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FAQs About Turtle Babies, Young: Systems

Related Articles: My Turtle Laid Eggs. What do I do? by Darrel Barton, Turtles, Shell Rot in Turtles, AmphibiansRed 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 Feeding, Young Turtle Disease,
Related FAQs:  Turtles 1, Turtles 2, Red Ear Sliders, Turtle Identification, Turtle Behavior, Turtle Compatibility, Turtle Selection, Turtle Systems, Turtle FeedingTurtle Disease, Shell Rot, & by Species: Cooters/Mud Turtles, Softshells, Snapping Turtles, Mata Matas, Tortoises, & AmphibiansOther Reptiles


4 baby Red Ear Sliders    6/23/12
Hi there.
<Hiya - Darrel here>
My name is Adam, and my Wife and I recently bought four baby RES. I've only had them for about a month now. They are very slightly larger than a quarter (25 cents). I bought a 50 gallon tank, filled it 1/3 with water, using the appropriate amount of ZILLA aquatic reptile water conditioner. I then put in an AQUEON water pump/filter. Filled the bottom of the tank with very smooth rocks from the local pet store, and on the end farthest from the pump, I made a slope coming out of the water right under the ZILLA 75watt / 120volt heat lamp. Right next to the ZILLA 13watt / tropical25 UV lamp. I also put in a TETRA FAUNA aquatic reptile water heater preset to at 78'F. The have two little fake floating pieces of land which they thoroughly enjoy hiding under if they get nervous.
<So far, so good>
There is also some fake plants for privacy that they all 4 seem to recognize and use often when coming up for air... I turn the lights on every morning at exactly 8am. And off every night at exactly 11:30pm. I feed them once every other day, but sometimes I'll see one or two digging at the rocks at the bottom of the tank, searching for bloodworms, and I'll give 'em a snack. Right now, I honestly don't know what to feed them besides BLOOD WORMS. I threw in a couple small pieces of store bought LETTUCE one time, but they didn't even nibble at it. So far there doesn't seem to be any problem with competition for food or light or anything, but they are still all the same size.
<Go get a bag of SMALL sized Koi pellets or Repto-min floating food sticks.  That's your primary food from now until they double in size - then go to regular-sized Koi pellets for the rest of their lives.   These pellets/sticks are highly plant-based and fully balanced for raising turtles.>
When they get a little bigger, I'm sure I'll have to separate them eventually.
<Not necessarily - turtles can be very social.  Don't worry about that until you see serious aggression.  The males will stop growing at the size of a closed fist and the females will continue to grow>
They are very friendly, and it seems they are becoming more comfortable and not as nervous when I go to feed them or clean their tank. We handle them whenever I clean the tank, which is once, maybe twice, a week. Although I don't ever handle them when I feed them. I turn off the water pump/filter and do my best to give them privacy while they eat. These 4 little guys are the first RES turtles my Wife and I have ever owned. I think I'm doing good so far... But I need a professional opinion. Please help with what to feed them, what I'm doing wrong, or if I can do anything to make them happier... And should female and male (brothers and sisters) be raised together? Should I separate them? And if so which ones, and when? Thank you for all your help!
<I think you’re doing fine already!!  I wouldn't bother with the water conditioner though - save that money and add it to the replacement UV light fund, etc.>
<Make sure they have basking heat AND UV-B, 72 degree water (room temp NEVER a heater if they're indoors and 88-92 degree basking area.>
<read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >
<Also: Name one of them Herkimer and never EVER let them near your Checkbook or Debit cards - Red Eared Sliders have absolutely NO sense of money or restraint!>
Sent from my iPhone

