FIRST to look at.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Turtle Update

My RES and soft shell

How to take care of a res turtle.

Info from

Aquatic and semi-aquatic turtles are popular as pets. The most well known is probably the red eared slider, although there are several other species which are kept as pets.

Turtles have been popular for a long time. Baby red eared sliders were readily available and inexpensive many years ago, which unfortunately resulted in a lot of neglected turtles. They were often sent home with tiny plastic bowls with a little plastic tree (unfortunately these are still sold with turtles in some places). With no filtration system and no room to grow, these little babies didn't have much chance. In the 1970s, the US government banned the sale of turtles less than 4 inches long, once the connection was made between turtles and Salmonella infections, especially in children. It is not that baby turtles carry more Salmonella than larger ones; it is more of a case of children being more likely to handle the smaller turtles (and/or put them in their mouths!).

Sadly, many turtles are still sold to people who have little idea how much care turtles require, including large tanks, special lighting, good filtration and lots of cleaning. Even worse, they are sometimes given out as prizes at fairs and at other events. All too often aquatic turtles die due to stress and neglect - and sometimes they suffer so much stress, overcrowding and neglect during transport and in shops (and fairs) that even if a new owner provides ideal care the turtles may be so ill they die anyway.

Turtles and Children
Turtles are not ideal pets for children. They are not easy to care for, not great for handling, and in addition they often do harbor Salmonella bacteria which can be passed to the children who don't understand the need for careful hygiene. Many children do not have the interest or ability to provide the amount of care and cleaning that a turtle rightfully requires, so parents must realize the responsibility for care ultimately falls to them if the kids lose interest.

Size and Life Span
Many people also do not realize how big aquatic turtles can get. Red eared sliders and a couple of the other commonly available pet species will grow to at least 10-12 inches long and thus will require correspondingly large enclosures. All turtles have the potential to enjoy a very long life span (i.e. several decades!) if cared for properly.

Aquatic turtles require fairly elaborate housing. They need regular exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, so pricey bulbs designed for reptiles that produce UVA and UVB light are needed for turtle tanks. Without this light, metabolic bone disease (soft shell syndrome) can result. Turtles are messy, and a good filtration unit will be necessary to help maintain water quality, as will regular cleaning. They should have deep enough water to allow swimming, along with a place to get out of the water to bask (heated from above with a basking light.) In addition, appropriate water and ambient temperatures should be maintained.

Although turtle foods have come a long way they are not recommended as a sole source of food for aquatic turtles. Most are omnivores (and preferences for different foods might change at different points in the life cycle), and offering a good variety of foods is the best way to feed most turtles. As a rule, feeding turtles in a separate plastic tub will allow the mess associated with feeding to be contained (turtles are messy eaters, and this will reduce the need for tank cleaning a bit) and allow monitoring of food intake of each turtle if multiple turtles are kept.

But for the Right Owner...
Having said all that, given the right person and the right commitment turtles make beautiful, fascinating, and enjoyable pets. The first step is to research the species available and the care required by each. While the basics of aquatic turtle care are similar for all species, potential owners need to consult specific care sheets for details on housing, environment and feeding for the species in which they are interested.

For beginners, the hardier turtles are recommended, such as red eared sliders, cooters, and mud and musk turtles, keeping in mind that sliders and cooters will reach a mature length of greater than 12 inches, while mud and musk turtles are about half that size. Map and painted turtles, as well as some of the less common species are a bit less hardy. Softshell and snapping turtles have a reputation for being large, aggressive, and generally more difficult to care for so are not good for beginners.

Beyond providing a proper environment and diet for aquatic turtles, they do not need a lot of attention, although regular interaction may result in a tame and sociable turtle. In any case, they are lovely and if properly cared for should provide years of enjoyment.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Winter Turtle Home

I keep my turtles in the garage for the winter. A submersible heater is at the bottom of the tank to keep the water warm. It is the long black thing at the bottom of the photo. I am participating in the Linky Party at The Inspired Room.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Turtle Sale

Turtle Sale is a great place to adopt turtles. Before I get started I will give you the site You can adopt all kinds of turtles. You can buy baby turtles the size of a quarter to big turtles for a back yard pond. You can buy baby turtles in various breeds such as baby red ear slider turtles (which is what I have), baby Mississippi map turtles, baby peninsula cooter turtles, baby yellow belly turtles, baby red belly turtles, baby common musk turtles, baby Rio Grande River Cooter turtles, baby Soft Shell Turtles (which is what I have. I recommend this turtle because it is energetic and can be tamed to come over to the side of the tank when you are there), baby Snapping Turtles, baby Eastern Painted turtles, baby Texas Map Turtles (very pretty), and baby Reeve’s Turtles. There are some more kinds of baby turtles but you will have to go to Turtle Sale to see them. Some of the big turtles are the same species as the baby turtles I already mentioned. You can also adopt rare turtles. I will only mention a few since I don't want to type all night. They are Pearl River Map Turtles, Pink Belly Side Neck Turtles, African Side Neck Turtles, Pink Belly Snapping Turtles, Mexican Musk Turtles, and Black-Knobbed Sawback Map Turtles.

Some of my Turtles

Some of my turtles enjoying their tank.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Some of my turtles basking.

Tanks and Turtles

My turtles in one of my tanks

Avalon, My New baby Red-Eared Slider turtle

This is my new RES (red eared slider) turtle. She is so cute and small. Her name is Avalon. Avalon is by a US Quarter.

New Filter!!!!

I got a new filter because the water got murky. It looks small, and it is but it is very powerful.
Moon left kenya right in photo below
Moon in photo below
Moon on the left and the big guy is Crushy. I have more than one tank with different kinds of turtles and different sizes of turtles. in photo below
Starting from the bottom clockwise there is Kenya, Moon and Timmy. in photo below

Monday, January 4, 2010

Hi all out there!!!!

This is what my turtles eat, it's called ReptoMin it has freeze dried baby shrimp, mini krill (that's what whales eat!!!!) and their staple diet reptomin sticks. Softy (soft shell) LOVES and I mean LOVES the mini krill.
Softy (my Florida soft shell turtle) basking on my new turtle dock!!!.............and other turtles.

More Turtle Video

Don't y'all wish you had a turtle now ?!!! JKJK

Turtle Dock in Tank

New tank setup. Happy turtles.

New Turtle Dock and Whole Different Setup

Long soft shell turtle neck

I got this small floating turtle dock at a great price ($14.99) at PetSmart. It floats great and I have no complaints. If you're looking for a good platform for a turtle I recommend it 100%. Teeny, tiny baby turtles don't go good with this dock because they can get stuck between the plastic bar and the tank.

The suction cups work great when on the tank but you literally have to take a sledge hammer to stick them on the black bars.

This is just a small tank that my turtles stay in when I clean the 15-gallon tank.
Two of my turtles basking in their temporary small tank.