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FAQs About Turtle Babies, Young: Disease

Related Articles: My Turtle Laid Eggs. What do I do? by Darrel Barton, Turtles, Shell Rot in Turtles, Amphibians, Red Eared Slider Care,

FAQs on: Turtle Reproduction & Young, RES Reproduction & Young,
FAQs on: Young Turtle Identification, Young Turtle Behavior, Young Turtle Compatibility, Young Turtle Stocking/Selection, Young Turtle Systems, Young Turtle Feeding,
Related FAQs: Turtles 1, Turtles 2, Red Ear Sliders, Turtle Identification, Turtle Behavior, Turtle Compatibility, Turtle Selection, Turtle Systems, Turtle Feeding, Turtle Disease, Shell Rot, & by Species: Cooters/Mud Turtles, Softshells, Snapping Turtles, Mata Matas, Tortoises, & Amphibians, Other Reptiles,

Hatchling Eye    4/17/20
I recently found a hatchling on the road a couple days ago and his eye doesn’t look normal at all. I will attach the photo, any recommendations and help would be extremely helpful. Thank you for your time.
Also, the hatchling isn’t really moving that eye, and it for the most start stays open..
<Hello Debra, I agree, it's eye isn't normal. You really have three options here. One is simply leave it be, and Nature will takes its course. These animals aren't very dependent on their eyes, and while they might be more vulnerable to predators (things like otters and raccoons readily take turtle hatchlings) this one might get lucky. If you happen to have kept turtles as pets before, your second option would be to keep the creature as a pet. I'd strongly suggest having a vet look it over to check there's nothing otherwise wrong. Finally, you could take it to an animal rescue place. Here in England we have places like St Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital and imaging there are other, similar charities elsewhere. These people are able to judge the best way to treat wild animals without habituating them to human company, making their eventual release into the wild more secure. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Hatchling Eye       4/18/20
Thank you so much for your help ,
<Most welcome.>
I think I will see the nearest vet.
<Good call.>
Would you recommend eye drops until I can get him there?
<If sterile, possibly. But if a vet is taking a look, perhaps best to wait.
There are specific eye drops for turtles available, and these should be safe. For example, Zoo Med Repti Turtle Eye Drops which retail for around $5-10. I would not use human eye drops without checking with a reptile expert or vet first. Cheers, Neale.>

Red eared slider turtle      4/1/19
I have 5 baby red eared slider turtles they were good but one of my turtle stop eating and it is not moving much.
<It's not a good sign when turtles stop eating and moving. Usually means they're too cold (need a heat lamp for basking); but can mean they're sick (don't forget a UV-B source). Let's have you do some reading, here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/rescarebarton.htm
Five Red Ear Sliders will need A LOT of space when mature, so be sure you understand their needs. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Red eared slider turtle      4/1/19
But I can't understand what is going on with only one All the four are good they eat & play
<So far.>
But only one is not looking good
Plzzz help me.....��
<You have not sent me any information. Tell me about their home. For example:
(1) What source of heat do they have?
(2) What sort of UV-B lamp are you using?
(3) What do you feed them?
(4) How big is their tank?
(5) Can they bask under the heat lamp easily? Same for the UV-B lamp?
READ where you were sent, and see what you ARE NOT doing right -- that is likely the answer. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Red eared slider turtle     4/3/19

I have a water heater bulb
<Not sure what you mean here. A heat lamp over a rock is traditional. The water can be room temperature. The turtle will warm up on the land, and cool down in the water.>
I don't use any uv-b lamp I provide direct sun light at least 4 hr per day
<So no glass between the sun and the turtle? That should be fine.>
My tank is 30 gallon
I have also 7 fish in it
<Not a good idea in a tank this small.>
I feed them aquatic turtles food sticks
<Should be fine.>
And I notice today it has discharge from mouth. Is my turtle dyeing?
<Hard to say because you haven't offered enough details. DO some reading, in particular the sections on eye and respiratory tract infections; here:

Baby res about 2 inches (2 months old) not eating has white discharge       12/16/17
Hi I live in India (Hyderabad) where the weather in Dec is between 66F to 86F.
<Hiya -- I live in California where it's 80f today>
I have two baby RES both purchased at same time. They live in a 50 Gallon tank with some resting space. I feed them Osaki pellets, drops of calcium and drops of cod liver oil once a day. – I feed them in a separate tank. They also get 3-4 hours of natural sunlight (without glass and other barriers). Also I think they both are shedding skin (I see some powdery flakes in the water). I change half the water everyday and replace the entire water two times a week.
<excellent care>
One of them which is larger has not been eating much lately.
<If "lately" you mean a few days or even two weeks, do not worry as long as it appears to be active and alert>
I even changed to a different brand of pellets. Today I noticed a white slimy discharge when I placed it in the small tank to feed. It wasn’t in any particular shape but was a bit stringy. Does this mean there is a stomach infection?
<where is the discharge from? The cloaca (the butt)?>
<Tell me this: are they both active and alert an have eaten at least once in the past 7 days?>
<If so ... keep doing what you are doing and see if things change>

Baby Yellow-bellied Slider with Bump under Eye    8/1/17
Hey Crew,
<Hey Isabel! Darrel here>
Thanks for everything that you guys do on this site.
<No charge!>
I am a new turtle owner and found this site after doing some online research concerning a recently developed bump under my baby turtle's left eye. I've had him for about two months now, and he seemed perfectly fine and healthy when I got him.
He is currently residing in a half-filled 10 gallon tank, with a basking area, UVB lamp, halogen lamp (for heat), filter, and small heater that maintains the temperature at around 78 degrees. In his tank are also three plastic plants, large pebbles, and sand as substrate.
<The heater is not necessary at all. He can survive and thrive in room temperature water. Heaters aren’t dangerous per se but if he were to get wedged behind it, etc. I raise all my hatchlings in room temperature water – not heaters>
He is fed a few small pieces of leafy vegetables and a few baby turtle pellets twice a day.
<That’s a little bit much. If you’re going to feed twice a day make sure he gets no more than he can eat in 5 minutes, then remove the rest>
A few weeks ago, I noticed a small piece of membrane (maybe skin?) stuck in the folds under his eye. I thought maybe he might be shedding and that it would come off itself.
<That’s typical, that’s what I’d think as well>
After a couple of days, I noticed that the area was starting to swell ever so slightly. The piece came off after a week, though what remains is a small hard lump right under his eye. Should I be concerned about this, and is it possible that it may be an abscess? From what I can tell, his behavior has not changed. I've attached a picture for reference. Thank you so much again.
<It could be an abscess or a benign cyst. If it’s an eye condition it can be treated by adding a source of Vitamin A to his diet and even some Vitamin A drops.>
<Unfortunately you are encountering something that requires a direct examination. My suggestion, if a trip to the Veterinarian is out of the question, is to look for a turtle and tortoise club in your area. See if you can find an experienced member to can look at him directly>
Isabel Li

Info: turtle. Baby, cut      8/22/16
<Hiya, Darrel here>
I read thru the turtle information on the website. I still didn’t find an answer to my question. I have a baby aquatic turtle who has a red mark under his neck right under his mouth? Its only been there 2 days? If you have info about this I’d really appreciate it.
<Well, that is almost always just a cut, or a sore from being irritated by sharp rock or such. Read here for treating cuts and abrasions http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm >
Best Regards,
Carla De La Rosa

Turtle question, young; soft shell        7/24/16
>Okay my turtle is a hatchling he is very small and I recently got him about
>1 month ago. I have UVB light a heat lamp and a basking area I also have
>the water at 80 degrees. I recently noticed near his tail the edge of his
>shell seems soft well it bends sorta. That is the only place effected. The
>turtle is active and eating he has no other problems and I recently got him
>a cuttlebone for calcium.
<I've had success with my hatchlings by feeding them black worms a couple of times a week.
You can get them at tropical fish stores either live or frozen. You didn't say what species your hatchling is but the common red eared slider is omnivorous and will eat dark green leafy vegetables as well. Small pieces of romaine lettuce or green leaves from any other leafy vegetable except kale. I've never used a cuttlebone for calcium so I'm not sure whether they can get their calcium from it or not. A varied diet is much better. I also feed a good quality kibbled dog food that has a salmon or chicken base that has been soaked until soft. Concerning his soft shell, I don't think you need to get too concerned unless the sides of his shell start getting soft as well. Good luck. Al

Turtle question; hatchling cond.s     7/25/16
Dear Crew,
<Hiya, Darrel here>
My turtle is a hatchling he is very small and I recently got him about 1 month ago. I have UVB light a heat lamp and a basking area I also have the water at 80 degrees.
<That water is too hot. Water should be room temperature and no warmer and the basking area around 88. The goal here is to offer him a choice of warm or cool and let him decide what he needs. Right now you’re giving him a choice between warm and warmer>
I recently noticed near his tail the edge of his shell seems soft well it bends sort of.
That is the only place effected.
<That’s normal for a turtle his size>
The turtle is active and eating he has no other problems and I recently got him a cuttlebone for calcium.
<I’m not a big fan of supplements, Mercedes. If the diet is correct then you don’t need supplements and if the diet is not correct, then we should correct the diet. That said, a calcium bone that they might chew on doesn’t hurt. The idea of putting calcium in the water (those calcium blocks that dissolve) is a waste of your money. Calcium dissolved in the water doesn’t get into the turtle’s body in any effective quantities>
<read here about everything you need to do – don’t skip anything http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm>

Turtle question, young; soft shell        7/24/16
>Okay my turtle is a hatchling he is very small and I recently got him about
>1 month ago. I have UVB light a heat lamp and a basking area I also have
>the water at 80 degrees. I recently noticed near his tail the edge of his
>shell seems soft well it bends sorta. That is the only place effected. The
>turtle is active and eating he has no other problems and I recently got him
>a cuttlebone for calcium.
<I've had success with my hatchlings by feeding them black worms a couple of times a week.
You can get them at tropical fish stores either live or frozen. You didn't say what species your hatchling is but the common red eared slider is omnivorous and will eat dark green leafy vegetables as well. Small pieces of romaine lettuce or green leaves from any other leafy vegetable except kale. I've never used a cuttlebone for calcium so I'm not sure whether they can get their calcium from it or not. A varied diet is much better. I also feed a good quality kibbled dog food that has a salmon or chicken base that has been soaked until soft. Concerning his soft shell, I don't think you need to get too concerned unless the sides of his shell start getting soft as well. Good luck. Al

Red Ear Slider      7/10/16
<Hiya, Darrel here>
I have a red ear slider, he's very small as I've had him for only a few months. I keep his tank clean, turn on his lights every day and was told to feed him frozen bloodworms.
<Not really a good choice>
I put him in another container to feed him because it does make the water a bit dirty. I was feeding him today and he's been very different since. I always put water conditioner and let that sit for a bit. I put him in and put the frozen bloodworms in and he went after them like he normally does. Well I went to sit on the couch and wait, a few minutes later, I noticed he was swimming around frantically. I got up to see him and it almost looked like he was trying to come up which was odd and then was barely moving so I took some water out to make it easier. He hadn't eaten much when he normally eats it all. Then I took his out completely and put him on the table. Normally he walks but he wasn't this time. He put his head on the table without moving. Then two minutes later, lifted his head, took a breath and walked for a few seconds and then stopped again with his head on the table..then a couple minutes later, did the same thing. He did this for about 10-15 minutes. I put him back in his tank on his dock and he kept doing the same thing. I'm not sure what's wrong at all. Do you have any idea what it could be? I'm pretty worried about it.
Thank you
<Jessica, that is odd behavior. My suggestion is that you just dry-dock him for a few days. The reason is this: Turtles can get sick for any number of reasons – some major and some like this where they just seem out of sorts and when that happens they run the risk of drowning, just like a person does … so there is simply no harm in removing them from the water for a day or two or five, until they are feeling like themselves.>
<But on the subject of blood worms, that’s not a really good diet for turtles. Read here for everything you need to know about food, water and lights: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm>
<remember – not all lighting and not all food is the same>
<now read HERE on how to dry-dock a turtle: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm>

Baby yellow belly slider       1/20/16
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I have a two month old yellow belly slider.
<Is his name 'Bertram' by any chance?>
One of his eyes has an opaque gray string like thing across his eye ball.
It moves around, sometimes it is by his top lid, sometimes the bottom and sometimes in the middle. When it's in the middle of his eye he will blink to try and move it because it seems to be obstructing his vision. The eye is not swollen. We used zoo med Repti turtle eye drops for one week which did not appear to do anything. He is eating and swimming normally and
everything else appears to be fine. Do you have any suggestions of what to do?
<Rinse him under the tap in luke-water water with his body tilted down at a slight angle.>
<Or you could take a moist Q-tip and try to just rub it off if he'll let you>
<Or you could just leave it alone and eventually he'll shed it>
<If he's active, alert, eating, pooping, swimming and basking ... he'll end up being fine>
Thanks for your help!