Red Eared Slider, sys. for baby    11/23/11
<Hi Abbey, Sue here with you.>
I recently purchased a Red Eared Slider turtle. The employee at the pet store owns a Red Eared Slider and told me that a 3 gallon tank would be fine for the baby turtle. I'm concerned about this tank being too small.
<Abbey, kudos to you for trusting your own instincts and questioning the advice you were given, rather than following it blindly! When my 1st child was a newborn, I sought out the expertise of an experienced doctor when I was feeling insecure about making the *right* choices. Ill never forget his response. He told me that in his 30+ years of practice the one thing hes learned during that time is that the moms, not him, are the true experts! He advised me to trust and follow my own *gut* instincts when assessing whether something seems right or not, and/or when determining the *right* thing to do. His advice made no sense to me at the time. I couldnt see how I could ever have any sort of gut instinct about anything as I knew absolutely NOTHING about babies, and had no past experience to draw from. However, it landed up happening just the way he said it would! So now even though I still seek out answers from others, in the end I weigh everything out and go with the answer that makes the most amount of sense to me. Now, hopefully my answers here will make sense to you! :) >
The tank has a filter, a basking area, and room to swim around.
<Do you also have a bulb thats specifically UVB, and also a bulb to provide a heat source over the basking area? If not, these are important requirements. >
The employee also informed me that the turtle will adapt to the size of the tank; but I might need to buy a new tank in about 2 years because it might grow just enough where 3 gallons is not enough.
<Im not sure what this employee means by *adapt* ...>
<If he/she is referring to a turtles growth being dependent on or limited by enclosure size, that's definitely not the case. Their growth is completely independent of the size of their enclosure. They also tend to grow at a faster rate until they reach about 4 or so. After that they slow down. But eventually RES males average up to 10 in size when theyre fully grown; female RES can grow to be as large as the size of a dinner plate!>
<If shes referring to turtles adapting *behavior wise* to a tiny enclosure, IMO (my gut instinct!), this is the wrong way to look at it. Most people could likely adapt to a prison cell over time, and many cats and dogs unfortunately have to live their lives out in cramped cages. Technically, most of them would all likely *get by/adapt/survive* in these types of living conditions. The real question to me is not one of basic survival, but instead our responsibility to provide humane care and quality of life to pets/animals whose lives were taken from their control and placed under ours. >
I have already purchased everything and the turtle seems to have adapted fine, but while reading I continue to see very large tank sizes. My turtle's shell is about 1.5 inches.
<The *industry standard* thats commonly referenced on websites for aquatic turtles is 10 gallons per straight inch of their top shell (carapace) length. Even according to this standard a 3 gallon aquarium falls short. Technically a smaller turtle like yours could survive in a smaller enclosure, assuming all the other requirements about their care and environment are met. However, here are some additional things to consider:
What aquatic turtles (of any size) appreciate most is as much surface area (length and width) as possible to swim around. So rather than a specific # of gallons, what we recommend is to buy as long and wide an enclosure as you can realistically manage in terms of maintenance time and effort (i.e. ease of water changes since good water quality should always be the top consideration), and whatever limitations you might have space-wise and cost wise (but see bullet further down re: cost).
The more water you have, the less it will be susceptible to temperature fluctuations from your heat light. Ideally you want the water to be on the cooler side, around 68-70 degrees F. Its going to likely be more challenging for you with a 3 gallon tank to keep the water in this cooler range than it would be if you had a larger enclosure that could hold more water.
You dont need to buy an expensive glass aquarium! Some people use pre-formed ponds (even indoors). Some even use larger plastic storage containers from a home store!
As a general rule, a larger enclosure will give you more flexibility to turn it into an interesting living environment. And the more you can create a habitat thats as close to your turtles natural habitat as possible, the more enjoyment both you and he will get out of it! >
<Abbey, since youre a new *turtle mom*, Im also attaching below a link to our basic care guide. You should use it as a checklist to make sure you have all the necessary basics in place to get him off to the right start! Read it over and feel free to write back with any other questions or concerns you might have; were happy to help however we can:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >
Re: Red Eared Slider    11/27/11

