Hi! Introduce yourselves here. :: Rescue RES and Some Care Questions :-)

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Post Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:53 am   Rescue RES and Some Care Questions :-)

Hi there!

Happy to be a part of this group, I'm not sure if this post qualifies as an introductory post or if it should go into the care thread, please let me know if I should remove it and post it elsewhere I don't want to break any rules or start off on the wrong foot.

I just adopted a 9 year old RES (his names jc) + his "home" and equipment and I have concerns about his health and set up. They had a really amazing set up for him (120 gal, proper egg crate basking spot, great filter, two heaters, two basking lamps of different wattage, proper uv, etc. etc) however they did mention how in recent times they've been struggling to keep up with his care. He has three large spots of shell rot that I've been treating daily with Betadine. He's not an overly aggressive turtle at all, he's more timid and retreats into his shell quite often during treatment but constantly begs for food in his tank. Quite a few of his scutes are peeling and he has excessive shedding around his neck as well as a thick green algae around the edge of his shell thats been slowly coming off with the daily scrub. They were feeding him mostly a pellet/dried mealworm/shrimp combo with occasional lettuce, because they were told that diet for an adult slider should be 75% protein, 25% veg which from what I've read seems to be the opposite.. I haven't been able to get him to do anything with lettuce other than snap a piece off and spit it out. I've read that the solution to this might just be a bit of tough love since I've already offered him 4 different kinds of greens and get the same reaction every time but if theres anything else that has worked for someone in the past I'm open to any and all suggestions.

He has one RI in his history so I am concerned about underlying issues there. What should I look for?

When I set up his tank I positioned everything exactly how it was in his old house (filter, heater, lights, decorations) and had everything running how his old family did, I use a probe thermometer whereas they had two adhesive strips one for water temp and one for basking temp. Water temp read at 78(f) and never changes despite the fact that my probe has never picked up a temp over 76(f). Is that an okay temp for an adult res or should I go buy a new heater? Any brand recommendations if so? Think mine is Fluval. They gave me two, one is 200w but doesn't seem to be working since its set to 27 degrees (c) and the temp is yet to raise and the other one is far too small to heat the whole tank on its own. Now the basking spot... they let me know that they kept both basking lamps on during the day as well as the UV. Is it possible that these two lamps are providing different kind of light that I'm unaware of? The temperature on the basking platform with both lights on reaches 115 degrees (f) which I know is far too high so for now I've been keeping the larger of the two on which has it at about 86(f). Could the high basking temps have discouraged him from basking leading to the shell rot? They also had a strip of putting green on the egg crate that had a bit of mold on the underside and felt damp so I dont think it allowed him to dry out very well. I looked at both lamps and cant find any stand out differences other than wattage, brand and that one glows in the dark but I dont want to be depriving him of any specific light that lamp may provide.

Sorry for the long post, I'm trying to learn as much as I can about RES turtles so I can give him the best possible life and ensure that his living environments are exactly what he needs, thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to read all this and offer me any advice! :-)
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Post Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:10 am   Re: Rescue RES and Some Care Questions :-)

Hi from Piggley and me !

When turtles are babies yes 75% protein and 25% veggies is ok because how fast they are growing. Unfortunately most feed that to adults which does not fit there needs. As with humans diet changes during the life cycle. Adults turtles should be feed around 75% veggies and 25% protein. All that protein is like candy to an adult turtle. Will be hard to change it but will change if you are persistent.
Turtles are very much like young children. If you let them eat cake all day they will. You with a captive turtle must yes sometimes use tough love. Try to offer veggies first when the hungriest and hold off the protein , you are the boss , don’t give into the begging. That’s just instinct from the wild.
Not all turtles shed 100% during every shed. To help with better sheds a good , well balanced , nutritious diet and a basking area setup to its needs at its stage of life helps greatly. One large enough to have varying temps so JC can pick what he needs when ! Having lights on a timer 10-12 hours a day on helps. Turtles bask when it’s the right temp and too there needs , not when you want him to bask so the timer.
Basking temp too high ! 85*-90* better for an adult and a large area so it has varying temp’s the turtle can choose to use when he need that temp. Baking temp should be 10* higher than water temp. Adult slider like water at 75*-78* so basking 85*-90*. If the two bulbs you have are in separate fixtures just raise the UVA/heat bulb fixture up a few inches until desired temp is achieved. Or use a lower wattage heat bulb if you only have one double fixture. Placements are very important. Do not move the UVB bulb yet , lets work on the temp first. Turtles need both ! The UVA/heat /basking bulb provides the temp to entice the turtle to get under the needed UVB bulb. Both over basking area !
You stated shell rot any photos ?

