General Care Discussion :: Question about general turtle care

Taking care of your turtle's overall health.

Post Posted: Mon May 25, 2020 8:57 pm   Question about general turtle care

I got my RES about 5 years ago as a baby. His name is Tucker. He has always been with me and has never had any real health concerns or issues. I have always had a 50 gal tank 2/3 full of water with a dry dock and bubbler and heat set to 78-82 degrees. I feed him once a day in the morning as much as he will eat then I scoop out the leftovers. I change his water and clean the filter approximately every 2mos. He sits on the dry dock after eating for awhile (30mins maybe?) and I see him on the dry dock near bedtime. I have a few questions about if I am caring for my turtle properly.

I moved about a month ago and I know this causes stress on him (this is my third move with Tucker). I usually take Tucker out of his tank for about 10 minutes to roam around once a week or bi weekly. Today I took Tucker out to roam my room for the first time since our move last month. Tucker did fine and explored the new room and stayed active, then he wandered back and stopped in front of his tank after about 5 minutes. I placed him back in the tank and I saw something really scary for me. He threw up three very full mouth fulls of his food. He ate about 10hrs ago so I was surprised but could still see the color and style of his food. I have never seen Tucker throw up before and it really scared me.

Since throwing up he is acting normal but I am concerned if my habits of taking care of him are okay. I am assuming he threw up because of stress but throughout his entire life he has come out of the tank just like that hundreds of times and has never threw up before. Should I stop taking him out? I will attach a photo of him and his tank right now, its been about a month since water change and is just starting to get cloudy but I usually clean it when it looks like it does now or just a little worse.

Also, I think he hates the bubbler. I have a round one that sits on the bottom of the tank and I always put rocks on it to hold it down but he immediately removes the rock (with his mouth) and moves the circular bubbler thing to the edge of the tank getting it out of his way. Sometimes I see him biting at the tube. Is it really important to have it or should I remove it if he doesn't like it?

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Tucker

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Tank

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Bubbler that he hates and always moves out of the way
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Post Posted: Mon May 25, 2020 9:30 pm   Re: Question about general turtle care

I think you're doing mostly fine, but I would change a few things. His UVB probably needs to be closer, and pointed straight down for optimal effect. If the heat lamp was over the basking area, he might want to bask more. I would remove the rocks smaller than his head. Or all but the largest ones. Those digital probe thermometers are usually not accurate. You are feeding him too much pellets/protein. Maybe 1/3 to 1/2 the size of his head. It's OK if you let him out but rinse him well before he goes back into his tank since he'll pick up a lot of hair and dirt on the floor.
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