That was very helpful, thank you so much!
<Youre welcome Abbey, happy to help!>
I do have a heat/UVB light that came with the tank but I think I will ask for a new tank for my birthday which is in the summer; I think he will do fine until then. I am a little worried about the space issue in my room though, my turtle is placed on top of a dresser that is not big enough for a big tank. Do you have any suggestions?
<If at all possible, to make things easier for you to do regular water changes, Id recommend locating the aquarium close to a sink. If space is a problem, you may want to consider adding to your available space by going *vertical* - i.e. getting a shelving unit where things can be stored above and below the aquarium. You can find reasonable priced units at places like IKEA, Target or Wal-Mart. One word of caution though if you land up buying a larger size aquarium, you want to make sure the shelves will be strong enough to support the weight of it!>
<Another possibility, depending on your space, is to buy a longer piece that can serve double duty as a work/study space and a place for your aquarium. Again, IKEA has some great low cost table tops and legs (which they sell separately), such as their VIKA line which allows you to custom design your own table/desk for a very low cost --
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/categories/departments/workspaces/10712/ >
<If you can afford it, of course an aquarium stand is another option. Since you have a few months before you plan to buy the aquarium, you can shop around either online or in your local pet stores to find out where to get one for the best price, when they have their usual sales, etc.>
<Good luck; hope this helps! ~ Sue> 

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>

Hello! RES, small/baby... sys.
<Hi Lauren! Sue here.>
I have a question about my baby red ear slider turtle. "He" is very tiny (silver dollar size) and I've read set ups for tanks and followed for what I thought was best for him. I noticed he never wants to come out of his water. I have a whole section of his tank with dry rocks and a lamp, yet he will bury himself under the rocks and poke his head above the water. It's been about a month since I've had him and not once have I seen him just hanging out on dry land. Is there something causing him to do this?
<It could be hes still nervous, but I would have expected him to come out and bask by now. Its possible he might have come out when youre not around, but for now lets assume he hasnt to be on the safe side.>
<It could be your water temperature is too warm and the land isnt warm enough to entice him to come out. The water should be kept cooler (68-70 degrees F range). A heat lamp and a UVB lamp (both are needed) should be right above the rocks, and the temperature should be in the 88-92 degrees F range). The cool water is what typically gives them that extra motivation to come out and warm up.>
Should I take him out of his tank and make him be on dry land every day for a while? I just want him to be okay.
<Yes, it wouldnt be a bad idea to get him in a warm, dry place for a few days if he really hasnt been out of the water for this entire period. However, rather than make him be on his land, Id remove him altogether and place him in a separate warm, dry enclosure for the next few days, except for a few minutes each day to drink, eat and poop. Ive attached the following link that has instructions for exactly how to go about doing this. See under the section entitled, Immediate Treatment ISOLATION.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/treating%20RES%20Dis%20DarrelB.htm >
I saw him way under sized, in a dollar store and felt I had to save him and I dont want to cause him any harm due to my lack of turtle knowledge.
<Poor thing! Its the unfortunate reality of the trade. And thank you for trying to learn as much as you can to take good care of him.>
please help! Thank you,
<Youre welcome, Lauren! It sounds like youve done some reading, but Im attaching the following link to our care guide just to make sure you have all the necessary basics covered:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >
<Give this a read, check your water and basking temperatures, and let him get warm and dry under heat and UVB for a few days. Hopefully one or all of these things will give him a jump start! Good luck, and write us back if you need any further help with this, or if other questions or concerns come up. ~Sue>

Newly Hatched Red Eared Slider   8/18/11
<Hiya - Darrel here>
My turtle laid eggs and four of them hatched this past week
<Isn't that just the coolest thing, ever?? I've been breeding sliders and Sulcata tortoises for years and still, every time the hatch starts it brings a big grin to my face>
but they like to dig themselves in the ground. Is this normal? I live in Texas and its very hot here, is it that they are trying to cool down? I keep them in the shade and keep the ground moist. I tried keeping them inside already but they still dig themselves in the ground. Should I put them in a tank with water or should I leave them there for a little longer? I put them in shallow water a few times already but I don't know if they are ready for a regular 10 gallon tank.
<They're ready for a 'normal' aquatic environment about 4 hours after they're hatched, so yes you can. They don't need really deep water and they do need EASY methods in and out. In the wild, a hatchling will head for the water and then the safety of the floating weeds or grasses. They won't completely haul out of the water for many weeks because they don't feel safe. In captivity I give then 4 inches of water in a sloping container (an aquarium with one end sitting on a piece of wood to angle it) so they have a beach-like ramp. I place a low wattage incandescent bulb about the dry end for warmth and a UV-B florescent bulb across the rear, hanging about 6 inches up from the bottom.>
<Make them feel safe and they'll swim and bask to do turtle stuff really soon.>
< http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >
Thank You

