Do you have any recommendations on how to change the water in their tank? It's not exactly easy carrying out 6+ gallons of water every week and generally only the bottom of the water gets cloudy so I wanted to know if it's possible to remove the bottom water and just pour in clean water to replace it.
<Essentially yes. Just like in a fish-based aquarium, you can siphon out water from the bottom, actively using the tube to suck out visible particles, and then replace that water with new water. If you have just 2 or 3 hatchlings and 6 gallons of water, you can repeat this partial water change 4-5 times before a full, complete drain, wipe & refill every 6th time>
Thanks so much for the help, I've spent many hours reading information on the site!
<You are so very welcome!>
Jonathan
Re: Yellow Bellied Slider Hatchling Questions 6/19/11

WWM,
<JH>
Thanks for such a fast reply, I know my turtles will appreciate the immediate help I can give them.
<Time is always of the essence in treatment of turtles and fish, Jon -- they often show no outward signs of sickness until the condition is quite advanced>
I read through the two articles and honestly I feel like I have a very adequate environment set up.
<Excellent!>
They are in a 20 gallon long tank with two filters (a hanging one and the zoomed filter that looks like a rock waterfall). The basking area is between 87-91 degrees and the water temperature sits at 76.
<A tad on the warm side. 68 to 73 is best -- plain old Room Temperature.
No heater needed or even desirable>
They have the basking light and a UVB bulb that are on for 14 hours each day and then there is a red bulb that turns on at night which keeps the tank at ~81 degrees over night. I'm feeding them Zoo Med natural aquatic turtle food (hatchling formula) should I abandon this?
<No - it's a fine food, Jon. I'm just partial to plain old Koi pellets - I raise hatchlings to breeders on that one staple formula>
When I put the turtles in isolation do I need two separate containers for each of them, or can both be in the same one?
<the same is fine. Not only are we not talking about infectious diseases here, but even if we were - both would be exposed to it. So yes, by all means keep them together>
Should I continue with the heating light then red light at night to maintain the day/night cycle?
<It can't hurt>
Thanks again.
<You're welcome, Jon>
Jonathan Hsu
Re: Yellow Bellied Slider Hatchling Questions 6/22/11

Dear WWM,
<Hiya again Jon - Darrel here>
I'm sorry to follow up and let you all know my turtles died.
<On behalf of Bob Fenner, Neale, Sue & the entire crew, we're sorry for your loss, Jon.> I suspect they were sick since my brother bought them (he bought them from a site that sent him YBS instead of the RES he ordered) and gave him 3 for the price of 1.
<Jon - the common problem with fish and reptiles is that they are very stoic. They will make every attempt to look and act "normal" until they are SO sick that they are hard to treat. My guess is that yes, they were likely sick when you got them>
I have over $300 worth of equipment and have two questions.
<OK>
1) Is there a species of aquatic turtle that will not grow to such sizes as the RES/YBS?
<No, but then again they take many years to get HUGE. Their growth slows quickly after the first three years, so it can be a long, long time before they outgrow a normal-sized in-home tank>
2) What is a reputable organization to purchase turtles from?
<It's really hard to recommend, Jon. There are so many sources out there and most simply buy & resell what is available. All I can say is to turn to the Internet and ask various suppliers what guarantees they will offer you.>
Thanks again for all your help despite my best efforts not being good enough.
<Jon - there was likely nothing you could have done. If they had been sick for a long time before they were sent to you, then their fate was most likely sealed before you got them. I really hope you don't give up>
Re: Yellow Bellied Slider Hatchling Questions 6/28/11

WWM,
<Jon>
I appreciate the condolences, it hasn't been a pleasant couple weeks since I took in the turtles.
<The loss of even the smallest of us diminishes us all>
I've been looking into different species of turtles and the Southern Painted Turtle peaked my interest.
<It's a very pretty turtle>
It seems like it doesn't grow very big but for the most part has the same general care as a YBS except it might need a stronger heating bulb than I currently have (75 watt) and a small submersible heater for the water according to my readings.
<No water heater. The care for the Painted turtles is essentially identical to the sliders: 68-73 degree water and 88-93 degree basking.>
You all have been so helpful I wouldn't dare get another turtle without consulting your opinions though so any insights you have would be extremely appreciated.
<We appreciate the kind words, Jon. Painted Turtles are a nice looking breed and you might also look at the Graptemys (Map Turtles). They are on the small side - smaller than painteds - but just as interesting looking.
They are more aquatic than sliders, actually I think because they're more shy, so water quality is slightly more of an issue. That said, I certainly enjoy the ones I have. http://www.xupstart.com/wwm >
Thanks so much for everything.
<yer welcome, Jon. Darrel>
Jonathan

