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Beginner turtle

Discussion in 'Turtles' started by Char, Mar 5, 2006.

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  1. Char

    Char Active Member

    I need some advice. I'm thinking about letting my son get a turtle but I need to know what kinds are good for beginners and where I could find some good care info. He wanted a snake but after much research I decided it's just not happening. lol He's only 11 and I'm afraid of them. I just can't suck it up to help him care for it and he's obviously too young to do it on his own. A turlte on the other hand, well, I like those. So, any suggestions and any good sites to visit?
  2. Sean Boyd

    Sean Boyd Elite Member

    A red eared slider is a good beginer pet.
  3. Hide Clyde

    Hide Clyde Elite Member

    Yes but they live 20 years and get as big as dinner plates, if properly cared for. For an 11 year old that means college and dorms in 7 or so years----Who is going to take care of the pet during that time. An gecko might be a better choice.
  4. kenman1963

    kenman1963 Moderator

    Most turtles will live that long, if not longer. More often than not aquatic turtles tend to be more difficult to take care of. I have had both aquatics and tortoises and find the torts easier. Some of them however can live up to 50 years. Have you thought of possibly a gecko ?
  5. furryscaly

    furryscaly Elite Member

    Yeah, I too would recommend a gecko over a turle for a beginner herp, especially for an 11 year old. Turtles are more complex in their care than any store will lead you to believe. Plus they can sometimes be a salmonella risk. They're not good for handling either and need a large enclosure and a complex diet.
  6. zaroba

    zaroba Elite Member

    what it comes down to is who is going to be doing the work?
    unless your planning on doing the work like misting, cleaning, and worrying about uv etc, something simple that doesen't need much maintence would be good.

    i'd say the best thing to do could be to catch some tadpoles with him in spring and raise them to frogs. they'll be from your local climate so you wont have to worry too much about temperatures or humidity, and if your son gets bored of them, they can be released back into the wild again.

    my mom and i did this when i was 8 or so. she took me to a local pond and we caught some tadpoles. we put them in an old 55 gal slate bottem tank on our back porch with a few inches of water and a bunch of large flat rocks sticking out of the water on one end. in fall we released them back into the wild again so they could hibornate properly. it was a good reptile introduction. we did it for a few years.
  7. Char

    Char Active Member

    Hi Guys,
    Thanks for the replies. Actually we have a Leo and CWD already. As to who would take care of it after he goes off to college (which I can only pray for) is me. :D They may be his pets but by the time he grows up I'll be too attached to them so they'll have to stay with me...just like his cat will. lol We are not new to reptiles so we already know how much care they take and all the special needs. But thank you for pointing those out. He actually is pretty good about caring for his reptiles. He has a log that writes in of how much they ate, when they ate, when they shed, etc. He goes to the vets with me when they need to so that he knows whats going on (my vet is awesome about talking to him too). He also helps me measure the UVB with my meter. And he definitely knows about hand washing. If he doesn't feel like washing his hands (after all he is a 11 year old boy lol) then he doesn't touch them. End of story. Just like his bike and helmet, no helmetl no bike. End of story. lol So, I know I will be doing most of the work (meal prep, cleaning, etc). So, any suggestions? I saw red eared slider and then someone else said not a good starter. IF (and I repeat IF) we do get one it won't be for another couple months at least so I have plenty of time to brush up and build a properly sized enclosure.
    Thanks again!
    ps If we do decide to get another leo instead does anyone know a reputable breeder for Blizzards? That is what he would like if he does get one (of course it becomes mine when he moves off on his own lol).
  8. Hide Clyde

    Hide Clyde Elite Member

    I think a red eared slider is a great turtle. They just are not as easy to keep as pet stores make them out to be. I have three myself. They grow quick and need a large tank. They need an even larger filter set up or you will be cleaning often. I have the largest canister filter I could buy and now only have to totally clean the tank (70 gal.) once a month. Mine do a lovely turtle ballet when it's near feeding time!
  9. geckoguy14

    geckoguy14 Elite Member

    my red ear sliders were the first actualy reptile that i ever owned. I do not reccommend anyone under age 13 getting them unless an adult is going to be the primary caregiver and the child is very educated in washing his or her hands and not into going in and playing with the turtle while unsupervised. Small children have been known to actually put baby RES in their mouths and choke on them...and people wonder why their is the 4 inch rule. That, plus they carry salmonella in many cases.

    so back to why i dont reccmment them...they require a bunch of space, time, and work. I got tired of the weekly water changes and i couldnt afford a 90 gallon tank which is required just to keep one single adult RES.

    Thats something to chew on....I couldnt tell you how many people come in the store i work at wanting a turtle for their child. They almost always leave with everything they need to keep a leopard gecko instead.
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