Turtles as Pets - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-20-2004, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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Turtles as Pets

For my birthday I'm going to be getting another pet. However, I'm having trouble deciding ^_^;. One of the animals I'm thinking of getting is a turtle. I've done quite a bit of research on them, however, I want owners' opinions.
I'd probably get a Red-Eared Slider...so if anyone has one, it'd be great if you could share your opinions on them.
Firstly, I know turtles are alot of work...but this wouldn't be a problem. However, I'd like to know about how many hours a day I would have to spend on caring for my turtle. I have school, and i want to make sure I could handle it.
Secondly, I know that turtles live a long time but how much does an average Red-Eared Slider live?
Thirdly, is it better to get one turtle or will it get lonely? My friend has an 8-year-old Red-Eared Slider that lives alone and it seems fine.
Fourthly, is a turtle an animal you can interact with? Do they like attention? During excercise time where do you usually let them roam? Can you let them swim in a baby pool or walk around in a pen outside? Can they be handled? Do they just hide in their shell and not move when taken out (seems like they would)?

lol, sorry for all the questions...I just wanna know what I'm getting into XD




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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-20-2004, 07:41 PM
 
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Well, first of all, do you have room for a full grown Red Ear?

Turtles are definitely a lot of work ... and a lot of money too. A RES is going to need either a 100 gal tank or an outdoor pond eventually .... and that is just for one. Daily ... they don't require a lot of care ... you just need to set aside a solid block of time each week for water changes. Other than daily feedings and water maintenence there isn't a lot to daily care.

RES live anywhere from 20-30 years normally. Certain specimens have lived into their 40s or above.

Turtles don't get lonely so I wouldn't recommend getting two for that reason alone.

RES generally don't like attention ... they are very wild. They don't need an exercise time either unless you want to put them outside in a pond ... They are largely aquatic so they won't particularly enjoy moving about your house. They move a lot though, mainly to escape you.

Last edited by elfomatic; 10-20-2004 at 07:46 PM.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-20-2004, 07:44 PM
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Red eared sliders can get to a foot long shell length, and live upwards of 20 years. They are generally not very sociable, and prefer to be left alone to swim and bask. I haven't seen one that enjoyed being handled, but who knows. Being such large turtles, housing for adults is not exactly easy. Plus their needs of UV light, and a basking lamp on a suitable land area that they can get out on makes their care rather costly and space consuming. They do just fine alone, its not uncommon for multiple animals to quarrel over basking spots and food if they aren't given enough space.

Other turtles, that don't require nearly as much space as sliders do, would be painted turtles and musk turtles. Both are fascinating species, they just don't require the huge tank size.


If you want something that may enjoy more interaction, I would suggest looking into a Russian or Greek tortoise. They are land dwelling vegetarians that don't need a huge amount of space, but have can have great personalities and generally don't mind being handled. Especially when food is involved.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-21-2004, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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I didn't think RESs were that antisocial. That's why I asked. My friend has one that she sometimes takes out but I haven't really seen it out much...

Are there any smaller turtles that can be handled easier?




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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-21-2004, 07:42 PM
 
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RES are probably one of the worst choices if your goal is a "pet". As was noted, they really are not the most social of turtles. They will, however, "beg for food", which can make them appear "tame" since they'll "come when you call them" but be careful...they can just as easily mistake your finger for food. Unless you have a pond....I personally wouldn't recommend any of the larger turtles as a pet. Note, that's a personal opinion and there are several people who succeed with it....

A turtle that I have found to be EXTREMELY SOCIABLE as well as VERY SIMPLE to keep indoors is the mud turtle. You can keep a pair of muds in a 50 gallon aquarium and they require very little water (just a few inches high) which allows you to also enjoy planting the aquarium for beauty...

They're small, hearty, friendly, and cheap.... for a student that wants a turtle that'd be my best recommendation
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-21-2004, 10:14 PM
 
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Muds are great. I have a pair of African Mud turtles which are quite comical. They aren't exactly the same thing as American species .. but their care is quite similar.

Really though, if you are looking for a pet to be loving and to hold then turtles probably aren't going to work ...
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-23-2004, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your replies ^_^. I have never seen Mud Turtles so I'm not sure how I would acquire them. The RES is actually one of the smaller turtles I can obtain around here -_-;.
Yeah, maybe a turtle isn't the best choice. We have a small family-run pet store that I'm going to soon so I can try handling and watching some of the animals I'm trying to deicide between. It's a really nice pet shop and they have alot of exotics.




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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 #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-23-2004, 06:38 PM
 
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That's good. It is best to get something that will truly make you happy. I'm glad you are researching beforehand!!
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