Filters    5/23/11
<Hiya right back at ya!! Darrel here>
I have baby Red Eared Slider in a half full 20 gallon tank, with a filter that hangs over the edge. The brand is Tetra, model is Whisper 20i. I just changed the carbon filter, but the water is still rather murky.
<Interesting, If the tank is half full, then the filter is having to suck the water WAY above the water level, which cuts down significantly on the water it circulates.>
<There are tanks that you can buy specifically for turtles, where one end only has glass going half way up - then you hang the filter on that and fill the tank half way, but to the filter it's the same as a FULL tank>
Any suggestions for a secondary filter that will keep the tank cleaner?
<Compared to fish, turtles are poop machines. It takes a LOT of filtering to keep the water clean. I'd look for a small canister filter that can take water from a suction tube at one end of the tank and return it to a spray bar under water at the other end.>
<Still - you will likely need to siphon out dirty water and fill with clean water fairly often.>
Turtles are still healthy so far, with good eating, basking, and activity habits and very good growth. I want to keep it that way!
<thanks for the effort, Britany we want to help you in any way we can>
< http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RESCareBarton.htm >

Baby Red Eared Slider    5/23/11
Monday, May 23rd, 2011
<Yes it is!!>
First I want to say I have searched your site with the Google Toolbar as instructed and I didn't find what I was looking for and if you have already answered these than I am sorry I didn't check well enough, any who here's some background.
<No worries - but we do SO MUCH thank you for trying. Sometimes we actually get letters from people who write "I didn't want to waste the time searching so I thought I'd write and ask" -- to which we often reply "well I don't want to waste the time answering ...>
(My name is Danielle by the way though I don't find that as important, hehe)
<Hiya - my name is Darrel and oddly, I find that important. If it wasn't my name then how would I know when someone is trying to get my attention?>
I have a baby turtle named Fiona; she is about the size of a silver dollar though I know sexing isn't possible I like to think she is my princess! She has a 10 gallon tank with the water as deep and her shell is long because that's what I read somewhere was safe.
<Yeah - it's not bad. As long as they can completely submerge they will be able to feel safe>
I feed her ReptoMin baby turtle food; about 8 pellets a day, as well as occasional veggies.
<That's a BIT much if she's over a year old, feed her all she can eat in 5 minutes, 3 times a week. One of the biggest problems we see in pets is obesity from over feeding>
She has an all spectrum light and her water is around 80 F and her tank air at about 71 F ish.
<OK - first problem. The surface of the basking area should be around 83-90 degrees and the WATER should be 68-71 degrees. You seem to have it backwards. They need to bask to warm up and swim to cool down>
She has a basking rock and is best friends with the cat! They play through the glass its super cute!
<Cats have a funny way of changing their friendships without notice, so please makes sure the tank has some sort of cover, OK? Don't ever assume that the cat has pure motives. I have a cat that seems friendly and loving toward my iguanas when I'm watching, but when I'm not she commits crimes and attempts to implicate them.>
I change the water about once a week and put in those turtle shaped water things I don't know what brand I use because I just buy whatever is cheapest at Wal-Mart.
<Those are probably calcium blocks or mineral blocks. The problem is that turtles get their calcium and minerals through their diet and not the water. Repto-min is a perfectly balanced food for her, so you can dispense with the blocks!>
Question 1:
<Darn a test and I didn't study>
She has been shedding which I know is normal but I looked at her tank tonight as I was playing with her (she chases my finger) and her water was very dirty, like the little clear wispy pieces of skin where everywhere! She has never shed this much, I am worried. I checked her for white spots, dull spots, inflamed areas of skin; really anything that didn't look normal and she was fine besides the shedding. I know its normal but to what extent?
<If there is anything unusual at all its that there may be a bit of fungus growing in the water because the water is way too hot. The shedding skin may be growing a bit of fungus, but not enough to actually infect Fiona yet. Keep the water clean and after you get the basking temp problem fixed, Fiona will dry out under the basking lamp and that will help keep her skin in good shape.>
Question 2: She has never been in deep water and a couple days ago while cleaning her tank I decided to try a new set up and put in more water. She sank right to the bottom and freaked out! She was swimming frantically from one end to the other and I let this go on for about 10 min.s until I got worried and didn't want my little girl to drown. Is it possible to help teach her how to swim and float or are there tips I can use for getting her used to deeper water?
<When given a choice, turtles would rather have a wider and longer enclosure than a deeper one. If you notice her when she's in water, she's swimming back and forth far more than she's diving down. I'm just mentioning that for when she gets bigger and you're going for a larger tank look for tanks that are as long and as wide as possible.>
<as to Fiona freaking out, she did that because things were changed, not because she's afraid of deep water. Here is what I suggest:>
<1- set things back to normal>
<2- fix the water temperature. Turtles do NOT need heated water if you live south of the Arctic Circle. Let her water be the same as your room temperature>
<3- make sure that the tank has a cat-proof covering of some sort>
<4- slowly increase the water level in her same tank. Add about an inch of water every other day - making sure to change the level of her basking area AND as you slowly raise THAT, you have to move the basking lamp a bit higher as well. If you make the changes slowly enough, Fiona won't notice that she's having more fun>
Thank you so much for taking time out of your day and answering my questions!
<No problem - we enjoy doing it>
Re: Baby Red Eared Slider   5/25/11

