Red Eared Sliders...urgent Help Needed!

green_bottle_04

Arachnobaron
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Dec 4, 2006
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ok...ive had these guys (4 of them) for about a week now and they wont eat!!! they are babies (about the size of a half dollar) andi have them in a 20 long with plenty of water (calcium enriched) a nice filter, a good basking area, plenty of UV and heat (bulb for basking and a water heater) well...now one of them has swollen eyes (lack of vitamin A ive read) and 2 of them have soft shells (obviously lack of calcium) i dont know what to do...i know they need these nutrients but i cant make them eat! today i put them in a medium sized tupperware container (container is in the enclosure with UV and heat directly over it) and gave them small (dusted) pin head crix, romaine lettuce, and chopped up pinky mice and baby turtle pellets. and they STILL arent eating!!! these guys are in trouble and will surely die soon if they dont start eating and i dont know what else to do!!!! somebody help!!!!!!
 

Wade

Arachnoking
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Try LIVE blackworms. These are foul-smelling hairlike worms that are sold from aqaurium stores as fish food. I've found that baby turtles of most species are reluctant to take non-moving food that's not in the water. Blackworms are something that seems to be taken by every baby turtle I've tried them with. Once they get used to that and are feeding regularly, they should start investigating other foods when introduced.

Good luck with them!

Wade
 

green_bottle_04

Arachnobaron
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Try LIVE blackworms. These are foul-smelling hairlike worms that are sold from aqaurium stores as fish food. I've found that baby turtles of most species are reluctant to take non-moving food that's not in the water. Blackworms are something that seems to be taken by every baby turtle I've tried them with. Once they get used to that and are feeding regularly, they should start investigating other foods when introduced.

Good luck with them!

Wade
thank you so much!!! any idea why they arent going after the pin heads?
 

Mushroom Spore

Arachnoemperor
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They need to get to a vet, and fast. They can get vitamin A injections and who knows what else they need.
 

Wade

Arachnoking
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thank you so much!!! any idea why they arent going after the pin heads?
Baby turtles can be incredibly shy feeders. Pinheads floating on the surface tension might require them to expose themselves too much. A wiggling blackworm right in front of their face, on the other hand, may seem safer.

You might also try feeding them while they're in their regular cage until they start feeding well. Hatchling turtles will often want to stay out of sight until they become conditioned to captivity.

Wade
 

green_bottle_04

Arachnobaron
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Baby turtles can be incredibly shy feeders. Pinheads floating on the surface tension might require them to expose themselves too much. A wiggling blackworm right in front of their face, on the other hand, may seem safer.
so...should i put the blackworm in the water? or should i take them out of their enclosure and into another one...like i have them now to feed them?
 

green_bottle_04

Arachnobaron
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You might also try feeding them while they're in their regular cage until they start feeding well. Hatchling turtles will often want to stay out of sight until they become conditioned to captivity.

Wade
they are in their regular cage...just in a tupperware container to keep them close to their food.
 

LeilaNami

Arachnoking
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isn't there a law against selling turtles smaller than three inches?
 

AviculariaLover

Arachnoknight
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Yeah I thought that in the US it was illegal to sell turtles that small. Thats why I was surprised to see various teensy baby turtles for sale in pet stores up here in Canada, I guess they have different laws?

Anyway.

Make sure the food is small enough. And I agree, live food is a good way to go. We kept some baby painted turtles from my backyard one summer and they loved chopped up worms but quickly started snapping up tiny turtle pellets, as well as small crickets and just about anything we threw in there. The ones that look sick, get them checked out by a vet.

And make sure you know what you're getting yourself into! I think four turtles is a bad idea, if they live to be full grown, you'll need to keep them in a small pool. The adults get HUGE!
 

Wade

Arachnoking
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It's illegal to sell them, but not illegal to give them away, collect them or own them (although there may be state/local restrictions). Also, there is an "educaional purposes" loophole.

If they don't want to eat in the small container, let them hide or whatever and then place the food near them. Security might be the issue, they may feel exposed. Most turtles eventually become bold and responsive and start looking for food whenever you walk by, but babies are often very skittish.

Also, some type of plant, real or fake, in the water can help them feel secure enough to forage. Live Anacris (Elodea, I think) is a good one that will do well under the turtle lights, provides cover, and red ears will even eat it.