Yellow Bellied Slider, sys., fdg... 6/8/11
Dear WWM crew;
<Hi Carla, Sue here with you.>
Two months ago a small Yellow Bellied Slider was walking on my drive way and I took her in. She is about the size of a silver dollar.
<They're pretty hard to resist, aren't they? That's exactly the same way I first became a 'turtle mom'!>
I fully believe that I have provided all the needed requirements including: UV light, a Heat lamp, basking stone, a plastic plant and a live plant, Turtle calcium bone, moss ball, and filter system, and she seems to be otherwise healthy.
<The most critical of what you mentioned are UV (though has to be UVB specifically, double check to make sure), heat lamp, basking area and good filtration system. The latter becomes increasingly important the bigger she gets, and no matter what type of filter you get, you'll always need to do frequent water changes!>
I think she is shedding her shell plates because of lighter spaces that seem to be growing in between them, however, I recently noticed that the top of the shell seems to be growing upwards in a pyramid style, am I feeding her too much?
<If you've already seen this much of a noticeable difference in her appearance after only 2 months, it's likely you are. How much and how often are you feeding her?>
<Over-feeding is one of the most common mistakes people make with turtles, and it can lead to a whole host of medical problems including, but not limited to, shell deformities. Turtles (like people!) often don't know when to stop eating, but unlike people they have the added disadvantage of not being able to expand their bodies to accommodate the excess food because of their shell. >
When I originally found her the only thing she would eat were trout worms and a small amount of organic carrots. I fully cleaned her tank this morning and fed her another worm at noon like I do everyday. I'm worried about her because she has not yet eaten her worm except for biting it a few times, she usually gets very excited about her worms and will play with it and eat the entire worm in about an hour. She has eaten about five floating turtle pellets. I'm wondering if she tired of eating worms, and should I start feeding her mostly pellets?
<The pellets, not the worms, should be her staple, so it's good she's starting to become more interested in them. Also, I'd feed her earthworms instead of trout worms, and ONLY as a treat; just one or two a month.>
<I think the problem is that you're over-feeding her. 5 floating pellets (without worms!) every 2-3 days is more than plenty for her! You should be feeding her only as many pellets as she can eat in 5 minutes, 3 times a week.>
<Besides the health benefit to her of feeding her less, a side benefit for you is that you hopefully won't have so much clean-up to do! I'd also suggest waiting until AFTER she's done eating and pooping to clean her tank, rather than cleaning it beforehand like you're doing now. It will make your life easier, and will be much healthier for her. Any uneaten food (and poop!) should be removed right away, filter or no filter. Don't let it sit and break apart in the water.>
The pellets are a mix of vegetable pellets and shrimp pellets, but she seems to hate the shrimp ones.
<I'd leave out the shrimp pellets. She will get all the protein she needs in a good quality pellet like ReptoMin. Koi pellets are also fine. They have the same nutritional value and are much less expensive.>
<Also, if there are days she seems ravenous and you're feeling guilty about not feeding her pellets, you can try offering her some greens like red or green leaf lettuce or dandelion leaves (some grocery stores do sell this). If she truly is hungry enough, she'll nibble at some greens. The fiber they contain will help her feel full and you won't have the worry about overfeeding as you would with pellets and worms.>
I have also been worried that she might be bored or lonely; is there anything that I can provide for her to keep her busy or to have fun?
<Though turtles should be getting all the calcium they need from their normal diet, for my turtles (purely for their entertainment and also for a little exercise!), I'll occasionally cut off a couple of small chunks of the turtle calcium bone (that you have), and toss them in the water. They love to chase the blocks all around the tank and peck at them! However, the fun only lasts for them while they're floating; once they eventually sink, the game is over!>
She is also spending a great deal of time on her basking stone but she seems to be tired as her head keeps drooping, she is usually very active and will follow my finger along the glass.
<If in fact she has been eating too much, she might be feeling like all of us do when we are over-stuffed from a meal - tired! One of the main reasons turtles need to bask is to get enough heat and UVB to digest their food. They typically bask for several hours each day, so that's normal behavior (and they often do fall asleep!) However, the one important thing to check is her basking temperature. Get a suction thermometer from the pet store and place it above the basking area. It should be at least 88-90 degrees F in order for her to digest her food properly; otherwise it will sit and eventually rot in her stomach. Particularly if you're concerned that you've been over-feeding her, this is one thing I'd check first. It's possible she's got a lot of food stored up in her stomach. Also -- don't forget to make sure your UV bulb specifically SAYS it's UVB; UVB is also essential for digestion!>
Thank you.
<Carla, I'd suggest you check out the link below. It was written by a crew member who has kept all kinds of turtles his whole life. It covers feeding and all the important aspects of general care:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >
<Good luck with her! Keep us posted on how she's doing, and don't hesitate to write us back if you have any more concerns. Sue>