About my res hatchling       4/6/15
Dear Crew
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I don't understand what this is . Expect for this everything else is fine .
And I can see it only when the shell is completely dry
Here's a picture
<That's very normal. It looks like water spots or mineral buildup, but sometimes that is what a scute looks like just before it's going to shed>
<If it doesn't smell and it doesn't flake off, don't worry about it>

Re: About my res hatchling       4/11/15
Thanks for the reply . I don't think it smells . But the turtle has a smell right ?
<A very tiny whiff of an odor, yes, but a turtle does NOT have an objectionable smell>
<If it smells like sewage, rotten food, sulfur, etc. then you'd have a problem>
Re: About my res hatchling
Hai .
Me again .
<Me, too. We have to stop meeting like this - people will talk! LOL>
I feel the White spots are more now . Are you sure this isn't fungus .
Here's a picture
<From here, without being able to examine him personally, it looks like normal growth and change. He's been slowly losing that 'bright green' color since he was 4 months old and as it turns darker green it does get a sort of mottled coloration. I look at the pictures and I'm just not seeing 'disease.'>
<Pay attention to the whole of him: If he's active, alert, eyes clear and follows you as you interact -- if he swims, basks, eats and poops then relax>

Re: About my res hatchling      4/26/15
Hi again this is the recent picture of velvet . The White spots have become more . Is it fungal infection ?
<from everything I see that looks like the normal mottled coloring they get as they grow.><<No pic found. B>>

Re: About my res hatchling      5/23/15
Hi. I have a red hatchling . The White patches are still there .you said it might be shedding.
<Dead skin sloughs off in sheets; underwater this is obvious, almost like picking sheets of PVA glue off your hands. But out of the water the dead skin can look less obvious, but will look a bit faded compared to the new skin beneath it. Dead skin has no odour; fungal infections are very obviously smelly.>
But for safety am applying beta fine and letting the turtle dry for some time a day . And today when I applied beta fine and put it dry.
<Do you mean Betadine, as in old fashioned "iodine"? Why?>
I saw some powdery white dust on the eyes.
Not in the eyes the eyes seem normal and wide open and no discharge.
<So you're medicating by throwing white powder over the face of a turtle that has perfectly normal eyes?>
There were some white powdery things over nose to . I took picture but sorry isn't that clear
<Indeed. But I stress: why? All medications are toxic to some degree, that's how they work, by poisoning stuff. They're not magic pixie dust that makes everything they touch more wonderful. If your turtle is not in trouble, medicating is simply going to stress it to some degree, outweighing any good you might be doing. Do instead operate by the precautionary principle. What do your turtles need for good health?
Calcium-rich greens-based diet, UV-B light, and sufficient warmth under a basking lamp. The tragedy about reptiles as pets is that people are too cheap to buy the stuff they need to STAY healthy, then desperate to avoid trips to the vet by buying bogus medications that achieve little/nothing if conditions aren't right. Do read, understand the roles of diet, UV-B and warmth in the lives of reptiles. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: About my res hatchling
Thanx . But you don't understand my question . I didn't sprinkle any white powdery medication. I applied betadine one the shell coz it appeared like fungal infection but it could be shedding too.
<As stated: shedding skin is very obvious, and scutes peeling away from the shell should be obvious too. Not these? Then do read:
Diagnose, then medicate. Not the other way around!>
I noticed something over the skin on the face some thing white and powdery so I sent you the pic and asked you if you know any thing about it . I have the uv thing and basking light . But am not sure what to feed it . Am just giving turtle pellets for now . Any suggestions?
<Many. But do read:
Feeding not difficult. Koi Pellets a good staple; augment with various green foods (cheap aquarium plants such as "Elodea" work nicely).>
Am not desprate to avoid vets but am worried because I am from a city in India and no one know anything about turtles . I know better about turtles than the vets here . No rep vets :)
<Understood. But it's more about legality than expertise. In India, as in the UK, antibiotics can't (or at least, shouldn't) be sold without a prescription from a doctor or vet. This is a good thing because it helps to avoid antibiotic resistance, but it's awkward for reptile-keepers.>

Baby yellow belly sick      3/21/15
Hi i am writing because i have a new hatchling and its sick. I have had the hatchling for only 10 days and by the third day i noticed its eyes were closed. By the 5 day i took my baby to the vet. It has been given two antibiotic shots and no improvement. We took the hatchling to the vet today and it was given a vitamin a shot. It hasn't eaten since we got it. I have mealworms, blood worm, hatchling pellets and purchased critical care flakes to try and feed via dropper with no luck. We also were prescribed eye drops. It just doesn't seem to be improving. It lives in a 10gallon tank with basking lamp and UVB light and filter with floating dock. I have purchased water conditioner and have been cleaning tank every couple days.
I am at a loss as to why my hatchling isn't doing better and i don't know what else i can do. Do you have any additional suggestions?
<If a turtle doesn't eat, then it won't put on weight, so your problem seems to be getting your turtle to eat. Let's review. Turtles, like all reptiles, have appetites dependent on metabolism which is in turn dependent on ambient temperature. They won't feed much below 18 C/64 F, and it's significant that baby turtles emerge from their eggs in time for late spring and summer rather than the middle of winter. So check the temperature of your vivarium. If the turtle spends most of its time basking and very little time in the water, the water may be too cold. Check its temperature. While it isn't standard practise, you can put a regular aquarium heater in a turtle tank to warm the water, up to 18-20 C, and that will be quite helpful in "intensive care" situations. Do remember turtles mostly feed in the water, so if they're staying on land all the time, they
won't get much to eat. Next, review the range of foods on offer. Some floating aquarium plants are a good "buffet" meal for any turtle, so grab some of those to start with. Also review the range of meaty foods.
Earthworms are like crack cocaine to most small predators, so if you can find some, try offering these. Since you're already getting help from a vet, then your turtle is getting the best possible support already, but as described above, there are some ways to entice starving turtles to eat.
Force feeding is possible but extremely risky. If you force food into the turtle, there's a good chance it'll go down the wrong pipe and suffocate the poor thing. So while your vet might be able to do this, I would never recommend it to pet owners. On the other hand, using a toothpick to place a very small morsel of food inside an open mouth is doable, particularly if you have a turtle that likes to "snap" when picked up. A tiny piece of prawn or a smear of tropical fish flakes would do the trick nicely. Don't try and force its mouth open though; again, the risk of doing more harm than good is a very real one. I've cc'ed Darrel, our turtle expert, in case he has anything to add. Cheers, Neale.>
Fw: Baby yellow belly sick /Darrel      3/21/15

<Hiya - Darrel here>
I am writing because I have a new hatchling and it's sick. I have had the hatchling for only 10 days and by the third day I noticed its eyes were closed. By the 5 day I took my baby to the vet. It has been given two antibiotic shots and no improvement. We took the hatchling to the vet today and it was given a vitamin a shot. It hasn't eaten since we got it. I have mealworms, blood worm, hatchling pellets and purchased critical care flakes to try and feed via dropper with no luck. We also were prescribed eye drops. It just doesn't seem to be improving. It lives in a 10gallon tank with basking lamp and UVB light and filter with floating dock. I have purchased water conditioner and have been cleaning tank every couple days. I am at a loss as to why my hatchling isn't doing better and I don't know what else I can do. Do you have any additional suggestions?
<My immediate concern, Heather, is to get him out of the water. Although they are normally aquatic, when a turtle is sick the warm wet environment works to help the bacteria or fungus or whatever is ailing him. We have a treatment that has become affectionately known as "dry-docking" which means to take him out of the water and keep him warm and dry while he heals and/or recovers. You can read all about it here:
<As far as his underlying sickness, the loss of appetite and the closed eyes all point to a vitamin deficiency, which in turn is part of a dietary deficiency, which Neale already covered.>
<You've given him the vitamin shot already. If you dry-dock him it will help him rest and recover - then it's a question of if we caught it in time. For what it's worth, if you've only had him 10 days, he was malnourished and vitamin depleted before you got him.>
Re: Fw: Baby yellow belly sick
Darrel I will remove the hatchling immediately from the tank with water. I was thinking the same thing as far as it already being sick when i got the hatchling. i just really hope we can save him or her at this point so i want to make sure i do everything possible. We also have a older red ear slider in a 20 gallon tank which he "Soup" yes we named him soup started out as joke but stuck. He is about 5 inches across his shell and have had him for a year. He is very active and friendly. I noticed last night his stool is soft like he has diarrhea. He eats feeder fish, pellets and meal worms. Should i be concerned or do you think i should first add more greens since we really haven't been giving him much? Sent from my Boost phone.

Re: Fw: Baby yellow belly sick       3/28/15
Hi all just an update on are hatchling. After a couple antibiotic shots and a dose of vitamin A her eyes healed and she is active. She started eating today for the first time and looks great. Thanks for all your suggestions.
Dry docking was a great idea and she perked up after we did that.
<thanks for the feedback, Heather. The lesson learned here is that with fish and reptiles it's MUCH easier and HUNDREDS of dollars cheaper to keep them healthy than to nurse a sick one to health. In your case you inherited a sick one and many thanks for your efforts!!>

baby turtle wont eat and has diarrhea       12/5/14
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I bought a new red eared slider, Mikey, (tiny) (2 days ago) and put him in the tank with my approximately 7 month old red eared slider, Leo ....
<My first thought is that there is quite a size difference. If there is, that could be stressful for Mikey.>
Mikey wasn't eating at first but I have gotten him to eat some pellets... but now Leo has diarrhea and is refusing to eat.... not behaving like himself at all. Not coming to beg every time I go near the tank as he usually does. I was actually wondering if it could be that he is jealous or something :) ...he was completely fine yesterday.
<It sounds like stress to me.>
Any advice you can give would be appreciated. Can the baby slider get sick from being in the tank with him?
<They can exchange diseases, yes… but since they've already been together that's a moot point. As far as Leo is concerned… give him some time to adjust. Five to seven days before we start worrying about him.>
<Mainly … if there is a big size difference, my concern would be that Leo gets upset and bites Mikey.>
Re: baby turtle wont eat and has diarrhea       12/5/14

Thank you for responding Darrel. Leo is still not eating and he is NOT going into the water.... he's just staying on his platform...now he is in a strange position with his butt angled up on the platform and he's moving one of his legs in circles.... sort of. Mikey is doing fine .... he is even basking next to Leo... and Leo is not paying him any attention. i remembered that the day before Leo got sick i placed a calcium block in the tank for the first time and Leo took a big bite out of it.... could that have made him sick?

hi.      8/3/14
I bought two red eared slider babies. asked for female and male. the smaller one has greyish/white tiny spots on its back.
<Do smell the shell. Sounds odd, but a musty, fungus smell is one indication of Shell Rot.

Turtles shells do change colour to some degree, and inexperienced keepers are often surprised when old "scutes" peel off the shell. Algae and dirt will sometimes stick to shells if the water isn't clean. A scrub with a paper towel can help clean turtle shells.>
weve had them for ten days now and it looks like the little one may have more spots. I researched on line and wondering if its ich disease or is it called ick?
ordered some kind of water treatment for them on line.
<Fish get Ick, not turtles. Do not use fish medication.>
hope it works. should be in tomorrow hopefully. im hoping its not too late.
do you have any suggestions of how I could treat them? I may need some help with directions for the treatment. had no idea just how much care turtles need.
<Hmm... did you not read before buying them. Yes, they are moderately demanding and expensive pets. Over a year, they're much cheaper than cats and dogs, but there are some things like UV-B, a basking light, a calcium-rich diet, and fresh greens that are totally non-negotiable.>
im nervous thinking maybe im getting in over my head. we have a uvb light, basking light, and the red light which I have no idea is called.
they're not too interested in the veggies we give them. you think I should get some vitamins too?
<A calcium supplement "dusted" onto their diet is a plus, yes.>
thanks, robbin.
<Let me direct you to these articles:
Hope these help. Cheers, Neale.>

white spots on young red eared slider   2/18/14
Dear Crew,
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I have just purchased a hatchling red eared slider from a pet store and after examining him I noticed small white spots. I have never owned a turtle it was a surprise gift, I'll attach a picture, I'm not sure if this is normal or if the turtle needs vet attention.
<Well, it's not normal, but doesn't require vet attention.   It's probably a fungal infection, which is easy to clear.   Read the following two articles>
< This one outlines everything you need to know about keeping turtles. 
Check all your care and housing against what the article states and correct any errors/omissions:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >
<This one describes in detail the problems you can encounter, how to look for them and what to do about it 
<A little attention from you and all should be well>

New RES owner in need of help!!!    1/4/14
Hi my name is Natalie
<Hiya - I'm Darrel!>
and I am concerned about my hatchling red eared slider's health. I currently have two RES that I have had for about two months they are about an inch and a half in diameter. When I first got the two of them one was very active and was dominating with eating and the other one was shy and liked to hide and took a while longer before he began to eat.
<That's typical.  One is dominant and the other isn't>
These past few days the roles have reversed. The RES that was always so aggressive is now not eating and just sits around docking off its floating rock. I noticed him yawning and occasionally sneezing. So I believe he has a respiratory infection.
I adjusted the water to 82 degrees to hopefully help him recover 2 days ago.
<No - we need to get him OUT of the water>
I noticed that his skin has this white fluffy stuff around it which I believe it take either be shedding or a fungal infection yesterday.
<Shedding comes off in very thin layers, like waxed paper (only thinner).  
Fungus is more like a clump of stuff - when fungus dries it's almost powdery>
After reading forums for hours on the internet I decided to better examine his shell and found a white spot and noticed the far edges of certain areas of his shell are a little soft. What should I do?! A saltwater solution? I ran a q-tip over his shell and skin but I don't know if it did any good.
How can I send you pictures?
<Let's start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/turtles.aspx   Read the article on treating a fungal infection and treat him accordingly.  If you don't have enough lights to provide for both of them separately you can dry-dock them both.  The treatment should be easy and they should both be feeling better after a few weeks.  Meanwhile, read the CARE article and see if we can find what might have gone wrong>

