Urgent Care :: Closed eyes and general health

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Post Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2023 4:15 pm   Closed eyes and general health

Hello.
I have had my red-eared slider for about a year now. We found him in the middle of our driveway and took him in. Our previous fish had just died (they fought to death) and so we gave him their tank. He hasn't really grown at all from when we first got him, and he's tiny (about 2.5"). We thoroughly cleaned his tank and tried to do what we could with what we had. We had a desk lamp that get hot on top with a glass sheet so he can't escape off the edge. He hasn't shown any signs of sickness until this week.
We feed him dried worms, like chicken food, because that's all he'll eat. We feed him maybe twice a week. He won't climb up the rocks to bask if he is hungry, so that's how we know when to feed him. For a while we would just empty all his water and replace it every month and a half. For about 2 months now, we've had our previous fish filter in there and run it for a few days every week. (It's kinda loud). We've never had problems with him eating, and during winter he did the brumation thing.
This week, I noticed he was in the water so I fed him a few worms. An hour later, I noticed he had not moved and his eyes were closed. I picked him up and he kept his eyes closed, but moved around like he usually would. As far as I've been able to look up, it's a vitamin A defficiency. I cleaned his shell with a soft toothbrush and he kept rubbing his eyes. Eventually he got them open.
We have old red-eared slider food that we tried to feed him at first, but he would skip the pellets and just eat the worms. I've started giving him the pellets again since they say they have vitamin A, and he'll eat a couple.
I also measured the amount of ammonia in his tank, and the result was 3.0. This concerned me a lot, so I dumped the water and replaced it. I also put am ammonia clearing fizz tablet (before I put him back in his tank) and let it dissolve overnight next to the filter. I haven't measure the ammonia since, but the PH, nitrite, nitrate, carbonate, and general hardiness was fine.
Is there anything I need to change urgently?
(I don't know how to add pictures, sorry! His tank has fake rocks on the top half attached to the wall)
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Post Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2023 4:59 am   Re: Closed eyes and general health

How big is the tank? Is there a UVB lamp?

I'd try to make sure the water is warm, mid to upper 70's. Try some more enticing food to get him to eat, maybe some boiled chicken meat or canned tuna fish. Live prey like minnows work even better. You will need to make some investment into his habitat, filter and diet as most of it sounds inadequate.
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Post Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2023 11:06 pm   Re: Closed eyes and general health

He has a 10 gallon tank, but it only holds 8 gallons because of the rocks, and it's usually only filled up with about 5 gallons. It gets filled more than half way.

I don't have a UVB light, but I have lots of plant lights if those are considered the same thing.

Many people have told me to feed him leafy greens, but I can't get him to eat them. Is there a way to fix this too? And what kind of filter do you suggest? The one I have is good at cleaning up most of his food debris and other things, but it's made for fish, not turtles. What other things should I add to his habitat?

I forgot to mention this, but he does have a large fake log that he hides under sometimes, and it takes up quite a bit of space. He also has a small skull that takes up the rest of the room on the floor in front of the rocks. The rocks have an empty space underneath them and he hangs out there as well. He also has small pebbles that cover the bottom of his cage.
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Post Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2023 6:02 am   Re: Closed eyes and general health

You need a specific type of light that produces UVB. You also need a basking lamp, water heater. 10 gallons is way too small and a filter won't do much for that small of a volume.

Have you gone over this section? http://www.redearslider.com/index_habitat.html
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Post Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2023 10:44 am   Re: Closed eyes and general health

I just did. It would've been very helpful if I had seen that when we first got him. I also have a water heater, but it also came with the fish tank. Will this work? And when I get a bigger tank, how would I set up a basking area? A large rock?
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Post Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2023 7:52 pm   Re: Closed eyes and general health

Use what you have, but you will need a new filter and heater with a bigger tank. Thats why its better to go as large as possible and avoid incremental upgrades. For basking areas, there are various platforms and even some you can make. It will depend on the size and material of your tank. Any progress with the eyes or diet?
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Post Posted: Fri Sep 22, 2023 9:37 am   Re: Closed eyes and general health

He will rub his eyes open if I pick him up, and if I touch him he will swim around, but that's it. He won't eat anymore. We got new food, tank cover, basking rock, and we've ordered a new light. Most of the stuff is ZooMed. My parents suggested pitting him in a smaller tank for now so it would be easier to feed him, but I haven't done that yet.
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Post Posted: Fri Sep 22, 2023 9:40 am   Re: Closed eyes and general health

I've also had his heater on for a while so the water's a little warmer. I git a ZooMed thermometer but I can't get it to turn on.
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Post Posted: Fri Sep 22, 2023 9:46 am   Re: Closed eyes and general health

I just checked his tank ammonia levels, and even after replacing all the water they're super high.
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Post Posted: Sat Sep 23, 2023 7:08 pm   Re: Closed eyes and general health

Being in a smaller container or unfamiliar settings can be stressful and further suppress appetite. Have you tried live minnows?
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Post Posted: Sun Sep 24, 2023 12:25 pm   Re: Closed eyes and general health

I haven't been able to find any yet. I went to Petco first, and they didn't have any. I've looked online, but I'm not sure how I feel about ordering minnows online. The next time I go into town I plan on looking in Petsmart.
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Post Posted: Mon Sep 25, 2023 2:17 am   Re: Closed eyes and general health

Also check with some aquarium stores. You can try some bits of canned tuna as well.
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Post Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2023 5:51 pm   Re: Closed eyes and general health

Thank you for your help!
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