I do have a cover!
I know I don't trust my cat that much, haha. I have fixed her water and basking area temps as soon as I read this. I will also stop buying those blocks!
You guys are the best!
<Hmmm - I don't know about THAT but we ARE better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick!>

Re Red Eared Slider - info & corrections... PPs corr./redux  4/3/11
Thank you for the response...
<No additional charge!>
I actually didn't even realize I had misread (and misspelled) puffer's name until I read your response. In any case.
<Yeah - onward & upward!>
I do have an actual question about my baby Red Eared Sliders. I have 2, and have a large aquarium for them (large for their current size... about 1.5"). I have added sand on one side of the tank... enough to have a sandy area sticking out of the water. I also have a basking platform that I moved close to the sand and placed the basking light over. So they have plenty of room and a choice of terrain to bask on. They seem to like it and whenever I come home from work or being away for whatever reason, if I very slowly and carefully open the door to that room I usually find at least one of them basking until they notice me and jump into the water. I've only had them for just over a week now, but I noticed that one of them has taken to burrowing in the sand under the water. I thought maybe it had to do with the water temp so I checked the water temp (75F) and added a thermometer strip to the side of the tank last night. So water temp seems to be good... I have read that some burrowing is normal but it seems the turtle is burrowing and sleeping and I'm a little concerned that it won't be able to get free and breathe when necessary.
<Usually that's not an issue, Alan. As long as you don't construct a hard surface "cave" or branch overhang, etc. where they could actually get trapped, you should be OK.>
The other turtle is so active and always swimming around and watching me when I am near. When I pick up the burrowing one it will usually sit in my hand for a moment and look at me and then start looking for some place to burrow in to. I held it with in my left hand last night with my right hand loosely cupped over top and it went toward the back of the little cubby my hands were creating and proceeded to try to dig in deeper through my fingers. Also, this was right after I pulled it out of the sand and it was very sluggish in moving for a little bit. It perked up after I held it for a while though and started acting normally. Does it sound like I have anything to be concerned about? And is the burrowing under water a potential hazard for the little turtle?
<Basically, it seems like you have a shy turtle, because you wrote that when you sneak in you find "at least" one of them - implying that sometimes you've seen two. I'm a big fan of giving the turtles cool water (68-72f) and a warm basking area (88-93f) and letting them choose where to spend their time.>
<Meanwhile, watch the basics. Do they eat heartily? Sometimes you have to withhold food for a day or two and maybe even feed them in a separate bowl so that you can watch them. Shells firm? Eyes clear? Basking regularly (that one is hard with a shy turtle)?>
<If you go into that room and stay there bring a book and sit quietly and read does the shy one eventually come out and if so is he or she active?>
<The other thing to keep in mind is that it's only been a week. Keep your routine constant; spend some quiet time (such as sitting, watching/reading, etc. not invasive time - no handling) every day for another week or two and see how they are when they relax.>

