Red-Eared Turtle

Red-Eared Turtle

Turtle in the habitat
photo can be enlarged

Red-eared turtle refers to freshwater animals and is quite suitable for keeping in an aquarium, and more specifically in the aquaterrarium. Since this animal in nature loves to bask on the shore, in the sun, there must be a piece of land in its captivity in captivity, wherever it could get out. In nature, this pet is found in countries with a warm climate: USA, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela. Like all turtles, it is quite inactive. Being hungry, she slowly searches for food, well-fed. basking in the sun. Centuries ago, these turtles were used as food. In addition to the described species in aquariums, its "yellow-bellied" subspecies. yellow-bellied slider that does not have red spots on the head.

When buying a small red-eared turtle, it must be borne in mind that this animal is not too small and matured can reach 30 cm in diameter. Although this size in captivity is still a rarity. Therefore, the aquarium will need a sufficiently large, desirable volume of at least 100 liters. These animals pollute the water very much and the larger the aquarium, the easier it will be to maintain cleanliness. With a large volume of water, the biological balance is more stable and the domestic pond can be cleaned less frequently. The height of the water column should be at least 40 centimeters, so that the turtle could swim and crawl out onto the shore. In principle, an ordinary aquarium for fish is suitable, only it will have to be equipped differently. Red-eared turtles live in captivity for a long time, up to several tens of years. Despite the fact that caring for the red-eared tortoise is simple, getting such an animal, you need to be sure that this is not a momentary hobby and you are ready to look after it for many years.

Maintenance and care

Turtle on the gangway in the terrarium
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As mentioned above, for keeping one red-eared turtle at home, the minimum volume of the aquarium is 100. 150 liters. The thickness of the water layer should be greater than the width of the shell of the animal, that is, about 40 cm. or more. The aquarium must be closed with glass or a lid with gaps, for access to fresh air, as the turtle may decide to walk around the apartment. It is imperative to install a heater so that the temperature in the aquatorrarium is in the range of 22.28 degrees. We use a conventional heater. aquarium with temperature control. It should not fall below 20 degrees, it is better to let it be bigger. When the temperature drops, the animal becomes lethargic, stops eating and becomes prone to various diseases.

With the content of several copies, the volume of the aquarium will have to be increased, although it is possible not proportionally to the number of animals. It is better to use flat and wide ponds with a large bottom surface. Be sure to install a filter, these animals are quite large dirty and it will significantly help maintain cleanliness in the aquarium. You can use a fairly simple, internal filter, which is used for keeping fish.

Red-Eared Turtle

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In addition, you will have to change water in the amount of 30. 40 percent of its volume in the aquarium a couple of times a week. This will avoid the accumulation of organic compounds in the water, harmful to the Red-eared Turtle. Water should be settled, not from the tap, and at the same temperature as in the aquarium. Additional lighting must be installed in the lid of the aquarium or above the coverslip. An ordinary incandescent lamp is quite suitable, it will give a suitable spectrum and will heat the resting turtle like the sun. True, such a lamp is not economical. The presence of an additional weak ultraviolet light is also desirable.

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This animal needs to create a piece of land where it could lie down. It is desirable that its surface would be about a third of the bottom area of ​​the aquarium. Here you can give vent to your imagination. You can use an inclined hill of large stones, without sharp edges. If necessary, you can glue vertically glass with holes so that the stones do not move. Modern sealants, with which frameless aquariums are glued, can easily cope with this task. You can glue the glass horizontally, additionally resting it on glued strips of glass and gluing the side so that the soil does not spill out. You can make a plastic or glass shelf, attach a ladder to it so that the red-eared turtle can climb on it. The shelf should be with a side and it needs to be poured on large sand or small rounded pebbles. It is good to decorate the water area with driftwood, treating them in the same way as an aquarium. But ordinary wooden boards are better to be avoided, they strongly absorb water and can become moldy.

Red-Eared Turtle

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It is not necessary to feed adult red-eared turtles often, usually 2. 3 times a week. But juveniles up to 2 years old require daily feeding. You can use the same live food as when feeding small aquarium fish. This is a pipe-maker, bloodworms, corvetre, they are suitable and frozen. Your pets and superfluous small aquarium snails will also eat. In summer, you can give earthworms, tadpoles, small frogs. In winter, feed shrimp, squid fillet, pieces of fish or liver.

It is desirable to have plant top dressing, lettuce, spinach, cabbage leaves are suitable, everything is similar to aquarium fish. Adult animals must eat all the food in half an hour, the excess must be removed so that they do not spoil the water, and in the future, adjust the portion of the food to the lower side. Like fish, it is better to feed the red-eared turtles in the same place and at the same time, they will quickly get used to it. As you can see, caring for the red-eared turtle is quite simple.

Red-Eared Turtle

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Keeping red-eared turtles with aquarium fish is not worth it, these animals. predators and in the end they will destroy their neighbors. Yes, small, recently born turtles are not dangerous for many species of aquarium fish, but they will gradually grow and you will have to solve the problem of the resettlement of animals.

Red-Eared Turtle

photo can be enlarged

Another non-standard option is to fence off a small part of the aquarium with vertical glass with holes to mix water. It is better to position it stepping back from the back wall of the aquarium. It would be easier to make holes, you can use plexiglass, it is drilled quite well at low speeds of the drill spindle. There should not be any large slots through which the turtle could get into this pen. There we pour soil for plants and plant them. In the same department, if desired, you can contain aquarium fish. Only they should be larger than the holes so that they would not emerge into the main part of the aquarium.

