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Sliders, Cooters, and Painters Care Sheets
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Care Sheet for Turtles

Average Rating Given To This Care Sheet Is 4.65    (1=lowest, 5=highest)    Last Updated: 03/03/2004

Main Category:

Aquatic/Land

Sub Category:

Turtles

 Care Sheet Submitted By:

Bayou Beasts

Years Experience:

Over 20 Years

Species:

Sliders, Cooters, and Painters

Other Species or Phases this Care Sheet May Cover:

Eastern,Western,and Midland Painters, sliders and cooters

Sexing and Characteristics:

All of the above are almost impossible to sex until at least 2.5-3 years of age(positively anyway). Sliders, cooters, and painted turtles can all be accurately sexed by the toe nails on the front feet. Males toe nails are very long and the female has much shorter/stronger nails built for digging the nest. The male while in the water will swim over the female and flutter the toenails on his front feet in front of the females face to cause her to retreat into her shell at which point the tail will become available for copulation.

Mostly Active During:

Both

Substrate and Water Needs:

Inside tanks for all of the above species should be at least a 20 long for hatchling-yearling, then as adults a 75 gallon will comfortably house a pair. You can use riverstone or any store bought gravel for the substrate. For an outside enclosure (found through years of failure) is to have 3 times the land area than water, I use a 40x20 foot enlcosure for red ears and paints. The enclosure should have multiple water holes(ponds) to choose from that way pairs can have neutral corners when they feel the need for time apart.

Lighting and UVB:

If kept inside the need for uva/uvb is a must, use a full spectrum bulb(even plant bulbs are great and cheaper). The main points of concern for indoor turtles are Vitamin A and D3, which they get from the sun and animal protien, plants etc. in the wild. Outside turtles do not need the lighting(obviously).

Temperatures and Humidity:

Humidity is not a concern they are in water(doesnít get much more humid than that). Heating the water is a must for most species(mine all winter outside under the ice in their ponds) anyway keep the water temps between 70-75 degrees F. with a basking area of 80-85. this will give you happy and healthy animals.

Heating and Equipment:

Heating the water can be accomplished easily and safely by getting an aquarium heater and a piece of PVC piping(most hardware stores will just give you a piece of scrap)drill a couple of holes in it and place the heater inside this will keep the turtles from bumping and knocking the heater around and breaking it. You will also need a painters light(domed fixture) you can get these at the hardware store for half the price of the same thing in the petshops. And of course a full spectrum bulb. Oh as far as the light fixture I recommend the ceramic light assembly they donít break as easy and stand more heat. Take any assembly apart they just unscrew and check all connections all it takes is a spark to ruin everything). You should also use a big filter the bigger the cleaner the better. I use a hot magnum canister filter on my tanks and they work great.

Caging Provided:

I use a 40x20 foot enlcosure for red ears and paints. The enclosure should have multiple water holes(ponds) to choose from that way pairs can have neutral corners when they feel the need for time apart.

Diet:

Omnivorous

Description of Diet:

They will all have simular diets they can and will eat fish but I would recommend feeding commercial turtle diet, crickets, mealworms, nightcrawlers, red worms, and a big variety of fruits and vegetables. (NO ICEBERG LETTUCE) it is worthless and has no nutritional value.

Supplements, Nutrition and Usage:

If kept inside you should supplement every other feeding. I swear by Miner-All made by Sticky Tongue Farms.

Maintenance:

Keep the tank water very clean daily. They eat, sleep, drink, and relieve themselves in the tank so, clean is healthy.

Some Words on this Species:

These species are very rewarding if kept properly. You can have alot of fun with the setups let your imagination run. My last indoor tank for hatchlings was a 125 gallon tank with natural filtration, 3 waterfalls, 2 land areas, and a ton of live plants. I am nuts to spend so much time I guess but it was fun to set up. OH it even had itís own sound system(a cd player with 2 computer speakers all hidden in the vines inside the tank, it played a thunderstorm soundtrack purchased at Walmart. Anyway just be responsible and have fun.
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DISCLAIMER:
The information contain in these care sheets represents only the opinions and husbandry care of members and therefore is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate or reflects the advice or opinions of RepticZone.com. It is always advised to seek additional information or the advice of a qualified veterinarian or qualified reptile dealer. It is also advisable for you to a good amount of research before implementing any of the ideas and care described in these care sheets. We also recommend you ask many questions in their related forums before acting on any information.

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