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Hello from Michigan

PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:04 am
by UH60Chief107
Hello Everyone!

Just wanted to introduce myself and also say thank you for the wealth of information on this forum. Long story short, I have 2 RES females (8" length) that I rescued from a careless owner.

I volunteered at a dog rescue in Colorado and someone tried to drop off these 2 girls. They were being kept in a small rubbermaid container with only about 4" of water to swim basking light. We typically did not accept surrenders of any type of animal except dogs but I knew that if I didn't do something these 2 creatures weren't going to survive. Plus, the lady said if we didn't take them in, she was going to release them in a lake *shake my head* My family was actually preparing for a cross-country move from Colorado to Michigan so what better time to adopt 2 semi-aquatic turtles lol.

Since we were in the middle of a move, I couldn't immediately get them into a proper habitat. The day after we took them in, I at least got them setup in a 100 gallon aquarium (3/4 filled with water) with a proper basking area and water filtration. It wasn't exactly the perfect solution but it was much better than they have had so far in life. These 2 girls must be very resilient because they have had no health issues since they came to us! Now that we have made the move and are finished settling in, I am in the process of building them a better habitat using a 300 gallon stock tank set in a wooden frame. The outer rim of the frame will be setup with several basking areas and places for them to roam (along with a waterfall). I am debating on moving down to a 150 gallon tank for this project because I am not sure our living room floor can support the weight of a 300 gal. tank. We could move it to the basement but I want the turtles to get as much natural sunlight as possible and they would get NONE in the basement. From what I've read, 150 gal. might be a bit too small for 2 full grown RES. If push comes to shove, I will just use the 300 gal. tank and reinforce our living room floor :lol:

My wife and I are known by our friends as the crazy animal people. Through our rescue efforts, we managed to adopt 6 dogs of our own, an african pygmy hedgehog, and of course the 2 red ear sliders. We live on 10 wooded acres that are completely fenced in so our dogs are free to roam the land when they are outside. We also take them on at least a 1 hour hike every day in the various state parks near us. They've got it rough :roll:

Needless to say, we love our animals and I look forward to learning from all of you about how we can better care for our turtles.

Re: Hello from Michigan

PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:04 pm
by steve
Welcome to the forum! Congrats on the rescue, your girls are fortunate to have gone to you! Would you be able to use stock tank outdoors? 150 will be a bit tight, but it's doable if they get a long.

Re: Hello from Michigan

PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:31 pm
by litefoot
Hello and welcome,

Good rescue ! 300 gallons of water is 2503#'s alone. Also that's on a small footprint of 69"x63" . The place you pick may not be the strongest area in home. By a load bearing wall is normally stronger in the framing but may not be the place you would choose. If a raised house would be easy to strengthen but it's worth consulting someone in structural engineering.
Michigan ? You could have it outdoors but those stock tanks are only 25" deep . The freeze line in Michigan is 42" . May have to have somewhere indoors to over winter ?

Re: Hello from Michigan

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:47 am
by PokePony
Isn't 150 gallons okay for two adults ? I thought you should do ten gal per inch, and add 10 or 20 gallon for another turtle ?
So 8 inch -> 8 x 10 + 20 -> 100 gal minimum ?
I know that bigger is always better ! But I am wondering if I was misinterpreting this or something. I personally go for the length shell rule and not the gallon one tho.

Re: Hello from Michigan

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:32 am
by litefoot
PokePony , it's two females now 8" each that's 160 gallons with no room to grow for a 150 gallon if used. As Steve said there personality's must be the same or will be problems , tight but maybe doable ? Hard to find two female's with same personality in this hobby and never two adult males. At least with my time in this hobby. Could work in the short term but one will become more territorial in small quarters. Having larger area for two helps to a point but one day separation will be a must. Not everyone is lucky to find compactable turtles.

Re: Hello from Michigan

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:15 pm
by UH60Chief107
I appreciate the warm welcome and the advice! It looks like we will be going with the 150 gallon setup for the colder months and will install a 500 gallon outdoor pond for the warmer months. I wanted to do 300 in the house but I am not going to risk damaging the floor.

I started building the new habitat this past weekend and should be done by the end of this week. I will post pictures when it's done! The tank will sit in a corner of our living room next to 2 exterior walls (load bearing, sitting directly above the concrete foundation) so the risk of floor failure has (hopefully) been mitigated.

I also think we are very fortunate to have 2 females that seem to get along. However, I don't want to push our luck so I am sure they will be happy to get into the 500 gallon habitat once winter has passed!

Re: Hello from Michigan

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:13 pm
by litefoot
Sound's like a good plan. The 150 as an over winter tank then to the 500 outside.
I would suggest keeping the 150 simple to no decorations in the tank to offer more swimming room. You can always decorate the outside of the 150 all you want. Amazing what a few large potted plant's around a tank can do.

Who knows you may get lucky and these two females will stay friend's forever , it sometimes happens .

Being a stock tank which is much wider than a glass tank help's with the swimming room. You may also get lucky on there DNA , not all females grow to there full potential .

So good to hear someone plan things out , thank you !