Red Ear Slider question, babies... beh., hlth.     12/7/13
We just got two baby red ear sliders, we have a 20 gallon tank for them and nice rock and filter. We found out we need a uvb light so were going to get one of those asap. But my question is one turtle seems very happy and active, but the other one appears to not be able to take its back legs out of the shell. It seems to want to, we can see its little muscles wiggling
down there but no feet ever pop out. It swims fine and just seems to drag itself along the rock with its front legs. Is this a sign of illness? Its shell also seems to be curved in the back by its legs. The turtles are probably about 2 inches. Any information would be helpful.
<Hello Alex. Sounds to me like Metabolic Bone Disease, which is a catch-all name that describes problems where reptiles haven't been given the right (i.e., calcium-rich) diet and/or adequate UV-B lighting. Cutting a long story short, without adequate calcium and UV-B, reptile bones don't grow properly. Bowed legs and difficulty walking are two common symptoms.  Given the right conditions from now onwards, you can hope subsequent bone growth will compensate for any problems thus far. You've mentioned a new UV-B lamp; do also review diet, and in particular pick up some sort of reptile vitamin supplement with calcium in it. Fresh green leafy foods have lots of calcium, and as you may be aware now, turtles will do well if given a bunch of goldfish-style pondweed to graze on. Our resident turtle expert Darrel recommends Koi pellets as an ideal staple, and some brands of these will be rich in calcium too -- so choose these ones.
Cheers, Neale (bcc'ed Darrel for errors/omissions).>

I think I burned my baby red ear slider    3/9/13
Ok hi my name is my
<Hi My, Sue here with you.>
and I have a friend who gave me a res because he was too small to sell in her pet shop he has been doing well but I got a 10 gallon tank for him today so I cleaned it and rinsed it in hot water from my tub when I put Mr. turtle in he started swimming in circle and his eyes started to turn red so I took him out and put him in the smaller tank his eyes were closed and his mouth was open he wasn't really moving so I started to panic so then I tried moving him around he moved but very little
so I called my friend and she said to put him in the sink with cold water running on him I'm not really a pet person I got him for my 3 year old son but I've grown attached to him so I don't want him to die can some one help me please ill include a pic so you can see what his eyes look like cuz someone told me to make sure they don't look cloudy
<You said you washed the tank out with hot water. Is it your belief that you filled it with hot water accidentally as well? Or might it be whatever you used as a cleaning agent?>
<Either way, chemical or burn injury, he should be seen immediately (as an emergency – usually there will be at least one vet in the area who sees pets around the clock for emergency care). In a case like this, there is no substitute for a vet. Assuming he did suffer a burn injury, he/she will more than likely prescribe an antibiotic eye ointment as well as a topical antibiotic cream or ointment for his skin and shell.>
I think I burned my baby red ear slider
<And to my last reply, the vet would also likely prescribe an oral or injectable antibiotic as well - another reason that he needs to be seen immediately.>
Re: I think I burned my baby red ear slider    3/10/13

Hi its myisha again here is a pic of Mr. turtle right now I just have him chilling in the sink with no water I have grown attached to Mr. turtle and I don't want him to die please I hope someone can help me but I think I'm going to try to find a vet tomorrow cuz I really don't want him to die
Yes I filled it with the hot water accidentally but I cleaned it with a Brillo pad so maybe it was that and I don't have any vets close by too me I have to take him downtown I left him in a small empty tank overnight and his mouth closed a little and his eyes look better is there anything I can do for him until we can get him to a exotic vet? Also did you see the pics I sent?
Thank you so much, Sue
<Hi Myisha - I'm Darrel … Sue asked my opinion.>
<At the moment, the main thing I'm concerned about is that the skin damage doesn't lead to a secondary infection.  As long as that doesn't happen the skin should start to heal and Mr. Turtle will get a bit better each day.  So here is what I'd like you to do>
<Keep Mr. Turtle in a dry container until he heals more.   Soak him in water up to his shoulders twice a day, for about 10 minutes each time.  The level should be so that we can make sure he can get his eyes under water if he chooses and that he can old his mouth above the water if that is what he wants.  Offer food just in the second soaking.  Just a small amount of some floating food sticks or Koi pellets.>
<If you can find a veterinarian, the main thing I'd like is an antibacterial wash of the head, eyes and mouth - and an examination to see how much scaring there might be.  Unless Mr. Turtle has severe burns, a course of injectable antibiotics is not necessary.>
<Continue treating him like this for a week or so and see how his eyes and mouth look.  Your main indicators are, as always, how active he tries to be, if he's interested and successful in eating.  Finally, please write back and let us know how he's doing!!>

Baby RES, burned     2/17/13
Hello, My son was recently given two RES and I have been taking care of them trying to do my best since I have grown to really care for them. But, I have made a mistake already and accidentally burn one with hot water when i had them in the skin I realize quickly and started to Google what I should do next. I've called to Exotic Pet Medical places but the cost is impossible for me to put up. So Im sending this Email... When she was burn her legs were stiff and a little red but after an hour or so she was moving around, the next day I noticed the blisters on both legs by the end of the day her left leg bubble was slightly gone but the right legs bubble is still there and big. She is still moving around fast. Please is there anything I could do to make it better. Also she has a couple white spot on her shell is there something for that also... Thanks
<Without recourse to antibiotics, there's a high risk of secondary infection. I would urge you to have this turtle looked at by a vet as soon as humanly possible. Do call around other vets. Animal welfare charities can help, too. But in any case, if the burn is "clean" it can heal nicely without problems. However, you must "dry dock" the turtle for a few days.
Allowing the turtle to swim will allow bacterial infections to start.
Provided they have access to drinking water, aquatic reptiles can be kept out of water for weeks at a time, and this allows the skin to dry out, preventing bacterial infections to a large degree. Do read here:
The section on "Dry Dock" and "Isolation" is the section you want to read.
After about a week to ten days it should be obvious if the skin is healing nicely or the turtle is still suffering (e.g., the skin remains red, is getting worse, or is starting to smell). Do also read here:

Baby RES
Hi Bob,
Saw this one already; but not sure how to reply on it. Hopefully Darrel, Neale have some experience, knowledge re- this and can respond.
~ Sue
<Thank you Sue. I don't know what to do either; than to ask for help.
Baby RES, hlth.      2/16/13

Hello, My son was recently given two RES and I have been taking care of them trying to do my best since I have grown to really care for them. But, I have made a mistake already and accidentally burn one with hot water when i had them in the skin I realize quickly and started to Google what I should do next. I've called to Exotic Pet Medical places but the cost is impossible for me to put up. So Im sending this Email... When she was burn her legs were stiff and a little red but after an hour or so she was moving around, the next day I noticed the blisters on both legs by the end of the day her left leg bubble was slightly gone but the right legs bubble is still there and big. She is still moving around fast. Please is there anything I could do to make it better. Also she has a couple white spot on her shell is there something for that also... Thanks
<Sorry for the delay in responding... We are waiting on our turtle folks here. In the meanwhile, please do read here:
and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/turtshellrot.htm
Bob Fenner> 

Cause of death? Baby RES   11/22/12
<Hi Lana! Sue here with you.>
I was wondering if you could give me some peace of mind. Last April a friend gave me a Baby RES (sold legally in my country... I think) as a present, I kept it in a big bowl with water for a while until I had saved enough money to buy a proper tank (about three months).
<Did he not have any heat lamp, UVB light, or warm, dry basking spot for 3 months?  If so, that was a very long time to go without them. All 3 are absolute “must-have's.”>

The tank I bought is maybe 20 gallons, longer than taller.
<That's a nice size. And yes, longer is better. Turtles appreciate the extra surface area for swimming.>
It had a nice castle-like basking spot and some gravel(I removed the tinier ones so she wouldn't eat them) I eventually bought a thermostat and a filter ( please consider I'm an unemployed teenager before you preach)
<I understand and realize you got him as a gift. If you think you might want to get another though, I’d hold off until you can afford to get everything you need. Except for my questions about the 1st 3 months, what you say you have here so far is good. You didn't mention the types of lights you have, basking temperature, and how often you change the water. These are important aspects of set-up and care also.>
<In particular with the lighting, turtles need BOTH a heat lamp and a UVB light placed directly above their basking spot. It’s also important to make sure that their basking temperature under the lights is around 31-32 C; or 88-90 F. They need both of these lights and this amount of heat in order to properly digest their food and absorb nutrients.>
I kept the water at 28C
<Equivalent to 82.4 F – too warm! Did he get out of the water and bask every day? Often when the water is this warm, they don’t get out to bask because mostly what drives them out of the water to bask is the need/desire to warm up.>
<You want the water on the cool side (only around 20 C or 68 F) – no matter whether the turtles are young or old. I know this may be contrary to what you may have seen on other sites, but they’re wrong! Turtles depend on their outside environment to regulate their internal functioning, so they need to be given a clear choice between cool water and warm dry land. >
as read in this site(excellent site, by the way)
<Thanks; glad to here!  However, I’m not sure where you might have seen a recommendation for water this warm on our site.  Darrel and I reply to mostly all the turtle queries and we always recommend cool water.>
and fed her pellets(again consider my age and unemployment) once a day, I used to do it twice a day but she started shedding and pyramiding so I changed it.
<Yes, those are signs of over-feeding. I’m glad you recognized that and changed it; less is more when it comes to feeding turtles.>
She never had any of the symptoms you describe here, no bubbles no swelling no nothing she was perfectly fine. I buried her a few hours ago, after some weeping.
<I’m so sorry, Lana. It’s such an awful feeling when we lose our beloved pets.>
In the morning she was sleeping in the castle thing, woke and ate, before I left she was swimming around quite contented so I already ruled out electrocution. My mom says she saw her spinning in a corner before swimming against the current of the filter (she enjoyed that) she assumed the poor thing had gone mad and left the room, later she went back in and found her upside down, freaked out and  turned her around.
<When your mom found her upside down, was her head under water? And if her whole body was in the water, was it too shallow for her to be able to turn over on her own? How deep was the water? >
When I got home, like three hours after that, she was still alive and just chilling in the water, I left to do stuff. Halfway through my stuff-doing I went to check on her just for the sake of it and found her in the same position, didn't think anything of it and left to continue my stuff. So my stuff is done and I go check on her again, still the same. Do I freak out too and start searching on the Internet how to know if a turtle is dead. All things matched: eyes open, extremities and head completely out of the shell, stillness, all that stuff. I of course was near hysterics by then, got the out of the water and poked her with a straw. Nothing. I poked her again and still nothing so I started stretching her legs to see if he responded but she didn't, I poked her eye, no movement, so i flipped her and a lot of water started outing out of her nose! So I waited until the water was all gone be tried to open her mouth to see if there was still more water there(it's really hard to open a turtle's mouth by the way) I was unsuccessful. So there was my tiny turtle all floppy and limp.
<I’m sure your heart sank as mine would have as well.>
I read somewhere I should try to warm her so I switched on her lamp and left he there for like half an hour or so and researched more meanwhile. So the turtle is still unmoving but totally dry and I am freaking out and stuff. I pronounced her dead after poking and shaking her for a while and trying to a listen for a heartbeat or breathing with a stethoscope. I buried her in the front yard. So, after all that, could you tell me what caused her death?
<It’s really hard for me to say for sure, Lana. One possibility is that she got enough water trapped in her lungs from the time she flipped over (assuming her head was in the water when your mom found her upside down) that it may have robbed her of enough oxygen that she eventually died.>
<It’s also possible that she had a longstanding, worsening, chronic systemic infection and just wasn’t showing any obvious outward signs yet. Turtles are also notoriously good at hiding their illness. This is one of their survival techniques in the wild. They don’t want predators to see them ill and vulnerable. Because of this, they often appear completely normal right up to the end when in reality, they’d been sick for months.>
<If she did die from illness rather than from drowning, it’s possible she might have started becoming ill in those first few months you had her in the large bowl. If turtles remain in water for extended periods of time with no access to dry heat or UVB, the food can rot in their stomach and eventually over time lead to a systemic infection. In fact, this is how almost all the “dime store” turtles died that were so popular back in the 1960’s. They were kept in bowls of water 24-7 and rarely lived more than just a few months.>
Or did I do something wrong?
<Without knowing the exact cause, it’s hard for me to say for sure. But what you wrote about her care and environment (both initially and now) raises enough questions in my mind that I can’t rule it out. >
<If you think she could have drowned, my questions would be related to whether the water was too shallow to allow her right herself if she flipped over by accident in the water; or whether there were any objects in the water that could have caused her to become trapped under the water for too long.>
<If drowning or injury didn’t cause her death, almost all turtle illnesses and deaths occur because of something amiss in their diet, environment, or care. In your case, it would be important to know how often she basked, more specifics about UVB lighting/heat/basking temperature; and water quality/water changes (in both the old and new set-ups). >
Thanks in advance.
<You’re welcome, Lana. Again I’m so sorry for your loss. The death of our pets is something we all dread. It’s good that you’re trying to figure out what may have happened, especially if you think you may get another turtle at some point in the future. Just in case you think you might, I’m also going to give you a link to our general care guide:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >
<Compare your set-up and care to what’s in this article to make sure you have everything you need if/when you should decide to get another one. If you can’t afford any other necessary items right now, just hold off buying a turtle until you can get what you need. It’s no guarantee he’ll never get sick, but it will at least help tip the scales in your favor! I’m also going to pass thing along to Darrel on our crew to see if he has any additional insights that might help you. >
Lana O.
Hi Darrel - Just copying you in on my reply to Lana in case you want to email her with any other thoughts, insights on what could have caused her turtle to die.  ~ Sue
Re: Cause of death?    11/23/12