Red Ear Slider, sexing, sys.    12/16/10
<Hiya - Darrel here>
I just have a couple questions, I was wondering if you can help me.
<I've often wondered if I can help people, too.>
I have a Red Ear Slider and for the characteristics it seems like a male but I have notice already twice that a black looking sack comes out of the turtle's butt apparently and it keeps it out for a few minutes and then it suck it back up, any idea of what that could be?
<Yep! That's his .. um er .. ah party animal. It comes out when he's sexually excited (and NO ONE knows what excites a male turtle) and will go in by itself>
Another question is, I recently bought a bigger tank and I got those colored rocks to put at the bottom of the tank, how recommendable is that?
<As long as they are too big to swallow, it's not a problem>
and do you have any other recommendations, I'm afraid the turtle will eat them.
< Generally I use a bare tank floor and decorate it with large stones spaces apart and this is merely because turtles are so messy it makes the tank much easier to clean.>
Thank you very much!
I hope you can help me.
<I hope so, too!>
<Read: 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.>

Caring for baby red eared sliders  11/15/09
Hello Crew,
<Hello Samantha,>
I've just acquired two baby red eared slider turtles.
<Oh dear. Do understand these animals are time-consuming and quite difficult to look after, and make very poor impulse purchases.>
They're roughly about the size of a quarter. I'm not exactly sure how to care for them, I've read up on care for adult sliders but caring for babies is quite different then caring for adults.
<It's actually not so different. The main thing is that water isn't so deep they can't breathe easily. A good ball-park estimate is that the terrapin should be able to stand on its back legs and poke its nose out. So look how big the shell is, add about 50%, and that's a good depth of water for very small terrapins. There needs to be a ramp or similar that allows the terrapin to climb out onto its basking spot (to stone under the combination heat/UV-B lamp).>
I'd like to know everything there is to know about caring for them from the time they are young to the time they are adults.
<Read here:
I don't think it is fair to keep them as full grown adults, would it be wise to let the go in a lake or is that fatal because they've been in captivity for so long? ( I live in Michigan ).
<This would be extremely cruel. Captive specimens have no idea how to survive in the wild, and would be run over by a car, eaten by a predator, vulnerable to diseases against which they have no resistance, and very likely to starve to death. Without having the experienced of wintertime torpor, they will have no idea how to build up fat reserves or find suitably safe resting spots. This IS NOT an option. Either buy these animals with a view to keeping them for their full lifespan (around 15-20 years) or else don't buy them at all and keep something else, like a pet rock or a cactus. It's as simple as that. You can't buy animals with a view to letting them loose when you get bored with them or find their needs too demanding.>
Please get back with me with all of the caring information I need to know.
<It should really go without saying that you must find out about an animal BEFORE you buy it as a pet. Anything else is irresponsible.>
Thank you so much for your time :) Have a good day!!!
Samantha R.
<Happy to help. Cheers, Neale.>

Shipping Baby Turtles  - 04/08/06 We are hoping to purchase a few baby RES turtles.  We live in northeast Pennsylvania and are awaiting the warm temperatures.  At what minimum temperature do you think it would be warm enough for us to consider having the turtles shipped? Thank you for you assistance. < Baby turtles are usually born in the spring when daytime temps are in the 70's. Most reptiles are shipped in insulated boxes so they don't change temperatures during transit. I would not ship anything unless the lowest temp was at least 40 F and well above freezing.-Chuck>

Red Eared Slider Egg Incubation   3/21/06 I have a female slider living in my pond and she laid two nests of eggs a few weeks back.  We are wondering how long it takes for the eggs to hatch? Thanks, Sarah < At 80 F about 60 days. Longer or shorted depending on the temperature.-Chuck>

Red eared slider baby hatchlings I had 4 new red eared turtles and 2 of them died I keep the water clean I have a 20 gal long aquarium, basking ramp, light. filter .... I have well water do turtles water need to be tested like the water of fish and if so what are the levels I need to keep < Water chemistry is not as critical for turtles as it is for fish. If the turtle shells are soft and mushy then the lighting is wrong. They need a bright warm full spectrum light to bask. These little turtles are usually pretty hardy under the right conditions. Hopefully you are giving them a varied diet.-Chuck>

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