Habitat - Indoor :: Rescued 3 small RES, advice for best long-term options?

Turtle tank setups and other indoor configurations.

Post Posted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:47 pm   Rescued 3 small RES, advice for best long-term options?

I've got a situation that I need some advice about, because I want to do whatever is best for these three juvenile RES my son and I currently have.

About two months ago, my son and I rescued a trio of what we were told were baby RES, the family of a friend of my son's had gotten these three little ones and then quickly decided they couldn't keep them. The largest, at the time, was about 2", armpit to armpit, and the smallest was about 1.5", armpit to armpit. We were told they were three males, but I now suspect one is a female. We received them in a 10-gallon tank with the type of gravel that is sold for Glofish, and I do not believe it was even rinsed, as the <2" water in the tank they arrived looked like that Blk Water that was sold a few years ago, if you remember it? I do want to make it very clear, I believe this setup was due to ignorance, and I believe my son's friend's family absolutely meant well. I said I'd take them because I thought I had a 50 gallon tank that once housed our late California Kingsnake, but I forgot that I had given that tank away, so, because I'm basically living, more or less, paycheck to paycheck, all we could do was clean out the tank, toss the gravel, set up some [basic] filtration, and get some proper UV-B lighting and a basking dock. I know that this set-up isn't sustainable, and not ideal, but I've been looking at larger tanks and canister filtration systems, but the more I learn, the more I realise, I don't believe I have the proper funds or space for a proper set up for these three little ones. I'm also concerned by the fact that I think we have two males and one female. We were told that these were hatched in captivity, and the implication was that they are all from the same clutch of eggs, so, I am now worried about when they reach sexual maturity, as I only know they're size when we rescued them, but am not sure of their actual ages (I've already seen the "claw dance," for lack of a better term, though I don't know if it was the two males or one of the males and the female, so now i'm concerned about inbreeding).

I try and remember to rinse the charcoal and filter sponge at least every other day, and completely clean the tank weekly, they have no gravel (though they passed gravel for about 2 weeks after we re-did the tank), and they eat commercial turtle diet every other day. I know that I need to "fix" this situation soon, but I'm starting to feel like the only realistic option is to try and choose one to keep, and get a proper set-up, then try to re-home the other two, but I'm always concerned about their future, because so many people do harm unintentionally, just out of ignorance. I just don't have the space or funds to try and house all three of them, which I hate, but I don't want to do anything that is not in these turtles' best interest.

Any advice would be intensely appreciated. Thanks in advance. :mrgreen:
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Post Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:10 am   Re: Rescued 3 small RES, advice for best long-term options?

You'll need to wait until they are around 4" in shell length to positively ID their genders. Any male will likely need to be physically separated from another male or female, basically kept alone from other turtles. Most female RES get along, though there are exceptions since they all have different personalities. The "claw dance" aka fluttering, isn't always meant for mating and both males and females can do it to warn each other.

A stock tank is probably the most cost effective way to house them. It can be used indoors or out, but I would find out their genders first before making any large purchases. At one time, plastic storage totes made for popular tanks, though that pretty much stopped when you can find decent new aquariums for $55 for a 55 gallon. Used tanks are great too, I picked up a 90 gallon glass tank with a stand for $100. Just make sure you look into aquariums and not terrariums.

I can tell you care about them, and I'll do my best to offer any advice you need.
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