Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Turtle Tuesday!

*** I wanted to do a quick update to this post - these pics are still from when the turtles were smaller - I have yet to show you pictures of how big they are now!  JM 04/13/10 11:56 AM ***

A while back I promised that I would share more pictures of my turtles - and finally I'm getting around to it :)  If you do a search for Red Eared Sliders you'll find my earlier post.  The first pictures were of Herman only, when he was just a little baby turtle.  The ones I want to share today show Cecil as well. 

To give you a little background info the girl that gave Herman to me had kept him in the tiny bowl that they give you at the pet store and he wasn't the friendliest little guy to begin with.  Also RES grow in accordance with their environment - so basically the bigger the tank you put them in the bigger they will grow.  He really hadn't had any chance to grow at all.  When I first got Herman he was about the size of a quarter and when I adopted Cecil (who is about a year or more younger) he was about the size of a nickel.

In these pictures you'll see that Herman was just starting to grow, but he and Cecil look almost the same size even though they are about a year apart in age.

This first little guy is my Cecil :)  He was all wiggling and not really wanting to have his picture taken.  When I first adopted him it was back when AIM was pretty popular.  I actually polled my friends and let them pick his name. 

Next is a pic of Herman.  Overlook the fact that it's a bit blurry - it's hard to hold a wiggly turtle with one hand and a camera with the other!

(And I just noticed that both of these pics show my cool spinny ring - I wish I knew what ever happened to that thing!)

Next are some pics of the first tank that I had.  You can imagine how quickly they grew out of it.  The glass columns are filled with those glass jewels that you can buy at any craft store.  They were then sealed with tank silicone so no water could get into them.  They were positioned underneath a sheet of plexiglass that was also siliconed onto the sides of the tank.  I used more silicone to glue down tank gravel - it had to be glued down because at this point the turtles were big enough to where they would try to eat it.  You have to make sure that any decorations in the tank are as big as the turtle's head - anything smaller will get eaten - trust me!  One top of the tank gravel was a large flat piece of slate.  Hanging directly over top of that was a special tank lap with a heating bulb.  The bulb would heat the stone and the turtles would swim up and sun bathe for hours!

In this next shot you can see some of the tubing from the tank filter in the back.  You have to have a really good filter for turtles.  They are about a million times messier than fish.  You also have to be willing to constantly clean the tank.  This is one of the main reasons that I never recommend giving a turtle as a pet to a child.  Just like how the miniatures that most of my blog friend enjoy are actually intended for adults and not children - this is the same sort of thing.  You need to be willing to spend a lot of time and be very patient with turtles.  Also there is a chance of getting salmonella from a turtle so another good reason that children shouldn't be playing with them.  Always thoroughly wash your hands after handling any reptiles.

In this next one you can see the stacks of rocks that the turtles liked to climb on in the corner of the tank.  The little terracotta pot in the middle is what I would plant anachris in for them to eat.  After they had eaten the entire plant they liked to push the pot around and play with it.

Here you see them both swimming around - I think they wanted me to feed them.  They would eat all day if I would let them get away with it.  In the background you can see the tank heater.  RES prefer to stay very warm, both in and out of the water.

Here is one of the little guys resting on the bottom - did you know they sleep underwater?  I also see some little pieces of tank gravel that have broken off in this pic - oops.

In this last one you can see a bit of the slate rock that is above the water.  If I can find any pics of them sunbathing I'll post those as well because they are the cutest thing!  The top glass of the tank is hard to keep clean - turtles like to splash alot!

I hope you enjoyed my turtle pics - have a great Tuesday!


miniannalee said...

Be careful with any kind of small gravel in RES tanks. They like to eat anything that will fit in their mouths. Sometimes it can cause a blockage. Its best to remove anything they can eat and just have large rocks for climbing. A friend of mine from work just got rid of her RES turtles. They were the size of dinner plates and supper messy. She had a problem with them eating gravel all the time.

Kim said...

wow Jessie- this was really interesting! Your turtles are so cute- I didn't know that you had turtles that lived in water! For some reason I was thinking your turtles were more like lizards and preferred to sunbathe all the time. I love how you have your tank set up-it's really cool!

Marilyn said...

Interesting and I learned a lot from your post! Thanks for sharing. ♥♫

beyondbaffled said...

I agree Miniannalee - when Herman was smaller he learned the hard way about eating gravel. They are both much bigger now and haven't had any gravel in the tank for years. I'll post new pics soon to show everyone their current size.

Thanks for the nice comments everyone!