Wade
 

AviculariaLover

Arachnoknight
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Yeah, my dad and I have a permit to collect small animals for photography and study in New York State.

And yes, babies can be very skittish. At first ours would all dive in whenever anything near the tank moved. Eventually they started getting tame to the point where whenever I came near the tank they'd swim over and get really really excited about being fed! Just takes some patience. Leave them in the tank, and sit in the same place every time you feed them, stay there and sit very very still if you want to watch them.
 

green_bottle_04

Arachnobaron
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It's illegal to sell them, but not illegal to give them away, collect them or own them (although there may be state/local restrictions). Also, there is an "educaional purposes" loophole.

If they don't want to eat in the small container, let them hide or whatever and then place the food near them. Security might be the issue, they may feel exposed. Most turtles eventually become bold and responsive and start looking for food whenever you walk by, but babies are often very skittish.

Also, some type of plant, real or fake, in the water can help them feel secure enough to forage. Live Anacris (Elodea, I think) is a good one that will do well under the turtle lights, provides cover, and red ears will even eat it.

Wade
awsome! thank you so much for the info. i really appreciate it! they've not gotten any better over the last few days. so...im taking them today to my local exotics dealer( these guys are great) and we are going to "force" feed them. we are going to liquify some pinky mice, baby food, turtle pellets, lettuce, vitamins, etc. and syringe feed them. myself and one of the guys who works there came up with the same conclusion at about the same time.......these guys may not be eating because...they have NEVER eaten they have no metabolism telling them that they need to eat. so we are hoping this force feeding will jump start them into being hungry for more. its a last ditch effors
 

green_bottle_04

Arachnobaron
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And make sure you know what you're getting yourself into! I think four turtles is a bad idea, if they live to be full grown, you'll need to keep them in a small pool. The adults get HUGE!

i live in a 4600 sq. ft. house. no kids...just me and my wife. i have a 13 ft. retic. that takes up an entire bed room. so im no stranger to keeping big reptiles. i know how big they get. i study the animals i intend to buy before i make the purchase so that i can give them what they need.
 

Tleilaxu

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I have never heard of force feeding turtles, that may kill your babies as this is VERY stressfull. Try feeding them in there main enclosure than leave and give them a few hours alone.
 

AviculariaLover

Arachnoknight
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Hehe just checking, I have just known a few people who thought turtles were so cute and had to get them, and now they are getting too large and they are trying to get rid of them. Its a sad thing.

Hope all goes well with the force feeding, its never pleasant for the animals but might be what they need to jump start their appetites. Good luck!
 

green_bottle_04

Arachnobaron
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Dec 4, 2006
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no luck with the force feeding. :( they are getting worse. i have given them blackworms,crix,chopped up pinky mice, earthworms, lettuce, tiny feeder fish, tons of uv, the right amount of heat, good calcium-enriched filtered water...and still no luck. noone that ive talked to can figure it out. i had a guy come to my house who is and expert in raising, breeding, turtles and he couldnt figure it out either...so who knows...only time will tell if these guys are going to pull through.
 

green_bottle_04

Arachnobaron
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437
I noticed you never mentioned trying a vet.
well....considering turtles are ILLEGAL in Tennessee...id say itll be a little hard to find a vet that will work with them. not to mention id have a little explaining to do even if they WOULD work on them.
 

Mushroom Spore

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well....considering turtles are ILLEGAL in Tennessee...id say itll be a little hard to find a vet that will work with them. not to mention id have a little explaining to do even if they WOULD work on them.
I just now made that connection.

I'm...I kinda don't have words right now. This whole fiasco was REALLY irresponsible of you. Those animals deserve proper medical care.
 

P.jasonius

Arachnobaron
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Nov 19, 2006
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well....considering turtles are ILLEGAL in Tennessee...id say itll be a little hard to find a vet that will work with them. not to mention id have a little explaining to do even if they WOULD work on them.
Sooo... let me get this straight: you are willing to let them die, but not willing to take the time to find out the exact legality of turtle ownership where you live. Call around and find a vet that's willing to help. Some of those in that profession actually care more about living things more than having you fined, although that may not be uncalled for, in your case.
Put yourself in their place, someone has locked you in their house, doesn't know what you eat, and has essentially decided that you are going to starve to death because they want to avoid "a little explaining to do".
You seem like nice people.
 
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