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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Cumberland Slider Sad

I recently go two cumberland slider babies. And they're so cute.

one of them, the girl, has opened up to me very well. She runs around and craws with me. and lets me pet her,
but my other one, the boy, is the opposite.
When ever i get him out of the tank, he pulls his arms and legs into his shell. He seems really sad, and doesn't want to open up. He spends a lot of time on his basking rock, and whenever I come to feed them, he runs away, and waits till the female is done.

Is that normal? I just worry that he's not okay.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-03-2012, 02:05 PM
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Well, first off, turtles aren't really like dogs...it's normal for them to not want much to do with humans. They shouldn't be handled unnecessarily IMO. My turtle likes taking food from me and "greeting" me (begging for food, really, ha) but I never remove him from his enclosure for no reason.

Spending a lot of time basking may not be anything to worry about depending on how much time we're talking about. Does he still go in the water, too? What are the tank temperatures (water and basking spot)? What kind of UV-B bulb are you using and where is it? How large is the enclosure?




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"We weep for a bird's cry, but not for a fish's blood. Blessed are those with a voice."


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2012, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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Well, he spent a lot of time out of the water.
He wouldn't eat, like I would put it directly in
front of him. But, he ended up dieing.

When I first got them, on of them got out of the bowl
that they came in. And I think that he was the one that
fell out of the bowl. :/

But I still have the female. She's doing well. I tried to feed her some
fruit, but I don't think she likes it. :/
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2012, 10:43 AM
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Sorry for your loss Turtles can be both quite hardy creatures and quite sensitive to environmental changes. It's possible he may not have been feeling well, hence the time spent out of water, but nothing can be certain without an autopsy, unfortunately.
Where did you get them from? If it's a petstore I wouldn't be surprised of some infection in the water.. If a breeder, inform them of your loss. Either way, I would reccomend finding an exotics vet and having her looked at for any internal parasites etc...
Good luck! And I'd love to see pictures!
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-26-2012, 11:51 AM
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I see a few things here of concern, actually.

Most people who acquire turtles honestly have no idea what they're getting themselves into, and when they buy them from a pet store, they're unlikely to get proper advice there, either.

You spoke of the turtle's enclosure as a bowl, and that's a big red flag. Turtles don't live in fish bowls.
They have very specific needs in captivity, and the equipment needed just to keep them alive and healthy can be expensive.

Don't expect to set up a turtle properly for less than $200.

If, upon hearing this, you know you can't afford it, then it's best to give your turtle up NOW, to someone who can afford proper care, or to a reptile rescue group, etc. Do this before the turtle becomes ill, because without the basic equipment to create a proper environment, it WILL. You have already lost one of them.

Here's what you need:
A tank or tub that is equivalent to 10 gallons of fish tank per inch of turtle shell length. (That means that a 4 inch turtle requires a 40 gallon fish tank, or a tub of equivalent size).

The water should be at least 1 and 1/2 times as deep as the turtle's shell length.

I do recommend a plastic tub instead of a glass fish tank. Turtles are terribly messy animals, and a plastic tub will make it so much easier to change the water and clean and disinfect. Never let your turtle's water become cloudy, and if you smell ammonia when you put your face near it, it's time to change the water! Clean water is crucial for keeping them healthy.

You can use a large canister aquarium filter to help lengthen the time between water changes. It should be very oversized, for the size tank and volume of water that you have.

Next, turtles, like all reptiles, need controlled heat. The water temperature should be kept at about 75F to 80F. A submersible aquarium heater can accomplish this.

Sliders require a dry basking area, where they can get completely out of the water. Over this basking area should be a heat source, so that the temperature at 'turtle level' is 90F. Raise or lower the heat lamp to accomplish this--temperatures too hot can burn the animal, too cool, and the animal will be prone to get sick and won't be able to digest its food properly.