Hey Sue, thanks for replying so fast!
For the three initial months he had a heat lamp and a dry spot to bask, yes. I changed the water daily because I figured if I wouldn't like spending a lot of time in dirty water, neither would my turtle. With the bigger tank I changed the water once a week and managed to get an uv light from my sister's ex-boyfriend, it wasn't on all the time but I did make sure she got at least four hours of uv light everyday. And now I that I made a mistake when converting the temperature for the water, yes she got out everyday to bask and sometimes would sleep out of the water(it drove my mom nuts, she thought the turtle had died).
I assume she drowned because my mom found her in the shallow end of the tank, where I had made a sort of ramp with the gavel to the basking spot; the water there wasn't very deep maybe about an inch high. I also think it might be that she was sick long before, the conditions they are kept in the store wee my friend bought the turtle aren't ideal.
Thanks for your time.
<You’re welcome, Lana. Yes, unfortunately store conditions are often subpar and it’s true many turtles are already sick by the time you purchase them.  I’m also glad to see you provided your turtle with a heat lamp, dry basking spot and clean water. However, from what you said above, just a few things to caution you to put in place should you decide to get another turtle – >
<Make sure the basking heat is in the temperature range I mentioned earlier.>
<You didn’t mention UVB above, only UV. The bulb must be UVB specifically. Many store bought lamps that say “basking lamps” are not UVB and not meant for turtles but other reptiles. Turtles must have UVB specifically in addition to heat in order to properly process the nutrients from their food – otherwise they can and will become sick.>
<4 hours of artificial UVB light is not enough. It needs to be on for 12 hours a day.>
<Try to find a “floating dock” for basking if you can so you don’t need to worry about shallow water. Zoo Med makes a fairly sturdy one that uses suction cups and it comes in several sizes. Petmountain.com is a good source that sells supplies for less than you might find elsewhere. They also sell ReptiSun UVB strip lights. >
<If you don’t want to use a floating dock, you can alternatively place fake plants next to whatever “land” you’re using. Turtles can then use the plants to climb up to the land (they’re surprisingly good climbers!)>
Lana O.
Cause of death?     12/10/12

<Hiya - Darrel here>
I was wondering if you could give me some peace of mind.
<We'll try>
Last April a friend gave me a Baby RES (sold legally in my country... I think) as a present, I kept it in a big bowl with water for a while until I had saved enough money to buy a proper tank (about three months). The tank I bought is maybe 20 gallons, longer than taller. It had a nice castle-like basking spot and some gravel (I removed the tinier ones so she wouldn't eat them) I eventually bought a thermostat and a filter ( please consider I'm an unemployed teenager before you preach) I kept the water at 28C as read in this site (excellent site, by the way) and fed her pellets (again consider my age and unemployment) once a day, I used to do it twice a day but she started shedding and pyramiding so I changed it.
<Sounds like you’re doing fine so far.  I've kept MANY a small turtle in a tank without a filter - it just means changing the water more often - and I never use a heater.  Ever.>
She never had any of he symptoms you describe here, no bubbles no swelling no nothing she was perfectly fine. I buried her a few hours ago, after some weeping. In the morning she was sleeping in the castle thing, woke and ate, before I left she was swimming around quite contented so I already ruled out electrocution. My mom says she saw her spinning in a corner before swimming against the current of he filter (she enjoyed that) she assumed the poor thing had gone mad and left the room, later she went back in and found her upside down, freaked out and  turned her around. When I got home, like three hours after that, she was still alive and just chilling in the water, I left to do stuff. Halfway through my stuff-doing I went to check on her just for the sake of it and found her in the same position, didn't think anything of it and left to continue my stuff. So my stuff is done and I go check on her again, still the same. Do I freak out too and start searching on the Internet how to know if a turtle is dead. All things matched: eyes open, extremities and head completely out of the shell, stillness, all that stuff. I of course was near hysterics by then, got the out of the water and poked her with a straw. Nothing. I poked her again and still nothing so I started stretching her legs to see if he responded but she didn't, I poked her eye, no movement, so i flipped her and a lot of water started outing out of her nose! So I waited until the water was all gone be tried to open her mouth to see if there was still more water there(it's really hard to open a turtle's mouth by the way) I was unsuccessful. So there was my tiny turtle all floppy and limp. I read somewhere I should try to warm her so I switched on her lamp and left he there for like half an hour or so and researched more meanwhile. So the turtle is still unmoving but totally dry and I am freaking out and stuff. I pronounced her dead after poking and shaking her for a while and trying to a listen for a heartbeat or breathing with a stethoscope. I buried her in the front yard. So, after all that, could you tell me what caused her death? Or did I do something wrong?
<On behalf of Bob, Neale, Sue and the entire crew, we're sorry for your loss, Lana.  The loss of even the least of us affects us all.>
<From what you describe, it doesn't sound like you did anything wrong at all.  It sounds like the little one simply drowned.   Now it could have been caught in the current somehow, but the vigorous swimming you describe it seems she could easily swim out or duck under it.>
<In another response, Sue covered the possibilities quite well and there is nothing really to add, except to say that I don’t think that it was anything you did or didn't do.  Sometimes, even with the best of care, our little pets just don't thrive.>
Thanks in advance.
Lana O.
<I sincerely hope that you see your way clear to get a pair of baby Sliders in the future and have the chance to experience the pleasure they can bring>

Baby res; see through eyelids? - 10/31/2012
Hi, I have a baby red eared slider that I bought in the street a couple of weeks ago. He is about 1-2 inches big. He is in a small tank with some gravel. I tried to feed him some pellets and lettuce but he hasn't touched them. Other than not eating he has been active and moving around. However, the past couple of days he's been sleeping. I think he may be hibernating but I'm not sure nor am I sure if he is in an adequate environment to be hibernating. Although he is an indoor turtle, it has gotten colder due to Hurricane Sandy. I can clearly see his eyelids are closed but the weird thing is I can see through his eyelids and see his actual eye. I can even see his eye moving around sometimes with his eyelid closed. His eye that I can see behind his eyelid seems to close again when I assume he is actually sleeping. I've moved him around to make sure he can still open his eyes and he can. His eyes do not seem to be swollen. So what I want to know is my turtle going to be ok? Is this normal with his eye situation?
<Hmm… can you start by reading here:
Eye problems are very common when turtles aren't kept properly. Classically, the eye appears to be closed all the time because the eyelids have become swollen. For sure a trip to the vet is necessary. More than likely the vet will provide the turtle with a vitamin injection and will then give you some tips on better care. It's a cheap, quick fix at this stage, but left alone, the underlying problem will become serious, eventually fatal. Hope you're able to help this chap before it's too late, Neale.>

Baby red-eared slider problems - 10/28/2012
My baby, one inch red eared slider has been staying in a small, cave area of his 10 gallon tank, hasn't been basking at all, and has a very low activity level.
<Lethargy is one of the most common indicators that turtles aren’t feeling well.>
He's also been pooping a whole lot. We feed him mealworms and shrimp
<Would not give him either; substitute earthworms instead, a healthier treat – just a couple every few weeks.>
 - he won't eat the pellets we give him even though we've tried three types, and he won't eat greens or cranberries.
<No cranberries. If he’s refusing the pellets, you need to just stick with it – eventually when he gets hungry enough he’ll come around. Once you stop feeding him all the other foods you’ve mentioned, that should increase his hunger enough to the point where he will accept the pellets. And once he does accept them, keep in mind you should only be offering them to him every other day, and only as much as he can eat in 5 minutes or so, then discard any that are uneaten.  It’s important not to overfeed him because that can lead to illness.>
I'm very worried, but other than changing his water I don't know what to do. Is he sick, or is this normal?
<It does sound like he may not be feeling well. I always tell people it’s better to err on the side of caution. The best initial thing you can do for a turtle that’s not feeling well is to remove him from a "water" environment – that actually works against him when he’s sick. I’m going to give you a link below that describes how to “Dry-Dock” him – read the section under “Isolation and Dry-Dock”, follow the instructions, and write us back with any questions  -
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm  >
<The most important things with dry docking are to provide him a source of heat, a source of UVB, and access to fresh water for a short time each day.>
<I’m also going to give you a link to our basic care guide. Most all illnesses come down to something not right in their diet, their environment, or their care. Compare what you’re providing to what the article is recommending, and make whatever changes are necessary. Absolutely essential to do everything mentioned in this care article -
<Hope this helps and he feels better soon! Feel free to write us again if you have any other questions or concerns. ~ Sue >

Sick baby red eared slider    10/13/12
<Hi Abby, Sue here with you.>
I bought three baby red eared slider almost a month ago and they were all fine up until about a week a half ago I started noticing one of the turtles become increasingly lethargic. She normally was very actively, and very feisty and funny to watch but recently all she does is sit on the basking rock with her eye shut--sometimes for hours. She hardly responds when I nudge her and will only start moving if I put her under water and hold her in my hand until her eyes open- which can take about a minute and a half.
<I agree. From what you describe, she appears to be ill.>
Once both her eye are open she'll start squirming and I'll put her back in the tank where she'll swim around for a while
<Until she’s better, she needs to come out of the water and be put into a warm dry environment. Here’s a link that shows you how to do that; look under the section called “ISOLATION AND DRY-DOCK”. I’d also read the rest of the article as well.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm >
(I even saw her eat twice in that past 3 days!)
<You don’t mention what you’re feeding them which I’ll get into more below, but frequency wise you should only be feeding them once every couple of days for no more than they can consume in 5 or so minutes. Overfeeding can lead to a variety of illnesses.>
but not long after, she'll return to her basking rock. The tank has an adequate filter, a basking rock, a UVA and UVB rays, and is about 76 degrees. I clean the tank every week.
<I’d suggest changing the water much more frequently than that if you have 3 turtles – how frequently depends on several factors like how powerful your filter is, how large your tank is, whether you feed them in the tank or in a separate bin, how quickly you scoop up uneaten food and waste, etc.>
Yesterday, I separated her from the other two turtles who seem to be perfectly normal. As I was separating her, I realized she has developed white bumps next to her mouth, a tiny dot on her arm, and on her foot- all on the right side. It looks like a fungus to me, but I have no idea.
<Could be; there’s another section in that link I gave you above called “Fungal Infections” that you can read over. Fungus is often a result of improper basking or water conditions. Besides what I mentioned above regarding the water changes, also see further below for some of the other questions I raised about your habitat.>
<Generally speaking, if you notice the spots have an odor or you're able to rub them off, then it’s likely a fungus. If you have any doubts about it, and given she's also been lethargic, it would probably not be a bad idea to bring her to a vet who has the advantage of being able to physically examine her – preferably an herp vet or a vet that specializes in reptiles/birds/exotics.>
The temporary tank, does not have a filter (I plan on changing the water daily), but it does have UVA and UVB rays and a rock for her to bask on.
<The temporary tank shouldn’t have any water in it at all. As above, she needs to be dry-docked according to the instruction in that link.>
I will send another email with pictures.
<Abby, the pictures aren’t clear enough to see anything, and even if they were I’d still tell you what I did above as far as the spots you’re seeing.>
<Other than the spots, it seems at the very least your turtle has a Vitamin A deficiency. Closed eyes are a key symptom of that illness. What have you been feeding them for their diet? And how often and how much of it have you been giving them?>
<The link I gave you above also talks about Vitamin A deficiency (see the section, “Swollen or closed eyes”), and offers some suggestions. Here’s also a link to an article that talks about it exclusively:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/turteyedisart.htm >
<Nearly all turtle illnesses are a result of something wrong with either their diet or their habitat/care. You described a little about your set-up but didn’t mention other things that can also be associated with the symptoms you’re seeing. For example, things like -- whether you also have a heat lamp in addition to the UVA/UVB lights, what the basking temperature is under those lights (should be around 88-90 degrees F), if and for how many hours a day she was out of the water basking BEFORE she got sick, etc.) So I’m also going to give you this link to our general care guide – read it over to make sure you’re providing her and them everything they need -
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >
Thank you!
<You’re welcome, Abby. Follow the Isolation, Vitamin A, Fungus, and other sick care instructions and see if any/all of that helps. If while you’re doing these things you see her spots, appetite or lethargy worsening, or you notice any new symptoms, then the best course of action is to take her to a vet who can physically examine her. >

