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Ol' Yeller needs help!!

Discussion in 'Turtles' started by MadDog, Mar 31, 2008.

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  1. MadDog

    MadDog Elite Member

    I have a yellow bellied slider that I kinda rescued today. It was at my school in my science class and, even though he's a good teacher, he hadn't really taken care of it. It was in a 10 gallon aquarium with no special lighting and only about an inch of dirt and hardly any water (none to soak in). He (or she) was taken care of with his recent owner and just needs some help to get back on it's feet so could yall help me find a good care sheet. I looked on this site and couldn't find one. I mainly just need help with the temps and the type of heat source. I'll post some pictures of him/her. Also I would like to find out a way (other than probing) to tell the sex of it.

    P.S. Can you tell me what type of grub this is? The pictures are kinda blurry but I tried to get a clear picture. The dark part to the left is the head and under it's head it has six small feet. (3 sets) Can I feed Ol' Yeller this?
     

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  2. furryscaly

    furryscaly Elite Member

    That grub looks like a mealworm, and yes, your turtle can eat it.

    Yellow-bellied sliders, Trachemys scripta scripta, are a subspecies of pond slider, just like the well known red-eared slider, Trachemys scripta elegans. Their care is pretty much the same, and you should be able to find plenty on red-eared sliders. Water temperature around 70 degrees F and a basking spot around 88 degrees will suit him nicely. For turtles, your best heat source is a self-ballasted mercury vapor light, as it will also provide the UVB rays he needs. Since the habitat is all water, except the basking spot, it's better to have both heat and UVB come from the same source so it can be concentrated on that small area.

    You'll want to upgrade his habitat to at least 55 gallons as soon as possible, especially if he's already an adult. It should be all water except for a small basking spot. You'll want to feed him both plant and animal matter. Pre-made turtle pellets, insects (such as crickets and mealworms), fish, krill (found with the frozen fish food), collard greens, mustard greens, and a small amount of fruits and veggies are all good. It's especially important to give turtles a varied and nutritious diet, because powdered supplements don't stick to food well once it hits the water. It's a good idea to use gutloaded crickets as a staple, and feed the supplement to them.

    Sexing sliders is rather easy as long as they're not too small. Males are usually smaller than females, have much longer front claws, and have either a flat or slightly concave plastron (bottom shell). They also have longer, thicker tails with the cloaca further from the shell. A female's cloaca will be right up near the shell and thus the tail following it is rather small. Females may have a flat or convex plastron.

    Here's a male's tail and cloaca:
    http://www.picolio.com/g2/d/52460-2/18Jan04h_Trigger.jpg
     
  3. MadDog

    MadDog Elite Member

    Dude!! Thank you so much. By the way, it seems I have a male.
     
  4. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    good luck with getting him a good setup!
     
  5. fire2225ems

    fire2225ems Subscribed User Premium Member

    Is that something you found? Or did you just get it from the teacher? Most of the time when you purchase something you would already know what it is, that is why I am asking. If it is something you found then I wouldn't suggest feeding it to your turtle. Wild caught food can be dangerous for animals. You have no clue if it has any parasites or what it has been eating/crawling through that might be toxic to your turtle.
     
  6. MadDog

    MadDog Elite Member

    I found it, so thanks for the warnning.

    P.S. Is potassium chloride the same thing as chlorine; and what about magnesium sulfate? Are they safe for the turtle? Thanks.
     
  7. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Safe for the turtle in what respect?
    What are you considering doing with it.
     
  8. MadDog

    MadDog Elite Member

    I was going to use it for both drinking and soaking purposes. I can buy a gallon of water at my local grocery store for 80 cents and was going to stock up on it if it wasn't going to harm him.
     
  9. RES/AnoleLover89

    RES/AnoleLover89 Elite Member

    I use normal tap water for my red-eared slider tank. i've had him in it for 5 years and he is thriving. i've heard if it's safe for human consumption it's safe for an aquatic turtle.
     
  10. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    I have learned, that reptiles do not need specially treated water for things like chlorine. Tap water is just fine. Its the amphibians you have to worry about.
     
  11. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    As Matt pointed out the setup that the turtle was in was woefully inadequate.
    You are looking at needing an aquatic environment. A simple bowl of water is insufficient.
    With an aquatic turtle you are going to have to go thru a lot of water! Turts are little poop machines and their environment is going to get very nasty very quickly!
     
  12. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    good catch merlin, I think we were too busy looking at the type of water, than noticing he needs an actual water setup.

    Merlin is right. mostly water with a few "landing docs" You will need a high powered filter, something that can handle twice the amount of water you have. Example, if you have 30 gallons of water, get a filter than handles 60.
     
  13. MadDog

    MadDog Elite Member

    That's what I plan on setting up this weekend. The inclosure I describe was what I took him out of. He was really cramped and couldn't even hardly move. What I have him in now is still to small but atleast he can walk and soak untill this weekend. It was pretty sad and I think I saved him just in time. I have a question; I just noticed that the top thin layer of his shell is peeling is that due to growth, calcium defiecancy, or something else?
     
  14. RES/AnoleLover89

    RES/AnoleLover89 Elite Member

    are the big scales, called scutes, coming off individually? if they are he's growing. when you take them out bend them a little (i'm weird), they're made of the same stuff as fingernails,cool huh? My guy just started growing again
     
  15. MadDog

    MadDog Elite Member

    Yes, thanks.
     
  16. MadDog

    MadDog Elite Member

    Yet another question. If I were to get some tadpoles and minnows to put in the water of his new inclosure I'm about to set up, will he be able to catch them? Also, should I put some other type of meat food source that wouldn't be as hard to catch?
     
  17. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    he can eat minnows, not sure on tadpoles. He will also eat crickets, earthworms and mealworms. You can get all these things at most pet stores.
     
  18. furryscaly

    furryscaly Elite Member

    Tadpoles will be just as welcome a snack as most fish. Minnows will work too, but mollies and guppies are better. I wouldn't feed him anything you caught outside. It's a great way for him to get parasites, diseases, or chemical contamination.
     
  19. MadDog

    MadDog Elite Member

    Thanks for the tips. :DI can't wait till thursday!! He's going to love his new home. Question, I know that some animals can't eat some fruits, will grapes be alright to give to him as a treat?

    Also, I keep rubbing his head and he seems to like it because he will let me rub the top part of it and also he isn't fully retreating into his shell when I walk around his setup like he use to do only a few short days ago, he only tucks his legs, tail, and neck in and leaves his head out. Should I keep this kind of contact to a minimum or what; how often should I "mess" (couldn't think of the right word) with him? So it seems he is getting use to me, slowly but surely. I plan on getting some pictures of him sometime next week, with him in his new setup. When I do I'll post them.

    I took him out of his setup just for a little while because he was trying to get out of the cramped space I have him in now and decided to snap some pics.
     

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  20. furryscaly

    furryscaly Elite Member

    Turtles become very tame, but they're not very playful, so he'll enjoy being left alone most of the time. But I used to rub mine on the top of the head too, and they do act like they enjoy it. Just take care to wash your hands afterward. Grapes are an excellent treat, but be sure to only feed him a few at most. They'll be easier for him to get a grip on if you cut them in half as well.
     
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