Turtles require UVB lighting. I recommend getting a UVB Mercury Vapor lamp. There's a specific brand made with water resistant front, specifically for turtles, and this will take care of both UVB light and basking lamp. It's more practical than buying fluorescent UVB lights, which must be within 6 inches of the animal to do any good, and must be replaced every 6 months, and then using a separate basking bulb for heat.

Next, diet--turtles need more than just turtle pellets. Sliders are omnivores that eat a variety of live insects, small fish, worms, and greens such as mustard greens, turnip greens, dandelion, etc.

Here is an excellent article on slider care:
http://www.chelonia.org/articles/trachemyscare.htm
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-26-2012, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WingedWolfPsion View Post
Next, turtles, like all reptiles, need controlled heat. The water temperature should be kept at about 75F to 80F. A submersible aquarium heater can accomplish this.
I agree with everything you said except this.

Sliders (and pretty much every turtle commonly in pet stores) do just fine with room temperature water and it is in fact preferable as it encourages basking. If the water temperature is too warm, some turtles stop basking and may not get enough UV-B. If you look at where they live, anyway, you'll find that the water temperature is often much cooler than the sometimes recommended 70s and 80s.

I'm of the belief now that needing aquarium heaters for pet turtles is a myth unless the species in question is a rarer, tropical turtle or if the house gets extremely cold for some reason. And in the latter case, I wouldn't set the heater for more than 70 degrees.




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"We weep for a bird's cry, but not for a fish's blood. Blessed are those with a voice."


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-26-2012, 07:14 PM
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I know painted turtles do fine with room temperature water, but I had always seen slightly higher temps recommended for sliders. Your theory does make sense, though I have not heard of sliders developing MBD due to insufficient basking from being in warmer water. I don't keep aquatic turtles, so I would recommend that turtle owners ask a few turtle breeders what their recommendations are (if you can find any that are breeding in indoor setups, that is). If you're a breeder, Stephanie, then I recommend they take your advice, as you would know what tolerances the young ones have.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-26-2012, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WingedWolfPsion View Post
I know painted turtles do fine with room temperature water, but I had always seen slightly higher temps recommended for sliders. Your theory does make sense, though I have not heard of sliders developing MBD due to insufficient basking from being in warmer water. I don't keep aquatic turtles, so I would recommend that turtle owners ask a few turtle breeders what their recommendations are (if you can find any that are breeding in indoor setups, that is). If you're a breeder, Stephanie, then I recommend they take your advice, as you would know what tolerances the young ones have.
I don't breed anything, there are already too many unwanted turtles . I am, however, a turtle owner and have also done ecological surveys with Red Eared Sliders so I'm familiar with the temperatures the "wild" sliders are exposed to . Admittedly, I have not kept Cumberland Sliders specifically but their needs are basically the same as RES and having seen them in TN, they definitely don't have access to warm water all the time.

Darrel Barton (you might know him if you follow WetWebMedia...I don't know if you're interested in aquariums?) is an example of a well-known turtle keeper/breeder who does not recommend aquarium heaters unless housing a turtle outside in the cold year round. One of his articles was what originally got me thinking about pet turtles and water temperature . It made a lot of sense to me and I started talking to other turtle owners who didn't bother with aquarium heaters, either! I think it's just a case of someone saying it was necessary and everyone doing it, pasting it into their caresheets, etc. It doesn't harm most turtles (it only would if the turtle stopped basking, the heater failed, the heater was accidentally set too high, etc.) so most people don't realize it's unnecessary.




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"We weep for a bird's cry, but not for a fish's blood. Blessed are those with a voice."


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-26-2012, 10:28 PM
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That makes sense, too, and since it's illegal to sell hatchlings as pets, the delicacy of the tiny ones wouldn't be a factor for most people (they might also be fine at those temps). I will definitely keep that advice in mind. (I wind up answering a lot of reptile husbandry questions, so I try to keep up with the latest, even with species I don't work with).

Yes, there certainly are more than enough sliders out there...the giant turtle farms down South have the market well saturated, and most of their offspring go straight to China.
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