Teeny Tiny Turtle Trouble - 10/04/2012
Hi WWM! :) [Just call me L ]
<Alright, L, then I'm S. Actually Sabrina, or Sab, will do.>
I know that you probably have loads of articles on this certain subject but I just need to make sure about it and get some advice from you guys.
<We do, actually, and I'll paste in some links in a bit....>
I have two small terrapins, one about 5 cm and another around 4 cm.
<This is very small indeed. Many places in the US, this is smaller than is legally saleable - you'd think it'd go without saying not to stick your pets in your mouth, especially when they carry Salmonella, but I guess it's been done anyway, and so there are laws about it, saving us from ourselves....>
I don't know how old they are though.
<Young, I'm sure, at that size.>
After I got the smaller one, I bought a bigger tank to accommodate both terrapins- I think they're RESs.
<"Bigger" is a relative term.... as is "big".... what is "big" to you may be "small" to your animals. Bear this in mind as you continue to research their husbandry.>
It was fine for a few days until one day when I noticed that the tiniest terrapin was becoming less lively. She slept all the time and I started to worry about her. Then, I started noticing some white cotton-like spread clinging on to her limbs. I was worried and researched on the Net and I found out that it might be a fungal infection.
<Or bacterial.... but bad news, either way. Do also try to be sure that it isn't just normally shedding skin, too; this is described a bit in at least one of the articles I'll link....>
As I couldn't go out to a vet and didn't have any fungal cream, I placed it in a different tank filled with water and salt as suggested by a website.
Apparently the salt would act as an antiseptic. I did this for half an hour for two days, then put it back into the tank after drying her. She still continued to sleep often and the fungal infection was still there... Then recently I decided to put her and the slightly larger one, which was starting to develop the same symptoms of fungal infection,
<Yikes! It's too little, too late now, but I'll say it anyway: quarantining the sick animal is/was an important step that seems to have been skipped. Now you know for the future, though. If a critter is sick, get it into a quarantine system to allow it time to recover, and to prevent the spread of illness to healthy pets, as well as for the obvious purpose of medicating if necessary.>
into the salt water again. Separately, of course. The larger one from the start had no problems, was active and swam all the time. After the salt water he continued to be as lively as ever. For Tiny, after the salt water, she started sleep less. Now, she is awake most of the time in the day.
<An improvement upon her previous behavior?>
She also swims. Although sometimes, she swims with her eyes closed.
<This might be telling.... Something conspicuously absent in your otherwise detailed email is a description of the animals' habitat. The symptoms you describe may be entirely environmental. The habitat must be suitably large and offer ample space for both animals to get completely out of the water to dry off. Their basking area must have the right temperatures and also lighting that provides UVA/UVB, and no glass or lens between the light bulb and the habitat that would block the UVA/UVB rays.
Of the utmost importance is water quality. You must test (or have a fish shop test for you) Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate. Ammonia and Nitrite must be ZERO, Nitrate as low as possible, but at least below 20ppm. Proper filtration is a must - turtles eat (and poop!) a lot!>
I noticed that her limbs were free from infection on the top, but the cotton like stuff still clings to the bottom of the limbs. I observed her for about four to five days and can say that she is alert, responsive and eats, basks lots, swims and sleeps well at night. She seems fairly fine other than the fungus. Is there a way I can treat her without bringing her to the vet and buying fungal cream?
<Well, my gut reaction to this is that if what you're doing hasn't fixed the issue, and the animal is sick, it should see a vet. I, personally, feel pretty strongly about this, especially considering the rise in availability of vets that specialize in reptiles. If, however, this is impossible, or if you don't have a reptile vet in your area, I am hopeful that the following articles will be of further use to you. Once again, do please observe and be sure that the fluffy stuff isn't shed skin (which would look sheet-like, almost) and is normal. Since you describe it as having been there for four or five days, though, I would be less inclined to think it is something normal. Check and correct any environmental issues, and read the following articles for more information:
http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm  - 
this may be the most helpful, with regards to treatment.... please read thoroughly.
Note that the FAQs contain scads of information, as well. On the following link, scroll to about the bottom, and you'll find lots and lots of FAQs pages on turtles, in addition to the articles linked above.
http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlvstkind2.htm  >
Thank you and sorry for the long message! I look forward to your reply!!
<Best wishes to you and your chelonian pets!>
L ;)
<-Sabrina, sneaking into the webmail and out again....><<Wow! B>>

Red Eared Slider has lost a chunk of skin, respiratory problems    7/22/12
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I'm a new user here and a somewhat new owner of a baby RES turtle (around 1.5 inches in shell).
*History of Ownership*
I previously owned two 1.5 inch RES turtles to keep me company in my dorm, and thinking I could care for them in the same way I did back home, I adopted the same methods of just feeding, water-changing, etc. (I live in a tropical country, so sunlight and temperature is not a problem) What I did not account for, however, was the odd weather changes and humidity variations of this new place from my old town, and one RES passed away after only a few months. I should say that I have not found registered herpetologists in my country, much less in my new city, so far. So even after diagnosing my old RES with a respiratory infection and skin fungus, there was not much I could do until I did some extensive research, but by then it was too late.
<I'm sorry for your loss.  A major problem with reptiles and fish is that they seem "just fine" during the early stages of illness and then once they show the first sign, they are VERY sick>
*Current Problem:*
Kidby, my 1.5" baby RES started showing small symptoms around three weeks ago, when I heard a small squeak-sneeze coming from his tank. I immediately moved him to a smaller tank for more basking time, since I had read that sneezing could indicate a respiratory infection.  This later developed into "gasping" fits, where he would frequently stretch out his neck completely and gasp for air. This is, I understand, another sign of his respiratory infection.
<It can be, yes>
Before this happened, Kidby was a very active and healthy turtle, hardly spending any basking time at all, and eating up to 5-6 pellets within one hour, and growing 0.5 inches in a month. In the small time that he spent with the past infected turtle, he showed no signs of illness, but his behavior changed slightly after the older turtle died, which I put down to a loss of interaction.
<Or as I said, the hidden beginnings of his own illness>
Two weeks after, however, he did start eating less, and spent more time basking. At this stage, three or so weeks after, he is shedding skin, which can be seen hanging off his neck while he swims slightly lopsided. I examined him and found no sign of skin infection, save a small brown spot on his chin.
<Normally, the skin sheds in such small amounts that it's hardly seen.  Shedding large amount of skin points to a fungal infection or vitamin deficiency>
I lengthened his docking time and lamp hours, but now he refuses to eat at all. The only improvement I can spot is that he no longer squeaks. But now he doesn't even touch the water in his tank if he can help it, and for his feeding I've been forced to force-feed him baby multivitamins with a cotton bud (I was told this could substitute for the turtle multivitamins I can't get).
<Once we've hit the force-feeding stage, things are grim>
His gasping-fits have lessened, but only somewhat. In the morning, he gasps frequently, but come the middle of the day, he only gasps when he seems startled (e.g. loud shutting of a drawer, objects falling, suddenly entering the room, dousing in water to wake him up).   Yesterday as I was feeding him, he suddenly closed his eyes and refused to open them. I was alarmed, so I doused him in a smaller tank filled with clean water to see if he was still all right, and so that he could dislodge anything that might have caught in his throat as I was feeding him. After "waking up", he immediately began to claw at his face, which I thought was only a reaction to the taste of the multivitamins.
<Kidby is sick>
However, upon removing him from the water, I had found that he had scratched off the brown spot on his chin, which turned out to include a chunk of skin with it. The hole it has left is only a small skin away from leading straight into his mouth, and the skin around it has hardened into a translucent brown.
Below are some pictures I managed to take of this "hole":
I want to ask about his basking position, too. I take it as a good sign that he still keeps his eyes open, but when he basks in front of his lamp he pulls his head completely out, lays it flat on his rock, and his limbs are just splayed or hanging in the air; is this all right?
<No, sadly, this is not a good sign at all>
He seems lethargic, and I'm worried about this, since it's such a change from the Kidby I had only a few weeks ago....
I would very much appreciate any immediate reply to this, as I have no idea what this skin disease might be, or any way to treat it.
<Kidby is suffering from a number of maladies and at this point it would be hard (and pointless) to pinpoint the source.   He needs to be warm, dry and under UV-B lighting for at least 12 hours a day.  Read here:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm  >
<Treat for as for fungal infection, since almost al the treatments treat almost all the problems.   Don't try to force feed him at this point -- he's so weak that the stress is probably worse than the food.   Try to finds a local vet can that give an IM injection of Calcium and another of an ordinary multi-vitamin, then let Kidby rest in a warm, dry UV-B rich environment.   For the daily attempt at feeding, use liver (beef or chicken) in very small amounts.>
<The prognosis, I'm afraid to say, is not a good one - but we do what we can and we often get surprising results.   Your original assumption about weather and humidity is only partially on track.   Sliders are incredibly tolerant of humidity changes, water quality and such.   The critical elements are basking heat, UV-B and a balance diet.>
<Lastly, if there is no high quality UV-B available, the sun is the best source, but it will easily cook a little guy of Kidby's size … so put him in the sun for 10 minutes, then shade for 30, back in the sun for 10, cover him for 30, etc. for a few hours each day>

My baby sliders possible shell rot    7/21/12
I've included several pictures of my two female yellow belly sliders….I have not noticed any change in there activity. I clean there tank every 2 days. They have a diet of turtle pellets, lettuce and carrots. i also use a water treatment for the tap water.
I have noticed there bellies have been darkening lately. and one of them came to me with a wart like bump on her shell but it has improved greatly and fresh new shell is now visible.
The darkening on the bottom of the shell is what worries me, I have taken the following steps since i noticed the bottom of the shells.
<Some change in the colour of the shell is normal; as the animals age, their colours will become duller, muddier. So long as the shell smells clean and feels firm, don't worry too much. Use a fingernail to scrape at the suspect area of the shell; healthy shell will resist scraping and feel tough, like horn; soft shell will flake or come away as powder, and there's usually a distinct fungus odour as well.>
1. I have raised the wattage of the lamp to increase the heat, but i also leave a shaded area for them.
<Good. Heat isn't the only thing though; you must provide UV-B light as well. You can buy combination lamps. You don't want an ordinary UV light though, or UV-A, but specifically UV-B.>
2. I leave them in a clean dry tank for at least 2-3 hrs. depending on the weather
<Not really necessary, but if they don't mind it, then go ahead and do this. But otherwise, if the air under the heat lamp is warm, they'll dry off naturally.>
3. I never feed them in there living tank, i use a separate feeding tank.
<A good idea.>
4. I never fill the living tank with water level above the rock level to leave room for basking.
<Also good.>
I admit to having a tank which is too small for their growth, but we are working on upgrading their living quarters shortly.
what can i do to reverse the affects if any and any tips on what needs to be corrected in my turtle keeping?
<Do start by reading here:
Adequate calcium in their diet plus a UV-B light source are the two keys. Vitamin supplements help with the former, and a UV-B lamp supplies the latter. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: My baby sliders possible shell rot   7/22/12
Thank you so much for your prompt response.....I feel a lot better now, I checked but no signs of soft or smelly shells. I will keep an eye on them....Thanks again.
<Glad to help. Prevention is better than cure, so be sure to follow the tips on diet and UV-B. Cheers, Neale.>