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Of the features of the red-eared turtle, good vision can be called. In nature, she notices danger from a distance of 30. 40 meters and quickly seeks to hide in the water. Also this animal is able to make various sounds. It can hiss, squeak and snort. The hearing of the red-eared turtle is not very good, but it perceives a knock in the room or tapping on the aquarium and is afraid to try to hide in the water. When propagating, an unusual ritual is the male tickling the chin of a female.

Breeding

Red-Eared Turtle

Egg laying
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Under natural conditions, red-eared turtles are able to have offspring at 6.8 years old, but in captivity I mature earlier, usually four years. In nature, having met in water with a female ready for mating, the male, as it were, backs away from her, backing up, while scratching her chin with his long claws. Mating takes place in spring. The female lays eggs in moist soil, tearing out a nest of diameters of 10. 20 centimeters, which is clearly visible in the penultimate photo. The hind limbs are used to create the nest. A few eggs are laid, usually 6. 10, but of a large diameter, in the region of 4 centimeters. After oviposition, the nest is pelted with earth. They ripen 3. 4 months at a temperature of 25. 28 degrees. The female does not care for the nest and does not care about the offspring. Newborn turtles are displayed, shown in the bottom photo, with a shell diameter of about 3 centimeters.

In amateur conditions it is not so easy to breed the red-eared turtles, usually only those who breed turtles for sale do this. If it is not so difficult to ensure complete feeding and a suitable temperature, then in order to create a plot of soil suitable for masonry, you need a large aquaterrarium. The soil should be such that the female can dig it, it can be a fairly thick layer of sand or a mixture of sand with peat. Interestingly, before digging the nest, the female moistens the soil with liquid from two anal vesicles connected to the hind gut. In addition, the female may turn out to be finicky and refuse to reciprocate to the male, and then she will have to look for another challenger somewhere. Before laying, the female red-eared turtle becomes restless, looking for a suitable place, digging the ground, trying to get out of the aquarium.

Red-Eared Turtle

The birth of young turtles
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After laying, it is better to transfer the eggs to a separate incubator, otherwise they can be damaged by adult turtles and even the female herself, or the hatched turtles will accidentally die in the water with adults. It is best to transfer them to a small outgrowth terrarium, maintaining the same conditions there as for adult red-eared turtles. If necessary, to maintain the soil temperature at 21. 30 degrees, you can use flat heaters (heating plates) from terrariums.

When transferring damaged eggs, you need to remove and try not to chat the remaining ones in vain. It is better to bury the eggs in a mixture of sand and peat, about the same as they were buried by the female. If there is no additional room for eggs, it is necessary to enclose the masonry with plastic or plexiglass plates in the general aquarium, deepening out into the ground, and cover with a net so that adult turtles cannot reach it.

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The incubation time of the masonry is highly dependent on temperature. At low, 21 degrees, is approximately 150 days, and at high, 30 degrees, is sharply reduced, up to about two months. Oddly enough, it is believed that at low temperatures more males hatch, and at high. females. Nevertheless, there are known cases when a pair of red-eared turtles living in a small water area hatch eggs even in the absence of suitable conditions. In captivity, these animals usually lay their eggs no more than 2 times a year, in the natural environment, under favorable conditions, can breed up to 5 times a year.

Diseases of the Red-eared Turtles

Red-Eared Turtle

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You should always remember that good conditions solve most problems with pet diseases and the disease is easier to prevent than to treat. But since no one gives a 100 percent guarantee in this world, we will describe below the main diseases that are found in red-eared turtles and their treatment methods. It is best, of course, to contact an experienced veterinarian, but unfortunately rarely any of them understands diseases of turtles and if you could not find such a specialist, you will have to treat your pet yourself.

If the animal swims only on the surface of the water and cannot dive, while refusing food and is inactive, then it most likely has pneumonia. Most often, the problem arises due to the low temperature of the pet, so it is recommended to raise the temperature in the terrarium to 28. 30 degrees. You can use a solution of pharmacy chamomile. We raise a glass of the solution, obtained in accordance with the instructions on the packaging of dry chamomile, in 3 liters of water with a temperature of 28-30 degrees and run the red-eared turtle there for 30. 60 minutes once a day. Additionally, you can hold the animal’s hand over the steam from such a solution for 3. 5 minutes, so that it breathes in, but the steam should not burn your hand. We try to feed the pet as varied as possible. The use of antibiotic injections is risky enough and it is better to entrust such treatment to an experienced veterinarian.

If the red-eared turtle has reddish eyes and swollen eyelids, it is recommended to isolate it from other animals, if any. Keep a sick pet in a dry terrarium, letting them swim in clean, warm water for only a few hours. For treatment, use veterinary eye products containing sulfonamides or antibiotics three times a day.

The shell of the turtle becomes soft, uneven peeling of the shell parts occurs with the formation of shells, lethargic behavior, loss of appetite. In this case, it is again necessary to improve the conditions of the pet: make sure that the temperature in the water area 28. 30 degrees, use a variety of nutrition to get different vitamins, it is imperative to install an ultraviolet lamp for periodically irradiating the animal. It is possible to use methylene blue as an additive to water, as a disinfectant.

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