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new to the turtle game

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:48 pm
by vanessa556
ok so here we go.
Like any family we went to a flea market and bought a turtle. Two weeks later it died, I think the turtle was already a sick turtle when we bought it but who really knows.
My 8 year old daughter was heartbroken so I called around and was able to find a local pet store that had healthy looking turtles. I did have an impulsive buy and bought a red ear slider and a western painted turtle. both babies. We have had them for a week and it seems like they have actually grown on me and I have grown attached to them.
This time around I did do some research. My husband bought a 10 gallon started kit I'm hoping that in a couple months once they start to grow we will buy a bigger tank.
I have read that the pebbles I bought are actually bad for my turtles so I will be replacing them with bigger pebbles. I'm open to any advise and criticism .

I want to buy the calcium tablets but I'm scared since I only have a 10 gallon tank that it would be too much for them and actually make them sick.
also I do only have a heating lamp so I tend to take them outside so they can catch some rays.
I'm a bit worried that Khaleesi (red ear slider) might not be doing well since she tends to "nest" under the filter and I hardly ever see her basking under the heat lamp. I have attached some pictures so yall would have more of an idea of how I have things set up.
like I said any advice is good!
wait one more thing I have read that having the heat lamp on at night throws off their sleeping patterns is this correct?

Re: new to the turtle game

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:45 pm
by steve
Welcome to the forum! You can have a bare bottom tank, it would be fine and easier to clean. Depending on the room temperature, you might need a submersible water heater but leave the lights off at night. I would also skip the calcium block, especially if you are using a reputable pellet.

Re: new to the turtle game

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:54 pm
by steve
Forgot to mention, but hatchlings are mostly illegal to purchase in the US. Your turtles, like us are diurnal -- sleep at night and active during the day. Most of us put our lights on timers to make it a bit easier for ourselves. If its early and peaceful, your turtles might sneak in a few basking sessions.

Re: new to the turtle game

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:48 pm
by vanessa556
Oh no! Did I do something wrong by buying them?! I had no idea! Thank you Steve! I do have a submersible heater the tetra heater for up to 30 gallons. I keep checking to make sure the temp is at 78 degrees. I usually wake up at 5:30 am and turn on the heat lamp. I am currently using the baby repot floating sticks. I bought some dried up shrimp when we first bought the first turtle. ( I thought maybe it didn't like the food that was given to me at the flea market) should I wait to give it to them? And one more thing is there an easier way to clean the tank? I used a mild soap with water for the first time until the water came out clear. But it was so hard to keep rising the pebbles and re-washing the glass.... there are many products for the glass and the vacuum for the water. But would you recommend anything?

Re: new to the turtle game

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:56 pm
by steve
More like the seller did something wrong. Either way, you have them now :) Are both eating? Reptomin is ok. Keep the shrimp as a rare treat. You usually just need to wipe the tank down, no soap. Sometimes I'll use vinegar or rubbing alcohol. For draining the water, you can get a siphon system I just use clear tubing from a hardware store and a small aquarium pump.

Re: new to the turtle game

PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:47 am
by vanessa556
Again thank you Steve! so much information! yea both turtles are eating I give them 2 pellets each. I started to look into siphon system for tanks. looks fairly easy! I'll take out more pebbles next time I clean out the thank, but like I said Khaleesi likes to nest she digs herself into a little nest under the filter and that's where she hangs out. Mikey on the other hand likes to move around he is very active and I guess after he is tired he bask on the rock for a while. I did read your post on healthy snacks to give them such a veggies. I think I will start that too.

Re: new to the turtle game

PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:36 pm
by steve
The more popular siphon is from Python. Turtles do like to squeeze into tight places, be careful that the filter or basking area do not pose threats.