I'm worried about my baby RES and confused, please help!     5/26/12
Hello there.
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I have a 1" baby Red Eared Slider turtle which used to live in a big, wide, round plastic container/'bowl' (its diameter is around 40 cm, btw, and the height is around 17 cm) with enough water to fill half of the bowl.
<With a basking area and a heat lamp?>
Around two weeks ago on Saturday, 12 May 2012, this tiny baby started swimming lopsided, and lost his appetite the next morning. Because he's my first baby RES, I became very worried almost instantly, and then I search around the internet to find out what it's mean. All the sites I came around said that lopsided swimming is a sign of RI, and will cause death if the turtle is left untreated. Since I didn't have the time to pay a visit to a vet at that time, I tried to bump the enclosure temperature a bit. Since I don't have a heater, I put him under 11W energy saving lamp (which said that it's equal to 60W ordinary bulb on its package), placed around 10 cm above his head, and used lukewarm spring water to fill his bowl.
<The problem is that the energy saver lamps put out very little heat.>
A few days later on Wednesday, he started to sneeze. Fortunately, I finally had the opportunity to bring him to a vet. The vet (not a herp vet anyway, since herp vet is extremely rare in my country) said that the RES just caught a cold. I asked for a shot, but the vet refused, she said the baby is too small for a shot, and advised me to mix some antibiotics to its water and food instead. As the vet suggested, I used cotrimoxazole (trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole). I mixed around 30 mg cotrimoxazole to his water, which I keep shallow as my dad suggested, and mixed around the same amount of medicine to his food. Before he's sick, I used veggies for his food, but now I used fish pellets instead, rolled in the medicine before I feed it to my little turtle. I also let him bask under direct sunlight every morning for around 30 minutes.
<The sunlight will help.  NOTHING is as good as natural sunlight!! But keep him warm and DRY while recovering from a cold>
At first, he kept missing his food, and only able to eat 1-2 pellets at the most, but a few days later he started to eat more. On Monday, 21 May 2012, the little turtle seemed to improve. He ate fairly well and when I let him walk around, he seemed to be having no problem at all -- in fact he managed to hide between closely placed cardboard boxes nearby in rather short time. The next day, he still seemed to be somewhat fine. Ate nicely, though is somewhat less than the day before, and looked alright when walking around.
<Those are early signs of a recovery>
However, I'm still a bit worried, because apparently he's still swimming a bit lopsided, though not at all times. He doesn't swim too much, anyway, just now and then since he spends a lot of his time basking under his lamp, but every time he started swimming, he's a bit lopsided for a moment before he corrected himself (though not 100% correct). And, since Tuesday, he open his mouth a couple times in a row in the morning as if he's yawning (open mouth for a few seconds, then close, then open it again, close again, a few times before he finally stopped). He doesn't 'yawn' at the other times of the day, though. On Wednesday night (last night before I write this), he made a croaking noise as if he's coughing. It happened only once, though, but after that, he 'yawns' a couple of times before he went back to sleep. He also 'yawns' again this morning after eating. By noon, the little fellow seemed to be fine under his lamp. I wanted to take him back to the vet for a check-up, but my mom said that I don't need to. She said that the turtle will be fine, but.. I'll admit I'm greatly worried. Is my turtle fine? If not, what should I do? Should I bring him to the vet again? I don't want him to die anytime soon -- to the extent that I want to cancel my holiday trip next month because I'm afraid my aunt would not be able to take care of the little baby (I think about taking him with me during vacation, but apparently the hotel won't allow pets :( poor me and little turtle).
<He should be easy to take care of for the duration of a holiday >
Oh, anyway, the weather is a bit strange here these few days. It's sunny, but also windy... I keep the turtle fairly far from the window, though, and used some cardboard pieces to cover his enclosure, except for the area around its lamp.   I'm really confused, so... I really need advice. Thank you for your help.
P.S. Sorry for my bad English grammar, if there's any. :)
<Your grammar is fine, Dian.>
<Little turtle has probably gotten a respiratory infection from improper care.  Fortunately it's easy to cure when caught early and even easier to prevent in the future.>
<To start with, Little Turtle needs to be warm and DRY while recovering - and recovering will take at least 4 weeks more.   In the following article you will read how to "dry dock" a turtle while treating for a possible infection.   He gets a bath 5 to 10 minutes a day in order to drink, poop and eat … then back in the warm dry isolation.  A key part of the isolation is a UV-B lamp.  There are lamps available that are both heat AND UV-B and that makes it convenient.  Otherwise you need a UV-B florescent and a separate basking lamp.  The basking lamp can be a plain, ordinary incandescent bulb - because it's job is just to offer heat.   Please read this: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm  >
<This article covers the basic care needed and discusses a bit about WHY everything is needed.  Read it and compare Turtle's care and housing against the recommendations.  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >
Re: I'm worried about my baby RES and confused, please help! (Attn: Darrel)     5/30/12

Uh, hi again, Darrel!
I hope you don't mind me asking questions again so fast.
<No problem>
This morning I saw bubbles comes out from my baby turtle's nose and mouth when he's basking under the sun. I've never seen him blowing bubbles outside of the water before, so... Is this a sign that his illness get worse, or is this pretty normal because of the weather?
<It's not a good sign, but it IS a sign of the respiratory infection that we know that he has>
Because, it was sunny when I let him bask under the sun, but approximately half an hour later the wind suddenly blows really hard (the weather here is pretty unpredictable) and I have to take him back to his quarantine tank, and this is where I saw the bubbles. It goes away totally when I wipe the baby's mouth with a cotton swab, though, and I don't see the bubbles comes out again so far.
<Keep treating him>
If you were wondering, he still eats nicely.
<That is a VERY good sign>
I'm currently trying to dry-dock Little Seb (it's the name of the little turtle, btw) as you suggested. So far he seems pretty happy, even though I still haven't got UV-B lamp for him, and have to put him under 5W incandescent bulb that I bought this morning. I'll try to find a UV-B lamp (again) and a better incandescent lamp (if needed) tomorrow...
<Keep exposing him to natural sunlight, a healthy diet and warmth>
Hopefully I'll be lucky.
<We're all hoping that>
Re: I'm worried about my baby RES and confused, please help! (Attn: Darrel)      6/3/12

<Hi again>
Little Seb doesn't make bubbles out of water anymore, but since Monday morning, he began making small noises (like, uh, squeaks?) every time he opens his mouth, like he's having trouble breathing. He won't eat anything I offered him, too.
<That is common in respiratory infections>
On Tuesday afternoon, as he seems to get worse (more 'yawning' or should I say 'open mouth breathing'?), I brought him to another vet, who seems to understand about turtles a little bit more. She gave Little Seb antibiotics, and advised me to give the baby the medicine in syrup or suspension instead of mixing it into the food, plus vitamin. She asked me to see if the pet shop here sells any vitamin for turtles, but apparently no one sells it, so I used human baby vitamin instead (current vet says it's ok). <I agree>
Today my baby still refused to eat, sleeps a lot, and still does 'open mouth breathing' every time he wakes up. However, it seems the open mouth breathing is getting slightly less frequent than the days before. Is this good?
Anyway, will it be okay if I take my baby RES outside when it's sunny but also slightly windy?
<Yes.  Just don't leave him unattended>
Since Saturday morning (after I emailed you), it's almost always windy here, even though the sun is shining brightly, so it's hard to find the right time to get some sun for the baby. The wind can comes anytime (and sometimes it's really big), so I'm pretty much afraid.
<The main concern, besides getting lost or attacked by an animal, is that they can easily OVER heat.   When I have a baby in direct sunlight I make sure there is a shaded place he can crawl to>
And... When dry docking turtles, should I keep the lamp on during nighttime, or turn it off? He's in a large enough cardboard box with a towel to make the bottom soft, by the way.
<You should turn it off at night>
Hello again.
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I've been dry docking my little RES turtle for several days right now, but these two days I noticed that he just sleeps almost all the time. Already keep him warm (temp. is around 33-35 Celsius inside the box), but he just keep sleeping (sometimes under the towel I put inside his isolation box).
<The heat is necessary to help speed up his metabolism, but it's an unfamiliar and unnatural surrounding to him.  Usually, after they explore enough to find no escape, they do settle down and rest or sleep a lot.  
Unfortunately, this is necessary for treating him.  Hopefully the antibiotics are working>
Also, yesterday he's eating, though not much. Today he refuses to eat again.  What should I do?
<You can give him a little more time in the water.   Place him in the shallow bowl (or even a bowl with a bit deeper "swimming" water and give him 15 minutes or so to come fully awake, a bit more active and then offer some food.   You might also offer a tiny (very tiny) piece of chicken liver:  It's filling with iron and vitamins and often times will stimulate an appetite.>

turtle health issue    3/23/12
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I have purchased three juvenile turtles. Two are 3.5 inches and one is 2 inch.
Both of 3.5 inches turtles have their front paws swollen ( hands) and one of them opens its mouth continuously with small intervals of time but opens partially and makes a large bubble in his throat for a small time.
<They sound like they are suffering from a Vitamin A deficiency and possibly a respiratory infection as a result>
None of the three turtles eating since the time of purchasing.
<That fits>

I have given them the boiled Raho fish and two of them ate but after that they started loose motion.
<What you'll need to do is try different foods.  Earthworms or pieces of chicken liver fed to them when they are in a shallow bowl>
I am so up set. Please let me know , what should I do?
I checked your site www.wetwebmedia.com and found it quite helpful for me.
<Thank you!  FIRST of all - read this:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm this covers all of their needs and things you must provide them to be healthy>
<Second, read this about keeping them warm and dry while recovering: 
<However, with symptoms that seem so pronounced, you may HAVE to take them to a veterinarian to get, at least, a vitamin A, D & Calcium injections.  
In the mean time, treat them as described for a respiratory infection>
<Yer welcome>

Baby Turtle doesn't swim.    2/8/12
Hi there!
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I have a question.
<I have an answer!>
I have the lamps and the basking area and water that's about 4 in deep but my BABY red ear slider never gets in the water and the temp is 90.
<Because the water is WAY too hot. Not just hot. WAY too hot!!!>

I've been looking at videos on YouTube and see all these other baby res and they're so much more active in the water!
<Not in 90 degree water they're not>
He just kinds of floats there on the top never paddling below the water...is this something I should be worried about? Or will things change when he gets bigger?
<He may not even survive long enough to get bigger>
<The basking area should be between 88 and 92 degrees!! The water should be around 68 to 72 degrees. The point is to offer him a CHOICE between a warm basking area and a cool swimming area and let HIM decide how cool or warm he should be.>
<This article is something you should have read before you got him, but now is an important time to do so. Read the ENTIRE article. Compare every part of your care and keeping to the information. Correct anything that you'd done wrong. Write back if there is ANYTHING even a little bit unclear.>
<Now ... even after you do all that, it may take him quite a while to get used to the cooler water. He may actually be afraid of the water. Place something in the water, like a rock, so he can be placed on it and just "sit there" without having to paddle. It may take him several days to adjust, but he should eventually get the idea>
<Claire ... you're his Turtle Mom. It's up to you to know what you're doing and to do the right thing. Read, Learn, Act.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >
Re: Baby RES... hlth.   3/11/12

Dear Crew,
<Hiya Again … Darrel here … again>
Oh! I'm so sorry I should have been more clear...I meant the air temp is 90
the water is not heated whatsoever.
<OK - now that things are back in balance on the temperature front, things are even more confusing.   A turtle basking at 90 degrees should feel nice and toasty and regularly feel the need to get into the water to cool off.   Hmmm>
<You feed him in the water, correct?  Does he swim towards the food?   Does he sleep on the basking area at night or does he seek shallow water?  I'd like to know these answers>
<Meanwhile, the important issues are alertness, activity and eating.   Does he react to you when you pick him up?  If you place him on the floor in your room, does he look around and eventually explore?  And he is eating proper foods on a regular basis?>
<Assuming all of that is correct, you might try changing his setup.  Just use a cheap Tupperware box of some sort, perhaps resting on an angle so there is shore, beach and deeper water, with the heat lamp over the shore.  What I'm getting at is perhaps there is something 'scary' to him in the water.  Maybe a pump or filter making a vibration … anything like that.   My suggestion at this point is to just change things and see how the changes affect his behavior> 

Please I need an answer     3/4/12
Dear Crew,
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I had two Babies of Red Eared Slider they were great, but one of them I think … was sick (it never eat his food and 24/7 is sleeping) and few days ago it died:(
<ON behalf of Bob Fenner, Neale, Sue and the rest of the Crew, we're sorry for your loss>
and I was kind of worry about the other one.  I read that they prefer to be in couples so I bought another one so it will have another friend, but there were more than one problem kind of two problems the first was that the new turtle was opening his mouth inside the water.  and I don't know if it is normal?
<That's OK.  They sometimes open their mouth just like a yawn.  They do this on land and in water.>
The other problem which is bigger than the first is the two of them was acting kind of weird these days, some time or maybe always they bite each others hand, leg or tail I don't know what this means?
<Some aggression between tank mates is normal, but other times one turtle is just too aggressive to be housed with other turtles his same size.   Make sure that they have plenty of room so that they can get away from each other if needed.   Sometimes you can rearrange even a small tank or enclosure to have partitions of wood or rock so that even if they aren't really far away - it SEEMS like that because they can't see each other.   Often this will go a long way to calming down aggression.>
<Also, while Sliders do fine in groups, they have no need at all to have friends and do fine on their own.>
<Please read this article and check every aspect of your care against what is written:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >

