Page 1 of 1

new turtle help?

PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:24 pm
by binji
im reasonably certain that in the near future ill be taking in a red eared slider that's been through consecutive Not Great situations - first, at a school where it was apparently left to die by teachers and students over a break, and then in the home of its well meaning rescuer.

im not sure of the sex of the turtle currently, or its overall health. the setup it has right now isnt great, but also not the worst. it has plenty of hides and a place to bask but the water is shallow and i think its being fed a diet consisting solely of pellets.

the tank size isnt bad. from my guesstimation, it's probably 50 or so gallons. in the future im going to attempt to upgrade it.

when i get the turtle, itll come with everything it has now - tank, filter, heater, hides, lamp, food, ramp, and of course the turtle. im planning on buying several thermometers to make sure his setup stays at okay temperatures.

i also keep fish and so have some prior knowledge on aquatics and also the supplies to treat the water, but have never kept a reptile before.

now that the background info is out of the way, i have some questions. ive been doing research for a while now but am still fuzzy on some things.

1.would unfertilized organic potting soil make an okay substrate?
2.what's the best diet to feed him, and on what days should i feed what?
3.whats the best bulb to put into his basking lamp?
4.can i take him outdoors to bask for a few hours each day? if i did that and let him wander around in the ditch behind my home (which is full of frogs and newts and tadpoles and also sometimes box turtles) would he be okay?
5.can i feed him tadpoles? because i have 2 pools full.
6.would it need a basking place that was kept cool to help regulate temperature?

also, since i live in a place where the turtles have a natural population and he was most likely wild caught, could i not just keep him in an outdoor setup (the setup would be filtered and kept clean, ofc) and leave it at that or put him in a friend's pond? after he was back to full health, of course, and i or my friend would still be feeding him.

i probably have more questions but i think for now this should be it. thank you!

Re: new turtle help?

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 1:26 am
by JDora
I'm sure a lot more experienced people here will help you out, but I just wanted to offer a few thoughts:
- Turtles seems to share the ability of many reptilians to sense bodies of water from a certain distance. We lived about 700 ft from a lake when I was a kid and had two small RES turtles, my dad built a small pond for them but didn't think it necessary to fence it in too well. We found one turtle back almost by accident halfway between our house and the lake, the other one migtht have made it to the lake for all we know. The turtle eventually escaped again and was never found... Now my dad wasn't too carefull with things like that, so I imagine that whatever barrier he put up was not very elaborate, but keep it in mind - you seem to live in a place where there is water around.
- I would say that basking outside should be ok, depending on the size of the turtle (birds, other turtles that might attack it) but don't forget the turtle also needs shade. Also, if you let it out in the ditch behing your house, I would consider having a way of rinsing it (maybe a pretank with a bit of dechlorinated water) before putting it back in your tank, but that might be paranoia.

Enjoy your turtle! They are fascinating animals!