Great to see you doing some homework for JC. Use top header on this page for more info don’t stop at just basic care. The more you know now the better off you and JC will be. Observing and prevention is key in this hobby to make all easy.
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Post Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:14 am   Re: Rescue RES and Some Care Questions :-)

Welcome to the forum! Are you sure he has shell rot? A correct ID of the problem will yield the best and fastest treatment.

Tough love is a good approach to veggies, also look into using a veggie clip and/or some aquatic plants.

As for RI, I think its over-diagnosed but it shouldn't result in long-term issues. Most probe thermometers are not accurate, do double check them. Mid-70s is fine water temp, some people with older RES go to the low-70s.

I would re-test the heaters, and make sure all the gear is plugged into a GFCI. How long is he basking for?
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Post Posted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:09 pm   Re: Rescue RES and Some Care Questions :-)

Last edited by tvsf on Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Posted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 8:07 pm   Re: Rescue RES and Some Care Questions :-)

It’s only been a short time to adjust for JC. He has to get use to you and the changes made which even for a 9 year old could take a little more time than a month. He’s testing the basking area and may not feel comfortable on it today. Place a few short plants on the front side of dock so he thinks he’ is hiding. Sometimes helps or cover the outer glass with something until he gets use to it so to feel more comfortable. Once he get real comfortable and you enter the room making noise and wake him up watch the look he gives you and then goes back to sleep. If what he wants and needs he will use it more. That's for health too ! Make sure it’s not in any drafts too ! Most docks sold are way to small for an adult turtle. It should be 3-5x’s bigger than he is. If he can only turn around a little not so good. Having the heated basking dock range from say 75 to 90* allowing him to decide what he wants and needs at whatever time of day he wants is great. Be creative, large real cork cut to what you want is an easy dock or put several small one’s together can work. Some have two docks if main heated one has to be smaller than he wants , one with the UVA and UVB bulbs and the other as a dry dock no bulbs , sometimes they just want to dry off with no heat. Not all turtles bask 6-8 hrs straight but if those temp ranges are offered he will pick a spot or will be able to move around as needed better to do so if he chooses. Turtles also sleep were they feel safe and comfortable too , land or water area. Glass tanks even wide ones are 18" which limit's one on basking dock size that's why I always use stock tanks much wider.
If your water temp is varying from 74-82 to me that’s varying to much. Having a “consistent water temp” is much better. A 75* is good from a 9 year old but don’t let it lower. A safer water temp I use is 78* for Piggley. How much water in the 120 gallon tank , is it full or less to prevent escape. Is water heater sized to that ? I’m an old timer I always go a little larger , over kill maybe , but one matched to water volume is on a lot longer. Piggley has a 300 watt Eheim TruTemp which I can calibrate if needed for his 120 gallons of actual water and a shield to protect his feet if touched in his 150 gallon stock tank. Try moving yours around the tank to be in the best water flow it can be in to offer more even heat. If it has some age on it may want to think about a new one for safety and plugged into a GFI. No pre set temp type get adjustable. Also those glass and probe thermometers are known to be inaccurate . I have a draw full of both. Ever notice ten in store all with different temps. Plan to get a “IR” type very good and last. One like is is good : https://www.amazon.com/Masione-Temperat ... way&sr=8-4
Accurate readings are very important !
The food get a couple small different pellet types , Omega One is highly recommended , check expiration dates , also a turtle his size should be on a well mix of veggies 50-70%. There requirements do change at older stage's of life. Turtles are like young children sometimes the same old food just gets old. If never was on veggies it’s hard to change them so offer veggies first when hungriest. Read at top header on this page under “nutrition” for pellets and veggies. You are doing good , lots to learn. Read more than just the basics so to help better.
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