Sick Western Painted Baby Turtle      2/22/12
<Hi Tish, I’m Sue.>
I bought 3 baby western painted turtles two and a half months ago. They were all between 1" and 1 1/8" when I got them. The one I'm worried about has been staying mostly in the basking area for the past 4 days. When I put him in the water to try to encourage him to eat he just floats around the tank and blindly finds his way back to the basking area as soon as he can. Not eating means that, of course, I haven't seen him poop either. I don't know if his eyes are swollen but he doesn't seem to open them and bumps into the side of the tank when he's floating and when the current from the filter gets hold of him he swims like a madman but still doesn't have his eyes open. On the rare occasion I have seen his eyes open over the past few days, they're only open a slit. His eyes are sort of a whitish gray color (shut).
<Swollen or closed eyes are a sign of Vitamin A deficiency, fairly common with captive turtles.  What have you been feeding them?>
He has also developed dents (pits maybe) on the tail end of his top shell and has two dented spots on the underbelly.
<Are these spots hard or soft to the touch?  Soft shell spots in particular need to be addressed.  Shell deformities, whether hard or soft, are also a sign of dietary deficiency, and also potentially incorrect lighting and basking temperatures.>
One on each side about  midway between his head and tail. They live in a 40 gallon turtle tank. Temperature is kept at about 76 to 78 degrees.
<Too warm, should only be 68-70 degrees.  Turtles need an environment that allows them to choose between cool water and warm dry land.  See more about this below. >
They have a reptile day light for 12 hours and a reptile night light for 12 hours a day.
<Is it specifically a UVB light?  If the package said simply “Reptile light”, it may or may not be UVB.  Many are only UVA.  However, turtles specifically need UVB to properly digest food.  Lack of UVB can lead to vitamin deficiencies that besides affecting their eyes and appetite, can also lead to serious shell and bone diseases.>
<Also, what is the temperature under the basking lights?  Besides a UVB light, make sure their basking temperature is warm enough.  They need the right amount of heat along with UVB to process the nutrients from their food.  It should be in the range of 88-90 degrees.>
<It’s also important that all 3 of your turtles are out basking for several hours a day under the heat and UVB.  Keeping the water cool and the basking area at the right temperature will help encourage them to get out during the day.>
They are all three growing at different rates and he is the medium size one at this time but the other two are still eating and active whereas he is not.
<It’s fairly common for turtles to grow at different rates.  As long as they’re all thriving (alert, active, eating, basking, and growing) there’s no need to worry.  It’s good you wrote us now about your one turtle looking and acting noticeably different, because making the necessary corrections now in their diet and/or habitat conditions will also hopefully prevent the other two from becoming ill.>
Not only am I worried about my sick pal but I am worried about if having him in with the other two will make them sick as well.
<Tish, the problem isn’t whether he will make the other two sick, but rather something about the diet or habitat you’re providing them which, if left uncorrected, could eventually also make your other two turtles sick. >
<The first thing you need to do is remove your sick turtle from the tank and place him in a warm, dry enclosure (with UVB) until he’s better.  Read the linked article below under the section called *Isolation* for how to do this correctly.  Also read two other sections in this article:  *Swollen or closed Eyes* and *Soft shell* -
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm >  
<Next, I’d highly suggest taking him to a vet for a Vitamin A shot (preferably a vet who’s experienced and knowledgeable about turtles or at least exotics).  An injection will provide him with the best and most immediate relief of his vitamin deficiency, and will also help to bridge the gap over the next few days before he gets his appetite back and opens his eyes again.>
<Also -- if the dents in his shell do feel soft, the vet should also give him injectable forms of Calcium and Vitamin D.  Soft shell is indicative of metabolic bone disease and left untreated can be fatal. >
<Once he gets his appetite back and depending on what the vet finds/recommends, you may also want to consider adding a phosphorus-free Calcium with Vitamin D3 powder supplement to his food (especially if the light you’ve been providing up to this point hasn’t been a UVB light). Rep-Cal makes a good one.>
<I’m also going to give you 2 other articles written by our crew members.  The first one describes Vitamin A deficiency in more detail including symptoms and what to do to prevent it:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/turteyedisart.htm >
<This last article is our general care guide.  Read it over carefully and make whatever changes are necessary in either their diet and/or habitat or general care so they stay healthy:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >
<Please write us back after you read these if you have any other questions or with an update on him. I hope this will help! ~Sue >

turtle help! 1/8/12
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I really need your help.
<Well, let's see if I'm any help at all. Opinions vary.>
I have 3 very tiny baby Red Ear slider turtles that are about the size of a half dollar that I just purchased a week ago.
<You purchased a half dollar about a week ago? Probably not. What we have here is what's called a misplaced modifier. My personal favorite is contained in this sentence:
"The chair was purchased by the lady with carved legs." It just sounds SO painful, doesn't it?>
<In any case, Mr. Language Person suggests that the sentence should have bee written as
"A week ago I purchased 3 very tiny baby Red Eared Sliders, each about the size of a silver dollar.">
I was just given two more that are probably around 4-5 inches. The tank they were in was very dirty and nasty. I only took them because I felt so sorry for them.
<Thank you on behalf of the turtles.>
The two turtles have something all over their necks and legs/feet.
<Probably just shedding skin, but could be a fungus. In any case, we'll deal with it>
It is white and flaky. As far as I can tell their shell looks good.
<That's good news>
Can you please tell me what steps I need to take for these two turtles to make sure they are healthy? What I should be looking for?
<I have two articles that you should read, Kimberly. The first is a simple article on the basic needs of Red Eared Sliders (and most other water turtles). It discusses UV lighting, Basking lights, clean water and proper diet. As you'll read it you'll find that it's really SIMPLE to keep turtles healthy but you HAVE to do EVERYTHING that they need.>
<The second article is how to treat common illnesses and afflictions in those turtles. From way over hear, I can't tell if the turtles have a fungal infection or just skin in bad condition - HOWEVER if you keep them warm and dry, keep them under UV-B light and swab them with an anti-fungal (or even household vinegar) for a week or two, the problem will clear up anyway. Put them in water for a few minutes every day but otherwise warm and dry. -- TRUST ME -- everything you need to know is in these two articles>
< http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >
< http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm >
Also once I am sure they are healthy can I put them in the same tank with the 3 tiny ones?
<With the largest at 4 inches in size, the conditional answer is "yes". Please provide them plenty of room to get away from each other - and watch out for the little ones. The sizes aren't the issue as much as you may have a larger one that just has a "snappy" disposition. If you don't see aggression then I'd say yes.>
Any advice you can give me will greatly be appreciated. I am very new at this.
<Well, Kimberly, we're old hands at this. Use our Google Search option (at the bottom of the main page) and you can find EVERYTHING you ever want to know, right here on WWM! I promise. Or - double your money back.>
The Aquarium I will be putting them in now is 36 gallon.
<That's a bit small for the two larger ones. See if you can find a bigger tank - and keep in mind - it doesn't have to be a glass tank: Open your imagination and see what you can come up with>
Thanks in advance for your help
<Yer welcome>

Lost & Found turtle - Please help! 11/4/11
Dear Crew,
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I have a baby Red Ear Slider it is about one inch. It got lost when I let it out for a few moments and I finally found it 5 days later.
<That's amazing, isn't it? When we WATCH them, they seem to be these slow, ponderous and ungainly animals but if we turn our attention away for, like THREE SECONDS thy can run the 100 yard dash. And something that people don't know about Sliders and their families -- they can climb fences, too!>
It's so thin along with turning a duller color!
<He's undoubtedly stressed>
It barely moves he refuses to open his eyes.
When I put it back in the water it just floats and barely grabs on.
<Yes, he's gone into a semi-hibernation state called torpidity and the only immediate thing to do is to get him out of the water and get him warm and dry>
Please help I don't want it to die.
<He probably won't die>
How to I get my baby turtle (Folsom) to eat and get healthier! I currently have him placed under a light.
<That was a good thing to do>
Please help! What do I do?
<What we need to do is let Folsom warm up & wake up. This may take a day or two. During this time we don't want to put him in any deep amount of water because if he's not fully awake he can take water in his lungs and drown.>
<We want him WARM, but not cooked, either. Make sure that he's not so close to a hot lamp that he overheats. I use a heating pad set on low>
<When Folsom starts showing signs of perking up, put him in a shallow bowl of water (like a saucer actually) with water that barely comes up to his chin. Let him soak in it and perhaps drink a little.>
<Once he feels awake and starts moving around, then you can feed him a little bit and then put him back in his normal tank. But even when you do that, put him on his log, land or whatever basking area you have, facing away from the water. What we want is for Folsom to DECIDE it's time to go in the water, not just fall off the log>

Precedes: Hiya, RES basking and shell concerns 10/22/11
Hi Jasmine,
I just noticed in my reply below that by accident I wrote that youll eventually need a larger 12 enclosure. What I meant to write is that in the next few months or so youll eventually need a larger (approx. 30-36 long, 12 deep or so) aquarium or plastic storage bin. The general rule is 10 gallons per inch of carapace (top shell) length. However, when translating this to actual enclosure dimensions, what turtles appreciate the most is as much/as large a surface area as possible (length and width) that you can give them for swimming.
Just wanted to make sure you have the right info!
FAQ correction needed for "Re: Hiya, RES basking and shell concerns 10/21/11"

Hi Bob-
I apologize for missing this, but would you mind correcting something in the FAQ, "Hiya, RES basking and shell concerns" that I replied to today?
I just noticed when I re-read it that about mid-way down in the paragraph starting with, "Unfortunately this is what catches many people by surprise...", by mistake I had written "a large 12" or so plastic storage
bin". I don't want readers to assume I meant 12" long! What I meant to write was ... "a larger 30-36" long, 12" deep or so plastic storage bin.
If you could make this correction in the FAQ, I'd appreciate it so that it's correct in the "reference library".
<Will do>
Thanks Bob!
<No worries, B>

Re: Hiya, RES basking and shell concerns 10/21/11
Heyyyy Sue. ^_^
So I just wanted to give you an update on Squirt, he's doing good.
<Glad to hear that and thanks for letting us know! We dont always hear back and can only trust that our advice worked!>
Im gonna attach some pictures of him (I hope I didnt blind him with the camera >.<)
<I LOVE the pics -- especially the 1st one. Hes adorable!! How did you get him to smile for the camera?! I see some career potential there as a cover model for Reptile magazine; maybe he can start earning his keep. Hahaha!!>
I think he's grown, but I cant tell. He's eating his pellets, I bought him ReptoCal pellets and the calcium powder. I switch off every few days from having no water in his tank, to having some. I feed him in a separate container everyday.
<All sounds good; youre being a good turtle mom, Jasmine!>
I also switch off with that; 3 pellets on day, and the next about 6-7.
I also let him sleep in my lap sometimes, he's actually used to human contact. My mom and I like to let him crawl on us, its funny because he burrows in crevices.
<Most likely hes doing that to seek out warmth. But having said that, I have an RES that frantically swims over to me and begs me to pick him whenever I walk over to see him; he loves being held. My other turtles only do that when theyre hungry!!>
I know he can have Salmonella, so we make sure to wash our hands and stuff.
<Yes, you always want to take these precautions.>
And he sure has sharp little claws.
I dont have any concerns, but all I feed him are pellets.
<You can also try feeding him an earthworm or two now and then. Earthworms have lots of nutrients and make a good occasional snack. If you live near a Wal-Mart, you can find them in the fishing section. Buy a small container of them once a month, feed him a couple, then toss the rest of them outside as theyre also beneficial for gardens and flower beds!>
This little turtle sure has sucked quite a bit of money from me >.<
<Unfortunately this is what catches many people by surprise with these guys, and why so many of them land up dying from poor care. Fortunately though, most of the expense is the upfront expense of getting them the right equipment. Your next will be a little ways down the road when youll need to get him a larger enclosure. But this doesnt have to be expensive; "a larger 30-36" long, 12" deep or so plastic storage bin can serve his needs just fine. However, you may want to consider starting to save your money up now for a powerful mechanical filter so youll be ready when the time comes. His poop will grow in direct proportion to him, so eventually this will save you lots of maintenance time! (though even the best filter will never eliminate maintenance entirely; regular water changes will still be needed)>
So he better live a long and healthy life, hopefully when I have kids he'll be around....which will be a long time from now.
<Hopefully he will, and if he does, just be prepared to answer your kids question about how he got the name Squirt! :D >
I really hope Im not over-feeding him, I cant really tell, I guess it looks like his skin curves out a little bit, like bubble-ish.
<From the photos, he looks fine! However, rather than count pellets and rotate the number every day, Id instead feed him only every other day -- but when you do feed him, allow him to eat as much as he wants for 5-10 minutes.>
I was wandering when he would start shedding, because I just wanna make sure Im prepared for that.
<No worries. Theres nothing you need to do to specifically prepare for that. When he does eventually start to shed, the normal basking process will help him dry up that thin outer layer until it eventually falls off. Depending on how thin and transparent it is, it may not even be that noticeable, especially if it falls off in the water while hes swimming.>
I think that's all for now, so yea.
Thanks ^__^
<You're welcome, Jasmine, and thank you for your update and cute pics of him! He looks great, and seems like he also has a friendly personality - all the rewards for your good care! We wish everyone could be as devoted to learning as much about their turtles (before they become ill!) as you have been. Keep up the good work and enjoy him! ~Sue >

