Urgent Care :: My poor neglected buddy

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Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:47 pm   My poor neglected buddy

I feel like the worst mom ever. We moved into a townhome in 2009 and did not have the space for the 55 gallon tank for our RES. So he went to live at the Vet clinic I worked at (also owned by my dad), he retired and closed down in 2011 and so took Zeke home with him. I lived about 45 minutes away so saw him periodically and would take him treats and such, and my dad was doing pretty great with him, but I am 'house sitting' for my dad right now and OMG, my poor guy. I live closer and my parents actually watch my daughter so I go to their house 2-3 times a week so until we can get Zeke out of the situation I can help make his situation better, take him food etc. Right now my dad is just feeding him turtle pellets and that's it and only feeding once a week. Zeke is 17 years old now (yep that's real.....I rescued him and he was 6 in 2007), and his water level in his tank is low enough so he can't get up to bask (doesn't have a basking light even), my hubby had custom built him a basking area that he could get up into but my dad doesn't keep the water level high enough. his shell is covered it algae etc. Wanting to bring him home. He will have to go in the basement in the tank he's in now, but would love to get him into something bigger so he can swim more. Any budget friendly ideas? Any ideas? What do I need to do? We've talked about a kiddie pool or something for outside. I know he needs a LOT more room that that like at least what 70 gallons? Any budget friendly options? Zeke is huge, dinner plate sized, last measurement I remember was over 8" shell length. I LOVE my dad to pieces but he's 75 and I think this is just too much for him. I feel horrible. Worst turtle mom EVER. We do have a large backyard (are renting but from my sister, so could make an outdoor habitat or something with her permission, but budget is a concern as well). What about getting shell back into condition? I didn't get him out of the tank or anything but he has black spots all over. He's skinny as well so needs to get some meat back on his bones. Proper nutrition tips? OMG I am in tears.
Heather
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1 RES Zeke 17 years (2/1/01)
6 Cats: Mercedes, Tiggles, Mouse, Raven, Smokes, Keekie
2 Dogs: Emmie & Ruby
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:49 am   Re: My poor neglected buddy

Hi Heather, it's been awhile. It's hard to be continually consistent with RES because change happens so quickly around us, so don't feel so bad.

If you're looking to put him into a basement, the best value for volume is a stock tank. They're cheap and you can find them used too. Kiddie pools do work and are of course cheap, but I don't like using them indoors. If you have the room outside and the weather cooperates, then you just need something for him to bask on and maybe add some fencing around him. Clean him up and reevaluate. The black spots are probably some melanism. As for diet, reintroduce veggies in small amounts or maybe through your own recipe: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=17486
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:03 am   Re: My poor neglected buddy

Read the original post, I forgot to add all this information
How big is your turtle? 8" (I think) it's been a while since I've measured him, but I'm pretty sure he's grown since then
How long have you had it? 11 years he is 17 years old.

What is the water temperature? Not sure
Did you use a thermometer? No
Are you using a water heater? Yes but not sure if it's working
How much water is in there? 55 gallon maybe a little more than 1/2 full
Are you using a water conditioner? Yes
Are you using any filtration? Yes over the tank inside one

What is the basking temperature? No basking dock access
Is there a basking light? No
Is there a basking platform that is easy to climb on? No, water level is not high enoug
What kind is it or what is it made out of? Made out of a plastic storage container with a cube wire around it so he can't escape
Is there a UVB light? At one point there was, but not right now (going to remedy all of this)

What have you been trying to feed it? Right now he is only on pellets, but offered him so lettuce yesterday and he inhaled it
When was the last time your turtle ate? Yesterday

How big is the tank/pond/enclosure? 55 gallon
Is the tank near a window? Partially it is across the room from one
Is the tank in a room with a lot of activity? No

Have you read the Basic Care section? Yes
Have you searched the forums for similar situations?

Is there any other unusual activity/symptoms? No he seems active, shell is covered in algae (also going to remedy)
Heather
--
1 RES Zeke 17 years (2/1/01)
6 Cats: Mercedes, Tiggles, Mouse, Raven, Smokes, Keekie
2 Dogs: Emmie & Ruby
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:55 am   Re: My poor neglected buddy

Give him a cleaning, use a good pellet like Omega One and get him some sun/UVB. The most bang for your buck will be a stock tank, but a hard plastic kiddie pool will work as a temporary one.
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 10:11 pm   Re: My poor neglected buddy

steve wrote:Give him a cleaning, use a good pellet like Omega One and get him some sun/UVB. The most bang for your buck will be a stock tank, but a hard plastic kiddie pool will work as a temporary one.
] How big are the largest kiddie pools like gallon wise? I saw a pretty large one at Walmart. Was thinking of getting him one of those so he could spend some time outside as well.

steve wrote:Hi Heather, it's been awhile. It's hard to be continually consistent with RES because change happens so quickly around us, so don't feel so bad.

