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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.

  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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