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Question
hello, i have a huge red eared slider turtle and a small eastern painted turtle. i am looking to get 1 or 2 more baby turtles. i really want a peninsula cooter and a yellow belly. i only have a 40 gallon tank. i live in upstate NY and a really don't want to release my painted turtle. my parents have a below average income. what do you recommend?
        thanks for your time, i just want my turtles to be happy. PS. i also have my old small 15 gallon tank.

Answer
Hi Lily,

If your RES is that large, you really don't have a big enough tank just for him.  An adult slider needs about a 100 gallon tank (and a big female needs more like 150 gallons), and adding another turtle means an even bigger tank.  Needless to say, you definitely shouldn't try to add more turtles!  When you overcrowd turtles, and especially if you don't have a really good filter, the water quality just isn't high enough to prevent the turtles from developing skin and shell infections.  In addition, you often get problems with aggression, because the turtles have to compete for basking and swimming space, etc.  Your 15 gallon tank won't be any help because it's much too small for a turtle to live in.  However, you can't release your painted turtle because once a turtle is in captivity, and especially if it's been with other captive turtles, it can no longer be released into the wild because there is a risk of bringing disease to the wild population (and it's probably illegal in your state anyway).

Here's some information on turtle housing and care that will give you more information:

http://www.redearslider.com/
http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Care/caresheet-red_ear_slider.htm
http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Care/care.htm
http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Care/waterquality.htm
http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Care/housing.htm

Sorry I couldn't give you better news, but it's always best to make sure the pets you already have are well cared for.  Good luck with your turtles!

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Jeannie

Expertise

Questions regarding husbandry of Russian tortoises and other Mediterranean species, sulcata, and redfoot tortoises; general tortoise and turtle care; box turtle care. If I can't answer a specific question, I can provide sources for further research. Disclaimer: My advice is not a substitute for vet care. If I think your tortoise/turtle has a specific medical condition or injury that warrants a vet visit, I'll tell you so, and if possible I'll help you locate a vet. It is neither legal nor ethical for me to provide veterinary advice.

Experience

I have kept and bred Russian tortoises for over ten years and have other Mediterranean species plus redfoots and box turtles. I've worked with other tortoise and turtle species while doing volunteer rescue work; mostly sulcata but some leopards, California desert tortoises, yellowfoots, all box turtle species, red-eared sliders, etc. I don't personally keep aquatic species, but have access to a wealth of information and research to help you with any questions you might have.

Education/Credentials
My knowledge is based on hands-on experience keeping, breeding, and working with tortoises and turtles.

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