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Turtles/help please :(


Hi. I just ordered two baby red ear slider turtles about a week ago. Well today I went to peep in at them to see how they were and I noticed one has been hidding for a very long time under his rock. So I remove the rock and the pior guy is just floating and sqwinting his eyes. I take him out and also noticed thar his shell looks flatter than the other turtles. .he doesn't see to gi back into his shell at all and just kinda looks around. I feel bad for the guy.. he doesn't seem to want to be ib the water but in his basking area instead. Maybe I'm just paranoid but its better to be safe than sorry!!

Hi Carlee,

In order to help you, I need more information.  I need to know how big the tank is, what kind of filter you're using, what brand of basking/UVB bulb(s), water and basking temperatures, and complete diet.  Where did you get your turtles?  It sounds like you bought them online, and unfortunately there are some very unscrupulous online dealers who frequently sell very unhealthy hatchlings.  Once I have more information, I can give you better advice.

The problem with your turtle may be due to the tank setup, temperatures being too warm or too cool, lack of UVB, etc.  Generally speaking, hatchlings are quite hardy if conditions are correct.  Also keep in mind that turtles need plenty of room to stay healthy, and RES grow quite large.  Your turtles will need at least a 200 gallon tank as mature adults, with corresponding filter.  

Here are some links that will give you more information on setup and care, but please post back with the additional information and I'll help you pinpoint what could be the problem.


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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.


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.

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

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