Found Baby Yellow Belly 9/16/11
<Hiya Darrel here>
Yesterday evening I found a baby yellow belly turtle and located your website for some useful information. Just have a couple of questions though...
<How cool!>
We live near a pond and hatchlings are common however the water level is extremely low and this little guy's eyes are closed so I did not want to release him as he for sure would have been eaten by the birds.
<Most are>
He doesn't move around and just lays on his rock. This evening I will remove him to a dry container with the UVB lamp for recovery.
It was mentioned on your site that he doesn't need to be wet or have access to water during this recovery stage. Also mentioned is to put him luke warm water for 5 minutes a day in order to bathe, drink and eat. I bought the Tetra ReptoMin baby pellets but he shows no interest in eating yet.
<Usually it's weeks before they eat. He's probably still absorbing the traces of the yolk sac he was born with>
I have a UVB lamp for heat and have also purchased the Zoo Med Repti Turtle Eye Drops. He also has full/direct sun exposure several times a day for short periods of time.
Question 1: How long should he stay in the "dry recovery stage" - until his eyes open?
<In your case, yes. Until he starts being active and alert. At the risk of being a gloomy Gus (or depressing Darrel) -- There is a possibility that it may not happen to him. It's rare, but once in a while you get a hatchling that is just too weak to survive. Probably NOT in this case and in any case we always hope but his recovery may be slow.>
Question 2: When put in the 5 minute water bath - should I offer the pellets even though his eyes are closed? Assuming he will not eat while the eyes are closed.
<No, not yet. In his case, just BARELY a layer of water. In other words, not up to his nose. Just enough for him to feel the water, hydrate his skin and see if that "sense" spurs him into action>
Questions 3: When I put the eye drops on his eyes should he continue to stay dry or place in the 5 minute water bath?
<Place the drops in his eyes and then wait an hour before putting him in the water. Sine the water is shallow it will be below his eye level anyway>
Thank you for your time in advance. I have raised many yellow belly babies for release but not one in such poor shape before. Please help :)
<I hope we have, Karin and thank you SO MUCH for reading and then asking pointed questions ABOUT what you've read. It means a lot to us.>

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.
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.
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!>
Re: Yellow Bellied Slider Hatchling Questions 6/19/11

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.
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.
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

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>

Floating hatchling 11/22/10
Hi crew.
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I have a question I have a little wild hatchling turtle that was given to me since I like and have two other water turtles (red eared slider and alligator snapping turtle).
<Just so you know the entire snapping turtle family will have no problem at all eating a slider at their earliest opportunity. Snapping turtles (Chelydra and Macroclemys) are two species that are always kept alone. They'll even eat each other>
I don't know what kind of water turtle it is just that it is indeed a water turtle. It was found outside very small even still had it's beak
<egg tooth>
-- to break the shell. I took it to a local pet store to try to find out some info on what kind it is and they told me to put it back but also said it would most likely die since it was born so late in the year and it is now cold.
<You're right in that regard>
I am an animal lover hence the two dogs, two cats, now three turtles and a gerbil that I am not just going to let it die without giving it a chance. It wouldn't eat for about a week or two which I read was normal for new hatchling.
He now does eat occasionally not daily but does eat.
<Nor should he eat every day. Turtles in captivity expend very little energy. At the most, feed a captive turtle all it can eat in 5 minutes, 4 times a week>
He seems healthy for the most part except he floats evenly not tilting to either side.
<That's normal .. so what do you mean by "healthy except" ??>
He is in a small plastic tub with heated and filtered water and I also have a UVB light on him.
<OK for now>
He can swim although not very well and I have never seen him go to the bottom and sit, occasionally he somehow manages to get himself upside down.
<The problem with shallow water is that they CAN get themselves upside down and don't have the water depth to easily turn over.>
What can cause the floating?
<Turtles can float. Not seeing the problem yet but I have a guess>
I did notice once when I cleaned the tank I accidentally made the water I'm guessing a little to warm (he started like panicking) but he didn't float.
Although he didn't care for the too warm water he sank like a normal turtle would. I am completely lost on this and why he floats with water 77 degrees but sank when it was warmer (I didn't take the temperature of the water but it felt a lot warmer than the normal). Any suggestions on what is wrong with the little fellow.
<Not yet - but 77 degrees is too warm for a typical water turtle. We'd like the water temp to be in the low 70's and the basking spot to be in the high 80's to low 90's so that the turtle can make his own choices about warm or cold.>
<Mary, can you please do this? Can you use a camera, even a cell phone camera, to take pictures of all three of your turtles and then email those to us? What I'd like is a picture from "almost" head first, meaning directly at the shoulder one from 4 feet away and one as close-up as you can get it without losing focus. If I can see pictures of all three turtles, I may have some answers and suggestions for you>

Baby Red eared slider turtle shedding skin near neck... please help 11/11/10
Hello Sir/Madam
<Hiya - Darrel here today>
I am Sandeep from India, I own a baby RES turtle, gifted by my friend as he had to settle abroad. The turtle (Sonu-his name ) is between 3 to 4 inches (approx) in length and I am using a homemade tank which is about one and a half foot in length, one feet at breadth and about a foot in depth (Sorry, am not sure in terms of gallons).
<That is quite all right, Sandeep. Size and surface area are more important to turtles anyway>
Sonu from day one is very active, he loves swimming and seldom gets onto a basking area (its just a bridge, which keeps his body outside water). The basking area doesn't have any uva/uvb lighting arrangements, but everyday from morning (say 7.30am till 2pm) I keep him in open under direct sunlight with the basking facility. I also do change water daily and I feed him with pellets 3 times a day and two sticks each feeding, once in a week I feed him spinach leaves or smashed banana. Till today, he was doing fine, but today I observed lot of shedding of skin around the neck region, I checked his shell, its hard and healthy (touch wood).But, the shedding of skin a kind of transparent skin was shed, like we see on a new born snake. My concern: Is this normal?
<Yes - and no. Turtles shed their skin periodically, but they normally do it like humans do - which is to say that it comes off in such small pieces that it's hardly seen and rarely noticed. To shed in such big sections is not ALWAYS bad. It is unusual and sometimes a sign of bigger problems>
Am I over feeding him?
<Yes, a little bit. You should feed him all the food he can eat in 5 minutes, four separate times per week. It is O.K. for him to be hungry and want more. Your diet is good and balanced. You can also use the fish pellets they feed to Koi carp. That is what I feed all my turtles>
Is this a fungal Infection?
<Does the skin have an odor when you remove it from the water? Does the skin underneath look clear? Does Sonu have any foul odor? If your answers are "no" then it probably is not fungus>
Now, I am planning to get a heater, uva/uvb bulbs. What do you people suggest?
<First - do not bother with the heater. Let the water remain at room temperature. Our intention with water temperature and basking temperature is to give Sonu a choice and let him decide when to warm up under the lamp and when to cool down in the water>
What would be the specification or brand that I would be looking for with the bulbs, heater or is my current arrangement is good to carry further.
<For UV bulbs, look at the ZooMed line of bulbs and see if you can find something in your size and price range>
<Sandeep, my only concern so far is that Sonu needs to bask and he doesn't seem to do it. Part of the situation (notice that I did not say "problem") is that when Sonu is outside from 7 to 2 in the tank you mentioned, the sun is probably heating the water significantly and therefore he is already warm (so - no desire to bask). Also in 1 foot of water exposed to the noon sun in your part of the world there is significant UVB that is penetrating.>
<My suggestion is this: When you get the UV/B bulb and place it over his bridge. Stop taking outside for a while, allow the water to be near room temperature and see if this encourages him to bask.>

baby res help 11/10/10
Hi, I am Mackenzie
<Hi Mackenzie, Sue here with you.>
and my RES is acting strange when he is in the water. I can put him in the water but he goes crazy!!! and when I put him in the water and get him out he opens his mouth a lot,
<The behaviors youre describing can be fairly common, especially if hes a new turtle or you put him in a new environment. Turtles typically exhibit this type of behavior when theyre either stressed out and/or scared. However, it would help if you could send me some additional information to better pinpoint the most likely cause, including:
Is this a new turtle for you? How long have you had this turtle?
What type of enclosure are you keeping him/her in?
How long has your turtle been living in this enclosure?
How big is the enclosure (length, width, depth), and also # gallons?>
and I don't think he is eating.
<Again, if he is a new turtle, its possible it may take him a few days before he feels comfortable enough in his new surroundings to eat. I also need more information here as well
Why arent you sure if hes eating? Are you staying with him while he eats and know for sure hes not? If not, you should stay and watch him during feedings. Allow him about 5-10 minutes to eat, watch him during this time, and then scoop out whatever uneaten food is left so it doesnt decay in the water.
How often and what are you feeding him?
Do you have a heat lamp and also a UVB light above his basking area? What is the air temperature right above his basking area? And what are you keeping the water temperature at? (should be around 70 to 72 degrees F)
Does he get completely out of the water and bask for a good portion of the day after you feed him? If not, he should be. Turtles require heat (around 88 to 90 degrees or so) in order to properly digest their food so it doesnt rot in their stomachs and make them sick. They also require UVB light so they can properly metabolize calcium from their diet.
How are you keeping the water clean? Do you have a filter? How often are you doing water changes? Turtles drink the water they eat and poop in, so it must be kept very clean or they will become sick.>
if you can help send something back. >
<Mackenzie, please write back with the information above so we can better help you. In the meantime, you should compare the care youre giving your turtle to the care guidelines listed in the link below to see if theres anything you need to correct (i.e. such as proper heating, lighting, basking, water temperature, water quality/filtration, feeding, etc.).
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >
Thank You,
Re: more care, baby RES 1/22/11

I'm applying Povidone iodine solution mixed with a little water to its jaw four times a day and it has gotten more active than before. Open eyes, walking, looking about instead of lying limp. But its not able to eat anything and I doubt it would be able to unless the swelling slows down. What can I do about its diet until the swelling slows?
<There really isn't much an inexperienced person can do on a baby slider, Sarah. Tube feeding and injectible nutrition can be handled only be veterinarians and/or experienced hobbyists.>
I looked for vets but they don't look at turtles.
<Your next best bet is to try to find a turtle or tortoise club in your area. Often times you'll find an "old hand" that has experience with basic first-aid & treatments who will be willing to help you and show you>
<Failing that, you have to keep doing what youre doing, hoping the swelling goes down with that treatment. Remember: Warm and Dry!!>
My cousin and I give our turtles fish pellets in lukewarm water twice a day and have them bask in the sun at least one hour everyday.
<Fish pellets - as in Koi pellets - are a good basic diet and an hour of sunshine EVEN IN ADDITION TO UV-B - is great>
<This article (same as was quoted earlier) covers your basic care http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >

Baby RES turtle, sys., env. dis. 11/07/10
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I've looked all over the site trying to find the answer to my question. So I hope I don't sound like a broken record to you. I had 2 Red Eared Slider turtles (Snaps and Num Nums) I got them in July of 2010. They were 1 inch in diameter and are now 2 inches. They started with a 55 gal tank with silk vegetation and a water heater.
<OK .>
Living in Washington state it starts to get cold in October needless to say it starting to get cold (down to 50's during the day and the mid 40's at night). I had turtles in California and never had to get them a basking lamp
<Well yes, you DID have to it's just for some odd reason, they didn't get sick and die>
so it never occurred to me to get my baby turtles one. So my problem is both babies stopped eating about two weeks ago. The little one of the two had started basking and one day I went to see them and he was completely limp. He didn't move and so I called my vet and he said I need the heat lamp and a UVB light so I rushed out and got both lights and placed them in there. Sadly Nums did not make it :( but now my other baby turtle is doing the same thing the other one did now all she does is bask and she doesn't go to the water. She won't eat at all I even tried flavoring her pellets with tuna water(as suggested on a site and she didn't even look at it) I have her on ReptoMin pellets. Her water temp is 74degrees. And how close should I have the basking light away from the basking rock? It's a 100watt bulb and it's the night one so I can keep it on all day and night.
<I don't understand what a 'night one' means. A basking lamp is normally a regular old incandescent bulb. You CAN use a heat lamp if you have one, but it's not necessary. Both the basking/heat lamp should be on approximately 12 hours a day as should the UV/B lamp. The basking area should be around 88-93 degrees. You can measure that by leaving an oven thermometer on the spot, under the lamp, for 5 minutes and then check the reading. Move the lamp up or down depending on the adjustment and test again. Then be sure to clean the thermometer.>
<Here is a link that coverers the basics: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >
How long does it normally take baby turtles to bounce back? I'd like to know if she will eventually go back to normal or if I should do something for her. I really don't want to have a second baby turtle funeral :( thank you for your help.
<We'll do what we can>
<The first bit of bad news is that by the time ANY fish or reptile shows outward signs of illness, they've already been ill for quite a while and by then are VERY sick. The second bit is that it's more acute in babies.>
<First, get the baby OUT of the water completely. At this stage all that would do for her is offer the opportunity to drown. What she needs is a vet visit, an injections of vitamins (A& D mostly) and calcium and a drop or two of some liquid food.>
<Then she needs to be warm and dry, where the warmth is coming 24/7 from a heating pad on the bottom and 14 hours a day of UV/B from above.>
<Please read this link, get her warm and dry IMMEDIATELY and then see what you can do about a vet visit.>

Baby Turtles With Problems 1/7/06 Hi, I have 4 baby turtles (RES) and two of them have eye infections. I wasn't sure if I should separate the sick ones from the other two. One of the sick turtles aren't eating for over 2 weeks and I am very concerned. How can I make him eat ? :( Thank you. Please help . <Keep the turtle's water clean. Make sure the basking spot gets up to at least 85 F. Use the proper lighting for vitamin development. Use Zoo Med Repti Turtle Eye Drops and feed Zoo Med Hatchling Aquatic Turtle Food. They may have a vitamin A deficiency too. Chuck>

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