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Yellow Bellied Slider Advice

Discussion in 'Turtles' started by GypsyGigi, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. GypsyGigi

    GypsyGigi New Member

    Greetings! My name is Gigi and I’m from Ohio. I’m a 37 year old animal lover who works in accounting by day and is an artist the rest of the time. I currently have 3 cats…but I am extremely new when it comes to owning a turtle. My experience goes only as far as watching Finding Nemo. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that my new buddy didn’t talk like a surfer! ;-)

    About a week ago, I rescued a turtle from someone who was keeping it in some pretty horrible conditions. I thoroughly did my research and I believe that I have a male Yellow Bellied Slider. This poor guy was living in a 10 gallon tank with very little water in it. As a matter of fact, when he arrived...he was stuck upside down between the tank wall and a decorative log. I did my research and immediately went out and bought a much larger tank - complete with proper lighting, water heating and filtration. Any advice that you could offer regarding the overall care of this turtle would be incredibly welcome.

    I do have three questions.

    1. I noticed a few days after moving him to his new tank that he immediately began to shed. And now, he's beginning to rub his shell furiously against the log that I have in his tank. I read online that turtles can very well shed once upgraded to a better habitat. Does that include their scutes? It seems like he's rubbing to try and help loosen them up. This is my first turtle, so I am extremely new to all of this.

    2. Do you think I should get Rufus a buddy? I have read conflicting information online. Some places say they're communal and some say they're solitary. Rufus seems to be very outgoing and engaging. I feel like it would be a waste for him to spend his days alone.

    3. Does Rufus need a hiding spot in the tank? He seems to sleep just fine out in the open but I don't know if he would prefer a hiding place.

    Thanks for reading! I'm happy to be here, excited to learn lots of helpful things about my new turtle, and looking forward to getting to know everyone.

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  2. KJ Rivas

    KJ Rivas Member

    Rufus would do fine without a tank mate. In the wild, these guys only seem to be social when yo see a group basking on a log. The small size of his tank would also be a factor, as two turtles would rapidly foul the water.

    He will shed normally a few times a year, his shell scutes can be scooped out with a fish net after he sloughs them. He doesn't need a hiding place, I never provided one for my turtles either.

    Rufus is definitely a male, identified by his long claws and long tail, with the cloaca out beyond the back of his shell as seen in two of your photos.

    Rufus looks like a yellow belly (Graptemys Scripta Scripta) or he might be a hybrid. Normally, their plastron will have spots only on the front two scutes, leaving the rest of the plastron bright yellow with no markings or spots, hence their name.

    I loved the surfer-dude sea turtle in Finding Nemo...But as a herp-perp, I noticed that it was a male personality in a female turtle's body...Male sea turtles have very long tails, like a snapping turtle, with the cloaca out near the tip. Male sea turtles never leave the water in their lives like the girls do.

    Photo: Hey, like wazup duuuude?? (Male green sea turtle) Green turtle male.jpg
     

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