If you're looking to put him into a basement, the best value for volume is a stock tank. They're cheap and you can find them used too. Kiddie pools do work and are of course cheap, but I don't like using them indoors. If you have the room outside and the weather cooperates, then you just need something for him to bask on and maybe add some fencing around him. Clean him up and reevaluate. The black spots are probably some melanism. As for diet, reintroduce veggies in small amounts or maybe through your own recipe: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=17486


Thinking of doing the stock tank in the basement and then a kiddie pool outside so he can get some sun. Is the melanism something to be worried about or is it just aging? So far he's gobbled up everything I've given him. I got him some crickets and meal worms today, and gave him some veggies and a small amount of fruits. Just starting off in small quantities as don't want to overload him. Trying to get his current tank cleaned up. Getting a bonus hopefully this week to get his setup so we can get him home. I did get his tank full to the brim, but have to tweak his docking station so he can climb up it, he's grown a bit since it was made way back when. I'm super excited to get him back home. What do I need to do as far as supplements go? I remember way back when I was giving him the cuttlebone.
Heather
--
1 RES Zeke 17 years (2/1/01)
6 Cats: Mercedes, Tiggles, Mouse, Raven, Smokes, Keekie
2 Dogs: Emmie & Ruby
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Post Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:44 am   Re: My poor neglected buddy

NowZeke2.jpg

This is Zeke taken today. He is 8" shell length. He is currently in a 55 gallon tank. We have plans to get a 100 gallon stock tank in 2 weeks when hubby gets paid again.
I'm hoping to get a better filtration (canister) this week as soon as I get my bonus. That will at least help water quality some for him
He is eating really great which makes me happy. I filled his tank to the brim. Going to bring home his basking station so hubby can modify for him so he can get into it, I think the ramp may be too narrow for him. My dad had an infrared heat lamp on him (the kind for like livestock) LOL, so I got him a different light.
Heather
--
1 RES Zeke 17 years (2/1/01)
6 Cats: Mercedes, Tiggles, Mouse, Raven, Smokes, Keekie
2 Dogs: Emmie & Ruby
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Post Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:30 am   Re: My poor neglected buddy

I'm not sure how big, though the hard plastic ones are pretty limited in depth. Melanism is normal. I think getting him plenty of UVB and using a good pellet is key here. You can add additional calcium/vitamins but I'm not sure how much they help compared to a good diet. Nothing wrong with an infrared heat lamp, so people use it on cold nights.
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Post Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:24 am   Re: My poor neglected buddy

steve wrote:I'm not sure how big, though the hard plastic ones are pretty limited in depth. Melanism is normal. I think getting him plenty of UVB and using a good pellet is key here. You can add additional calcium/vitamins but I'm not sure how much they help compared to a good diet. Nothing wrong with an infrared heat lamp, so people use it on cold nights.


He has him on the Zoo Med ones is that a good pellet? If not what are the best ones to get for him? We want the best for him. Does he need any special requirements due to his age and nutritional deficiencies he's had for so long? The stock tank we are looking at is 31" deep, 53" long, and 25" wide which I'm pretty sure is a lot bigger than the 55 gallon he is in now, I know it's deeper. As for the kiddie pool, we were just thinking for outdoor time to get some good sunshine time for him. Eventually would like to build him an outdoor habitat for the summer. But that's a long ways off. The infrared light is the only light my dad had on him and it was hot enough it heated up the entire room he is in.
Heather
--
1 RES Zeke 17 years (2/1/01)
6 Cats: Mercedes, Tiggles, Mouse, Raven, Smokes, Keekie
2 Dogs: Emmie & Ruby
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Post Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:26 pm   Re: My poor neglected buddy

Omega One is currently considered the best one. There's no formula to what you're asking but a good diet + lots of basking under UVB will be huge steps for him. If he's as big as you think he is, I would probably look into a 150 gallon and you don't need to fill it up all the way.
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:44 am   Re: My poor neglected buddy

steve wrote:Omega One is currently considered the best one. There's no formula to what you're asking but a good diet + lots of basking under UVB will be huge steps for him. If he's as big as you think he is, I would probably look into a 150 gallon and you don't need to fill it up all the way.


I measured his shell length yesterday and from the tip to back of his shell was 8". So I thought it was 10 gallons per inch is that not correct? Do I need to go bigger? Definitely to work on a bigger nicer basking station. Hubby has a 3D printer so is already working on something for him that way. In the past I haven't been able to get him to eat the 'stick' type foods, like the reptomin he prefers pellets, do the Omega ones come in pellets other than the juvenile ones?
Heather
--
1 RES Zeke 17 years (2/1/01)
6 Cats: Mercedes, Tiggles, Mouse, Raven, Smokes, Keekie
2 Dogs: Emmie & Ruby
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:38 am   Re: My poor neglected buddy

Yes, the 10 gallon per inch is fine, the suggestion of getting a bigger tank is just my personal suggestion. I feel a little wider/longer is better than deeper. Omega does come in adult, though there are still kind of small.
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:45 pm   Re: My poor neglected buddy

Went to go pick up my daughter today and got the surprise of a lifetime, Zeke was basking! OMG I was so so happy!
The light isn't the best but I'll take it!
Image
I am a little concerned about his coloration, but I think it may just be lack of proper diet and lighting.
Image
My dad had no idea he wasn't feeding him properly and felt so so so bad.
Heather
--
1 RES Zeke 17 years (2/1/01)
6 Cats: Mercedes, Tiggles, Mouse, Raven, Smokes, Keekie
2 Dogs: Emmie & Ruby
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cprcheetah
 
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:20 pm   Re: My poor neglected buddy

Great to see him basking. The coloration is due to melanism and he will probably get even grayer/darker. Did you check out that red spot?
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Post Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:16 am   Re: My poor neglected buddy

steve wrote:Great to see him basking. The coloration is due to melanism and he will probably get even grayer/darker. Did you check out that red spot?


Yes we triple checked it and it's not there today so it must have been how the flash on the camera was hitting it. So like the graying on the face is normal? Is that the melanism due to aging? I'm thinking of having him checked by a vet anyways we have an excellent exotic vet here in town. He's super skinny. But just want to make sure he's okay.
Heather
--
1 RES Zeke 17 years (2/1/01)
6 Cats: Mercedes, Tiggles, Mouse, Raven, Smokes, Keekie
2 Dogs: Emmie & Ruby
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cprcheetah
 
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Post Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:07 am   Re: My poor neglected buddy

Yes, I would say it's normal. Melanism shows up at anytime they're an adult, and my RES started to show very early on.
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