Re: Yellow Bellied Slider 6/9/11
Hello Sue thank you for helping me so much.
<You're welcome, Carla (and Lil!); glad I was able to help.>
I fully know now that I was in fact feeding her way too much. Today I broke up her calcium bone and didn't feed her anything. She will finish 5 pellets in about two minutes, should I feed her more until the 5 minute mark?
<Sure, that's fine; just toss in a few pellets and remove whatever she hasn't eaten after 5 minutes.>
She also relaxed under her basking light most of the morning and was much move lively the entire afternoon.
<That's great to hear that her energy level is back!>
I left her alone for a few hours and she tore apart her plant though. I don't believe she ate any of it, most of it was floating in the tank but, she did pull it out of the gravel.
<It's possible she took a few pecks at it. She'll become more and more of a 'vegetarian' as time goes on! It's fine to start exposing her to some plants now, though.>
I did find out that both of her lights are UVA and the basking light is extremely too hot. I will be buying a new one tomorrow.
<That's good you discovered her light was not UVB. Not having UVB would have definitely caused her to become ill.>
<No need to get a 'specialty' basking light as the heat bulb. Your basic light bulb will work just fine. Just experiment with different wattages until you get the basking temperature in range.>
<Also, on the topic of temperature -- you want to keep her water temperature on the cool side; around 68-70 degrees F. If the water is too warm, that will also make her hungrier, speed up her growth and metabolism, increase shedding, etc. The cooler water temperature is also what will encourage her to get out of the water to bask.>
Thank you again for all your help, we will use the worms to go fishing instead.
<Actually, an earthworm or two every month or so is a nutritious treat, and she'll appreciate it; just toss whatever are left into your garden!>
Thank you,
Carla and Lil

identify turtle 5/9/11
Dear Crew,
<Hiya Ladean, Darrel here>
This turtle belongs to my pastor.
<Sure '¦ if we had a dime for every time we heard THAT story '¦.>
We are trying to identify what kind of turtle it is.
He says it does not have red on his face. I thought it was a slider.
<It could be a slider>
However, he has had a person knowledgeable of sliders and that person says it is not a slider.
<Hmmm>
We live in the Houston Texas area.
<I live in the Los Angeles area. Howdy neighbor!>
Can you assist in identifying this reptile friend?
<I'd like to see a picture of his face, from the side, not retracted. Does it have ANY kind of circle where the "red" would be? The reason I'm asking is that ONLY the Pseudemys scripta ELEGANS has the "red" ear. That mark can be yellow, green and even orange in other forms of sliders.>
<On the other hand '¦ if his skin is yellow and BLACK rather than yellow and GREEN '¦ she's likely a Pseudemys concinna (Cooter)>
<What it's NOT '¦>
<It's not a snapping turtle, softshell turtle, Galapagos tortoise or a toaster oven>
<Whatever it is '¦ it's big, it looks healthy and it's fun to have as a pet>
Ladean

 

Re: identify turtle 5/11/11
Here is the only other view I have so far. I think it might be a peninsula Cooter after what you said below. Or a toaster oven.....
<Green & Yellow stripes = sliders. Black & Yellow stripes = cooters>
<The good news is that the CARE is identical in every way. Diet, health issues, even breeding -if she finds herself a fella- are all interchangeable>
To me those shells are the same.
<Ya seen one shell, ya seen 'em all>
Ladean

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